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Maaza Mengiste – The Shadow King

If you are free Saturday morning, we still have some places for this workshop, that will examine the structure of the Booker Prize nominated story.Maaza Mengiste – The Shadow King, the second in a series of creative writing workshops linked to the Africa To attend please RSVP and then join at 10am on Saturday via the Zoom Link you will be sent by email. You might need to cut and paste the zoom link into your browser.

Writing Craft Workshop: Narrative Structure

Led by: Jalada’s Ndinda Kioko

Date: Saturday 23 January

Time: 10am —12pm (GMT)

Where: Join Zoom Meeting:


Book Synopsis

Set during Mussolini’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia, Maaza Mengiste’s The Shadow King takes us back to the first real conflict of World War II, casting light on the women soldiers who were left out of the historical record. At its heart is orphan Hirut, who finds herself tumbling into a new world of thefts and violations, of betrayals and overwhelming rage. What follows is a heartrending and unputdownable exploration of what it means to be a woman at war.

Craft Workshop

Jalada Africa’s Ndinda Kioko will lead this 2-hour session on narrative structure using an excerpt from Maaza Mengiste’s The Shadow King. By making visible the core building blocks of the story such as plot and form, this craft workshop will offer participants a window into how Mengiste expertly steers Hirut and her companions forward. They will examine some of the choices Mengiste makes to knot the events of this novel together, and the effects these choices have on the overall story. Through these conversations writers will be able to explore the different shapes their own stories could take, and the motions that could run through these stories’ tunnels.

 Register Here and check your Eventbrite for the link.

About The Authors

Maaza Mengiste was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A Fulbright Scholar and professor in the MFA in Creative Writing & Literary Translation programme at Queens College, she is the author of The Shadow King, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the HWA Gold Crown, and Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, named one of the Guardian’s Ten Best Contemporary African Books. Her work can be found in the New Yorker, Granta and the New York Times, among other publications. She lives in New York City.

Ndinda Kioko is a founding member of Jalada Africa. She is also a writer and filmmaker with an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from the University of Oregon. Her work has appeared on several platforms and in publications including The Black Warrior Review, The Trans-African, BBC Radio 4, Wasafiri Magazine, and Africa39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara. She is a winner of the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, the Wasafiri New Writing Prize, and the Black Warrior Review Fiction Prize. Ndinda has also received support from the Blue Mountain Center and the MacDowell Colony. From 2018-2019, she was an Olive B. O’Connor Fiction Fellow at Colgate University. Ndinda is currently a visiting assistant professor at Colgate University and is working on her first novel.

Buy The Shadow King HERE

Presented in partnership with Saseni!, Authors.CafeJalada AfricaFestival of IdeasLibraries Unlimited and the University of Exeter.

This event is part of the Africa Writes – Exeter Book Club series which is being launched through Exeter’s UNESCO City of Literature Programme.

Future Events

So far, writers based in Devon have attended online writing workshops in poetry, novel writing and character building.  We have worked with Exeter University and

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