The annual Caine Prize Workshop ended yesterday at the Chaminuka Lodge near Lusaka, Zambia. The participants included previous winners of the Caine Prize, those shortlisted as well as some who would be considered future stars.
The writers at the workshop included 2015 Caine Prize winner, Namwali Serpell (Zambia), 2014 winner Okwiri Oduor (Kenya), 2013 winner Tope Folarin (Nigeria) and 2011 winner NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe). Also in the event were short listers Elnathan John (Nigeria), Masande Ntshanga (South Africa) and Billy Kahora (Kenya). Then there are the future stars Chilufya Chilangwa (Zambia), Bwanga Kapumpa (Zambia), FT Kola (South Africa), Kafula Mwila (Zambia) and Timwa Lipenga (Malawi).
The workshop was facilitated by Award-winning author Jamal Mahjoub, the writer also known as Parker Bilal, and Caine Prize Deputy Chairperson Ellah Allfrey.
Jamal Mahjoub speaking about the event he was to facilitate said; “The annual workshop allows writers a unique chance to develop their work and to see themselves as part of a literary community. It is always exciting to meet new writers and to help them realise their potential. The workshop is, in my view, one of the most important aspects of the Caine Prize.”
Director of the Caine Prize, Dr Lizzy Attree said: “As Namwali Serpell won the 2015 Caine Prize we are pleased to bring the workshop, for the first time, to her home in Zambia. We are also very pleased to be supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York.” Jonathan Taylor, Chair of the Caine Prize Council, added: “We are hugely grateful for the support of Carnegie Corporation of New York for this important workshop in Zambia, which is likely again to be the launch pad for many successful literary careers.”
During the workshop, the writers were be expected to write a short story for the 2016 Caine Prize anthology, which will be published in the UK by New Internationalist in the summer, and subsequently by a network of co-publishers. Alongside Interlink in the USA, eight African publishers receive a print ready PDF to print in their country, they include: Jacana Media (South Africa), Lantern Books (Nigeria), Kwani? (Kenya), Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana), FEMRITE (Uganda), Gadsden Publishers (Zambia), ‘amaBooks (Zimbabwe) and Langaa (Cameroon).
The workshop incorporated a visit to local schools and a public event.