Eleven African writers are currently in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for the annual Caine Prize workshop.

The Caine Prize won’t be new to any reader of this blog. Started in 2000 to cast a spotlight on African writers, some of the most well-known writers have emerged since then. The Caine Prize workshop which is less well known widely but within in African literary circles is quite well known. It is one of the few which allows writers from across the continent to not only learn their craft but also network.

Eleven writers are currently at the Travellers Lodge in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, for thirteen days (21 March – 2 April) to write, read and discuss work in progress and to learn from Elise Dillsworth, literary agent and co-founder of the Diversity in Publishing Network, and Mohammed Naseehu Ali, Ghanaian author of short stories and Professor of Creative Writing at New York University.

This year’s participants include the 2016 Caine Prize winner, Lidudumalingani (South Africa), Abdul Adan (Somalia/Kenya), Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria) and Tendai Huchu (Zimbabwe). They will be joined by Cheryl Ntumy (Botswana/Ghana), Daniel Rafiki (Rwanda), Darla Rudakubana (Rwanda), Agazit Abate (Ethiopia), Esther Karin Mngodo (Tanzania), Lydia Kasese (Tanzania), and Zakariwa Riwa (Tanzania).

Short story author Mohammed Naseehu Ali, said: “As someone who benefited from the mentorship of established writers at the beginning of my career, I am always eager to give back when the opportunity arises. A writing workshop, be it in a school setting or informal environment such as the one held by the Caine Prize, does not only help participants with their writing but also gives them a peak into their lives as successful writers.”

During the workshop the writers are expected to write a short story for the 2017 Caine Prize anthology, which will be published by New Internationalist in the UK and Interlink in the US. The anthology will be co-published with partners in sixteen African countries; ‘amaBooks (Zimbabwe), FEMRITE (Uganda), Gadsden Publishers (Zambia), Huza Press (Rwanda), Jacana Media (South Africa), Kwani? (Kenya), Mkuki na Nyota (Tanzania), Lantern Books (Nigeria), Redsea Cultural Foundation (Somaliland, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan and UAE) and Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana).

A public event featuring readings in English and specially commissioned Kiswahili translations will be held on Saturday 1st April at 6.30pm at CDEA (Culture for Development East Africa). This event is generously supported by Zansec, CDEA and the SOMA Book Cafe.