Each year a writing workshop is hosted by the Caine Prize in a different African country for writers who have been shortlisted for the Caine Prize, alongside other writers who have come to our attention through the selection process.
What happens on the workshop?
12 writers from across Africa convene for ten days to read and discuss works in progress, and learn from more experienced writers including some past Caine Prize winners. At the end of the trip, each writer contributes his or her workshopped short story for publication in the annual Caine Prize anthology. These stories are also automatically entered for the following year's Prize.
Participating writers also have the opportunity during the retreat to meet other local writers and take part in a public reading at the end of the workshop to a local audience. Participants have benefited enormously from working with other African writers as few of them have the opportunity to meet writers from other African countries or have their work commented upon by those more experienced. It is a testament to their experience that so many of them stay in touch afterwards, exchanging feedback on other works, together building a network of aspirant writers in Africa.
Since they were launched in 2003, we've held fifteen workshops, four of them in South Africa, four in Kenya, two in Ghana. Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe have each hosted one. In recent years workshops have included school visits where possible to inspire the next generation of African writers.
In 2014 an additional one off event for fourteen writers, The Caine Prize One Day Short Story Surgery, took place in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, on 20th October 2014 and was devised with the Port Harcourt Book Festival as part of the celebration of their 2014 UNESCO World Book Capital status.
The 2016 workshop was held in Zambia and the 2017 workshop took place in Tanzania.