2016 writers' workshop - zambia 

Twelve writers from six African countries convened at the Chaminuka Lodge near Lusaka for thirteen days (18 March – 29 March 2016) to writ­­e, read and discuss work in progress and to learn from Jamal Mahjoub, the writer also known as Parker Bilal, and Ellah Wakatama Allfrey OBE, Caine Prize Deputy Chairperson, literary critic, editor and broadcaster. Director of the Caine Prize, Dr Lizzy Attree said: "As Namwali Serpell won the 2015 Caine Prize we were pleased to bring the workshop, for the first time, to her home in Zambia."

This year's participants included the 2015 Caine Prize winner, Namwali Serpell (Zambia), as well as NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe); Chilufya Chilangwa (Zambia); Tope Folarin (Nigeria); Elnathan John (Nigeria); Billy Kahora (Kenya); Bwanga Kapumpa (Zambia); FT Kola (South Africa); Kafula Mwila (Zambia); Masande Ntshanga (South Africa); Timwa Lipenga (Malawi); and Okwiri Oduor (Kenya). 

Top row: Okwiri Oduor (Kenya), Namwali Serpell (Zambia), Masande Ntshanga (South Africa), FT Kola (South Africa), Jamal Mahjoub (Facilitator), Kafula Mwila (Zambia), Timwa Lipenga (Malawi), Chilufya Chilangwa (Zambia) 

Bottom row: Ellah Wakatama Allfrey (Facilitator), Billy Kahora (Kenya), Bwanga Kapumpa (Zambia), Vimbai Shire (Coordinator), NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe), Elnathan John (Nigeria), Tope Folarin (Nigeria)

Award-winning author Jamal Mahjoub, who, along with Ellah Allfrey, facilitated the workshop this year, 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.”

During the workshop, the writers wrote 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 also incorporated visits to local schools and a public event.