2014 Writers' Workshop - Zimbabwe
The Caine Prize for African Writing returned to Zimbabwe in its fifteenth year to hold its annual workshop in 2014, after the inaugural Caine Prize was awarded to Leila Aboulela in 2000 at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair in Harare.
For twelve days between March 21-April 2, thirteen writers from seven African countries convened at the Leopard Rock Hotel in the Bvumba region to write, read and discuss work in progress and to learn from two experienced writers, Nii Parkes and Henrietta Rose-Innes who acted as tutors and animateurs.
The 2014 participants included four 2013 shortlisted writers; Abubakar Ibrahim (Nigeria), Elnathan John (Nigeria), Chinelo Okparanta (Nigeria) and Pede Hollist (Sierra Leone) and nine other promising writers; Martin Egblewogbe (Ghana), Abdul Adan (Somalia), Clifton Gachagua (Kenya), Nkiacha Atemnkeng (Cameroon) and Barbara Mhangami-Ruwende, Philani Nyoni, Bella Matambanadzo, Lawrence Hoba and Bryony Rheam from Zimbabwe.
During the workshop, the writers wrote a short story for inclusion in the 2014 Caine Prize anthology, which was published by New Internationalist on 1 July 2014 and subsequently by seven co-publishers in Africa. Each year the stories conceived at the workshops are automatically entered for the following year's Prize.
The primary supporter of the workshop was the Beit Trust while supplementary funding was provided by the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, Exotix, Cambria and the British Council.
Dr Lizzy Attree commented on the significance of holding the workshop in Zimbabwe: "The Caine Prize is delighted to be back in Zimbabwe for its twelfth workshop. The success of NoViolet Bulawayo has inspired so many writers and we are keen to nurture talent both at the workshop and by visiting local schools."
The programme included a visit to local senior schools, giving students the opportunity to interact with the writers.
The workshop also incorporated two public events in Harare; the first in collaboration with the British Council and Harare City Library, included a discussion about contemporary African literature, the second was held at the Tambira hub in the new Meikles Mega-Market.
on the blog - the Writers' Perspective
A visit to St Werbugh School in the Bvumba- Bryony Rheam
Caine Prize Reflections - Bella Mantambanadzo