Africa Writes is the UK’s biggest celebration of contemporary African writing, a fantastic weekend showcase of FREE African youth and children’s workshops, panel discussions, prose readings, book launches and an opportunity for literature lovers of every age and background to immerse in the delights of traditional and modern African literature for adults, children, fiction and non-fiction.
The event takes place at the British Library on the first weekend of July and last year brought the likes of Ama Ata Aidoo who enthralled audiences of old and new fans with an inspirational discussion about her life as a bestselling author of both prose and plays.
This year, the highlight is truly an experience you won’t want to miss: a conversation with Ben Okri, an evening discussing African Books To Inspire. Taking place on Saturday 4th July, this event is sure to sell out quickly. Ben Okri is the master of African magical realism who evokes an energy and truth not quite of this planet and yet so familiar to all with his words and woven tales of post-modern and post-colonial African life, of the heart and the mind. Come and be enthralled by his captivating personality and listen to this masterful writer discuss which African books have inspired him along the way.
The weekend attracts the very best of African literati, both diaspora and straight from the great continent. The programme also gives you the opportunity to get hands-on and involved – it is jam-packed with exciting interactive sessions and workshops too. Bring your children along to Storytime! where they can listen to me reading wonderful African children’s stories and then have the chance to tell us their own versions in their own way. Or perhaps they are interested in writing their own stories or discussing their favourite books – there is a workshop for everyone and all are free!
As usual, there will be a wonderful book fair, full of the latest traditional fiction and non-fiction, as well as the fantastic Pelican Post stand where you can buy the contemporary, beautifully-illustrated African children’s book written by international authors, telling children’s tales of modern African life. At less than £7 a book and with all the proceeds going towards fantastic educational projects the tireless band of dedicated Pelican Post volunteers work on across Africa, your editor (me!) being one of them, this is a fantastic opportunity to stock up on birthday and Christmas presents for the children in your lives, or for the child in you! If you would like to get involved in our charity work or find out more about our projects, please come along to Africa Writes and talk to us!
Africa Writes is also a fantastic opportunity for aspiring African writers to meet face-to-face with industry names and mingle with the like-minded. So if you have a novel on the go, some poetry you’d like reviewed or published, an African charity project you need some advice on, or if you just want the opportunity to discuss all things African – this Festival is for you!