Master Classes for Poets & Writers

As I mentioned in my earlier post on the upcoming StoryMoja Hay Festival, there will be quite a number of activities taking place.

If you are a budding poet/writer, then you need to take advantage of the master classes that will be offered at no additional fee. Here’s the list.

TEJU COLE (Nigeria)
Writing #SmallFates
Thursday 19th September – 10 to 11:45am
Discovery Hall
#SmallFates are the little tragedies in life that we miss, or glance over. They are about the small fates of ordinary people. They are life in raw. Teju Cole, the initiator of #SmallFates that has captured the imagination of the world, is also a writer art historian, photographer and Distinguised Writer in Residence at Bard College..Teju is the author of two books, a novella, Every Day is for the Thief, and a novel, Open City, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the New York City Book Award for Fiction, the Rosenthal Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Internationaler Literaturpreis, and was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, and the Ondaatje Prize of the Royal Society of Literature.
(20 spaces)

African Poetry Book Fund: Poetry Publishing Seminar
Thursday 19th September – 10 to 11:45am
Shidas Tent
Kwame Dawes is the Series Editor of the African Poetry Book Fund, Guggenheim Fellow and winner of the 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award. The African Poetry Book Fund promotes and advances the development and publication of the poetic arts through its book series, contests, workshops, and seminars and through its collaborations with publishers, festivals, booking agents, colleges, universities, conferences and all other entities that share an interest in the poetic arts of Africa. The Fund oversaw the Sillerman First Book Prize and Brunel African Poetry Prize which were awarded to Clifton Gachagua and Warsan Shire respectively.

In this seminar, Kwame Dawes talks about the African Poetry Book Fund initiatives, and shares opportunities available with the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets and the Brunel Prize.
Kwame Dawes covers the do’s and don’ts about publishers, shares new directions in world poetry
Dawes joined the UNL faculty as a Chancellor’s Professor in 2011 and took the helm of the Prairie Schooner, UNL’s quarterly literary magazine that for the past 85 years has published the fiction, poetry, essays and reviews of talented writers of all levels. He is the author of 16 poetry collections.

African Poetry Book Fund.

Constructing Poetry
Thursday 19th September – 12 to 1:45am
Discovery Hall
Dr. Hall’s multiple award winning book, Nigger For Life won the Grand Prize at the Los Angeles Book Festival and has been awarded at over 10 Festivals around the world. He has been called “a warrior of the spirit, a warrior of the mind, an activist, a poet.”
In this masterclass, Dr. Hall shares his experiences to help you find your voice, inspiration and explores structure and looks at the different approaches to constructing a poem.

(30 spaces)
N.B. You are invited to bring a sample of your work, as there may be time for a few attendees to read their work.

Author as a Rockstar: Self Promotion and Self Publishing
Thursday 19th September – 12 to 1:45pm
Shidas Tent
Alexander Nderitu is a Kenyan-born novelist, scriptwriter, Internet guru and pioneer of e-books and on-demand systems. In November 2001, he became Africa’s first ‘digital novelist’ with the Internet publication of his signature thriller, When the Whirlwind Passes, which was initially a free download on his website. He has been nominated for the Douglas Coupland Short Story Award and the Kwani? competition “The Kenya I Live In”. He is the Deputy Secretary-General of Kenya PEN, the local chapter of International PEN (the oldest literary movement in the world).
Alexander has always been a trail blazer of self-publishing, and in this masterclass shares new digital technologies for self-publishing, how to market and brand yourself as a writer nationally and internationally, discusses pricing and shows how to approach your writing as a business. A must attend for any aspiring writer or publisher.

(40 spaces)

ZUKISWA WANNER ( South Africa)
Non Fiction Humour
Thursday 19th September – 2 to 3:45pm
Discovery Hall
Zukiswa Wanner is a South African journalist and novelist. Her novels have been shortlisted for the K. Sello Duiker Award and the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Zukiswa has contributed to Observer/Guardian, Sunday Independent, City Press, Mail & Guardian, La Repubblica, OpenSociety, Sunday Times, Africa Review, Wordsetc, The New Statesman, True Love, Shape, Oprah, Elle, Juice, Afropolitan , and Forbes Africa. Her newest book Maid in SA: 30 ways to leave your Madam is billed as a laugh-out-loud take on a woman’s home and one of the most important, yet most overlooked, relationships – that between a domestic worker and her madam. Join this award winning author as she shares her tips and secrets to writing non-fiction humour.

Tony Mochama (Kenya)
Poetry on the Spot
Thursday 19th September 2 to 3:45pm
Shidas Tent
Tony Mochama is the undisputed king of impromptu poetry. Ever wanted to learn the skill of creating poetry on the spot, drawing from the people and setting you are in to drop hot lines off the cuff?
Tony Mochama will lead you on a treasure hunt of sorts though the Museum, as you learn how to take inspiration from everything around you to create a poetry that will dazzle even the most jaded of your friends. Tony Mochama shares his secrets and tips in this interactive, fun workshop.
Tony ‘Smitta’ Mochama is a successful journalist, and popular performance poet in Nairobi, with the vibrant and critically acclaimed poetry collection – ‘What if I Am a Literary Gangster’. Mochama has also lectured on creative writing and poetry, including a guest speaker at Concordia University, in Montreal

Richard Crompton (UK/Kenya)
The Short Story
Friday 20th September – 10 to 11:45am
Discovery Hall:
Richard Crompton is journalist and author of ‘The Honey Guide’ , the fictional murder mystery set in Kenya which Ian Rankin’s ‘pick of the Summer’ and has received glowing reviews from The Guardian, Times Literary Supplement, The East African, Sunday Times, Wall Street Journal and many more. Join Crompton in this master class focusing on the short story.
When registering, please submit a 150 word biography, and a 150 word essay entitled ‘
I’d like to write like….’

Kwame Nyongo (UK)
The Business of Illustration
Friday 20th September – 10 to 11:45am
Shidas Tent
Kwame Nyong’o is a visual artist, animator, illustrator, filmmaker and musician. Kwame has been involved in UNESCO’s Africa Animated! project, and Tiger Aspect’s Tinga Tinga Tales children’s TV series. His debut short film The Legend of Ngong Hills, won the Best Animation category at the 2011 Zanzibar International Film Festival (TZ), 2011 Kalasha Awards (KE) and the 2012 African Movie Academy Awards (NG).
Kwame’s repertoire of illustration works include client work for advertising agencies and publishers, as well as his own self-published children’s books: A Tasty Maandazi, and it follow-up sequel I Love Ugali and Sukuma Wiki, which is being launched at the Storymoja Hay Festival 2013
Kwame shares his experiences; the business of illustration, publishing his own book, self branding and promotion, illustration markets, what sets illustrators apart, tips and tricks of making it, and working with writers to publish.

Kofi Awooner (Ghana)
The Responsibility of the African Writer
Friday 20th September 12 to 1:45pm
Discovery Hall:
Kofi Awooner’s poetry combines the poetic traditions of his native Ewe people and contemporary symbolism to depict Africa. Awooner has been referred to as one of the great African poets to have appeared in the twentieth century. A political activist, national Ghanian hero and champion of African poetry, he has lectured in English and African literature at the University of Ghana. He has poetry is noted for its incorporation of African vernacular traditions – particularly the dirge song tradition of the Ewe people – into modern poetic form.

Commonwealth Writers
Short Story Surgery
Friday 20thst September 12 to 1:45pm
Shidas Tent
The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2000 – 5000 words). Submissions must be made by the author of the short story. Regional winners receive £1,000 and the overall winner receives £5,000. Submissions open in October 1st 2013.
Join Alexander Ikawah (Kenya) and Dilman Dila (Uganda) who were both shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2013 in this short story surgery to discuss the short stories you may want to enter for the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Please submit a draft of your short story when you register.
In partnership with Commonwealth Writers

Johan Harstad (Norway)
Young Adult Fiction: Science Fiction
Friday 20tht September – 2 to 3:45pm
Discovery Hall
Johan Harstad is a Norwegian novelist, short story writer, playwright and graphic designer. He has published several collections of short stories, and his first novel ‘Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion’ was made into a TV series. His sci-fi/horror novel ‘172 Hours on the Moon’ which is a crossover between young adult fiction and adult fiction was awarded the 2008 Brage Prize for Children’s Literature. Join Johan in this master class on writing young adult fiction

Jackson Biko (Kenya)
Creative Writing
Friday 20th September 2 to 3:45pm
Shidas Tent
Jackson Biko is a lifestyle writer and Editor at Large at Gecko Publishing (Kenya Yetu and Msafiri).
He is the ‘Man’ behind Man Talk on the Saturday Nation, a regular contributor to the Business Daily and has written the Last Word column on True Love for the last seven years. You probably know and love him most from his incredibly popular blog ‘’ which one the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) Awards for Best Creative Writing Blog 2013. Calling all ‘High Schoolers’ to come and join Biko in this creative writing workshop.

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