2015 writers' workshop - Ghana 2015
Twelve writers from eight African countries convened at the Coconut Grove Hotel in Elmina for thirteen days (6 April - 18 April) to write, read and discuss work in progress and to learn from two experienced writers, Leila Aboulela, who is a Sudanese author and winner of the inaugural Caine Prize in 1999, and Zukiswa Wanner, a South African novelist and journalist.
The first part of the retreat was spent writing and discussing the writers' stories in workshops facilitated by the first ever winner of the Caine Prize, Leila Aboulela, and South African novelist Zukiswa Wanner. The workshops also incorporated visits to local senior and junior schools in the Elmina/Cape Coast area, offering students an opportunity to meet the writers and exchange ideas about writing and literature, as well as an afternoon visit with Ghanian novelist and poet Kojo Laing. The retreat ended with a public reading in the capital city of Accra at the Goethe Insitut in partnership with Prudential. All the stories from the workshop were published in the 2015 Caine Prize Anthology 'Lusaka Punk' and were automatically entered into the 2016 Caine Prize.
The 2015 participants included Diane Awerbuck (South Africa) and Efemia Chela (Zambia/Ghana) who were shortlisted for the 2014 prize, Onipede Hollist (Sierra Leona) who was shortlisted in 2013, and nine other promising writers, Dalle Abraham (Kenya), Nkiacha Atemnkeng (Cameroon), Akwaeke Emezi (Nigeria), Timothy Kiprop Kimutai (Kenya), Jonathan Mbuna (Malawi), and Jonathan Dotse, Jemila Abdulai, Aisha Nelson and Nana Nyarko Boateng (Ghana).
(Left to Right) Diane Awerbuck (South Africa), Dalle Abraham (Kenya), Jonathan Dotse (Ghana), Facilitator Zukiswa Wanner (South Africa), Jonathan Mbuna (Malawi), Nana Nyarko Boateng (Ghana), Jemila Abdulai (Ghana), Akwaeke Emezi (Nigeria), Efemia Chela (Ghana, Zambia), Kiprop Kimutai (Kenya), Aisha Nelson (Ghana), Onipede Hollist (Sierra Leone), Nkiacha Atemnkeng (Cameroon), Facilitator Leila Aboulela (Sudan).
Director of the Caine Prize, Dr Lizzy Attree said:
"The success of the co-publishing arrangement with Sub-Saharan Publishers in Ghana, which has sold over 25,000 copies of Caine Prize anthologies in the last 18 months, suggests there is a great appetite for literature in Ghana, and yet there have been no Ghanaian Caine Prize winners to date. We hope that holding the first workshop in Ghana since 2009 will encourage entries from Ghanaian writers and strengthen local literary networks."