Writing the Novel

Mawazo Africa Writing Institute announces a call for submissions for its second writing workshop: Writing the Novel, led by award-winning author Yewande Omotoso. The aim of the workshop is to provide advanced training and support to African writers who want to complete full-length novel manuscripts (normally of 80,000 words minimum). The workshop will be held online, is free and is part of a pilot program.

Workshop Description:

The workshop will be held over four months, from October 2018 to January 2019, and will consist of weekly 3-hour group sessions with the facilitator by video conference, and individual sessions. Thereafter, participants will be given three months to revise their drafts, and then will be assigned editors/mentors to work with to produce final drafts.

The workshop is limited to six African writers selected on the basis of their submissions. The workshop will focus on the discussion and critique of the participants’ writing and the study of craft through the reading and analysis of published novels. The goal is for participants to complete their books by the end of the workshop project.

Submission Deadline:
The submission period is from June 1st to July 31st 2018.
Successful applicants will be informed in the week of September 17th 2018


The workshop is open to:

  • Writers based on the African continent (living in an African country) with at least one parent who is a citizen of an African country.
  • Writers who have not yet published a full-length novel with an established publisher (self-published authors may apply).

Submission Guidelines:

Please send the following attached as WORD documents to submissionsmawazo@gmail.com, with the subject head: Novel Workshop Submission:

  1. An 80,000-word excerpt or full draft of a novel manuscript in English.
  • Adult literary or genre fiction (not children’s fiction).
  • Unpublished in book form.
  • Include a title page with name of author, contact address, email and phone number.
  • Include name, title and page number on each page.
  • Format: Times New Roman size 12 font, black, 2.0 spacing.
  1. A synopsis of the novel of not more than 500 words.
  2. A biography of not more than 150 words.
  3. A 500-word rationale on why you write and why you want to participate in this workshop.
  4. The selected applicants will pay a $50 registration fee for the course.

About the facilitator:

Yewande_02Yewande Omotoso is an architect, with a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. Her debut novel ‘Bomboy’ (2011 Modjaji Books), won the South African Literary Award First Time Author Prize and was shortlisted for the Etisalat Prize for Literature. She was a 2015 Miles Morland Scholar. Yewande’s second novel ‘The Woman Next Door’ (Chatto and Windus) was published in May 2016. It was shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award, the Aidoo-Snyder Prize, the Barry Ronge Fiction Prize, and the UJ Literary Prize. It was also long-listed for the Baileys Women’s Literature Prize.