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Writing the Novel

Mawazo Africa Writing Institute announces a Call for Submissions for its first writing workshop: Writing the Novel, led by award-winning author Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi. 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 30,000 words minimum). The workshop will be held online and is a free pilot program.

Workshop Description:

The workshop will be held online over three months, from January to March 2018, and will consist of weekly 3-hour group sessions with the facilitator by video conference. Thereafter, participants will be given two months to revise their full drafts, and in June 2018, assigned editors to review the revised manuscripts.

The workshop will be limited to six African writers selected on the basis of their draft manuscript excerpts. 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 period.

Submission Deadline:

The submission period is from September 10th to October 31st 2017.

Successful applicants will be informed on December 15th 2017. 


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 read the Call for Submissions and send the following attached as WORD documents to, with the subject head: Novel Workshop Submission:

  1. A 30,000-word excerpt of a draft 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  • Unpublished in book form.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.

About the facilitator:

JenniferJennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is a Ugandan novelist and short story writer living in Manchester, UK. She has a PhD from Lancaster University and has taught Creative Writing and English for the last ten years at British universities. Her novel, Kintu, won the Kwani Manuscript Project in 2013. It was published in 2014 in Kenya and the US and was long-listed for the Etisalat Prize 2014. Jennifer’s short story, Lets Tell This Story Properly won the regional (Africa) and overall Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2014.