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International Literary Seminars: a call for applications

Are you an emerging writer? This is your opportunity to participate in the prestigious International Literary Seminars (ILS), where you will get to improve your writing skills.

ILS, a joint venture by ILS and Jahazi Press, is looking for three writers to fill the slots. You have until August 7 to submit your application.

The fellowship, covers tuition, travel and accommodation for the three recipients. “These merit-based fellowships are designed for upcoming writers who are looking to grow their writing skills with the guidance of an experienced ILS faculty and a community of peer writers,” says a statement from ILS.

Although only three successful applicants will be picked, the good news is that all the applicants will automatically be entered into the 2023 ILS Fiction Contest and considered for publishing in Yolk and Fence magazines. “This will also be a unique opportunity to listen to New Yorker editor, Deborah Treismann and acclaimed short story writer, George Saunders,” says ILS.

The week-long fellowship for the successful applicants which will take place in the coastal town of Lamu, in December, will among others, feature craft development sessions, manuscript based workshops and lectures and discussions with prominent authors.

Some of the acclaimed authors, who will be taking participants through the paces, include Mikhail Lossel, Billy Kahora, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor and Idza Luhumyo, among others. “ILS 2023 will launch in Nairobi where participants will interact with local and international writers as well as attend readings by core faculty members and guests. This will be followed by a week of writing workshops in Lamu,” says the statement from ILS.

Applicants are required to submit an unpublished sample of between 3,000 to 6,000 words, that represents their best work as a Word Document. Poets should submit three samples of their work.

Participants of last year’s event were Gladwell Pamba, Munira Hussein and Dennis Mugaa.

“Winning ILS has been my biggest achievement because it gave me opportunities I had only dreamt of,” says Pamba, who studied English and Literature at Moi University.

You can apply through this link.

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Cynthia Abdallah wins 2022 Itanile Award

Kenya’s Cynthia Abdallah is among the winners of the 2022 Itanile Awards. The Awards, administered by Itanile Magazine, rewards the effort and commitment of literary creatives for advancing the African experience, through storytelling.

“We select winners of the award from works we publish from January to December every year,” says Itanile. “Our guest editor selected winners based on strength, quality, and the impact of their works on the Itanile community. The winners in each category received $200 each.”

Ms Abdallah won in the Chapbook category, for her poetry collection, Author’s Feet.

In the Fiction category, the winners were Chioma Mildred Okonkwo for Time is Different Over Here and Enit’ayanfe Ayosojumi Akinsanya for A Rehearsal of Shame. In the Poetry category, the winners were Onyedikachi Shaquille Johnson for May the Thirtieth and Olabisi Akinwale At the Twilight of Your Sojourner.

Itanile is a literary brand that provides a platform for African writers to publish stories they want to tell about the African experience.

The awarded works, selected by guest editors, will be chosen based on strength, quality, and impact on the Itanile community. All works published by Itanile throughout the year – up till October – will be considered for the awards.

Ms Abdallah is a multi-talented artist. She is not only a writer; she is also a filmmaker. She is the author of the poetry chapbooks, My Six Little Fears and The Author’s Feet. She has also authored a collection of short stories: The Musunzu Tree and Other Stories.

Two of her documentaries, Tales from the Pandemic and Inyumba Yu Mulogooli, were nominated for the Kalasha 2022 Awards. 

She is also the producer of The Author’s Feet, a show available on YouTube. 

Ms Abdallah, 36, is based in Caracas Venezuela, where she teaches English and Literature.