About the Writers Residency Programme
This year, the African Union celebrates its 20th anniversary since the organization’s establishment at the Durban Summit of July 2002. Dubbed AU20, the celebrations are taking place under the theme “Our Africa, Our Future” and will focus on the AU’s initiatives, successes, impact, challenges and the way forward. As part of this commemoration, the African Union (AU), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is hosting a Writers residency programme under the AU20 project for established writers from across Africa to produce a piece of work that celebrates the unity and potential of the African continent.
The writers residency programme will take the form of a hybrid programme, with two online meetings in November 2022 and a two-week physical residency at the Library of Africa and African Diaspora (LOATAD) in Accra, Ghana from 14 to 28 November 2022. The residency will culminate in a public event in Accra to showcase and discuss the written work.
Catering to the theme “Our Africa, Our Future”, five writers from the continent will be tasked to interpret the theme in a broad and expansive way across a selected genre, including fiction, narrative non-fiction and poetry. The work will be published in an e-book anthology to be released in early 2023.
The AU20 project aims to elevate the profile of the AU in the minds of Africans, particularly the creative community, and better connect the AU to African citizens. Powered by Africa No Filter, the writers residency will contribute towards bringing the African Union closer to the African people by selecting creative professionals who think outside the box, dare to challenge conventions and offer new and original work through their chosen materials, techniques and subject matters.
What is Expected of the Writers
- Be willing to commit to the entirety of the residency programme i.e. both digital (3 & 7 November) and physical (14-28 November) sessions.
- Produce a piece of writing between 5,000 and 7,000 words (or five poems for poets) on the theme “Our Africa, Our Future” for publication in the e-book anthology.
- Prepare a 500-word summary to promote the piece(s), for inclusion in the African Union’s flagship magazine, the AU ECHO.
- Participate in the public event at the end of the residency, photography and videography of the creation process, and any publicity that may arise from the programme.
What Writers Receive
- All travel costs to, from and within Ghana.
- Accommodation and board at LOATAD in Ghana.
- Access to the library’s extensive resources.
- A stipend of US$1,000.
- Trips to relevant places of interest while in Ghana.
- Meetings with key people in the Ghanaian/African literary space.
- Established writers of fiction, narrative nonfiction, and poetry who have had at least one book/chapbook published by a reputable publisher (not including self-published work) or who have substantial publication credits in literary journals/magazines.
- Writers can write their pieces in either French or English, and must be able to communicate in English.
- Writers must be both nationals of, and resident in, any African country.
- Writers must own a valid passport and be willing to travel to Ghana to participate in the physical residency.
How to apply for the African Union’s writers Writers Residency Programme
Complete this form attaching the following documents:
- A one-page cover letter explaining why you want to participate in this AU-themed residency and what you hope to gain from the experience.
- Your writers CV (3 pages maximum) with contact details for two referees.
- A writing sample of no more than 2,000 words in your preferred genre.
- A copy of the ID page of your passport.
The deadline for applications is 30 September 2022. Applications for which an element is missing as well as those that have exceeded the application deadline will not be taken into consideration.
Email email@example.com with the subject line “AU20 Writers Residency”.
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