1. What is Kwani?

Kwani Trust is a literary publisher and promoter of new writing, which though focusing primarily on Kenya, has included work from around the African continent.

2. What does Kwani Trust do?

Kwani Trust publishes and distributes creative writing, offers training opportunities for writers, and maintains a global network for writers to access literary agents, publishers, literary events and other connections of benefit to writers.

3. Why was Kwani Trust set up?

The absence of an adequate and committed infrastructure for promoting creative writing compelled a group of young Kenyan writers, led by Binyavanga Wainaina to set up Kwani Trust. Among other reasons was the need for an effective distribution network for literary and creative work; to set up a meeting point for writers to discuss the creative process and fill in the need for funding and other supports for writers.

4. What is the difference between Kwani?, Kwani Trust, and Kwanini?

Kwani, with the ?, takes its name from a direct translation of the Kiswahili question, So? Kwani Trust is the parent organisation for the publisher. Kwanini? can be taken as diminutive for Kwani?, which refers to the pocket sized books we publish. But Kwanini? in itself also stands for Why?. In this sense, Kwani? is an "interrogative" publication for societies in transition asking of themselves why they are where they are.

5. What type of work does Kwani Trust publish?

It is difficult to know in advance what interesting work is going to be, but over the past several years, Kwani Trust has published a broad range of topics across a broad range of genres from fiction, poetry, graphic stories (comics), excerpts from books, essays, histories. The approaches have been varied, including SMS (phone text) formats, blogging formats. In all these, what was the driving factor was the writer's ability to interpret and present an argument, a style, a voice and commitment that made us see the world in a newer, sharper and moving way.

6. What events does Kwani Trust hold?

A a number, fromone-offs, to monthly, to annual. Open Mic is a monthly poetry event, held every first Tuesday of the month at which budding poets have a chance to take the mic belt it out. The Sunday Salon, which has been on a hiatus for a while and returns in December 2010, is a reading event held every third Sunday ( and includes a mix of prose, poetry and essays). The Kwani? Litfest is now a biennial affair, first held in 2006 ( then 2008, and now 2010).

7. Can I get involved in Kwani Trust activities?

Kwani Trust is an open, public oriented organisation, whose mandate of providing an outlet for creative writing, also means it holds an open-door policy. Kwani Trust is its writers - the loose network of people who feel strongly enough about their writing to approach someone to have it published.

8. How do I submit my work?

Our editorial panel usually has two reading periods each year. If you would like to contribute, please follow these guidelines:

  • We prefer email (*doc) or in Rich Text Format (*rtf) instead of pasting it into the body of the email
  • Use double spacing and Times New Romans font, size 12 on a plain white background (no colour please)
  • The document should be paginated and have left and right margins of at leas 1" (One inch)
  • We do not consider unsolicited photography or artwork.

9. Where Can I buy Kwani? books

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