Kwani?-SLS Kenya 2016


Kwani?-SLS Kenya 2016


The two-week program will include both group seminars and ample time to write. Faculty instructors will offer prompts and writing exercises for group workshops and discussion, with the goal of generating new material. Faculty will be available for manuscript consultations, and there will also be opportunities to engage and collaborate with local participants, faculty, and other leading Kenyan writers.

Lamu sunriseProgram Dates: December 7-22 2016 (tentative)

Faculty: Josip Novakovich, Mikhail Iossel, Billy Kahora, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor (additional faculty, both North American and Kenyan, to be confirmed)

Cost: $1011 (flight and accommodations not included)

Accommodations: We’ll provide directions and assistance with booking accommodations.

Schedule: The schedule is left flexible by design. We will hold group sessions in the mornings, and optional consultation sessions in the afternoons. You can choose whether to write on your own, participate in group activities, consult with faculty members to discuss your work in general terms, or go out exploring. You’ll also have the opportunity to participate in the life of the community by attending readings, lectures, and craft talks, and by visiting local artists. Once on Lamu, you’ll also have the option of taking local tours around the island.

Lamu Island: A 14th-century Arab stone town and Kenya’s oldest living settlement, Lamu is a place of great serenity and equally great excitement. The island fosters a heightened state of writerly inspiration. With that in mind, we will be organizing participant readings and group dinners, while during the day boat trips and other excursions exploring this fascinating place will be available to those interested.

Maasai Mara lion

Safaris: Participants may opt to visit one or several of Kenya’s world-famous national parks. Typically, these safaris last three to six days and are based out of Nairobi. Whether individual or in groups, these safaris can be arranged at special SLS discounted prices through our on-site agent. These parks (Masai Mara, Tsavo, Amboseli, for example) are National Geographic staples; think the paradigmatic African savannah of everyone’s dreams and imaginings, the “big five,” the sun, the sky, the eternity.

Participants in SLS writing seminars typically include individuals of all ages and all levels of accomplishment — gifted beginners and writers who have already begun publishing; undergraduate and graduate students of creative writing and people turning (or returning) to writing relatively late in life. All are treated with equal respect by the our faculty and staff. Please bear in mind: One does not necessarily have to be an accomplished writer to attend Summer Literary Seminars: an abiding love of literature, intellectual curiosity, openness to new artistic and cultural experiences, and the sincere desire to deepen one’s understanding of the creative process while being immersed in one of the world’s most fascinating locales are the only prerequisites.

Applications: To apply, please click here or contact the program co-ordinator at In addition to an application form and the deposit, we ask for a writing sample (10-15 pages of poetry; no more than 20-25 double-spaced pages of prose).

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