Kwani? (www.kwani.org) is a literary journal founded by some of Kenya's most exciting new writers, to provide to the Kenyan reading public writing of the highest quality. We believe that Kenya is presently producing world-class writers, and we proved this with our very first edition. Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, a kwani? writer who had never been published before was short listed for the Caine Prize for African Writing. Also, referred to as It is our objective of kwani? to get Kenyans reading quality writing again.
Putting Kenya back on the World literary map
Kwani Trust is an association of writers and lovers of writing. Our membership includes some of the most exciting new creative writers, founding member Binyavanga Wainaina, winner of 2002 CAINE PRIZE is the editor of Kwani? Web Journal.
Kwani? Web Journal has been in existence for close to a year now, (funded by voluntary contributions by members). In this short while we have proved that Kenyans are writing high quality and entertaining work. Over the last twenty years, the rest of the world has viewed Kenya as a country that ceased to produce quality writing, however, the last two years have seen Kenyans winning the prestigious CAINE PRIZE for African writing.
Kwani? Web Journal, has unearthed some incredibly talented new writers, including this years CAINE PRIZE winner, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, who was published by Kwani?
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor Yvonne stunned Kenya's literary world, when she got short listed for the Caine prize for African Writing with her first published short story in 2003. It was published by kwani?
Andia Kisia has the rare ability to combine powerful creative narratives with big ideas. She has won two BBC Africa playwriting competitions. Her short story "A Likely Story" stunned readers with its incisive take on Kenya's political past and present, and ambitious themes. Her play, presented at Phoenix Players, was lauded as setting a new standard for younger playwrights in Kenya.
Parsalelo Kantai Is one of Kenya's leading investigative journalists. He is also the editor of Ecoforum. His Ecoforum cover-story, "A Deal in the Mara" took six months to complete, and has thrown doubt on the business practices of the Mara Conservancy.
Stanley recently published his first novel, The Stone Hills of Maragoli. A book which for the first time took readers on an intimate journey into the lives of part time workers on a tea estate. Gazemba has an exceptional ability to make characters come to life. He had struggled hard to make it as a writer, working as a gardener in Nairobi, and writing on an old typewriter.
Though she is better known as a ground-breaking film director, Judy Kibinge is one of our leading writing talents. She is compiling a series of short stories Muhonjia Khaminwa Muhonjia Khaminwa is based in the United States. She is flying Kenya's literary flag high there. She is considered one of America's leading new writing talents. She has been published several times by Transitions, America's leading black journal.
Binyavanga Wainaina Is the editor of kwani? Journal, and was the winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2002. He has been published widely around the world.
The first web issue of kwani? proved that Kenya's new writers are producing work of the highest standards. Yvonne Owuor, whose fiction had never been published before, was short listed for the Caine Prize for African Writing and won. This places her at the forefront of quality writing on the continent.
. We have held four garden readings, each attended by more than a hundred people.
. We are part of the Ford Foundation's Special Initiative for Africa, as members of the prestigious Writers Forum, which seeks to create synergies of mutual interest around the continent. Other members include: The Goree Institute, Nouriddine Farah, Ama Ata Aidoo and Mbasaam.
. We have been invited to submit stories to some of the world's most prestigious Journals. Paris Review (New York), Chimurenga (Cape Town) Transitions (Boston) and Story Quarterly (Chicago) were so impressed by the quality of work by kwani? writers, that they have asked if we can submit our best stories directly to their editors.
. Four of our writers are under consideration for an anthology of short fiction to be published by Macmillan for African schools.
. Two kwani? writers have received scholarships to attend a prestigious workshop in Russia, run by an American association of writers called Summer Literary Seminars. Previous tutors have included Guggenheim grant recipients and Pulitzer prize-winners. kwani? writers will participate in Seminars run by the above organisation in Kenya every December.
Our Projects 2003-2004 . Publication of 4 books as a pilot project to create a functional model for Marketing and Distributing books directly to Kenyans.
. Hiring of a top-notch Creative Writer to work with young talented Kenyan writers, and to host creative Writing Classes . Set up of an office, a reading room and small classes with workstations for writers to work, writers' workshop, setup proper online journal complete with discussion rooms.
. Marketing, at an unprecedented scale of New Kenyan writing to Kenyans Our Objective and appeal to you We urge your institution to support us in this drive to put Kenya back on the literary world map byadvertising in Kwani?.The rewards will mean much for the future of our new Kenya . Package and market a new range of Kenyan creative writing directly to a reading public.
. Target to print 1st Publication September 2003, minimum 2500 copies Financial Requirements . The Ford Foundation has graciously availed a start up grant to finance the initial stages of this project such as a revamped online journal, writers workshops, subsidise printing costs of initial publication.
. Such a grant will not be sufficient to implement our programmes, and your advertising revenue would greatly help us put Kenyan writing on the literary map again.
. We feel that what we are doing is in the national interest, and we wish to involve organisations such as yours in our programmes.
Partnership with value Advertising:
Kwani ? has great advertising opportunities, in an attempt to give back to you as our partners, we are availing such marketing opportunities to you, making it a partnership of value. Please email for a ratecard.* We would encourage you to sign up an annual contract.
Additionally you may also purchase for schools, universities or any institution, copies of Kwani ? for circulation in their periodicals department. Our tertiary institutions and schools have very small budgets for buying books. You will be helping to get a new generation of Kenyans to engage with writing that interrogates Kenyan issues. You can order these in advance in batches of ten.
Direct financial contributions (if you do not want to translate these to advertising) will be recognized in all media Kwani? advertises in. All contributors will be thanked individually in each issue of Kwani? both print and online.