James Currey Society, Writing and Publishing Workshop, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford, Jan-Feb 2022


If we stand tall it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors – African Proverb

The James Currey Society, in cooperation with University of Oxford’s African Studies Centre, is proud to present the James Currey Society Writing & Publishing Workshop. This workshop, consisting of four half-day sessions, will be facilitated by Stephen Embleton, James Currey Society Fellow to Oxford, 2022. The workshop builds on the unprecedented legacy of the original African Writers Series and James Currey’s prolific contributions, which resulted in a diversity of storytelling, themes of colonialism versus traditional beliefs (e.g. Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”), folktales, oral storytelling and speculative approaches (e.g. Samkange’s “On Trial for my Country”) emerge. Stephen will explore the role of African cosmologies, storytelling traditions, African language translations and social movements as methods of decolonising writing and publishing of creative works in all literary forms. Though centering on African themes and storytelling, the workshop is open to all writers of fiction looking for a different perspective.


Whether you have existing published works, have a work in progress, or are wanting the tools to get started, please submit your motivation statement (along with any available works) for us to review. Please submit a motivation statement of 300-400 words to the following email address, no later than 5pm on 5 January 2022: events@africa.ox.ac.uk. Participation is limited and we look forward to your submissions. Please indicate if you wish to participate in all four sessions or specify which sessions you wish to participate in.

Programme (all sessions will take place at the African Studies Centre):

  • Day 1, Friday 21 Jan, 1-4pm: BREAKING LITERARY MOULDS: Studying the Works of James Currey and the AWS.
    • The African Writers Series, along with James Currey’s prolific contributions, resulted in a diversity of storytelling. The works of Achebe, Gordimer, Soyinka, and many more, cover themes of colonialism, traditional beliefs, folktales, oral storytelling and the speculative.
  • Day 2, Friday 28 Jan, 1-4pm: YOUR PITCH, YOUR STORY, YOUR CHARACTERS: Your Synopsis is Your Guide.
    • How you see the scope of your narrative – how you pitch it in one sentence to who the characters are that inhabit it – will give you insight into its potential and be a beacon during the meandering process of writing.
  • Day 3, Friday 4 Feb, 1-4pm: THE AFRICAN HERO’S JOURNEY: Authentic African Storytelling
    • Cosmologies, folktales and lore reveal an African story beyond the ages. Along with Day 1’s lessons, see the potential of bending your genre.
  • Day 4, Friday 11 Feb, 1-4pm: PLOTTING & ACTS: A Focus on Narrative Storylines
    • Whether it be a short story, stage play or novel, structure through the use of Acts helps with plot, themes and character arcs. We will look at the 3 Act, 5 Act and, with the groundwork from Day 3, more.
Abibiman Publishing
  • London

  • New York

© Abibiman Publishing 2023

Contact Us
  • Abibiman Publishing UK
  • FredMartins
Subscribe To Our Newsletter
  • Enter your email to get notified about our new updates
  • Subscribe To Our Newsletter