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Editors Workshop, Uganda 2014
Vimbia Shaire, Ellah Allfrey, Billy Kahora and Goretti Kyomuhendo  of  African Writers Trust (AWT), with participants from the  Editorial Skills Development Workshop in Uganda, Kampala, June 2014


AWT LOGOGood editing is crucial to the success of any writing. Commonwealth Writers is committed to helping editors and writers develop their skills so they can reach a wide readership more effectively. We’re working with AWT to strengthen the capabilities of writers and editors in East Africa.

AWT identified eleven participants from four East African Countries (Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya) to participate in a five day workshop. The sessions looked at all aspects of fiction editing. The workshop was delivered and led by Ellah Allfrey and Vimbia Shaire (both from the UK and Zimbabwe) and included visits from UK literary agent David Godwin, and Kenyan based editor Billy Kahora who talked to participants about his work editing Kwani?.


Editorial Skills Development Workshop Participants

Clifton Gachagua, Editor

Clifton Gachagua
Twitter: @cliftongachagua

Clifton is one of the Africa 39 writers. He is an editorial assistant at Kwani and editor at Jalada. He was longlisted for the Kwani manuscript prize and he’s currently working on his first novel.



Otieno Owino, Editor

Otieno Owino
Twitter: @otieno_owino

Otieno is a freelancer with East African Educational Publishers. This was his first experience of an editing workshop. He applied because he wanted to develop his skills as a writer, and get practice at editing short stories.



Lydia Bwakira, Editor

Lydia Bwakira

Lydia is involved in development projects and works for an Intergovernmental Organisation in Kigali. She is keen to meet other writers and editors in the region. She’s particularly interested in writing and editing non-fiction.



Oliver Ngoga, EditorOliver Ngoga

Oliver is a researcher for Rwandapedia, where he edits entries and researches different sectors of the Rwandan economy. The workshop gave him his first formal training in editing.






Ayeta Anne WangusaAyeta Anne Wangusa

Ayeta is founder and editor of Culture and Development East Africa’s (CDEA) online journal Mashariki: Cultural Understanding and Peace Building Journal. She is keen to improve the quality of the journal, and also wants to better understand the editing process.



Nakisanze Segawa, EditorNakisanze Segawa

Nakisanze works in the corporate sector. She applied to the workshop to improve her editing skills in fiction and non-fiction.







Dennis Muhumuza, EditorDennis Muhumuza
Twitter: @dadennism

Dennis is a managing director at Optimist Media, a new publishing house which he founded this year. Dennis focuses on writing biographies but has had no formal training. He has just started out in publishing.



Glaydah NamukasaGlaydah Namukasa

Glaydah has recently joined the editorial board at Femrite and is keen to improve her own expertise and that of others.




Frederick Mwanga, EditorFrederick Mwanga

Frederick is a teacher and freelance editor, and has just finished editing a book on Somalia by Samuel Tumusiime (Makerere publishing house), which will be launched in Somalia in July. He comes from Hoima District in West Uganda and works with authors from Hoima on the editing process. Frederick is a self-taught editor and his aim was to be able to produce work to an international standard by the end of the workshop.


Hellen Nyana Kakoma, EditorHelen Nyana Kakoma
Twitter: @NyanaKakoma

Helen is the Group Magazine Editor for the Madhvani Group. She is a blogger and a writer of fiction. She runs her own online initiative Soo Many Stories and was interviewed by Commonwealth Writers at the announcement of the winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, 2014. She applied to the workshop to gain experience of editing from a writer’s point of view.


Barbara Oketta

Barbara is a teacher of English literature in a secondary school and an editor at Femrite. She applied for the workshop to get clarity on the central dilemma that faces an editor: how do you reach the point of knowing what to keep out and what to keep in? Barbara also wants to learn about the contemporary market, the use of contemporary language, and how you can spread a message in an informal as well as in a formal way. She doesn’t believe in a division between fiction and non-fiction, as it’s just a story.