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Shadreck Chikoti to be judges’ chair at Uganda’s literary fest

Award-winning writer, Shadreck Chikoti, will lead the judging panel for short story and creative non-fiction prizes in this year’s sixth edition of the Writivism Festival to be held in Kampala, Uganda, in August.

It is not the first time for Chikoti to take up an important role at the festival as he was among the speakers last year.

Organisers of the festival said, on their platform writivism.org, that six judges will select the winners, with Chikoti serving as the chair of the judges’ panel.

“I am excited to be selected one of the judges and, at the same time, lead the judging panel. All major writers have passed through this festival,” Chikoti said yesterday.

Being chair of the judging panel, he said, serves as authentication of Malawian literature.

“I think we, as writers, are getting there and this is recognition of our works in a sense, especially when you look at the past judges,” Chikoti said.

According to thesparklewritershub.com, the short story prize’s sponsors are Story Club Malawi, of which Chikoti is the founder.

Other judges on the short story prize panel include Beatrice Lamwaka, an award-winning Ugandan short story writer, and Emmanuel Sigauke, a writer, editor and longstanding member of the Writivism Council of advisors.

The winners will be announced on August 17-19 2018 during the festival.

The Writivism Festival is organised by the Centre for African Cultural Excellence (Cace).

It is part of Writivism, the organisation’s flagship initiative that

identifies mentors and promotes emerging African writers.

The festival, which started in 2012, is Uganda’s leading literary event and celebrates various arts around an annual theme.

Over 200 emerging writers have attended its creative writing workshops and online mentoring programme.

The initiative has, among other things, published seven anthologies of short fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Chikoti, who was listed among the top 10 contemporary African writers by www.africa.com last year, is the founder of Story Club Malawi, which has made strides in the world of writing.

He was listed by CNN as one of seven must-read African authors.

The former Malawi Writers Union (Mawu) vice president has won numerous literary awards including the 2013 Peer Gynt Literary Award with his futuristic novel, Azotus the kingdom, also shortlisted for Africa Nommo Awards for speculative fiction.

Chikoti has also been nominated by the Africa 39 project as one of the “most promising African writers under the age of 40.”

His work has also appeared in several anthologies, including the Caine Prize anthology To See the Mountain and Other Stories (2011), and in All The Good Things Around Us: An Anthology of African Short Stories.

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