NAIROBI WRITING ACADEMY
NaiWA, the Nairobi Writing Academy, offers online classes in various creative writing areas including short and long fiction, poetry, screenwriting, creative non-fiction. Classes generally run for between 10 to 20 weeks and are led by published and award-winning African and non-African writers.
These classes are primarily designed for African writers living on the continent, but past participants have been located worldwide including in the USA, UK, Japan, and Eastern Europe.
Please click on any of the classes listed below to learn more about them and their instructors as well as how to apply.
If you are a donor and would like to sponsor an African writer to take our classes, please visit our sponsorship page
INTRODUCTION TO SHORT STORY CRAFT WITH MAKENA ONJERIKA
This class introduces participants to the fundamental elements of fiction, with special reference to the short story, through exposure to over 50 short story writers and topical essays. Participants learn how to read short stories for techniques that can help them improve their own writing and receive feedback from Makena on up to 4 short stories.
INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE NON-FICTION WITH CAREY BARAKA
This class introduces participants to the fundamental elements of creative non-fiction, with special attention paid to personal and critical essays, as well as to longform non-fiction and narrative journalism, through exposure to over 50 pieces of creative non-fiction and critical work. Participants learn how to structure essays, how to develop arguments, and how to use themselves and other people as characters in their non-fiction.
INTRODUCTION TO SCREENWRITING WITH NAT SMITH
This course introduces students to the core elements of visual storytelling, and how to translate these elements onto the page. Participants examine technical and artistic elements of screenwriting, including overviews of short film, feature film, and TV writing. We will analyze scripts, scenes, and narrative arcs to understand and apply structure. There will be several short writing assignments, and the course culminates in crafting a 15-page script.
INTRODUCTION TO POETRY WRITING WITH ERNEST O. ÒGÚNYẸMÍ
This class is for beginners as well as for those who have been writing for quite some time. Students will be introduced to the basic tools of poeming, with a particular focus on how to read and understand poetry, and how that can inform the ways that they make their own poems.
DRAFT A NOVEL IN 20 WEEKS WITH REŠOKETŠWE MANENZHE
This course introduces students to the core elements of novel-writing; how to translate these elements onto the page. Participants examine technical and artistic elements of novel-writing, including overviews of novels. We will analyze themes, structure, and narrative arcs to understand the compilation of a long-form story. There will be several short writing assignments, and the course culminates in crafting the first draft of a full-length novel.
TV WRITING INTENSIVE WITH NAT SMITH
This 10-week intensive focuses on the practice and the business of writing for television. Students will spend the first five weeks writing a “spec script”—a speculative episode meant to fit into an existing show, a common requirement for prospective writers. In the remaining five weeks, you will generate your own pilot. Throughout the course, visiting TV professionals (including Hollywood writers, actors, and agents) provide guidance on navigating networks, writers rooms, submissions, and more.
ADVANCED EDITING FOR SHORT STORIES WITH MAKENA ONJERIKA
This class is only suitable for writers who have published at least one story in a reputable literary magazine or anthology OR have undertaken an intensive class focus on the elements of fiction craft e.g. plotting, point of view, showing and telling.