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Build African Writing

Not all African writers can afford to undertake our courses as self-sponsored participants. Since starting the Academy, Makena has ensured that at least 2 participants in each course have undertaken learning on a full scholarship. This has allowed writers from all backgrounds to benefit from our classes. As we build more collaborations with writers to teach courses beyond fiction, the need for scholarships is growing. For example, all our poetry classes so far have offered full-scholarships to all participants. Experience has shown as that poets generally cannot pay the full course fee. This has only been possible because of the generosity of individual such as yourself.

Please note that the instructor of each class picks scholarship recipients.

A Young Man Writing
Sponsor an African Writer: About
A Woman Writing by the Window


Teaching makes Writing possible

Unlike their counterparts in Europe and the USA, African writers have little access to job opportunities that are conducive to their writing e.g. in teaching or in publishing. The Nairobi Writing Academy aims to provide early to mid-level African writers a sustainable source of income that supports and bolsters their writing by giving them the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience for pay. This also creates linkages and conversations between different generations of writers. And lastly, NaiWA aims to be a centre of thinking around the craft of African creative writing as an independent approach from Western and other approaches to craft.

NaiWA pays writing tutors 80% of all revenue made per class and retains 20% to support its operations as well as build its writing prize endowment fund (prize to be launched in the near future).

Sponsor an African Writer: About


Every donation helps upskill an African writer

You can give using any of the methods below:

  • via Paypal to Makena's account at

  • Any global mobile money transfer system e.g. Transferwise to Makena's phone at +254725542731 (provider is Safaricom. Country is Kenya).

Our classes typically cost $150 to $300 per participant and run from 10 to 20 weeks long. 

Writing Supplies
Sponsor an African Writer: About


We are Transparent

What to expect after donating:

  • A thank you email confirming receipt of your donation. We will also let you know how much we have raised in the last 60 day period and which class we aim to apply donations to next.

  • We will inquire if you have any specific class on our current list or African writer that you would like to sponsor

  • We will send you a monthly statement on the recruitment process for any classes underway.

  • Once your donation has been allocated, we will send you information about the writer who has benefitted and the writing tutor involved. You will continue receiving updates about your sponsee until he/she/they complete(s) their training

  • If your donation is $150 or more, you will receive a print or digital copy of the year's Nairobi Writing Academy anthology within 6 months of your donation. A small thank you from us.

Sponsor an African Writer: About
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