Category Archives: Writing

  • Jennifer Makumbi wins Commonwealth Prize

    Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi has won the Commonwealth short story prize for a piece praised by judges for its “risk-taking, grace and breadth”. Jennifer is a Ugandan who recently completed her PhD in Creative Writing at Lancaster University.  She beat contenders from around the world to win the £5,000 award for ‘Let’s Tell This Story Properly’.  Read the Guardian article on Jennifer’s Continue Reading

  • BN Poetry Award 2014

    Competition for the BN Poetry Award 2014 is now open. Fifteen Ugandan poets including BN Poetry Award first place winners will participate in the Prairie Schooner FUSION project for 2015 in collaboration with Ugandan photographer, Edward Echwalu. For Guidelines for Submissions and information on judges, please see the Flyer on this page and the attached Call Continue Reading

  • Soran, 15 November 2013

    This morning I wake to check the BBC regional news and read that 41 Shia Muslims have been killed in Iraq during Ashura, targeted by Sunni militants who have bombed religious processions. The festival marks the death of Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson and is observed very strictly by Shias. It’s grim to think that Continue Reading

  • Soran, 14 November 2013

    Another beautiful day. I breakfast alone, then walk through the bazaar to take some photographs. When I get back to the hotel Muli tells me that out interview has been cancelled because today is Ashura, a religious festival and fasting day. Hopefully we’ll connect tomorrow. We make arrangements to join a picnic party instead. Just Continue Reading

  • Soran, 13 November 2013

    The call to prayer wakes me at 5.00am, so I catch up with a few emails before trying to sleep again since the traffic hasn’t yet started to move. When the day comes it’s a brilliant one, lit by mild autumn sun. I watch a group of children play outside as I wait for breakfast, Continue Reading

  • Soran, 12 November 2013

    I’m woken by cockerels calling across the city at five am, then the call to prayer, then the steady surge of traffic and voices in the street below. The two Yazidi boys who provide the catering have been given a wake-up call, so we breakfast on fried eggs, then yoghurt, instead of naan and jam. Continue Reading

  • Soran, 11 November 2013

    I’m woken by bright sunshine as well as the sound of traffic. The skies have cleared and the temperature has begun to rise after three overcast days. Today is my presentation to the English department at Soran about Lancaster, the Centre for Transcultural Writing, and what we hope to achieve through the new project here. Continue Reading

  • Soran, 10 November 2013

    Sunday morning and a working day at the University. I must have slept for at least ten hours and wake feeling much more prepared for things. No rain and light cloud is lit, pale saffron, above the circle of hills. After breakfast, we walk past shops, vegetable stalls and bakeries to Soran University where I Continue Reading

  • Soran, 9 November 2013

    I wake at about 11.00 o’clock after a brief rest. The hotel has been taken over by Soran University and Muli is now resident here. It’s mostly empty and pretty basic. After some running repairs to the plumbing, we drink more tea, test her new wi-fi setup, then begin to go through our plans. The Continue Reading

  • Soran, 8 November 2013

    The first leg of my trip to Soran begins in Manchester, the city I grew up in. The plane takes me to Istanbul where East and West seem to meet and compete before bringing me to the Kurdish city of Erbil at 4.30am. It seems strange to move from memories of my past to such Continue Reading