Our goal is to run
elite academic and performative workshops,
based on the principles of James Currey.

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Thank you for your interest in James Currey Writing and Publishing Workshop and for the opportunity to review your work.

All manuscripts must be double spaced and submitted only as a Word document (in PDF). Identifying information, including names of authors, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses should not be included in the manuscript.

Manuscripts should not exceed 10,000 words excluding the title page, abstract, biographical information, and references. All manuscripts should follow the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (3rd edition) and include a works cited and endnotes, not footnotes.

All poetry submissions are now limited to no more than five poems at a time with a maximum of ten poems by an author per calendar year. You must create a separate submission for each poem.

All fiction submissions are now limited to one manuscript per submission with a maximum of three submissions by an author calendar year. Additional fiction submissions will automatically be declined and returned.

You must create a separate submission for each fiction manuscript.

Moreover, we do not accept any unsolicited material that has been previously published.

Authors will be contacted after the review process.

Those seeking financial support should indicate reasons on their personal statements.

James Currey Society, Writing and Publishing Workshop, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford, Jan-Feb 2022

If we stand tall it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors – African Proverb

The James Currey Society, in cooperation with University of Oxford’s African Studies Centre, is proud to present the James Currey Society Writing & Publishing Workshop. This workshop, consisting of four half-day sessions, will be facilitated by Stephen Embleton, James Currey Society Fellow to Oxford, 2022. The workshop builds on the unprecedented legacy of the original African Writers Series and James Currey’s prolific contributions, which resulted in a diversity of storytelling, themes of colonialism versus traditional beliefs (e.g. Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”), folktales, oral storytelling and speculative approaches (e.g. Samkange’s “On Trial for my Country”) emerge. Stephen will explore the role of African cosmologies, storytelling traditions, African language translations and social movements as methods of decolonising writing and publishing of creative works in all literary forms. Though centering on African themes and storytelling, the workshop is open to all writers of fiction looking for a different perspective.


Whether you have existing published works, have a work in progress, or are wanting the tools to get started, please submit your motivation statement (along with any available works) for us to review. Please submit a motivation statement of 300-400 words to the following email address, no later than 5pm on 5 January 2022: events@africa.ox.ac.uk. Participation is limited and we look forward to your submissions. Please indicate if you wish to participate in all four sessions or specify which sessions you wish to participate in.

Programme (all sessions will take place at the African Studies Centre):

  • Day 1, Friday 21 Jan, 1-4pm: BREAKING LITERARY MOULDS: Studying the Works of James Currey and the AWS.

    • The African Writers Series, along with James Currey’s prolific contributions, resulted in a diversity of storytelling. The works of Achebe, Gordimer, Soyinka, and many more, cover themes of colonialism, traditional beliefs, folktales, oral storytelling and the speculative.

  • Day 2, Friday 28 Jan, 1-4pm: YOUR PITCH, YOUR STORY, YOUR CHARACTERS: Your Synopsis is Your Guide.

    • How you see the scope of your narrative – how you pitch it in one sentence to who the characters are that inhabit it – will give you insight into its potential and be a beacon during the meandering process of writing.

  • Day 3, Friday 4 Feb, 1-4pm: THE AFRICAN HERO’S JOURNEY: Authentic African Storytelling

    • Cosmologies, folktales and lore reveal an African story beyond the ages. Along with Day 1’s lessons, see the potential of bending your genre.

  • Day 4, Friday 11 Feb, 1-4pm: PLOTTING & ACTS: A Focus on Narrative Storylines

    • Whether it be a short story, stage play or novel, structure through the use of Acts helps with plot, themes and character arcs. We will look at the 3 Act, 5 Act and, with the groundwork from Day 3, more.


Applications will be evaluated on motivation and levels of English and articulation.

To join the James Currey Society, apply for membership by sending an email with your CV to: membership@jamescurreysociety.co.uk

James Currey Society

Please note: In light of COVID-19, should you be accepted onto a workshop and are unable to attend, we offer free deferrals which are flexible to your changes in travel plans. Our course dates must also remain flexible, and may be changed in response to the crisis. For more information about this policy, please contact us directly.

To join the James Currey Society, apply for membership by sending an email with your CV to: membership@jamescurreysociety.co.uk
Please complete the form below, after submitting your application, we’ll be in touch very soon to let you know the result.

We look forward to welcoming you onto one of our workshops!

Publishing Workshop (exclusive of accommodation and feeding)

Duration: 6 days

Contact for more information

Writing Workshop (a. poetry, fiction, non-fiction)

Duration: 5 days

Contact for more information

Writing Residency (includes accommodation)

Duration: 2 weeks

Contact for more information

What extras do you get when you book more than one workshop?

  • Overnight accommodation between consecutive workshops.

  • Transport between workshop locations

  • Extra weekend activities

See FAQs for more details.



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