Some years ago I was the vice-chairperson for the Writers’ Association of Botswana (WABO). It’s an important organisation that unfortunately has its limitations.
It has no money so no office or paid staff. Its effectiveness is completely decided by who is on the executive committee, made of only volunteers. When they are effective people, the organisation is effective, and when they are not, it is not. And because of the lack of money nearly everything WABO does is centred around Gaborone. But not all writers live in or near Gaborone, me being a case in point. When I was active in WABO, I had to get myself to Gaborone for meetings and workshops and other events. This was costly and most writers don’t have money for that. I vowed when I left WABO, I think I even spoke about it at the AGM where a new committee was elected, that I wanted to make a writing group in Mahalapye so that writers in the area could come together. I may be slow but I do eventually get there! Witness the birth of Mahalapye Writers’ Club.
My vision for the Club is that it will encompass as wide a group of writers as possible and be a place for writers to improve. It doesn’t matter if you being a writer is only a dream and you’ve not actually written a single thing, or if you’re someone who writes every day, if it’s a hobby or one day you hope to be published and go professional. Or if you write nonfiction (creative or otherwise), short stories, poetry or novels. Everyone is welcome. The goal is better writing.
The first meeting will be on April 8, 2017 starting at 2pm at the Mahalapye Brigades (formerly the Mahalapye Development Trust,
Although it is the Mahalapye Writers’ Club it does not mean only Mahalapye writers are invited. All writers are invited, even from Gaborone if they want to come. I’ve asked people to bring something to write with, a sample of your writing to share if you’d like (a few pages, no more than 500 words), and whatever you’re reading at the moment.
The plan is that we will meet once a month on the second Saturday of the month— same time, same venue. I hope to see lots of people there.
A Call for Submissions from Petlo Literary Arts Trust
Petlo Literary Arts Trust is a non-profit organisation whose major objective is to promote creative writing, literature and the arts in Botswana. They are launching a brand new creative journal called Petlwana. They are looking for poetry, plays and short stories in both English and Setswana. The deadline for submissions is April 1, 2017. Other submission guidelines include:
1. Submit through email with the subject line: Petlwana: (Name), (Genre). E.g. Petlwana; Tshepo Moremi, Poetry.
2. Submissions of poetry should be limited to two pieces, short fiction should not exceed 5,000 words, and plays should be one Act only.
3. Your submission should be a Microsoft Word attachment. Do not copy your work in the body of the email, we do not accept PDF.
4. All submissions must be sent to HYPERLINK “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org” email@example.com
5. All submissions must be previously unpublished. We do not accept simultaneous submissions.
All entries will be replied to by April 2017. There is no payment for submissions.