Kahini is a global collective of independent artists and writers living in India, New Zealand, Uganda, and the United States. We host the annual Kaua’i Writing Residencies, the Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat, the Kāpiti Series, the Kolkata Writing Residency, the Kampala Writing Residency, and the Olympia Writing Center.
These programs provide the space and opportunity to create, revise, and develop new work; deepen our creative practice; and finalise work for publication and/or public performance.
Kahini developed from the Conversations Across Borders project, which brought together writers from all over the world to create new work in together. Writers Kirsten Le Harivel, Ssekandi Ronald Ssegujja and Jordan Hartt met through the Project, and decided to come together to continue to create innovative creative-writing experiences and the opportunity for writers of all backgrounds to come together.
The name ‘Kahini’ was gifted by writers in Kolkata who were also part of the Project. Kahini is a Bengali word meaning ‘story,’ or ‘tale’—but not an ordinary story: an extraordinary one. Similarly, Kahini is all about creating extraordinary in-person and online creative-writing experiences. Kahini’s first programs began in 2014.
Reading, writing, and conversation build connection and empathy, providing a deeper quality of life.
Our vision is a world of increased connection and empathy.
Our mission is to provide creative-writing craft instruction, community, and inspiration.
The Kaua’i Writing Residencies happen three times per year in Po’ipū, Kaua’i. The residencies include generative morning writing sessions; evening community gatherings; and the time and space to create, revise, read, think and experience the beauty of the island of Kaua’i.
The Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat is an immersive, two-day gathering for writers, happening on the Kāpiti Coast. The retreat includes intensive morning workshops and lively afternoon discussions taught by six established New Zealand writers; space to write, relax and engage with topics critical to your work. You’ll find community, encouragement, and a safe place in which to take artistic risks.
The Kāpiti Series is an annual program of one-off workshops offered primarily on the Kāpiti Coast. Taught by local and visiting international writers, these workshops focus on specific literary and cultural topics and conversations.
The Kolkata Writing Residency is a week-long gathering for writers in all genres. Taking place in Kolkata, India, the residency includes generative morning writing sessions and the time and space to create, revise, read, think, and experience the beauty and energy of Kolkata.
The Kampala Writing Residency is a week-long gathering for writers in all genres. Taking place in Kampala, Uganda, the retreat includes generative morning writing sessions; the time and space to create, revise, read, think, and experience the beauty and energy of Kampala.
The Olympia Writing Center provides ongoing writing workshops, language classes, cultural exchange programs, and public readings and performances in Olympia, Washington.
Kampala: Wairimu Mwangi is a writer and the founder of the Literature Africa Foundation in Kenya. Her educational textbooks are used in schools across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Ghana. She is passionate about quality education for all and believes that without books or material to read, literacy suffers and when literacy suffers, opportunities decline. She enjoys mentoring youth, storytelling, travelling, reading and meditating. Contact.
Kampala: Ssekandi Ronald Ssegujja is the founder of Writing Our World, an organization in Uganda that uses writing, debate and spoken word to give a platform to people to express themselves. He is an events’ organizer who also runs the the writers’ club ‘Coffee and Books’ that happens monthly in Kampala. In 2014, his story ‘Walls and Borders’ won the Eastern Africa Writivism Literary prize. Contact.
Kāpiti: Kirsten Le Harivel is a writer, project/programme manager and mother. Although born in Scotland, she lives with her family on the Kāpiti Coast of Aotearoa. Her writing has been published in various international literary journals and she has an MA from the International Institute of Modern Letters. She has a background in programme and project management in the arts, youth, and refugee sectors. Contact.
Kolkata: Ananya Sarkar is a short-story writer, book reviewer, and poet. Her work has been published in such magazines as The Times of India, Woman’s Era, New Woman, 4indianwoman, Children’s World, KidsWorldFun, Muse India, Induswomanwriting, Conversations Across Borders, Indian Ruminations, Earthen Lamp Journal, Spark and The Madras Mag. Ananya won the first prize in both the Story Writing Contest by the American Library, Kolkata, as part of the Fiction Festival and the Induswomanwriting Poetry Contest.
Kaua’i; Olympia. Jordan Hartt is the author of the story collections “Leap” and “Drifting,” both on Tebot Bach Press.
My lifework is in creating experiences where people find the craft instruction to reach for their best writing, find the community to connect meaningfully across backgrounds, and find the lifelong inspiration of the writing life.
To do this, I facilitate the Olympia Writing Center; host annual writing residencies in Po’ipū, Kaua’i; Kolkata, India; and Kampala, Uganda; and give as a philanthropist to artists and visionaries around the world. I’m currently working on a new book.