Kahini is a global collective of independent artists and writers living in India, New Zealand, Uganda, and the United States. We present the Kaua’i Writing Studio; the Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat; the Kāpiti Series; the Kolkata Writers’ Retreat; and the Kampala Writers’ Retreat.
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 through cross-border writing collaborations. Ananya Sarkar, Kirsten Le Harivel, Ssekandi Ronald Ssegujja and Jordan Hartt met through the Project, and began Kahini’s first programs in 2014.
The name ‘Kahini’ was gifted by the Project’s Bengali writers. Kahini is a Bengali word meaning ‘story,’ or ‘tale’—but not an ordinary story: an extraordinary one. Similarly, Kahini is all about creating extraordinary creative-writing experiences.
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 craft instruction, community, and inspiration for creative writers.
The Kaua’i Writing Studio comprises of a weekly writing-craft newsletter, manuscript consultation, five annual residencies in Po’ipū, Kaua’i, in the months of January, April, July, October, and November. These residencies are a gentle blend of craft instruction, community, and focus on the inspiration of the writing life, all set amidst, and inspired by, the beauty and tranquility of Kaua’i’s south shore.
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.ea
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 Writers’ Retreat happens each April. Some retreats focus on fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Some focus on cross-genre work, or on a specific theme. All feature a gentle blend of craft instruction, community, and focus on the inspiration of the writing life, all set amidst, and inspired by, the beauty and energy of Kolkata.
The Kampala Writers’ Retreat happens each October. Some retreats focus on fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Some focus on cross-genre work, or on a specific theme. All feature a gentle blend of craft instruction, community, and focus on the inspiration of the writing life, all set amidst, and inspired by, the beauty and energy of Kampala.
Kampala: Wairimu Mwangi is a writer and founder of the Literature Africa Foundation. 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.
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.
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.
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: Jordan Hartt is the author of “Leap” and “Drifting.” His lifework is creating experiences where people find the craft immersion 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, he facilitates the Kaua’i Writing Studio; hosts annual writing retreats in Po’ipū, Kaua’i; Kolkata, India; and Kampala, Uganda; and gives as a philanthropist to artists and visionaries around the world.