The Kampala Writers’ Retreat


October 18-24, 2020
Hosts: Wairimu Mwangi; Ssekandi Ronald Ssegujja; Jordan Hartt.
This program is presented in partnership with the Literature Africa Foundation and Writing Our World. 
Accommodations: Private rooms at the Red Chilli Hideaway
Registration: This retreat is limited to twelve writers. Admission by invitation only.
Daily Schedule | Our Home in Kampala | F.A.Q. | Registration

Glaydah Namukasa with Wairimu Mwangi

We live and write among the energy and inspiration of Kampala, Uganda, one of the most
thriving literary hubs in the world.

Open to writers across all genres, the Kampala Writers’ Retreat is a gentle blend of community writing time, personal writing time, and private discussion of your work with the facilitators, set amidst the energy and tranquility of Kampala.

The goal of this week is to complete one new written work, of one thousand words or fewer, and put it through a full, hour-long workshop. We leave each week with a new, workshopped piece, with new community, and with inspiration from a week of writing to last a long time.

Since our inception in 2014, Kahini participants have published over three thousand individual times in literary magazines; released over two hundred books; been featured in the Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, Best American Short Stories, and Best American Science & Nature Writing anthologies; won New Zealand’s Best First Book Award, been short-listed for the Caine Prize for African Writing; and received university professorships in creative writing.

Daily Schedule

All events take place at the Red Chilli Hideaway and Pan African Square.


Jean Paul Seka with Rebecca Brown

2 pm on: arrivals, getting settled
7 pm-9 pm: welcome gathering
10 am-noon: morning workshop
1 pm-4 pm: school visits
6 pm onward: evening open-mike at Pan-African Square
10 am-noon: morning workshop
1 pm-4 pm: school visits
Visit to the Nile River
10 am-noon: morning workshop
1 pm-4 pm: school visits
10 am-noon: morning workshop
6 pm onward: evening open-mike at Pan-African Square and final gathering. 
Departure by 11 am

Kampala is the thriving literary hub of Africa. The beauty, energy, and inspiration of the city, along with the time and space to write, and create, leads to rich new artistic work.

Each morning, writing sessions help us loosen our writing muscles and get words on the page.

In one of the most beautiful and inspiring locations on earth, spend your afternoons writing or enjoying the best of what Kampala has to offer, discovering the history, culture, and natural beauty of the area; or reading and writing at good restaurants and cafes.

During the week we have evening gatherings for you to attend as you see fit, spending some quality literary time with the other residents.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wairimu with Betty Kaigo

Are meals included?
Because each resident has their own unique dietary needs, we do not provide food. Red Chilli comes equipped with an onsite restaurant, and there are a number of stores nearby, as well.

Where do the central gatherings happen?
Our morning freewrites and evening gatherings happen at the Red Chilli Hideaway and Pan African Square



Please contact Eight spaces are reserved for writers living in east Africa (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda); four spaces are reserved for writers from outside that region. Admission is by invitation only: all housing and tuition costs are covered for all participants.


wairimuWairimu 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.


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.


Jordan Hartt jordan copyis 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 the Studio’s five annual writing residencies in Po’ipū, Kaua’i, as well as annual writing retreats in Kolkata, India, and Kampala, Uganda; and gives as a philanthropist to artists and visionaries around the world.