The Kampala Writers’ Retreat


October 6-12, 2015; October 9-15, 2016
October 6-12, 2019; October 4-10, 2020
Hosts: Wairimu Mwangi; Ssekandi Ronald Ssegujja; Jordan Hartt
Retreat: This retreat is limited to six writers; five spaces currently available
Registration: $1,600 usd, at bottom of page. Includes tuition, lodging, and airport transfers. Scholarships available: please contact
How It Works | Daily Schedule | Our Home in Kampala | F.A.Q. | Registration | Hosts

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 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. 

As part of this retreat we look at short samples of work by such writers as Alice Munro, James Baldwin, Ernest Hemingway, Sandra Cisneros, Toni Morrison, Mahasweta Devi, Rabindranath Tagore, Salman Rushdie, Jhumpa Lahiri, Goretti Kyomuhendo, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Doreen Baingana, Isabel Allende, Gabriel García Márquez, James Welch, Katherine Mansfield, James Joyce, William Trevor, and Virginia Woolf, among others.

How It Works

1. Register below and we’ll be in touch to confirm within twenty-four hours. Art of Fiction members: please contact to begin the scholarship-application process.
2.  Once we’re three months out from our start date, you’ll begin to receive arrivals and logistics emails, one each month for a total of three, as you prepare for arrival.
3. You arrive at the airport for pickup!

During the week, you have the option to join morning and evening writing times and gatherings where we get together to talk about writing and enjoy great conversation. But your residency time is your own: for reading, for writing, for being.

Daily Schedule

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


Sunday, October 6
5-8: Welcome gathering, introductions.
Monday, October 7
10 am-1 pm: morning workshop
2 pm-4 pm: participant open-mike and performances at Pan African Square.
Tuesday, October 8
10 am am-noon: morning workshop
1 pm-evening: visit to Lake Victoria
Wednesday, October 9
Free day. (Independence Day)
Thursday, October 10
10 am-1 pm: morning workshop
2 pm-evening: visit to the Nile River
Friday, October 11
10 am-1 pm: morning workshop
6 pm: celebratory final gathering, bonfire, and open-mike at Pan African Square.
Saturday, October 12

Our Home In Kampala

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

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




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 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 Art of Fiction; 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.