- May 4, 2022
-- Suyi Davies Okungbowa, a Nigerian author and creative writing professor has today announced the establishment of a fellowship program called The Literary Laddership for Emerging African Authors
. The fellowship aims to support, elevate and connect emerging fiction authors of Black and/or African descent, based primarily on the African continent and writing in English. The program offers fellows access to a funded three-month digital residency, membership in a private community of practice, and continuous support through the publishing ecosystem. This "laddership"
is named so because it is significantly invested in "the continuous act of sending the ladder down."
"As an author born and raised in Nigeria, I am particularly understanding of and sympathetic to the issues plaguing many talented writers residing on the African continent," says Suyi. "I have witnessed equally talented and ambitious peers be defeated by a paucity of support infrastructure. The inertia of accolades and brief recognition must be connected to a sustainable community and support network that offers reliable infrastructure on which a writer can build a career. This laddership aims to offer support and access to African writers of minimal privilege."
To ensure the success of this program, Suyi has called on advisors from within and without the global publishing industry—renowned writers, editors, agents and readers with experience working with diverse groups. Current advisors include award-winning authors Dhonielle Clayton, Tade Thompson, Makena Onjerika, Kwame Mbalia, Ukamaka Olisakwe, founder and editor-in-chief of The Republic Wale Lawal, and literary agent Alexander Cochran.
The program launches immediately, with submissions open as of 4 May 2022 and closing 31 May 2022. Winners will be announced before June 30, 2022. More information on eligibility and the application process can be found at suyidavies.com/fellowship