Cassava Republic Press is calling on all African women non-fiction writers! We are delighted to be hosting a residential writing workshop this July for African women living on the continent and interested in writing non-fiction.

Enter now for a chance to work closely with an acclaimed Black women author and have your work published in an anthology called, Taboo!

Coupled with our Global Black Women’s Non-Fiction Prize, this project is part of our mission to nurture and encourage more Black women to write critical, thoughtful and inspiring works of non-fiction by providing them with a sanctuary for their creative expression and intellectual exploration.


This is a 10-day residential workshop of creativity and collaboration in Johannesburg in July 2024, led by an acclaimed Black women author, whose name will be announced soon. The workshop offers writers the opportunity to refine their craft and engage critically with the long tradition of non-fiction writing as they explore their own unique voice.  The workshop will culminate in a final essay to be published in an anthology by Cassava Republic Press.

Travel within the continent, accommodation and food will all be provided for, and participants need only bring themselves and a willingness to learn and complete their essay!

Applications open April 1st


The workshop’s theme, Taboo, is an invitation for writers to explore subject from different angles, leading to a published collection of essays on the theme.

 Taboos are practices that are forbidden, restricted and even controversial. They are shaped by social and religious customs, and vary across cultures. What does taboo mean to you? It is a question that sparks curiosity and invites introspection. This could be a historical or theoretical exploration of the origins of different taboos, or a more journalistic piece on the effects of breaking an existing taboo or if the theme hits closer to home, perhaps a personal essay on navigating a taboo and the felt experience. This theme is an invitation to provoke and stimulate discourse;and the anthology will stand as a testament to the allure of the forbidden.

Final essays will be a minimum of 5,000 words and should be beautiful, thoughtful, rigorous and bring a fresh insight to the conversation.


You will need to submit a short pitch letter about your ideas for the topic and the first draft of the essay you will be working on at the workshop, on the theme of Taboo. You can enter via Submittable.

The prize is open to all Black women over the age of 18 who live in Africa.

Applications close at 23:59GMT on May 31st 2024.

Our Partners

This workshop is made possible through a generous grant from Open Society Africa and institutional support from the Johannesburg Institute of Advanced Study.


You can find guidelines on what to include in a pitch letter here

No, the essay will be completed during the workshop, but the first draft and pitch letter combined should showcase the strength of your writing and idea.

Yes, until the date of the deadline after which we expect all entrants to be committed to attending the workshop and publishing in the anthology should they be selected. We also ask that you immediately withdraw from the workshop if your manuscript chosen for publication elsewhere, and similarly that you withdraw from any other competitions if you are selected for the workshop.

Yes, as long as the essay in question has not been previously published.

Unfortunately, due to time constraints, this is not feasible.

We accept submissions from writers who self-identify as a woman, and accept submissions from non-binary writers who are not opposed to the term.

The prize is open to women whose ancestry traces back to Africa or the Afro-diaspora including those of mixed-race African heritage.

Yes, you can, but you may have to finance your own air travel to South Africa.