African Women's Editorial Workshop

Cassava Republic is delighted to announce an exciting opportunity for African women editors at all stages of their careers.

From 28th August – 8th September 2024, we will be facilitating a 10-day residential workshop in South Africa for African women editors based on the continent. This skills-development workshop will be in support of Cassava Republic’s anthology of non-fiction by African women writers on the theme of ‘Taboo’.

Led by Ellah Wakatama, editor-at large-for Canongate and Chair of the Caine Prize for African writing, the workshop will be a highly interactive opportunity to hone your craft, to edit a piece of commissioned non-fiction in ‘real-time’ with expert support, to obtain on-going mentorship and for your work and to be featured and credited in the forthcoming anthology. Wakatama is an editor, publisher and educator with over 25 years’ of international experience.


  • This workshop is open to African women working on the continent

  • At least two years’ editorial experience, including as an editor, copyeditor or proof-reader. This need not be exclusively non-fiction, or within the publishing industry.

  • A cover letter outlining your career to date, and what you hope to gain from this opportunity

  • Please include in your letter a short statement on what you view as your role as an editor

Applications open 17th May 2024


The editors will work on the essays for the anthology developed by writers from the African Women’s Non-Fiction Writing Workshop. The published anthology will be on the theme of Taboo, with a collection of essays exploring this topic from different angles.  

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.

How to Apply

Apply via our Submittable link

We are asking for a CV and cover letter. The cover letter should include your editorial philosophy – what do you believe the role of an editor is and how do you approach a piece of writing as an editor. 

Applications close at 23:59GMT on July 10th. 

Applications are welcome from women editors working across the African continent. We encourage applications equally from those already within publishing houses who are seeking skills development; from freelancers seeking to improve their practice and from academic editors wishing to develop the skills to edit for a more general readership. This is not a workshop for writers seeking a way to publication and we encourage you to be clear in demonstrating your experience, abilities and career ambitions as an editor.

Our Partners

This workshop is made possible through a generous grant from African Women’s Development Fund, Open Society Africa and institutional support from the Johannesburg Institute of Advanced Study.


We want to learn about you, as a person and as an editor. What type of non-fiction writing are you drawn to? What is your editorial philosophy? Why do you think it is necessary to have more Black women working in nonfiction?    

Yes, this workshop is for both new editors and those interested in improving their craft and skills.

Yes, we accept submissions from editor’s who self-identify as a woman, and accept submissions from non-binary editors who are not opposed to the term.

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

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