5. What excites you most about the current literary landscape?
Rachel: Everybody who is part of trying to make a workable publishing industry. I love indie publishers who are unafraid to publish work that would give western publishers palpitations. Cassava Republic and Modjaji Books are my top two, and Bibi, Emma and Colleen are just the most inspiring people in the industry currently. Online journals top of my list are Saraba Magazine and The Jalada Collective, who are doing things that make my mouth hang open with admiration. Then Writivism is running mentorship programmes that make me cry with joy. I love the spec fic community that is finding its feet and planting them firmly in African soil, look up Omenana AfroSF anthologies, Bloody Parchment – if you join the African Fantasy Reading Group on Facebook you’ll discover a brave new world.
Tiah: I read an article where a writer quipped something along the lines that African writing right now is like France in the 1920s. There is so much happening, from JALADA, to Writivism, to KWANI and all the indie publishers springing up and making their mark. Look at the Etisalat prize, their coveted shortlist of three titles has included books from indie publishers such as Modjaji and Jacana – African fiction written, edited and published in Africa and succeeding. Thus, it is a huge privilege to be part of this dynamic African writing scene.