Tejumola Olaniyan Creative Writers-in-Residence Fellowship 2024

Deadline: 1st of June, 2024

The Africa Institute, as part of its African Languages and Translation Program, opens applications for its third cohort of Tejumola Olaniyan Creative Writers-in-Residence Fellowship for the academic year, 2024.

This residency program is created in honor of the late Nigerian Professor Tejumola Olaniyan and his remarkable intellectual legacy in the field of African literature and critical theory.

Tejumola Olaniyan was a Nigerian academic and the Louise Durham Mead Professor of English and African Cultural Studies, and the Wole Soyinka Professor of the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin. Olaniyan earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Ife in Nigeria, and completed a second master’s degree and his PhD at Cornell University.

His primary research interests focused on Africa and its diaspora, African Americans, the Caribbean, and African literatures, criticism, post-cultural studies, history, theory and the sociology of drama and pop culture (art, music, and architecture). His publications included Arrest the Music!: Fela and His Rebel Art and Politics (2004, 2009; nominated for Best Research in World Music by the Association for Recorded Sound Collections in 2005) and Scars of Conquest/Masks of Resistance: The Invention of Cultural Identities in African, African American and Caribbean Drama (1995). He was co-editor of African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory (2007, with Ato Quayson), African Drama and Performance (2004, with John Conteh-Morgan), and African Diaspora and the Disciplines (2010, with James H. Sweet). Olaniyan practiced different approaches, which allow others to experience new perspectives.

The residency program welcomes applications from creative writers for a grant of 45,000 AED in total. The residency invites recipients to Sharjah, UAE for a period of three months to complete their work. Typically the cohort begins in the fall of every year.

All applications will be reviewed by The Africa Institute through a committee of peers of well-known writers. Three recipients will be chosen based on the quality of their proposal, and the demonstrated feasibility of completion within the timeframe of the residency.


  • Recipients will have the opportunity to publish their texts through The Africa Institute’s publications program.
  • Opportunity to network with other like minded people.
  • Projects relating to theatre and film scripts can also be published as texts or receive support in facilitating productions. The project could be new or a work-in-progress and should be feasible for completion within the timeframe of the residency.


  • Applications from creative writers including novelists, short story writers, playwrights, poets and scriptwriters related to Africa and the African diaspora are encouraged.
  • The proposed project can be in Arabic or English (other languages will be considered)




Applications must include: 

  • CV/résumé of the applicant
  • A two-page narrative of the project to be undertaken during the residency period, its significance, and a proposed date of completion.
  • A sample of published or unpublished writings.

To submit applications, compile all application materials; CV/résumé, two-page narrative and writing sample (in case of a book, please attach separately) into one single PDF in the mentioned order. Please name the file with the residency title abbreviation and the applicant’s name in this format: TOCWRP_LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME. Use the same name in the email subject heading and send the PDF as an email attachment to applications@theafricainstitute.org.

Click here to apply

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