About RWW

Jen Thorpe, feminism, writing

My name is Jen. I’m a writer of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. I was born in South Africa and I live in Cape Town, South Africa. I have always believed in the power of writing, and in women. I believe in feminism like good catholics believe in the pope.

After attending a ten-day long writers workshop in Uganda (hosted by the AWDF and FEMRITE) I realised that I wanted and needed to read more writing from African women writers. I was inspired by the writers who attended and facilitated the workshop (read more about these women here – they will blow your mind).

I needed it because it was in line with my feminist principles to hear women’s stories from women. I needed it because my education had centred around famous books written by famous (mostly white) men. I needed it because I want to learn more about the African continent through the eyes of other African women like myself.

In our goodbyes in Uganda, I promised that I wasn’t going to read any fiction written by anyone except for African women for a year.

I began this project on 1 September 2014, and the official project will end on 31 August 2015. However, I know that after this year, I probably won’t need or want to read anything but African women’s fiction ever again.

On this blog I’ll be posting reviews of African women’s fiction, profiling African women writers, and sharing opportunities for writing for women on the African continent. I’ll be sharing some of my writing and reflecting on how my writing practice is going. I also hope to provide a space for African women writers to connect, to share material, and to learn from one another. I might not post new content every day, but I hope I will post it often.

If you’re an African women writer, and would like to be profiled, or would like to send your book to be read, get in touch in the comments section below.



9 thoughts on “About RWW

  1. Hi Jen !
    Congrats on such a wonderful idea. It is very inspiring and educational. Kindly profile me too. I am an African woman writer who has written a book on the stories of my women clients that I had counselled from 1994 to 2010. The stories are on loss & trauma, reflecting what they went through and how they handled their losses. My book is titled” The stories of loss: You are not alone”. It is available in all Exclusive Books”.I am also an Alumni based in Bloemfontein. I hope I fit your criteria.I would be soo happy to be profiled too. All the best with your project. Regards: Shirley


    1. Dear Shirley,

      Thanks for the positive feedback. I don’t have any budget for running the project so I’m going to go and look for your book in my local library. I hope to review it soon!

      Have a great week.


  2. Hi Jen,

    Thank you for the great project. I read The Kaya Girl after your review and I’m hoping to start reading Pumpkin Seeds and Other Gifts, next. Would you please profile me too. I’m a South African writer and have recently published my first anthology titled, Black Women Be Like. The title is a play on memes circulating social media stereotyping black woman. The book is a cheeky and sometimes poignant take on the experiences of black African women, particularly in South Africa. The women in the book drink beer with men who ask for their advice. They are accused of witchcraft because of their success. Some of the women would rather their husbands played golf, while their sons played rugby because it’s “a game of hooligans played by gentlemen”. The women are well traveled and educated and not, they are lovers of men and women. They are rich and poor. And they enjoy loud and quiet conversations with their sisters talking about their grandchildren who attend a special school to learn their indigenous home language.
    Black Women Be Like is available on Amazon. I can send you a reviewers copy.
    The book and the series aim to challenge stereotypes about black women, particularly in Africa through stories and works produced by these women. The books and works to follow will come come from all six African regions over the 2014/2015 year.


  3. Dear Jen

    I would be pleased to send you copies of my books for you to read and review. I will take the liberty of using the email address in your above comment to send you more details – links to reviews, book trailers dedicated websites, so you can see what my books are about and decide whether you would like copies of all, or any, to read and review when you have time.
    Best wishes
    Judy Croome
    South Africa


  4. Hi Jen, thank you so much for the lovely reading and review of A Million Miles from Normal. I kind of feel like you really ‘got’ the book, which is such a compliment to any author. I’d really love to send you a copy of my latest book Pens Behaving Badly, if you don’t have a copy already? Email me your postal address to amillionmilesfromnormal@gmail.com and I’ll get it off to you asap. And thanks again. What you’re doing is amazing. x


  5. Hey Jen,
    I have been reading through your blog and love your insights! I’m also doubly excited that you’re providing a great resource for seekers to peruse the writings of African women. I myself am a Nigerian-American author who’s preparing to release my debut full-length feudal Fantasy novel “The Ivory Staff” on October 23, 2015 through Library Tales Publishing (librarytales.com). Wrapped in an epic, dark fairy tale, The Ivory Staff touches on African culture and modern feudalism through the life of a peasant girl who falls into the winings and dinings of the rich, powerful and dangerous as she attempts to cultivate justice. I would absolutely love to discuss further the possibility of getting you an Advanced Review Copy of the novel for your possible review, interview or feature.


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