FEMRITE Achievements and Milestones
Since inception, FEMRITE members have worked together to develop their writing, and to promote reading and writing. An organisation that started from very humble beginnings has trained women who have gone on to win or get onto shortlists for nationally, regionally and internationally celebrated literary awards. Below are some of the FEMRITE members’ literary achievements:
– Waltraud Ndagijimana’s story The Key was short listed in the BBC short story writing competition
– Violet Barungi’s play “Over my dead body” won the British Council International New Play Writing Award for Africa and the Middle East
– Mary Karoro Okurut was voted Woman Writer of the New Millennium by New Vision (Uganda’s Leading Daily) Survey
– Goretti Kymuhendo’s novel Secrets no More won the National Book Trust of Uganda Literary Award for Best Novel of the Year.
– Dr Susan Kiguli’s The African Saga won the National Book Trust of Uganda Poetry Award and the Editor’s Choice Award of the USA National Library of Poetry
This was the phenomenal year in which FEMRITE hosted the first Annual Week of Literary Activities which came to be one of the organisation’s flagship activities.
– Mary Karoro Okurut’s novel The Official Wife won the National Book Trust of Uganda Literary Award for Best Novel of the Year
– Jackee Budesta Batanda’s story Dance with Me won Africa Region Commonwealth Short Story Competition
– Mildred Kiconco’s poetry anthology Men Love Chocolates But They Don’t Say won the National Book Trust of Uganda Poetry Award
– Jackee Budesta Batanda’s story The Blue Marble was shortlisted for Macmillan Writers Prize for Africa, Junior Category
– Monica Arach’s essay In the Stars won the first prize in the Women’s WORLD essay writing competition
– Mildred Kiconco’s story Effigy Child was highly commended for the Commonwealth Short Story Competition
– Mary Karoro Okurut’s novel The Official Wife was again voted among Best Books of the year, winning a prize for the second Best novel of the National Book Trust of Uganda
– Jackee Budesta Batanda’s story Dora’s Turn was highly commended for Commonwealth Short Story Competition
– Monica Arach’s short story Strange Fruits was short listed for the Caine Prize for African Writing
– Jackee Budesta Batanda’s story Remember Atita was highly commended for the Caine Prize for African Writing
– Doreen Baingana’s story Hunger was short listed for the Caine Prize for African Writing
– Doreen Baingan’s story, Tropical Fish won the Washington Independent Writers Fiction Prize.
– FEMRITE won 2nd prize of Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Programme Award in the Creating Women of Excellence in Higher Education exhibition
– Doreen Baingana’s story Tropical Fish was short listed for the Caine Prize for African Writing
– Glaydah Namukasa’ s Young Adult’s novel – Voice of a Dream, won the Macmillan Writers Prize for Africa, Senior Category
– Jocelyn Ekochu’s novel Shockwaves Across the Ocean was nominated for the Dublin Impact Literary Award
– Doreen Baingana’s short story collection Tropical Fish: Stories out of Entebbe won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for First Best Book, Africa Region. The collection was also shortlisted for Hurston/Wright Award 2006
– Monica Arac de Nyeko won the Caine Prize for African Writing for her story, ‘Jambula Tree’
– FEMRITE held the First African Region Women Writers’ Residency in Kampala. -FEMRITE collaborated with Commonwealth Foundation and Makerere University to host the Commonwealth literary activities, which were showcased at CHOGMA in 2008.
– Beatrice Lamwaka’s story, The Star in my Camp, was short-listed for the 2009 PEN/Studzinsky Literary Award.
– Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva was nominated for the August 2009 Arts Press Association (APA) Awards for revitalizing poetry in Uganda after initiating the Beverley Nambozo Poetry Award, the first poetry award for Ugandan women.
– Lillian Aujo Akampurira won first prize in the Beverley Nambozo Poetry Award for her poem, Soft Tonight. Sophie Brenda Alal won third prize for her poem, The Rebel Fell.
- Alal Sophie won first prize in the Beverley Nambozo Poetry Award 2010 for her poem Making Modern Love.
- Nakisanze Segawa won third prize in the Beverley Nambozo Poetry Award 2010 for her poem The Hustler.
- FEMRITE members Doreen Baingana, Hilda Twongyeirwe and Monica Arac represented Uganda at the Goteborg Bookfair in Sweden where they carried out interviews and readings and participated in bookfair panel discussions.
- FEMRITE Member Jackee Batanda won a writers residency in Denmark
- Beatrice Lamwaka won a Writers Residency fellowship in Switzerland
- FEMRITE Launched the Author of the Month event which has continued to exist to-date
- The organization broke into the selling of Rights for co-publishing. This was with Lawrence Hill Books, an imprint of Chicago Review Press for the title: I Dare to Say: African Women tell their stories of hope and survival. The highlight was the blurb for the book from renowned author and academic Maya Angelou.
- The organization sold yet again rights for another of her books: Beyond the Dance, for co-publishing with UnCut Voice Press in Germany, which carries out campaigns against FGM.
- FEMRITE solicited rights for the co-publishing of the Caine Prize Anthology. This has continued to date
- FEMRITE hosted the African Women Development Fund Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Theo Sowa who came in to officiate at the FEMRITE / AWDF Regional Workshop for non-fiction writing.
- The organization organized her first conference of African women wsriters, which was attended by 18 women from 10 African Countries and hosted at the beautiful Bellagio Centre in Italy. It was conference but also a reunion.
- In this year, FEMRITE started the ground-breaking Tukosawa Creative writing clubs in the two districts of Gulu and Kabale covering 20 schools. Today the connections from Tukosawa are still in place and alive.
FEMRITE won a fellowship from DENIVA Uganda to participate in a training in Gender responsive Programming held at TCDC Arusha.
- FEMRITE celebrated Dr Sarah Ntiro, the first woman graduate of Oxford University from East Africa. This was at a dinner held at Imperial Royal Hotel Kampala
- FEMRITE was awarded The Abdullai Fatima Celebrating womanhood Award with Native Voices International for applying media to provide a voice to the voiceless.
- The organization hosted the FEMRITE@20 conference and celebration where Prof Pumla Dineo Gqola and Prof Okaka Dokotum gave keynote addresses.
- In June 2016, FEMRITE participated in the Afreak Festival in Brazil. Edna Namara represented the organization. Wole Soyinka was the chief guest at the festival.
- In March 2018 Hilda Twongyeirwe, the executive director of FEMRITE, was awarded the National Medal for contribution to Women Emancipation and Literary Arts in Uganda. The President of the Republic Of Uganda handed over the medal at a ceremony during Women’s Day Celebrations held in Mityana District. This was the first State recognition associated with FEMRITE and literary activism in Uganda.
- In April 2018 members of FEMRITE; Glaydah Namukasa, Beatrice Lamwaka and Hilda Twongyeirwe received the Uganda Registration Services Bureau Award for Contribution to Literary Works in Uganda.
- In May 2018, Harriet Anena, an associate of FEMRITE, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth short story prize for her story Dancing with Ma and was featured extensively both in local regional and international media
- On 19th June 2018, Hilda Twongyeirwe and Peace Kyamureku were awarded The Women for Women Award at a ceremony held at the French Ambassador’s Residency in Kampala.
- Eunice Apio a member of FEMRITE had her novel – Zura Maids, published. Zura Maids follows Shockwaves Across the Ocean published more than ten years back.
- Sophie Bamoyeraki and Jane Okot, both members of FEMRITE got on Uganda’s A’Level literature set books Syllabus for their poetry collection ; A Poetic Duet
- In April 2019, Hon Mary Karoro Okurut the Founder of FEMRITE received an award from Girls Flourish Uganda, for founding as association that has impacted on hundreds of women and enabled them change their circumstances positively.
- On 3rd November 2018 FEMRITE hosted renowned author and Editor Ellah Wakatama Alfrey at the Kampala Book market. Ellah is a Director at Indigo Press.
- In December 2018, two months into the year, femrite associate, Harriet Anena won the acclaimed Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature for her book; A Nation in Labour.
- March 2019 was a FEMRITE Month of key highlights;
- For the first time, FEMRITE participated in CSW63 in New York. This was in partnership with Sheroes International New York.
- Several FEMRITE members were part of the ground-breaking; New Daughters of Africa, a publication edited by Margaret Busby which featured 12 Ugandan women. Out of the 12 women, 10 are members of FEMRITE; Harriet Anena, Monica Arac de Nyeko, Doreen Baingana, Mildred K. Barya, Jackee Budesta Batanda, Susan Nalugwa Kiguli, Goretti Kyomuhendo, Beatrice Lamwaka, Hilda J. Twongyeirwe and Ayeta Anne Wangusa. The other two are Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi • Juliane Okot Bitek, who are UK and US based Ugandan Writers.
- March 2019 Dr Ntangaare Mercy became the second woman writer and member of FEMRITE to receive the National Medal from the President of Uganda for her contribution to Uganda’s Cultural memory through playwriting. Ntangaare received her medal during women’s day celebrations.
- April 2019 Irene Mochemi and Erika Anyadike, both 2018 Regional residency participants, were shortlisted for the Commonwealth short story Prize with their stories developed during the residency
- May 2019 member of FEMRITE Lillian Aujo Akampurira was shortlisted for the Gerald Kraak Prize for Writing
- In June 2019 FEMRITE in collaboration with OXFAM hosted a Writing Retreat for South Sudanese women. It was attended by a total of 17 women from South Sudan and diaspora
- In October 2019, Irene Muchemi was short-listed for the Miles Morland Writing Fellowship for Africa where over 700 applications were received!
Despite the challenges of the year, the organization registered some key milestones.
- Emerging out of COVID-19 was key. The organization is indebted to all the friends and partners who made this possible.
- In November 2020, in partnership with African Women Development Fund, FEMRITE released the long-awaited Sarah Ntiro Memoir, Emboldened.
- December 2020, in partnership with OXFAM Uganda, the organisation released a new book, No Time to Mourn, the ground-breaking anthology by South Sudanese women. No Time to Mourn, Edited by Hilda J. Twongyeirwe and Elizabeth Deng, was listed by OXFAM U.S.A. among, “10 books to expand your understanding of feminism.” It was listed alongside Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain things to Me, Angela Y. Davis’ Women Race and Class, Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider and others. It was an exhilarating moment for FEMRITE and OXFAM.
- Continued to partner with the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing to showcase African writing. FEMRITE hosted a dialogue of key Ugandan women writers including two of the 2021 AKO Caine Prize shorted writers; Doreen Baingana and Iryn Tushabe
- Our member Dr. Mercy Mirembe Ntangaare’s book, Ssemitego Omuyizzi Kkungwa was put on the National Syllabus from 2020-2024.
-Doreen Baingana was shortlisted in the AKO Caine Prize for her story Lucky.
-Zura Maids by Eunice Apio won a JANZI award as an outstanding novel of the year 2021
-Beatrice Lamwaka won a JANZI award for being an outstanding fiction writer
-Doreen Baingana was nominated for the JANZI awards for her play, an adaptation of Tropical Fish
The organization released the biographical phenomenal book; This Bridge Called Woman, developed in partnership with Women’s Wisdom Art with support of the US Mission to Uganda.
-The organisation published her first translation; the classic Song Of Lawino by Okot P’Bitek. The translation into Lumasaba titled Kamalilo Ka Lawino is by Lucy Lunyolo.
-Dr Ntangare, a member of FEMRITE won the Cross-Cultural Foundation Award for the Promotion of Uganda’s indigenous Language and folklore.
- 44 book titles published by 2023
- 200+ women published by 2023 in FEMRITE Books, magazine and Journal
- 20+ Members of FEMRITE and women through FEMRITE Trainings have won Literary prizes and recognition at local, national, regional and international level
- 10,000 people reached in FEMRITE outreach activities in Uganda and elsewhere
- 7 book titles published under collaborations with Lancaster University, UnCut Voices Press – Germany and the Caine Prize for African Writing