It is one of those days when you have some time on your hands and you find your knowledge-hungry self in a bookshop. You want to take your eyes on a book tour, to read something substantial, to illuminate your imagination and take you closer to the search for God, who is ever present but not obvious.
You may be at the crossroads of life or you may even be facing a crisis in your faith, wondering whether the same questions lingering in your mind have been experienced by others. You want to hear from someone who lived in the same hills and ate the same diet of millet, matooke or posho, say that ‘God is on this mountain and I met Him on a rugged mud path in the valley when I had been abandoned by my husband.’
You are here to find just one book written by someone who pronounces the same syllables in a language you both understand. So you browse the bookshelves to discover that the popular Christian literature is all by foreign authors like Francine Rivers, TD Jakes or CS Lewis, all wonderfully written, but the stories are far removed from your situation and have little in common with the day-to-day grapples of your life. You find that your story and the story of your people are missing on the bookshelves of Uganda.
Or you are one of those few Ugandans who love crafting words into verse, essays or even music and when you find a writers’ group to share the craft, you soon discover that God is edited out of their literature as if the word is taboo, and you feel as if the umbilical cord of your writing has been cut from its source, just because you want to see the gripping mystery of your Creator reflected on the page.
It is such sentiments that caused the Founders of UFWA to create a sacred space for Christian Writers and other faith-seeking people to have a sense of freedom to explore their spiritual experiences on the page. We strive to produce books that are creatively crafted and deep enough to enrich the reading landscape of Uganda’s faith-seekers now and for generations to come.
In 2008, UFWA was founded with the aim of nurturing the creative muscle of the Christian writer. We want to develop a community of writers who feel called to share the gospel of Christ through the written word, also to encourage reading by publishing home-grown literature, as well as to avail Christian writers with the tools to build their writing skills. Eventually they will have work that is strong enough to get published, and thus contribute to the spread of the gospel through the written word until the knowledge of God fills the earth as the waters cover the sea.
To achieve its mission, UFWA has developed intensive writing programs, referred to as Writing Seasons, under its publishing arm, aptly known as Quiet Garden Publishing. For eight weeks, three times a year, interested writers hone their writing by steeping themselves in the Basics of Storytelling, Poetry, Scriptwriting and Writing for Children.
Writers are faced with taking their writing call seriously, and are developing their stories with passion. We pray that the writers who pass through our doors will grow to contribute to a new generation of Ugandan writers capable of changing Uganda’s literary landscape.
Please visit our website: www.ugandafaithwriters.com