The Short Story Day Africa Editing Mentoring Programme is now in its third year, and is currently calling for applications for two editing fellows.

Why does SSDA run an editing mentorship programme?

“I'm very grateful for the opportunity to work with Helen and Nebila. It was such a wonderful, enjoyable learning experience. It has given me a massive boost of confidence in my work.” Otieno Owino (Kenya), Editing Mentee 2018

“There were a number of aspects I appreciated about this fellowship, but top among them was that we were both treated as professionals who had valuable contributions to make.” Nebila Abdulmelik (Ethiopia), Editing Mentee 2018

Sensitive, context-appropriate, intuitive and meticulous editors are vital to keep our writers and writing industry growing – and while this is true of all writing, everywhere, it’s especially pertinent to the African continent. Too many writers from Africa and the diaspora are under-edited, expected to manage without an editor, or handed over to Western editors, who are sometimes blind to the context, nuances and idioms of authors from the continent. Inexperienced editors are also more likely to judge written work that displays less than perfect management of English syntax and idiom as “weak”, and thus to discard gems that just need a little polishing to make them shine.

We believe it’s vital to build editing capacity on the continent. But there are precious few courses available, most training is costly, and in any case, most experienced publishers and editors know that the best – and sometimes the only – way to learn is on the job.

This is why for the past two years, we’ve used the SSDA anthology as a double platform: to showcase the best writing from Africa and to develop hot new talent; but also to develop editors in Africa who have the potential for long, productive and hopefully illustrious careers in publishing and similar fields ahead of them.

Read more about the editing mentorship here, here and here.

Who Should Apply?

Emerging fiction editors currently working in Anglophone publishing, online or traditional, or those interested in becoming professional fiction editors and want to work in publishing on the African continent. Editors anywhere on the African continent may apply.

The SSDA editing mentorship is not for writers wishing to learn how to edit their own work.

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Helen Moffett

Mentoring Editor

What is the SSDA Editing Mentorship?

The two successful applicants will work alongside top professional editor Helen Moffett to edit the current SSDA anthology. Helen will act as guide and mentor to the editing fellows through every step of the process. Each editing fellow will be assigned a lead editor role on 7 of the 21 stories. However, you will act as secondary editors to your fellows and are expected to read all the stories and comment on the editing choices of your fellow editors. You will be expected to liaise directly with the authors of your 7 assigned stories, and work on all the stages of the anthology through to final publication. The SSDA Editing Mentorship is a four month programme (February to May).

SSDA Editing Fellows will be paid an honorarium of R5000 for their work, and see their name published on the cover of the anthology.

How to Apply

Please send a one-page letter of motivation explaining who you are and why we should consider you for the editing mentorship, along with a CV outlining your relevant tertiary education and previous experience in the field of editing/fiction, to us by 5 February 2019. Applications will be accepted by email only and should be sent to: with the subject line Application for SSDA Editing Mentorship.