Highlights from the Inaugural Voodoonauts Summer Workshop
Voodoonauts Summer Workshop, an Afrofuturist community space and generative writing workshop for Black science fiction and fantasy writers kicked off on July 31st. The free two-day online workshop included panels, workshops, guest speakers, and more. The inaugural cohort included 25 writers across the African diaspora at different stages of their careers.
Voodoonauts was founded by two African MFA students at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Brown University, Yvette Lisa Ndlovu and Shingai Njeri Kagunda and the co-founders, Hugh “H.D” Hunter and LP Kindred. The founders saw a shortage of Black storytelling-centered spaces like this in the mainstream science fiction and fantasy community.
Voodoonauts partnered up with Neon Hemlock Press to gift books to the inaugural class and New York Times bestselling author Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah led a reading and discussion followed by a Q&A session of his book Friday Black.
“There aren’t enough spaces like this,” Adjei-Brenyah said during the reading, “It is super beautiful to see it. I think back to myself in the MFA, and even post-MFA, it would have been dope to be in a community like this and to know that you are not so alone.”
Lysz Flo, one of the writers in the Voodoonauts inaugural class, talked about her Voodoonauts experience on the podcast, Creatively Exposed.
“Voodoonauts Summer Workshop is the MFA I deserve,” Lysz said. “This is what an MFA is supposed to look like. When institutions care about their students. If schools really really cared about teaching creative people to thrive and be creative. This [Voodoonauts] is what that looks like.”