Beatrice Lamwaka

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Beatrice Lamwaka
BornBeatrice Lamwaka
Gulu, Uganda
OccupationShort story writer and Writing Teacher
Alma materMakerere University
GenreShort stories
Notable worksButterfly dreams

Beatrice Lamwaka (born and raised in Alokolum, Gulu) is a Ugandan writer.[1] She was shortlisted for the 2011 Caine Prize for her story "Butterfly Dreams".[2]

Other works[edit]

She is the founder and director of the Arts Therapy Foundation,[3] a non-profit organisation that provides psychological and emotional support through creative arts therapies. She is the general secretary of PEN Uganda Chapter and an executive member of the Uganda Reproduction Rights Organisation (URRO).[4] She has served on the executive board of the Uganda Women Writers Association (FEMRITE), where she has been a member since 1998. She formerly wrote articles for the Global Press Institute about issues affecting women, including HIV/AIDS, the impact of war on women, and social justice. Her creative writing (short stories and her novel) also focus on these issues.[5] In 2009, she was a writer in residence at Château de Lavingny, Switzerland.[6] In November 2013, she was a resident working on her novel, Sunflowers, at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center. She was a recipient of 2011 Young Achievers Award in the category of Art, Culture and Fashion.[7] She received a grant from the HF Guggenheim Foundation to research land disputes in post-conflict northern Uganda. She was shortlisted for the 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing and a finalist for the PEN/Studzinski Literary Award 2009.[8][9][10]

Early life and education[edit]

Lamwaka was born and raised in Alokolum, Gulu, Uganda. She attended the Uganda Martyrs Secondary School, Namugongo, before joining Makerere University for a Bachelor of Arts with Education. She specialised in literature and English.[11] She has pursued a master's degree in human rights from Makerere University.[12]

Writing career[edit]

In her third year at Makerere University, she joined FEMRITE, an organisation aimed at developing and promoting women writers. By 2001, her first short story, "Vengeance of the Gods", was published in the anthology Words From A Granary. Later, she penned "Queen of Tobacco", a story of a lady who idolised tobacco smoking. This story was picked up by the British Council (BC) after Lamwaka submitted it to Gowanus Books online in an ongoing project dubbed Crossing Borders.[11] She was shortlisted for the 2011 Caine Prize for her story "Butterfly Dreams".[2][13] Her short stories have been published in various anthologies, including the Caine Prize anthologies, To See the Mountain and other stories and African Violet and Other Stories. She is also a contributor to the 2019 anthology New Daughters of Africa, edited by Margaret Busby.[14] Among other publications in which her work has appeared are Butterfly Dreams and Other Stories from Uganda, New Writing from Africa 2009, Words from A Granary, World of Our Own, Farming Ashes, Summoning the Rains, Queer Africa: New and Collected Fiction, PMS poemmemoirstory journal. She is working on her first novel, Sunflowers, and a number of short stories.[15]

Published works[edit]

Story books[edit]

  • Anena's Victory. Fountain Publishers. 2003. ISBN 9970021893.

Short stories[edit]


  • "Mwoc Acoli", "Nyeri", in Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva, ed. (2014). A Thousand Voices Rising: An anthology of contemporary African poetry. BN Poetry Foundation. ISBN 978-9970-9234-0-3.
  • "The Stars in Gulu", in Painted Voices: A collage of art and poetry, volume II. Femrite Publications. 2009. ISBN 978-9970-700-18-9.

Awards and recognition[edit]


  1. ^ "Ugandan Writer Shortlisted for Caine Prize". Lancaster University News. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Previously shortlisted writers", The Caine Prize. Archived 23 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Butterfly Dreams by Beatrice Lamwaka" Archived 3 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Arts Therapy Foundation. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  4. ^ Uganda Reproduction Rights Organisation, IFRRO. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  5. ^ Beatrice Lamwaka, Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  6. ^ Writers' Residence Archived 5 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Château de Lavigny. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  7. ^ a b Beatrice Lamwaka Archived 3 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  8. ^ Short Story Day Africa Archived 4 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Writivism Mentorship Programme", Caceafrica, 23 January 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  10. ^ Beatrice Lamwaka – 2011 Caine Prize Nominee. Tuesday, 2 August 2011, Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  11. ^ a b Racheal Ninsiima, "Babe of the week: Lamwaka, the princess who loves words", The Observer (Uganda), 11 October 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Beatrice Lamwaka", Global Press Journal. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  13. ^ Mildred Barya, "Beatrice Lamwaka on the 2011 Caine Prize Shortlist", 23 May 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  14. ^ Odhiambo, Tom (18 January 2020), "'New Daughters of Africa' is a must read for aspiring young women writers", Daily Nation (Kenya).
  15. ^ "The Butterfly Effect: An interview with Caine Prize-nominee Beatrice Lamwaka", Start Journal, 1 November 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  16. ^ "2009 PEN/Studzinski Literary Award Finalists Announced", BooksLive, 5 February 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2014.

External links[edit]