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Virtual Literary Festival Connects Writers of African Origin and Readers throughout Globe

Book events worldwide are on hold, but Afrolit Sans Frontieres uses social media to host frank discussions around writing, creativity, sex and violence. A series of hourlong readings and question-and-answer sessions held entirely on Facebook and Instagram, kicked off on March 23 and returned for a second edition in April. A third is scheduled to begin on May 25, to coincide with Africa Day, and a fourth is already in the works. The South African writer Zukiswa Wanner, who was inspired to create the festival after watching John Legend’s at-home concert on Instagram, is determined to use this moment to center the work of African writers. “It’s like a writing master class and a festival in one,” Wanner, the award-winning author of nine books, said. Afrolit is free, and Wanner isn’t making money from it. She hopes to get funding so that she’s able to pay the writers, especially the younger ones who might be working without the safety net of unemployment benefits or health insurance.