Voice: from the  Middle English (noun) < Anglo-French voiz, voice (Old Frenchvoiz, vois) < Latin vōcem, accusative of vōx; akin to vocāre ‘to call’, Greek óps voice, épos word ‘epic’, Sanskrit vakti ‘he speaks’.

Panorama is delighted to announce our first print edition, in partnership with Panorama Publishing, our print nonprofit. Our first volume will be one of a series, emphasizing encouraging travel literature in certain areas of the world. Welcome to our Voices series, which will begin with Voices of East Africa.

This volume will be a carefully curated anthology, available on Amazon, as well as at select booksellers worldwide. Issue launches live from East Africa at a series of events and readings beginning in Spring 2019.

The issue will be in partnership with numerous literary and arts organizations that support East Africa, and will be led by Print Editor, Ellie Cobb, alongside Issue Senior Editor, Richard Oduor Oduku, as well as members of the core editorial team of Panorama.

Ellie Cobb, Print Editor, is a well-established travel editor, bringing many years of experience to the Voices of East Africa issue. She currently is Print Editor for Panorama, as well as an editor for BBC Travel and a long time editor of travel anthologies for Lonely Planet. “I’m excited to reinvigorate the genre, to turn it on its head and take it out of its own comfort zone. By showcasing voices that are not generally represented in mainstream publishing, travel writing will no longer be the domain of the privileged looking in. Instead we’ll journey to places and outlooks we never knew existed and experience the complicated realities of a life lived within those cultures.

Panorama’s vision goes far beyond “armchair travel” – it’s travel of the mind, of the spirit and the soul. A whole new perspective on the world.”

Richard Oduor Oduku, Issue Senior Editor, is a writer of fiction and nonfiction, poet, editor, and leader in the literary scene of the East African region. He currently is a Nonfiction Editor of Panorama, and resides in Nairobi, Kenya. His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry has been published in literary journals on the African continent and worldwide. He is a founding member of Jalada Africa, a Pan-African writers collective, that supports the work of African writers and creatives. “I first met extreme adventures as a young boy on the pages of Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon Tiki Expedition – adventures I’m yet to live, but it imprinted on me the need to map our footprints. I take solace in the knowledge that each step always opens a door.

Travel writing, for me, is to regain the freedom to see for myself, to drift beyond stifling prescriptions and escape the spectacle of prepackaged news about Africa. It is to welcome a new sense of seeing, to make baby steps to new imaginaries and peculiarities of places, spaces, and faces.”

Troy Onyango, Issue Fiction Editor, is a Kenyan writer, editor, and lawyer. His fiction has appeared in various journals and magazines including Transition Magazine Issue 121, for which his short story ‘The Transfiguration’ was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His short story ‘For What Are Butterflies Without Their Wings?’ won the fiction prize for the inaugural Nyanza Literary Festival Prize. He was shortlisted for the 2016 Miles Morland Foundation Scholarship. He is a Founding Editor of Enkare Review – a Nairobi-based literary magazine.

“For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to move around and see the world; experience the various textures and sounds of various places. This mobility, for me, has been more of mental than physical. Geographical mobility is fantastic, and I would love to do it often, but it’s the imagination – the power to conjure and feel places without being there – that has truly brought meaning to the word ‘travel’ to me.”

Khadija Taib (also known as K.A.ALI), Issue Poetry Editor, is a Mombasa-born writer with a degree in journalism. A poet and aspiring novelist, K.A.ALI is interested in researching Coastal culture, analysing the Afro-arab relationship and documenting the ill-documented history of the Hadhrami diaspora with the keen desperation and agony of one all too familiar with the impermanence of memory. She has had her work published in Brainstorm Kenya, Enkare Review and is soon to be published in the upcoming Kwani Multiverse Anthology.

“When you come back from a journey, don’t come back a preacher or a thief. Worthwhile travel is about becoming known to yourself without making others alien, and knowing that if we have been made different it is so we might better know one another.”


Submissions and further information

To submit work to the Voices of East Africa edition, guidelines are strict.

Writers must have been born in East Africa. They need not be living in East Africa currently, but must have been born in one of the following countries or territories:

  1. Burundi
  2. Comoros
  3. Djibouti
  4. Eritrea
  5. Ethiopia
  6. Kenya
  7. Madagascar
  8. Malawi
  9. Mauritius
  10. Mozambique
  11. Rwanda
  12. Seychelles
  13. Somalia
  14. South Sudan
  15. Sudan
  16. Tanzania
  17. Uganda

Writers must submit travel themed poetry, fiction, or nonfiction about traveling exclusively in the East Africa region. We do not accept submissions about travel outside of the East Africa region. Work must be submitted in English, although we may decide to publish side by side translations.

Print contributors of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry will receive a copy, as well as an honorarium of fifty dollars, paid at the time of publication in January 2019, or before. Payment is the same regardless of word length or section.

Submissions open June 26, 2017 and close when full. For more information on specific submissions we are seeking for this issue, please visit the Current Calls page. Our submission guidelines apply for this issue, which can be found on our Submissions  and FAQ’s pages. We regret we must decline submissions that do not follow our submission guidelines.

General queries, and submissions should be sent to eavoices@panoramajournal.org.

Thank you for your interest in Panorama and Voices of East Africa.