Voodoonauts is a grassroots Afrofuturist collective for Black SFF writers. Founded by two MFA students, Yvette Lisa Ndlovu and Shingai Njeri Kagunda, and the cocoa-founders, Hugh “H.D.” Hunter and LP Kindred, in response to the under-representation and isolation of Black speculative fiction writers in the SFF landscape.
We are a community space and generative writing workshop committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of Black SFF writers. Our founding principle is increasing accessibility.
The inaugural workshop took place July 31st-August 1st 2020 with a cohort of 25 writers who ranged from published authors to emerging writers. The weekend included a panel and four workshops taught by Shingai Kagunda, Yvette Lisa Ndlovu, LP Kindred, and Hugh "H.D" Hunter, a reading and discussion with Nana Kwame Adjei Brenyah, an editor's talk, virtual happy hours, an Afrofuturist movie night and participant reading. We also received support from Neon Hemlock Press who provided books for participants.
Shingai Njeri Kagunda
Shingai Njeri Kagunda is an Afrofuturist freedom dreamer, Swahili sea lover, Femme Q. Storyteller that hails from Nairobi, Kenya. She is currently pursuing a Literary Arts MFA at Brown University. She has written work that includes both poetry and prose, published or forthcoming in The Elephant, Omenana, and FANTASY magazine.
Shingai's short story Holding Onto Water was longlisted for the Nommo Awards 2020 & her flash fiction was shortlisted for the Fractured Lit. Prize 2020. She has been selected as a candidate for the Clarion UCSD Class of 2020/2021. #clarionghostclass.
She is also the co-founder of Voodoonauts: an afrofuturist workshop for black writers. Shingai despises exceptionalism as a politic, is a strong believer that magic exists in the shared space between memory and imagination, & has a personal vendetta against linear conceptualizations of time.
Yvette Lisa Ndlovu
Yvette Lisa Ndlovu is a Zimbabwean sarungano (storyteller). She is pursuing her MFA at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she teaches in the Writing Program. She will be teaching at Clarion West Writers Workshop in the Fall.
She earned her BA at Cornell University and was a finalist for a Tin House Young Adult Writer of Color Scholarship. She was the 2020 fiction winner of Columbia Journal’s Womxn History Month Special Issue and is the co-founder of the Voodoonauts Workshop for Black SFF writers.
Her work has been anthologized in the Voices of African Women Journal. She received the Cornell University George Harmon Coxe Award for Poetry selected by Sally Wen Mao and is a 2020 New York State Summer Writers Institute Scholarship recipient. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Columbia Journal, FIYAH, the Huffington Post, the Jellyfish Review, and Kalahari Review.
LP Kindred is a Chicagoan-Angeleno who writes speculative fiction that features Black and/or Queer Lives. Kindred is proud instructor for Clarion West and the inaugural Voodoonauts Summer Workshop, as well as BTS for FiyahCon/Ignyte Awards.
When Kindred is not writing and supporting writers, he can be found singing, eating good food, pretending to be fancy, watching bad TV, and lifting heavy objects. He is or will be an alum of Hurston-Wright, VONA, and Clarion. His fiction can be found in Fiyah Literary Magazine, LeVar Burton Reads, and Speculative City. #GhostClass
Hugh “H.D” Hunter
Hugh “H.D.” Hunter is a YA author and activist from Atlanta, GA. He is the self-published author of two books and the winner of the 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Fiction and Multicultural Fiction.
Hugh is also an alum of the inaugural YA Fiction Workshop at Tin House. Hugh travels the U.S. as a teaching artist designing writing workshops and other engagements for middle and high school students. Hugh is vegan and he loves memes. Follow him at hd_tsd.