Malawi Writers Union (Mawu) last week organised a training workshop for Malawian authors with the aim of sensitising them to be aware of their rights as a way of curbing exploitation from book publishers.
According to the itinerary of the workshop, the training took place in Liwonde on Thursday. The day long workshop drilled writers in rights of authors and copyright issues, among other topics.
“Writers seem to be unaware of their rights. As a result, publishers take advantage of this to exploit them. For instance, the author may be told that 2 000 copies have been published yet its 4 000.
“We want to emphasise on writers’ rights because, at the moment, publishers seem to be superior to writers,” said Mawu president Sambalikagwa Mvona in a telephone interview on Wednesday.
“In addition, publishers don’t give loyalties to authors. So how can an author survive? We want to sensitise the writers to be aware of their rights to avoid exploitation,” he added.
Mvona however acknowledged that although the authors are publishing there is no ready market due to lack of reading culture.
“So the workshop will also find strategies on how we can market our books,” he said.
20 authors who have at least published a book are expected to attend the workshop. According to Mvona, some of the notable participants are Tito Banda, Aubrey Kalitera, Zondiwe Mbano and Shadreck Chikoti among others.
The workshop was organised with funding from the Norwegian government through Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma).