The African Arguments Pilot Fellowship for Young Freelancers

The African Arguments fellowship is a mentorship and training programme for young freelancers based on the continent. It is aimed at African journalists under the age of 30 who are committed to building the skills necessary for a sustainable career as a freelancer.

The fellowship is designed to fit into (rather than disrupt) the chosen journalists’ already busy schedules and help them develop through two key ways:

Firstly, the fellows will be guaranteed three paid commissions that they will work on with dedicated one-on-one mentoring from the African Arguments editors. With generous and experienced guidance, the journalists will be supported in producing engaging, balanced, original work of the highest quality on topics of their choice. The finished pieces will be published and heavily promoted on African Arguments (with opportunities for republication elsewhere).

Secondly, the fellows will receive a series of expert-led online trainings over the course of three months. These devoted and intimate sessions will help the freelancers learn from experienced leaders in the field, share ideas, and develop key freelancing skills such as pitching, securing funding, writing for international audiences etc. It may also include additional trainings arranged to cater to the chosen fellows’ specific needs or interests.

Students must commit to attending all online trainings and complete all commissioned pieces.

This program is entirely FREE and will be conducted in ENGLISH.

WHO: This fellowship is for freelancers under the age of 30 based in Africa. We’re looking for journalists still relatively early in their careers who are excited to learn and grow, who are able to challenge and be challenged, and who are committed to working collaboratively to produce original, rigorous and thought-provoking journalism.

WHEN: October 20th 2021 to January 21st 2022.

WHERE: Online.

APPLICATIONS have now CLOSED.

If you have any further questions, contact James Wan at editor@africanarguments.org.

This work was made possible through the support of #AfricaNoFilter, a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much will fellows be paid for their commissions?

The rate for each article will be around $250.

Can you tell us more about the trainings?

Sure! We are currently planning to have six online workshops across the fellowship. Some will be on skills that are relevant to all freelance journalists such as on: how and where to pitch effectively; how to negotiate rates and become financially sustainable; how to avoid stereotypes in writing for an international audience; and how to structure a clear and engaging piece. The remaining ones will be planned based on the needs and interests of the specific fellows selected.

Will the fellows get to write their articles on what they want or will they be assigned topics?

The fellows will be encouraged to write articles on the kinds of topics they want to write about in their careers.

How many applicants will be selected for the fellowship programme?

We are planning to select between four and six fellows for this initial programme. We will select a small cohort so that we can give lots of dedicated attention to each individual fellow and shape the programme around the group’s specific needs and interests.