The Centre for Stories is excited to announce that we will be publishing the Ways of Being Here African short stories anthology in time for the Perth Writers Festival in February 2017. It will feature four stories by emerging writers Rafeif Ismail, Yirga Gelaw Woldeyes, Tinashe Jakwa and Yuot Alaak. Some of the writers will also be appearing on a panel to discuss their stories at the Festival. 

The anthology has come about as a result of last year's 'Ways of Being Here' Flash Fiction Competition, which was open to any writer of African heritage residing in Western Australia who had less than four published stories and/or articles. It was judged by Sisonke Msimang, Afeif Ismail and Caroline WoodThe winners of the competition received mentoring from established Western Australian writers as well as the opportunity to publish their work. 

Stay tuned for further updates on Ways of Being Here closer to the publication date. 


Rafeif Ismail looked to poetry and music to remind her of her first home and as a way to learn her first language. A third-culture child of the Sudanese diaspora, Rafeif often explores the ideas of home and belonging in her art. Writing first began as a way for her to understand and reconcile different aspects of her identity as a Sudanese refugee in Australia. Rafeif’s writing is often a mixture of Arabic and English. She is looking for a way that will allow her to recreate the stories of her childhood in her second language.

Yirga Gelaw Woldeyes is a writer, researcher and poet from the holy town of Lalibela, Ethiopia. His poetry was published in a book titled Yeteraroch Chuhet, (The Cry of Mountains), which uses his native language of Amharic to reflect on Ethiopia’s history of loss and resilience. Yirga lives in Perth, Western Australia, where he has started to explore storytelling through his second language of English.

Tinashe Jakwa is studying a Master of International Relations at The University of Western Australia, and an active member of the university's Africa Research Cluster. Her work has been published in the academic journal The Australasian Review of African Studies; the Australian Institute of International Affairs’ blog ‘Australian Outlook’; and the Young Australians in International Affairs’ blog ‘Insights’.

Yuot Alaak is a former child refugee from South Sudan. He currently lives in Perth, Western Australia, with his family where he works as a mining professional. He enjoys writing for fun and loves storytelling. Yuot was part of the globally known ‘Lost Boys of Sudan’.