mabati-cornell-kiswahili-prizeMukoma Wa Ngugi and Lizzy Attree announced the Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili for African Literature at the Ake Festival last year. Whoever would win it would be doing a bit of travelling and get some change to do as they would like. Folks like myself would probably buy more books. And beer. Is there a need for anything else in life really?

Anyway back to the prize; crunch time is fast approaching for those who still want to enter for the inaugural edition. The deadline is April 30 so if you haven’t started on the manuscript yet this is a prompt for you to start writing fiction, poetry, collections of short stories, and memoir, or graphic novels in Swahili like mad for the next few days. You need to work fast as the manuscript cannot be less than 50,000 words. If you are emailing it you probably have to write an average of 3,000 words a day or some crazy schedule allowing you time to edit before deadline.

When you are done with your manuscript you want to send your masterpiece as an attachment in Microsoft Word or Rich Text format to kiswahiliprize@cornell.edu. They are sticklers for detail these prize people so your entry must be typed in Times New Roman 12 point font with 1.5 line spacing. The first page of the story should include the name of the story and the number of words . Accompanying the attachment, you must your legal name, your pen name (if any), your telephone number, a short bio, age, and country of residence.

If you have already had work published your life is a bit easier. All you need to do is to have your publisher send three (3) hard copies to: Africana Studies and Research Center, 310 Triphammer Road, Ithaca, NY 14850.

Good luck my Swahili writing friends.