East African based prizes, Kendeka Prize for African Literature, and the Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature have made call outs for unpublished work.

Kendeka Prize for African Literature

The Kendeka Prize for African Literature started accepting entries from February 1 for its 2021 edition. The new prize is an initiative of Andrew Maina, a Kenyan writer, through Solano Publications Ltd. It aims at giving African writers, especially the unpublished a platform on which to showcase their work. Through this platform, more people will have access to their work which will, in turn, inspire more writing. The competition is administered by Solano Publications Ltd and entry is free.

This Prize will be awarded for the best piece of an unpublished short story either fiction or creative non-fiction. The winners will be awarded the following cash rewards;

1st – Ksh 100,000

2nd – Ksh 50,000

3rd – Ksh 25,000

The remaining two of the five shortlisted stories shall receive KSh 5,000 each.

All longlisted stories shall be published in an anthology titled I Am listening, 2021 Edition. The prize shall be awarded at a ceremony to be held during the Nairobi International Book Fair.

Deadline: May 31, 2021.
Information: Click here.

The Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature

Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature

The Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature was founded by Dr. Mukoma Wa Ngugi (Cornell University) and Dr. Lizzy Attree (Short Story Day Africa) in 2014. The prize has the express goal of recognizing writing in African languages and encouraging translation from, between and into African languages. After suspending the Prize due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, submissions sent during 2020 will be considered for the 2021 Prize. Award Criteria: The prize will be awarded to the best-unpublished manuscript or book published within two years of the award year across the categories of fiction, poetry and memoir, and graphic novels.

The total proposed awards of 15,000 US dollars will be divided as follows:

  • 1st Fiction/Non-Fiction Prize: US$5,000
  • 1st Poetry Prize: US$5,000
  • Runner-up Prize: US$2,500 (in any genre)
  • Runner-up Prize: US$2,500 (in any genre)

The winning entries will be considered for publication in Kiswahili by Mkuki na Nyota Publishers (Tanzania), and East African Educational Publishers (Kenya). The winning poetry will be translated to English and published by the Africa Poetry Book Fund. An award ceremony will be held in East Africa with the 4 Prize-winning writers in attendance.

Deadline: May 31, 2021.
Information: Click here.