Opportunities for writers and poets for October 2020.

In our continuing monthly series, we share opportunities for those who wish to submit work be it poetry, prose, or other related arts in October 2020.

Commonwealth Short Story Prize

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2,000–5,000 words). Regional winners each receive £2,500 and the opportunity to be published online by Granta magazine, and the overall winner receives £5,000. The competition is free to enter and open to any citizen of a Commonwealth country who is aged 18 and over.

Deadline: November 1
Information: Click here.

Sahifa Journal

Sahifa is a Swahili word for blank page. We believe in the spirit and the possibilities of the blank page for new thought. Sahifa’s inaugural issue, ‘Futures and Dreams’, seeks creative responses from every genre of work – fiction, poetry, nonfiction and essays – that explore the link between how we live our lives now and how we dream of our futures. The ‘Futures and Dreams’ issue will challenge the premises of a burgeoning Afro-Futurism genre through what we call dreamscapes. Whether it be the techno-cities of Tatu and Konza, oil in Turkana and Hoima, the construction sites of Addis Ababa and the giant malls of suburban Nairobi, we want to interrogate future-making in action – a chip off of the ‘Africa Rising’ narrative, that emphasizes the transformational power of technology and infrastructure.

Deadline: December 31
Information: details on the poster above.

Praxis Magazine: #ENDSARS: Documenting Words and Actions for Posterity

These times of #EndSARS crusade which faces its head to a Nigerian Revolution is a time for action rather than words. But the days are going by and random on-the-spot tweets and online posts are only a part, if not bytes, of the documentation of this crucial moment in Nigerian history. Praxis Magazine, therefore, invites writers and thinkers partaking in this fight to end the evil of SARS and police brutality in Nigeria to submit their essays and think pieces on the moment, the direction of these protests, and what, ultimately, it means to be living in Nigeria now.

Deadline: Not indicated.
Information: Click here.

Africa No Filter Emerging Scholars program

The Africa No Filter Emerging Scholars program is looking for scholars to explore African narratives across a range of storytelling mediums across Africa, with comparative studies looking at Africa in France, UK, China, India, and United Arab Emirates.

Each scholar will be awarded up to $7000 to conduct their research. They will also have access to training, networking opportunities, mentorship, and other resources. The Fellowship is part of Africa No Filter’s broader research agenda aimed at making African narratives evidence-based. The research, which is co-funded by Facebook, will be conducted across mainstream media, social media, popular culture, the arts, donor publications, and educational materials.

Deadline: November 13
Information: Click here.

Inside Wants Out – African Poetry in the Time of a Global Pandemic

Inside Wants Out is a mother tongue poetry podcast that incorporates written poetry and audio. Tinzwe Media invites poetry submissions expressing experiences relating to the global pandemic by African poets. African writers from around the continent are invited to submit original poems in their indigenous African language expressing the African experiences and emotions related to living through the COVID-19 global pandemic. Only 12 poems will be published online and will also form part of season one of the poetry podcast series.

Deadline: November 1
Information: Click here.

The Decolonial Passage

Decolonial Passage presents each distinct piece of writing as a passage worthy of readers’ attention in which writers create texts to articulate a variety of themata affecting the human condition including, but not limited to authenticity, liberty, alienation, dignity, community, and boundless love. Decolonial Passage publishes writing from emerging and established writers who use language and form in innovative ways.

Deadline: Not indicated
Information: Click here.


As an initiative, ÀTẸ́LẸWỌ́ is dedicated to the reviving and repositioning of the Yorùbá culture. ÀTẸ́LẸWỌ́ has decided to create an annual prize tagged “ÀTẸ́LẸWỌ́ PRIZE FOR YORÙBÁ LITERATURE” for previously unpublished writers writing in Yorùbá language and the prize accommodates all kinds of literature (Poetry, Drama and Prose). Some of the problems we currently face with respect to Yorùbá literature are accessibility, unfavourable publishing conditions for young writers, lack of reasonable appreciation, promotion and motivation for Yorùbá literature authors, and we hope that we can begin to address these challenges with the institution of this annual prize. In all, our dream is reconnect the younger Yorùbá population to the dying world of Yorùbá literature thereby reawakening their consciousness about their cultural heritage while unlocking the economic opportunities of this sector.

Deadline: November 30
Information: Click here.

Sillerman First Book Prize

Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets
Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets

The African Poetry Book Series invites submissions to the Sillerman First Book Prize from all emerging African writers who have not yet published a book-length collection of poetry. The winning manuscript receives publication through with the University of Nebraska Press and a prize of USD $1000.

An “African writer” is taken to mean someone who was born in Africa, who is a national or resident of an African country, or whose parents are African. Past winners include Madman at Kilifi by Clifton Gachagua, The Kitchen Dweller’s Testimony by Ladan Osman, Fuchsia by Mahtem Shiferraw, The January Children by Safia Elhillo, Stray by Bernard Matambo, The Careless Seamstress by Tjawanga Dema, and The Rinehart Frames by Cheswayo Mphanza.

Poetry manuscripts should be at least 50 pages long. All entries are read anonymously, and the winner is chosen by the African Poetry Book Fund Editorial Board. There is no fee to submit, and no application forms are necessary. Writers may submit more than one manuscript. The Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets accepts electronic submissions ONLY.

Deadline: December 1
Click here

CFW Freedom Magazine submission callout

We welcome submissions from African writers to the December 2020 Collins Elesiro Prize. Entrants may submit up to 1 previously unpublished poem, and up to 3,000 words for fiction and non-fiction. We believe in freedom of thought and imagination, hence our commitment to keeping the prize theme-less.

We only ask that you submit your best work. Accepting or rejecting a submission remains the prerogative of the magazine, and we will announce the judges in due course. We regret that we can’t contact all entrants, only those whose works are shortlisted. Shortlisted writers might receive editorial feedback and a request to revise prior to publication in our magazine.

Deadline: November 3
Information: Click here.

SprinNG: We Are Deathless: An Afropoetry Anthology

Aren’t you tired already? In 2020, Africa remains under the boots of Western imperialism. In 2020, #BlackLivesMatter is a hashtag that still needs trending all over the world. Black immigrants were baselessly accused of spreading the coronavirus in China. The narrative surrounding the black identity remains a single story of strife and pain. Edited by Wale Ayinla and Kanyinsola Olorunnisola, We Are Deathless: An Afropoetry Anthology is poets’ response to that.

We are aiming for a new narrative with a multitude of black voices speaking their truths in unison. Blackness is no monolith; it exists in various forms and we want works that acknowledge its cultural, religious, ideological and sexual diversity. We want work that provokes; we want work that is experimental; we want work that is loud and boisterous; we want work that is calm and quiet. Hit us with your best shot. ​ While our theme is the black identity, we are open to work that only dances around the subject. After all, even our ordinary, non-socially conscious works are political in a world that seeks to drown out our voices. The title is inspired by Deathless, a song by Ibeyi an Afro-French Cuban duo.

Deadline: November 30
Information: Click here.

Lettres De Lemurie

The Revue Lettres de Lémurie is open to all texts from authors of Lemuria or texts from all walks of life concerning Lemuria (the continent being mythical, the author’s faith is authentic). An unpublished text by author: in French or in the language of Lemuria with a mandatory translation into French

Deadline: October 31, 2020
Details: Send email to [email protected]

The Caribbean Writer’s tribute to Kamau Brathwaite.

The Caribbean Writer (TCW) renews its call for submissions for Volume 35 under the 2020 theme: Diasporic Rhythms: Interrogating the Past, Imagining a Future.” And as The Caribbean Writer (TCW), a refereed, international journal published by the University of the Virgin Islands, continues to mourn the passing of its esteemed founding editorial board member, Barbadian Poet and Author Kamau Brathwaite, TCW Editor Alscess Lewis-Brown, remarked that the theme — even though it was announced before we experienced this great loss — captures the essence of the Kamau Brathwaite literary aesthetic and, therefore, is fitting that volume 35 is dedicated to this giant advocate for Caribbean literary expressions.

Details: Click here.
Deadline: December 31, 2020.

  • Mosi Oa Tunya Literary Review

Mosi Oa Tunya Literary Review is a new multi-lingual, pan-African, online magazine from Zimbabwe. They are currently open for submissions from writers, poets, and artists, in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s stories, and photography/drawings/paintings.

Details: Click here.
Deadline: October 30.

  • Isele Magazine

Isele Magazine is a magazine that plans to publish writers and artists who hold the mirror to our society, who challenge conventional expectations about ways of being, how to be, and who decides who should be. It will be a monthly web magazine, a quarterly guest-edited magazine, a yearly print magazine, and a weekly blog.

Details: Click here.
Deadline: Not indicated.

  • Iskanchi Magazine

Iskanchi Magazine will seek out and publish wayward/experimental pieces by African writers. The idea is to showcase works that engage with and examine what the experimental form looks like in the African literary context. They are interested in pieces that disobey in form and content, in works that bother by being without borders. The new magazine is open for submissions, and they pay for published work.

Details: Click here.
Deadline: Not indicated.

  • Global Literature in Libraries Initiative Translated YA Book Prize

The Global Literature in Libraries Initiative is a US-based non-profit which seeks to promote the greater acceptance and availability of foreign-language literature in English. The purpose of the GLLI Translated YA Book Prize is to recognize titles in translation for readers between the ages of 12 and 18 inclusive.  This award will increase the visibility of such titles, and boost the availability of top-notch literature from around the world for young adults.  We accept titles published anywhere around the world.

Details: Click here.
Deadline: December 15, 2020.

  • Critical Africana Studies

The Critical Africana Studies book series features critical, interdisciplinary, and intersectional scholarship within the emerging field of Africana studies. Most scholars within the field agree that “Africana studies” is essentially a rubric term utilized to conceptually capture the teaching and research of a wide-range of intellectuals (both “academic” and “organic” intellectuals) working in disciplines or subdisciplines as discursively diverse as: African studies, African diasporan studies, African American studies, Afro-American studies, Afro-Asian studies, Afro-European studies, Afro-Islamic studies, Afro-Jewish studies, Afro-Latino studies, Afro-Native American studies, Caribbean studies, Pan-African studies, Black British studies and, of course, Black studies. Epistemological and methodological advances in Africana studies, as well as historical and cultural changes, over the last fifty years have led to an increased interest in continental and diasporan African history, culture, thought, and struggles. The Critical Africana Studies book series directly responds to the heightened demand for monographs and edited volumes that innovatively explore Africa and its diaspora employing cutting-edge critical, interdisciplinary, and intersectional theory and methods.

Details: Click here.
Deadline: Not indicated.

  • Random Photo Journal

Random is largely focused on African photography so it’s only right for its magazine to tell African stories, present and past. Stories about women, men, non-binary, queer, life before colonialism, history, ordinary and extraordinary. We think it’s important to tell these stories because Africa desperately needs written literature. Our stories must be told, shared and preserved by us because who else but us? We would like to read stories that make us feel. A story that is able to convey the writer’s emotions through their characters is the best kind of story. We would also like to read stories about African people not centred on poverty or struggle because we believe it feeds a certain narrative that to be African is to be miserable. As much as that is our reality, it’s only a part of it.

Details: Click here.
Deadline: Not indicated.

  • Ka’edi Africa


Ka’edi Africa is an online art organisation that is centred on books, food, places, people and photography. We seek to rewrite the hitherto widespread unpleasant African narrative through these five essential facets of human life. Ka’edi Africa seeks to showcase Africa by telling African stories properly and truthfully to the global community. Our mission is to positively rewrite African narratives and properly tell our stories by promoting relevant African books, arts, foods, places and photography.

Ka’edi Africa online creative nonfiction magazine is accepting submissions year round in five categories: Art, Reviews, Photography, Food and Culture/People.

Submission guidelines: Click here .
Deadline: Not specified (all year round).

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