Opportunities for writers, poets, and publishers for January 2021.

In our continuing monthly series, we share opportunities for those who wish to submit work be it poetry, prose, or other related arts in January 2021.

Like we started in 2020, we have prepared a list of opportunities for you dear writer or poet who is itching to send work to rack up the rejections that you will be brandishing when you are a famous author in the future.

Here are the opportunities;

Frankfurt Rights

Frankfurt Rights

Frankfurt Rights, a new platform for international rights and license trade from Frankfurter Buchmesse, is seeking African Publishers to sign up.

Deadline: Not specified.
Information: Click here.

Second Skin Mag

Second Skin Mag is currently seeking submissions for its first issue.

The theme of this issue is “Grief in Both Hands”.

We are looking for work that is bold, fearless, raw, unpretentious, honest, and most importantly, beautiful.
We are looking for specific types of entries in the following categories:

• Fiction – Speculative fiction, or fiction that challenges established reality/authority and social conventions.

• Reviews – An in-depth and personal look at how a body of work (Film, Album, Book) has affected you and changed or challenged your perspective.

Deadline: February 20, 2021
Information: Click here.

Toyin Falola Prize

The Toyin Fálọlá Prize is a prize from Nigerian-based Lunaris aimed at honouring distinguished African scholar and foremost historian, Professor Toyin Fálọlá, whose contributions to the field of African history and culture have continued to place Africa on the map and accord it its deserved recognition. The prize is meant to honour his endeavors and contributions to the advancement of African cultures, peoples, myths, and histories. The Toyin Falola Prize is to be judged this year by Nerine Dorman and Dr. Akwasi Aidoo.

Deadline: May 15, 2021
Information: Click here.

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.

Open Call: Common Currency Writer in Residence

Delivered in partnership with Cúirt International Literature Festival, English PEN and Irish PEN/ PEN na hÉireann supported by the British Council. Common Currency is a celebration of freedom of expression, creative campaigning, and the best literature the world has to offer to mark the centenary of the PEN movement organised by English PEN. It seeks to ignite a conversation around issues of freedom of expression, led by writers and readers.

Deadline: February 22
Information: Click here.

AKO Caine Prize for African Writing 2021

AKO Caine Prize for African Writing
AKO Caine Prize for African Writing

The AKO Caine Prize for African Writing is an annual literary award for the best original short story by an African writer, whether in Africa or elsewhere, published in the English language. The £10,000 prize was founded in the United Kingdom in 2000, and was named in memory of Sir Michael Harris Caine,[1] former Chairman of Booker Group plc. Because of the Caine Prize’s connection to the Booker Prize, the award is sometimes called the “African Booker”. This year, the prize only accepts submissions via email.

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


AFREADA is a literary magazine, featuring original short stories from established and emerging writers across Africa and its diaspora. A fusion of the two words ‘Africa’ and ‘Reader’, we live for the well-crafted narratives and effortless reads that speak to our daily realities as Africans at home and abroad.

Deadline: February 28, 2021
Information: Click here.

Jacana Media call out

Calling all aspiring writers! If you are an aspiring writer and want the chance to get published, this is the opportunity you have been waiting for. Our submissions portal is now open, and we are taking submissions for the following awards:

  • Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Award & Anthology
  • Dinaane Debut Fiction Award 2021
  • Gerald Kraak Award and Anthology

Deadline: February 28, 2021
Information: Click here.

Muwando’s #OurParentsStories


Muwado is therefore happy to launch a challenge where we tell #OurParentsStories. It’s an opportunity to get to know them beyond the, I used to walk to school every day and it was uphill both ways, stories they gave as pep talks.

Deadline: Not specified
Information: Click here.


Agbowó is a literary journal, that seeks entries for their sixth edition with the theme “Chaos.” The process of “civilization” is a continuous negotiation of what it means to impose order on a world given to entropic tendencies. The traffic warden, the queue, the systematization of knowledge, and institutions built to administer justice are all cogs in humanity’s “anti-chaos” machine. Greek and Hebrew cosmogonies equally hold this perspective – the creation event was civilizing; from an initial chaos and formlessness, order is fashioned. In a sense, don’t all literary and artistic production follow a similar format? The poet looks at a disorderly morning in a busy bus park (or his life, shattering in different directions) and cages that chaos in a single line. For the 2021 issue of Agbowó, we are accepting submissions on the theme – Chaos.

Deadline:  April 30, 2021.
Information: Click here.

BBC National Short Story Award 2021

This year’s BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University (NSSA) is now open for submissions, with novelist and former Radio 4 Commissioning Editor for Arts James Runcie chairing the judging panel. Runcie will be joined by a group of acclaimed writers and critics: Booker Prize shortlisted novelist Fiona Mozley; award winning writer, poet and winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize, Derek Owusu; multi-award-winning Irish novelist and short story writer, Donal Ryan; and returning judge, Di Speirs, Books Editor at BBC Radio.

Deadline: March 15, 2021.
Information: Click here.

Tea House

Tea House is a new literary magazine founded by writer and editor Alain Jules Hirwa. It launched in September 2020 with the mission of showcasing the finest literary work from Rwanda.

Deadline: Not specified.
Information: Click here.

2021 Adventurous Writing and Social Media Fellowship

Adventures From The Bedrooms of African Women is pleased to announce that applications will open on January 20, 2021 for the 2021 Adventurous Writing and Social Media Fellowship Program. The aim of these fellowships is to seek out, support and amplify feminist content creators and their own singular vision. Two Writing Fellowships and one Social Media fellowship will be awarded. Each fellowship track will take place over a period of five months

Deadline: February 20, 2021
Information: Click here.

Omenana Magazine

Omenana Magazine is a tri-monthly magazine that is open to submission from speculative fiction writers from across Africa and the African Diaspora. In their upcoming edition, they are focusing on future fiction in the genre Nnedi Okorafor aptly named African Futurism. They are looking for art, fiction, and non-fiction from artists and writers from Africa and the African Diaspora.

Deadline: February 15, 2021
Information: Click here.

The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize 2021

The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize is an international prize that supports and celebrates the best adventure writing today. The Prize is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English. Awards are presented in three categories: Best Published Novel, Best Unpublished Manuscript, and Author of Tomorrow.

Deadline: March 7, 2021
Information: Click here.

Bad Betty

Bad Betty is an independent publisher of new poetry, run by Amy Acre and Jake Wild Hall. They print full collections, anthologies, pamphlets and a limited edition mini-pamphlet series called Bad Betty Shots. They run events including launches and author showcases, at accessible venues whenever possible. Their work is supported by Arts Council England. We are OPEN for submissions from Black, Brown and Asian writers with a collection or pamphlet manuscript.

Deadline: January 31, 2021
Information: Click here.

The Fish Flash Fiction Prize

The Fish Flash Fiction Prize is an opportunity to attempt one of the most interesting and rewarding tasks – to create, in a tiny fragment, a completely resolved and compelling story in 300 words or less. Kathy Fish, author and professor of creative writing, is the judge for 2021. Kathy will be selecting the 10 flash stories to be published in the Fish Anthology 2021. There is no restriction on theme or style. –


1st prize: €1,000

2nd prize: €300

3rd prize: online writing course with Fish Ten stories will be published in the Fish Anthology 2021.

Deadline: February 28, 2021
Information: Click here.

The James Currey Prize for African Literature

The James Currey Prize for African Literature is an annual award for the best unpublished work of fiction written in English by any writer, set in Africa. The prize is awarded by a panel of judges appointed each year by the World Arts Agency and the winner receives £1000, as well as a contract with World Arts Agency, if the author doesn’t already have an agent. The prize is judged by Sarah Inya Lawal (chair), Bibi Ukonu, Pinkie Mekgwe, Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph, Arun “Jay” Janakiraman, Barbara Adair, and Miko Yamanouchi. The award ceremony will be held at Oxford University and the ten shortlisted authors will receive invitations.

Deadline: April 1, 2021
Information: Click here.

2 Replies to “Opportunities for writers, poets, and publishers for January 2021.”

  1. There is no more excuse to complain about lack of opportunity and platforms

    Of course many are called but few will be chosen

    This is a life changing opportunity

    We are glad you have thrown open the doors of writing and opportunity

    1. Dear Sandile Memela,
      I am also glad to know that opportunities such as these are open to African writers.
      I am however dismayed that age limits are placed on many of these openings as some writers may have taken up their pens after age 35.
      In all, I hope to enter and participate if there are any within my age bracket.
      Gina Ojiaku

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