Call for Submissions: Kwani? Manuscript Project

To celebrate the African novel and its adaptability and resilience, Kwani Trust announces a one-off new literary prize for African writing. The Kwani? Manuscript Project calls for the submission of unpublished fiction manuscripts from African writers across the continent and in the Diaspora. The prize seeks fresh, original work that explores and challenges the possibilities of the novel.

The top 3 manuscripts will be awarded cash prizes:
  • 1st Prize: 300,000 KShs (equivalent to $3,500)
  •  2nd Prize: 150,000 KShs
  • 3rd Prize: 75,000 KShs
In addition Kwani? will publish manuscripts from across the shortlist and longlist, including the three winning manuscripts, as well as partnering with regional and global agents and publishing houses to create high profile international publication opportunities.

Winners will be announced in December 2012 at the Kwani? Litfest. For more information go to their website.

Submission Guidelines:
  • Deadline: 20th August 2012
  • Word count: 60,000 - 120,000 words
  • Submissions should be adult literary or genre fiction (in the sense of not being 'children fiction')
  • The work should be in English or 'Englishes'
  • The manuscript must be 'new' in the sense that it is 'unpublished in book form' (we will accept previously published submission if circulation has been under 500 copies and limited to one national territory)
  • Eligible participants should have at least one parent born in an African country who holds citizenship of the same
  • Please send submissions by email, attached as a WORD doc to


  1. Nana, this is worth trying my hands at. Who exactly are Kwani? In what currency is the money quoted in? Thanks for sharing

    1. Hi RP, Kwani? is a literary organisation based in Kenya. They've got a series of fantastic programmes. I know that Binyavanga Wainaina - the author of One Day I will Write about This Place - headed (or heads it). There is much on their website though.

      The currency is Kenyan Shillings.


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