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Poetry Competitions In Nigeria 2021 — Pawners Paper

Get a compiled list of poetry competitions in Nigeria in 2021. The list is updated regularly once anew poetry contest is announced available.

Poetry Competitions In Nigeria 2021

Last month, seems to be the breaking door into the new year, 2021 and an end to the year we all mostly dread, 2020.

Although, 2020 had its difficulties, some folks were able to improve themselves and grab opportunities around them. Poets in nigerua are not left out in this stance.

Last year, many calls for entries and submission by magazines were made out to interested writers and poets to have their work considered and if they were lucky enough, they were able to win cash prizes with some benefits attached.

But that was 2020. Now, it's 2021!

Submitting poems, short stories, fiction and many many other seems to be the new goldmines among writers nowadays, especially Nigerian writers and poets who has an unquenched thirsts for literariness.

To reduce the stress of getting the right poetry or writing contest , we have decided to compile a list of ongoing poetry and writing Competitions that will be available for Nigeria poets and other countries poets in 2021. The list will be updated once a new poetry/writing contest or any ongoing writing competitions in 2021 has been announced.

Here are the list of the poetry/ writing competitions along with their deadlines:

The list is in order of deadlines i.e the exact months the poetry contest will be closed for submission.

To have the other writing contests such as fiction, essay etc. compiled for simplicity and easy access, they are also included in the following list. Hence, this contains not only the list of Nigeria poetry contests or competition but also other writing contests available to Nigerian writers and poets.

To make the writing contests list more detailed, there are some inclusive contest on African poetry competition 2020/2021 and some other writing contests in Nigeria with their link embedded in the anchored text just for any poet in Nigeria to benefit from them.

However, as promised, we have decided to update the list with the ongoing poetry and other writing contests in 2021. This include competitions for writers in Nigeria.

August/ September 2021
The Peter Porter Poetry Prize is one of the most prestigious prizes for a new poem.  The poetry competition is organized by the Australian Book Review. It was named after, Peter Porter, one of the most recognized poets that emerges from Australia.
There's no restriction as to geographical location nor, is there any for age. 

Guidelines & Requirements: The poem must not be more than 70 lines.

The poem must be in English language. It can also be on any theme 

Poems must not have been previously published.

Entries must be submitted online via the Australian Book Review website.

Entry Fee: $25

Prize: Worth $10,000

Deadline: October 4, 2021.

Writers' entries are now being accepted for the Val Wood Prize for Creative Writing 2021: Now & Then. The theme for the competition has been chosen to mark the end of lockdown and reflect times of positive change. 

In addition to the Val Wood Prize 2021, the Yorkshire Prize 2021 is also going to held.

 The contest is organized annually, with the organizers and the judges receiving overwhelming amounts of submission from writers.

However, according to the organizers, they've decided to celebrate local talents. Thus, the reason for splitting the competition into two in order to allow entries to the category of choice.

 Guidelines & Requirements:
There is no required theme.

Poetry will not be considered for the prizes.

The competition is only open to writers who are above 16 years of age.

Entry Fee: Free.

Prize: £100.and publication.

Deadline: August 28, 2021.

Note: You can still check the various ones listed below as some might have deadline extension

January 2021 Poetry Contests/Competitions

  • The 2020 Nine Dots Prize|US$100,000 Cash Prize

The Nine Dots Prize seeks to reward original thinking in response to contemporary societal issues. Each Prize cycle lasts two years, with a new question being announced every other October

There's a little details about this poetry contest.

February 2021 Poetry Contest/ Competition

  1.  Nigerian Students Poetry Prize 2021 (NSPP 6th Edition) | N400,000 Cash Prize

Nigerian Students Poetry Prize (NSPP) is an initiative of Poet in Nigeria (PIN) which is  aimed at stimulating literary creativity and encouraging critical thinking among Nigerian undergraduates. 

This writing contest is meant to promote poetry among young writers, especially student writers while they are compete for amazing cash prizes. Also, this gives them a preparatory opportunity for other African poetry competition and those outside the continent.


1st Prize – ₦200,000

2nd Prize – ₦100,000

3rd Prize – ₦50,000

Consolation Prize – ₦25,000 each for 4th and 5th best entrants

28th February, 2021

  • Puchi Award Competition 2021 | £8000 Cash Prize + Publications

Puchi Award Book Prize

Puchi Award competition has announced open to author of books of any genre or form [fiction, non-fictionpoetry, novels, comics, picture books, essays, cookbooks, geography books, combinations of the above or any other type imaginable

Writers who are interested in submitting for the writing competition are invited.

Most especially, poet in Nigeria.

Poetry Contests/ Competition March 2021

  • Call For Entries: The Pontas Literary & JJ Bola Writers Prize 2021 | £1000 grant

Call For Entries: The Pontas Literary & JJ Bola Writers Prize 2021

As a tradition, our readers are mostly accustomed to us giving the best as regards contests and other opportunities for writers. This has always been our goal. To Lend A Voice!

Hence, another exciting opportunity for emerging authors just arrived at our doorstep!
The Pontas Literary & Film Agency and JJ Bola are partnering with the aim of creating a mentoring prize for unagented, unpublished, under-represented writers.

The prize includes a £1000 grant to support the writer, mentorship from JJ Bola and Maria Cardona, and representation from the Pontas Literary & Film Agency.

  •  Amazon KDP Pen To Publish Contest 2021 | $25,000 (#10,000,000) Cash Prize & Mentorship

Amazon KDP Pen To Publish Contest

Here is an opportunity for writers who has an unpublished works to participate in the fourth edition of Amazon KDP Pen to Publish contest to win exciting prizes up to $25,000 (#10,000,000) cash prize and get mentored by the top authors.

Must Read:

KDP Pen to Publish contest is organized to celebrate the exceptional and previously unpublished work among self-published authors, and therefore, recognises literary excellence in different genres in long format and short format categories across English, Hindi and Tamil languages.

Submit to other contests and win amazing cash prizes, publication and many more

Eligibility Requirements For Amazon KDP Pen To Publish Contest 

The Amazon KDP Contest is open to individuals who are the older than or of 18 years of age or the legal age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry.

The Contest and these Official Rules are void in Mexico, Brazil, Tasmania, Quebec and where prohibited by law and are subject to applicable laws.

Must ReadTwo Poems By Kingsley Alumona
Hence, entrants may not be a national or legal permanent resident of any of the following countries: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria or Region of Crimea.

Entrants may not be members of any guild, union or other organisation that may prohibit them from participating in this contest and that would restrict, require due payment or otherwise have the right to oppose such entrant’s participation in this Contest. 

The Contest is strictly not open to employees or independent contractors, or immediate family members (spouses, domestic partners, parents, grandparents, siblings, children, and grandchildren) or those living in the same household of employees or independent contractors of Sponsor, any entity involved in any aspect of the Contest (including funding, judging or administration), and each of their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, advisors, or advertising/promotion agencies.

 Poetry Contests/ Competition April 2021

  • The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize | $15,000 Cash Prize & Invitation To An Event

The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize has begun accepting entries for its 2021 edition. The prize is often awarded for the best piece of writing on the theme of the Alpine Fellowship 2021 – Untamed: On Wilderness and Civilization.

The winner of this contest receives a £10,000 cash prize and is presented with the award by the poet John Burnside. A £3,000 cash prize will go to the second place and £2,000 to the third-place runner up. The winner and two runners up are invited to attend the Fjällnäs symposium.

Entry Fee : None required

Applications close (Deadline): 1st April 2021

  •  EPOCH Magazine 2020 Call For Submission | $50, $150 Cash Prizes

EPOCH magazine is seeking submission of fiction, poetry, essays, cartoons, screenplays, graphic art, and graphic fiction. Prizes include $50 per poem, $150 per story and publication.

EPOCH magazine is edited by faculty in the Department of English Program in Creative Writing at Cornell University. It appears three times per year: in September, January, and May. 

Submission Deadline For Epoch Magazine Entries

April 25, 2021

  • Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest 

Wergel Flomp Humour poetry contests is a writing contest that has been running for 20 consecutive years, now in its 20th year. 

This writing contest however seeks today's best humor poems. Interested writers are required to submit published or unpublished work and stand a chance to win $3,500 as prizes

Entry Fee: Requires no fee to enter.

Winners Prizes:

First Prize: $2,000 plus a two-year gift certificate from our co-sponsor, Duotrope (a $100 value)
Second Prize: $500
Honorable Mentions: 10 awards of $100 each
Top 12 entries published online
Submit online
No fee to enter. Judge: Jendi Reiter, assisted by Lauren Singer Ledoux. 

To submit your works to pawners paper for free, check here

Submission Guidelines

Length limit: 250 lines maximum.
No restriction on age of author. 
Authors from all countries eligible except Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Crimea (due to US government restrictions).
The poem you submit for the writing contest should be in English. Inspired gibberish is also accepted (example). 
Please click the button below to submit.
The results of the 20th contest will be announced on August 15, 2021.

Deadline: April 1, 2021

  • Call For Entries: The Guardian and 4th Write Short Story Prize | €1,000 Cash Prize & Publication On The Guardian Website

The Guardian and 4th Write Short Story Prize

The Guardian announces its 4th Estate Short Story Prize, an annual contest which has been dedicated to writers of colors and has been running for five years now.

According to the Guradian, 

as Black Lives Matter protests and the subsequent boom in reading lists and publishers’ statements showed, more than ever, that UK publishing must do more to elevate and celebrate a more diverse range of voices in literature – every year, not just when it is in the news.

Back with a new name, The 4th Write Short Story prize, a call for entries is therefore made to writers to submit their best works for the 2021 edition.

Thus, interested unpublished writers of colours are invited to submit a short story of up to 6,000 words to compete to win a cash prize of €1,000

  • Kendeka Prize for African Literature 2021|Up to $1,000 Cash Prize & Publication

Kendeka Prize for African Literature 2021

 African writers are hereby invited for the Kendeka Prize for African Literature 2021. This Prize will be awarded for the best piece of unpublished short story, either fiction or creative non-fiction.

The prize 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.

Through this Prize, Africans will have an opportunity of not only telling their own stories, but the freedom of telling them, as they are. This is because for a long time, the ‘African Story’ has been told by foreigners, a people who purport to know Africa. They have ended up with a story of Africa, a single story of a hungry, warring, ailing and backward people, a story of a continent full of calamities. This is their new version of the story of the Dark Continent!

This kind of African story is what Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie warns against and calls it ‘The Danger of a Single Story’. She goes on to tell us “That when we reject the single story, when we realize that there is never a single story about any place, we regain a kind of paradise”. This is the paradise that Kendeka Prize for African Literature aims at regaining.

Kendeka Prize for African Literature 2021

The winners of this literary contests will be awarded the following cash prizes:

  • First prize : KShs.100,000

  • Second Prize: Kshs 50,000

  • Third Prize: Kshs. 25,000 

  • Submit Your Unpublished Manuscript for the 2021 James Currey Prize for African Literature | £1,000 and an agency offer from World Art Agency.

The James Current prize for African literature 2021 has been announced open for entries from interested writers.

The literary prize, which is administered by World Arts Agency founder Onyeka Nwelue, was established this year. In honor of James Currey, whose work in academic publishing has made considerable impact on African literary culture, the prize is awarded to “the best unpublished work of fiction written in English by any writer, set in Africa or on Africans in Africa or in Diaspora.”

Only novels manuscripts are considered for the prize

  • Boynes Emerging Artist Award 4th Edition 2021 | Over $9,000USD Cash Prize

The organizers of the Boynes Emerging Artist 2021 has announces entry for artists, photography and other visual artists to submit their best work to win a cash prize of over $90,000 USD

The Boynes Emerging Artist Award 4th Edition 2021 | Over  $9,000 USD Cash prizee Boynes Emerging Artist Award is an independent, international artist- run online art competition with a prize pool worth over $90,000+ USD and completely artist-run. We accept all 2D mediums from drawings to paintings to photography, etc. There is no set theme for our competition, we simply require you to submit the best in your portfolio. Our goal is to give artists a platform for their work, and exposure for emerging artists worldwide

 Poetry Contests / Competitions May 2021

  • Call For Entries: The African Writers Awards 2021| $100 Cash Prize & Certificate
The African Writers Awards 2021

The African Writers Awards organizers has released a call for entries to prospective writers to submit their best work for the 2021 edition of the literary contests. The winner will walk away with a cash prize of $100 along with a certificate.
To also enter for the similar contests that awards over $325 to the winners and other runner ups, check HERE.

You can also check our poetry and writing opportunities & contests section for more updates!

About The African Writers Awards

Since 2018, Writers Space Africa in partnership with the African Writers Development Trust, has held the annual African Writers Awards as the highpoint of the African Writers Conference. 

Theme: "The Future of Africa"

 They accept submissions to the following categories:

Poetry (Structured or unstructured)
Creative Non-Fiction (1,500 words maximum)
Drama (6 acts maximum)

A cash prize of $100 will be awarded to each winner along with a certificate

Read More

  • Call For Entries: Submit to the Nyabola Prize for Science Fiction 2021 | $1,750 Cash Prize & Publication

Nyabola Prize for Science Fiction 2021

Writers are invited to submit their works for the 2021 edition of the Nyabola Prize For Science Fiction while they compete for amazing cash prizes.

The Nyabola Prize for Science Fiction is an initiative of the Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize. It is a special award open to young people aged between 18 and 35, writing science and speculative fiction in Swahili.

The prize is held is named after, and held in partnership with, writer and political analyst, Nanjala Nyabola. It is “designed to promote and popularise a Kiswahili vocabulary for technology and digital rights, in order to empower citizens in Kiswahili-speaking communities to participate in broader conversations on the issues.”
In a press release, the prize administrators expound that the objective of the prize was to 
“inspire boundary breaking creativity in the next generation of fiction writers in Kiswahili, while popularising a lexicon for technology and digital rights in the language.”

Prize For The Nyabola Prize for Science Fiction 2021

Winners will be awarded the following cash prizes 

First Place Winner : $1,000 

Second Place Winner: $500 

Third Place Winner: $250 

Also, the top ten stories will be published in an anthology

  • Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature: 2021 |  $15,000 Cash Prize & Publication
Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature: 2021 |  $15,000 Cash Prize & Publication

For other contests, check HERE
Call for Submissions:

We are pleased to announce the call for submissions for the 6th edition of The Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature.  The prize, founded in 2014 by Dr. Lizzy Attree (Short Story Day Africa) and Dr. Mukoma Wa Ngugi (Cornell University), has the express goal of recognizing writing in African languages and encouraging translation from, between and into African languages.

The organizers of the Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature announces open the submission for he long awaited prize for writers. Earlier, the prize was suspended due to the covid-19 pandemic and it was reiterated that the submissions sent in during 2020 will be considered for the 2021 Prize.

 The Prize is primarily supported by Mabati Rolling Mills of Kenya (a subsidiary of the Safal Group), The Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs at Cornell University, the Africana Studies Center at Cornell University and the Ngugi wa Thiong’o Foundation.

Award Criteria For The Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature 2021

 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. 

Prize For The Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature 2021

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

1st Fiction/Non-Fiction Prize : 5,000 US dollars

1st Poetry Prize : 5,000 US dollars

Runner-up Prize : 2,500 US dollars in any genre

Runner-up Prize 2,500 US dollars 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

 Poetry Contests/ Competitions June 2021

  • Call For Entries: The Wakini Kuria Prize for Children’s Literature 2021 | $325 Cash Prize & Certificate
The Wakini Kuria Prize for Children’s Literature 2021

Writers are hereby invited to submit their works for the Wakini Kuria Prize For Children's Literature 2021 in order to contest for a cash prize of over $325 dollars.

About The Award

The Wakini Kuria Prize for Children’s Literature was established in 2019 to honour the memory and legacy of Wakini Kuria who served on the Advisory board of the African Writers Development Trust and as the Chief Editor of Writers Space Africa (WSA) magazine from 2017 until her demise in 2019. The previous winners are Marjorie Moono Simuyuni (Zambia), Madeha Ezekial Malecela  (Tanzania), Blessing Aliyu Tarfa (Nigeria) and Halieo Motanyane (Lesotho).

Wakini was a pillar of support towards the successful hosting of the maiden edition of the African Writers Conference in Abuja, Nigeria in 2018. She also worked tirelessly towards the hosting of the conference in September 2019, in Nairobi Kenya. Her hard work and passion is still seen in all that we do at WSA and AWDT.

Additionally, Wakini was a recipient of the African Writers Award of Merit in 2018 as well as numerous accolades from across Africa. She has inspired several writers across the African continent with her work and was exceptionally talented, kind-hearted, highly spirited, and joyful.

Entry Fee: None required

Prize For The Wakini Kuria Prize for Children’s Literature 2021

For the third edition of the Wakini Kuria Prize, the recipient will receive the following:

First Place: A certificate and cash prize of $150. 

Second Place:  $100 

Third Place: $75

  • Poet In Nigeria Poetically Written Prose Contest

Just like the last concluded contest, which was in 2021, writers from all parts of the world are hereby invited to submit enchanting prose works embellished with poetic devices, in what is being tagged – “POETICALLY WRITTEN PROSE”.

Winners of the aforementioned contest have the opportunity to win the under-listed prizes.

1st Prize ─ ₦50,000
2nd Prize ─ ₦30,000
3rd Prize ─ ₦20,000


  1. This is lovely to discover. Will start participating in some of these contests. Do notify me of them more. Thanks.

  2. You can get more updates on contest here anytime.
    Just ensure you check the homepage for new ones

  3. This is informative.
    Will certainly keep tabs.

  4. This is amazing. Thanks for the information

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Pawners Paper: Poetry Competitions In Nigeria 2021 — Pawners Paper
Poetry Competitions In Nigeria 2021 — Pawners Paper
Get a compiled list of poetry competitions in Nigeria in 2021. The list is updated regularly once anew poetry contest is announced available.
Pawners Paper
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