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Island Prize For African Writers 2022/23 Contest

The Island Prize for African Writers has been announced open for submissions. African Writers or residents are invited to submit their best manuscript

Island Prize For African Writers 2022/23

Island Prize For African Writers

The Island Prize for African Writers has been announced open for submissions. African Writers or residents are invited to submit their best manuscript to contest for amazing cash prize among other opportunities.

About The Island Prize For African Writers

Founded by Booker longlisted author Karen Jennings, we are delighted to announce that The Island Prize has opened submissions for its second year running.

The Island Prize is a literary prize that has been curated with the primary aim of helping African writers break into the UK publishing scene. This prize is open to unpublished debut novelists from all African countries, or the diaspora. All short-listed writers will be read by publishers and agents both in the UK, US, and South Africa.

The first year of The Island Prize exceeded all expectations. We received over 120 entries from all over the continent, a fine and diverse long list, and then an excellent shortlist. The winner already has a UK agent as a direct result of the prize, and three books have been offered publishing contracts. The competition has aroused much interest in the UK, and we expect even more this year.

All long-listed authors will receive detailed feedback on their submission, with their entire manuscript being read by industry professionals.

All short-listed authors will receive in-depth editorial attention to their entire manuscript, working closely with publishers, agents, and our judges to ready their work for submittance to agencies and publishers once the winner has been announced.

Prizes For Island Prize For African Writers

Winner – £500
Two Runners Up (Shortlist) – £200

Both the winner and runners up will receive detailed editorial feedback and will be mentored by industry professionals and read by UK and US agents.

The Maghreb Region Prize

This year, we are thrilled to be able to offer a £200 prize to the best writer from the Maghreb region.

This has been initiated by last year’s runner up, Hamza Koudri: “Just like I have been lucky to receive the support of the Island Prize team, it would give me immense pleasure to pay it forward and help at least one young author on their journey to publication.”

How To Enter The Island Prize For African Writers Contest 2022/23

Writers must send the opening 3 chapters/10,000 words of a finished novel, along with a short synopsis to submissions@theislandprize.com.

Eligibility Requirements 

Entrants must be citizens of African countries or officially recognised permanent residents.
Evidence will be required if longlisted.

 Authors cannot have previously published a novel – non-fiction/short stories/poetry are fine.

 Author cannot have an agent.

 Entries over 120,000 words will be automatically disqualified.

 Novels that were entered previously may not be submitted again.

Notes on Submissions 

 It is important to send the very best copy you can – there is no benefit in rushing to enter for the prize, so please take time to polish and work on the manuscript. 

 Please send the first three chapters or 10,000 words. Do not send images or further material. 

The synopsis is important for the readers in the initial stages of the prize, so take real care with this. Your novel is not judged on the quality of the synopsis, but it helps readers to assess the sample.

A synopsis should be:

a. One page long – please don’t send five page synopses, they should not be necessary. 

b. A clear outline of the significant events and developments – the skeleton of the work. Keep descriptive writing to the absolute minimum.

c. Clearly and simply written. Entries are not judged on the literary quality of the synopsis, and there is no value in trying to convince of the excitement or depth of the book. Judges need to have a sense of the book overall, and be able to see if it is essentially coherent.

d. Please don’t tell us how important the book is, nor give a list of themes. At most state the central one or two themes.


Format For Submission

a. Entries should be in a simple font, size 12 – Times New Roman, Garamond,
Arial, Calibri are all fine.

b. Please ensure entries are double or 1.5 spaced.

c. All entries should be in Word doc or docx.

If you require further guidance on your entry: 

Please send any queries to:
Robert at contact@hhousebooks.com
Poppy at submissions@theislandprize.com

Timeline Of The Prize

Submissions opens: Friday 9th September 2022
Submissions closes: Friday 6th January




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Pawners Paper: Island Prize For African Writers 2022/23 Contest
Island Prize For African Writers 2022/23 Contest
The Island Prize for African Writers has been announced open for submissions. African Writers or residents are invited to submit their best manuscript
Pawners Paper
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