Kwani? Manuscript Project

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 Manuscript Project calls for the submission of unpublished fiction manuscripts from African writers across the continent and in the Diaspora.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 $3500)2nd Prize: 150,000 KShs3rd 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:

Submission Guidelines:•NEW Deadline 17th September 2012.•       Word count 45,000-120,000 words•      

Submissions should be adult literary or genre fiction (in the sense of not being ‘children’s 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 The work should be in English or ‘Englishes’ The manuscript must be ‘new’ in the sense that it is ‘unpublished in book form’ (we will accept previously published submissions if circulation has been under 500 copies and limited to one national territory)•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

This Kwani? Manuscript Project is made possible by the generous support of Lambent Foundation and Ford Foundation.

The Kwani? Manuscript Project was initially conceptualised after Kwani Trust received the Prince Claus Award in December 2010 for “establishing a dynamic platform for new voices in African Literature.” The award has provided seed money for this prize.

In addition, we've also just launched a series of essays by African writers on writing. Including contributions from Aminatta Forna, Leila Aboulela, Ellen Banda-Aaku and Helon Habila, the essays will offer advice, support and inspiration for developing your novel manuscript over the next 2 months.  The first essay in the series by Aminatta Forna explores where the ideas for novels come from and you can read this at:
We will be publishing a new essay every Thursday for the next for the next four weeks.

You can find the essays and more information about the prize:

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