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The Short Story Day Africa Prize for African Writers 2016

Application Deadline: 31st July 2016.

Offered annually? Yes

Eligible Countries: African countries

To be taken at (country): Online

Brief description: Call for submissions are open from African writers for this year’s Short Story Day Africa Prize. The theme of every submission should be on Migrations

Offered Since: 2013

About the Award: The Short Story Day Africa Prize is an African writing prize open to African citizens, permanent residents of African countries, or second generation Africans living in the diaspora only. Unpublished works between 3000-5000 words in response to the theme are eligible for the prize.

The twenty-one long listed stories will be published in the annual Short Story Day Africa anthology, and selected stories entered into The Caine Prize for African Writing (£10 000).

The Judges for this year’s Award will be Tendai Huchu (Zimbabwe), Sindiwe Magona (South Africa), and Hawa Jade Golakai (Liberia).

Type: Essay writing contest


  1. Any African citizen or African person living in the diaspora(Citizens of African countries or former citizens who have given up citizenship for whatever reason, and second generation Africans whose parents are/were African citizens), as well as persons residing permanently (granted permanent residence or similar) in any African country, may enter.
  2. Writers may only submit one story for the competition. Repeat entries by the same writer will be disqualified.
  3. Writers are welcome to submit stories in any fiction genre.
  4. Stories must be between 3000 and 5000 words in length.
  5. Stories must be submitted in English. While you are free to incorporate other languages into your story, the story must be able to be understood fully by its English content.
  6. Stories must be submitted online via Submittable between 1 June 2016 – 3 1 July 2016. The link to the submission form will be made live on 1 June 2016.
  7. To facilitate easy reading and judging, please format your stories according to the format stipulated below. Stories not formatted in this way are at the risk of being disqualified.
  8. Stories must not have been previously published in any form or any format.
  9. Simultaneous submissions are not welcome. Any story entered or published elsewhere during the course of judging or publication will be disqualified.
  10. You are welcome to enter under a pseudonym or nom de plume, as long as you also include your real name along with your entry.
  11. All entries will be judged anonymously. Please DO NOT put your name or any other identifying details anywhere on your manuscript.
  12. The judges’ decision is final.
  13. By submitting a story the author attests that it is their own original work and grants exclusive global print and digital rights to Short Story Day Africa for one year, and thereafter agrees to seek permission to republish and when published elsewhere attributes first publication to Short Story Day Africa; non-exclusive digital rights to Worldreader to publish individual stories on Worldreader Mobile; and non-exclusive digital rights to BooksLive for publicity purposes.
  14. By entering, the author agrees to allowing Short Short Story Day Africa to include their entry in an anthology should it be selected by the judges; and to working with editors to get their story publication ready.
  15. We will not share your personal information with anyone. We will, however, add you to Short Story Day Africa mailing list for the sole purpose of informing you of next year’s even, or of other Short Story Day Africa events that may be of interest to you.

Submission Criteria: Candidates should:

  • Type their document, using a single, clear font, 12-point size, double-spaced. The easiest font to use is Times New Roman, or a similar serif font.
  • Put the title of their story halfway down the cover page. Please DO NOT title your story Migrations. Start your story immediately below the title.
  • Put an accurate word count at the top right.
  • Please number the pages.
  • Left-justify their paragraphs.
  • Ensure there is at least a 1 inch or 2 centimetre margin all the way around your text. This is to allow annotation to be written onto a printed copy.
  • Indent each new paragraph by about 1/2 inch or 1 centimetre, except for the first line of the story or the first line of a new scene.
  • Don’t insert extra lines between your paragraphs. A blank line indicates a new scene.
  • Put the word “End” after the end of their text, centred, on its own line.

Number of Awardees: Three

Value of Award: 

  • 1st prize  R10 000 (approx US$500)
  • 2nd prize R2 000 (approx US$125)
  • 3rd prize  R1 000 (approx US$60)

In addition three emerging writers will receive a 20 week online creative writing course. These will be selected from the long list or slush pile.

Duration of Award: Twenty (20) weeks

How to Apply: Candidates should go here to apply

Visit Award Webpage for details

Award Provider: Short Story Day Africa

Important Notes: 

  • Candidates should remember to delete any identifying marks on their submission before uploading your story.
  • Candidates should remember that the file name of their uploaded entry MUST BE the title of their short story. If it is untitled, the first line of their short story should be used. DO NOT give your story the same name as the theme, the project or any abbreviation thereof, or your name.
  • Editable formats accepted are doc, docx, rtf, txt, as long as they are formatted according to our very specific guidelines.
  • The Programme DOES NOT accept simultaneous submissions. Any story published or shortlisted elsewhere during the judging and publication process will be disqualified.
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