Enter for the 2019 Writivism Literary Prizes

Here’s another opportunity for writers in Africa to get creative and clinch some prizes while at it.

The Writivism Literary prizes ( Short Story prizes and Koffi Addo Nonfiction prizes), are awarded annually to emerging writers living in an African country, who have not yet published a single-authored book of creative writing.

There is NO entry fee or theme required.

Each winner:

  • takes home USD $500,
  • attends a fully funded one-month writing (editing) residency at Stellenbosch University,
  • publishes their debut book with Black Letter Media,
  • is funded to attend the annual Writivism literary festival in Kampala,
  • publishes their winning story in the Writivism annual anthology, and
  • participates in the annual two-month online Writivism mentoring programme.

Each shortlisted writer:

  • takes home USD $150,
  • is funded to attend the annual Writivism literary festival in Kampala,
  • publishes their shortlisted story in the Writivism annual anthology, and
  • participates in the annual two-month online Writivism mentoring programme.

Each longlisted writer:

  • publishes their longlisted story in the Writivism annual anthology
  • participates in the annual two-month online Writivism mentoring programme.

The longlists of ten stories for each prize will be announced on March 1, 2019, followed by online mentoring (March 1 – April 30, 2019), shortlists of three stories for each prize announced on May 1, 2019, and the annual Writivism Literary Festival where the winners will be announced and the annual anthology unveiled, will take place between August 15 – 17, 2019.


The Writivism Short Story and Koffi Addo Prizes only accept “unpublished” entries from writers living in an African country, who have not published a single-authored book by August of the prize year. This includes self-publishing, even if only on one’s blog or social media micro-site, and all forms of creative work.

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The age and citizenship of the emerging writer does not matter, we consider the nationality of the writer and residence in an African country during the prize year. In the instance that one’s story is shortlisted, or that they win a prize, we are only able to fund travel from an African country, to Kampala for the festival, and to Stellenbosch for the residency.

At the moment, we consider only works in the English language, and only accept translated work (into English) where the author and translator are the same person. In other words, submit a translated entry only when it is your own original composition in its first language, and you translated yourself, to English.

Current staff, volunteers, and partners of the Writivism Literary Initiative are not eligible for the prizes.

The Entry Manuscript

  • The story should be at least 2500 words, and maximum 3500 words.
  • The author’s name should not appear anywhere on the manuscript.
  • The manuscript should include a title page and word length of the entry, without the author’s personal details like name, address, email address, and country of origin.
  • Every writer can submit only one entry for each prize. A double submission to both the short story and nonfiction prizes is encouraged, but strictly only one entry for each.
  • All submissions must be made using this form.
  • The manuscript must be in Microsoft Word or Rich Text format (NO PDFs), typed in Times New Roman font, size 12 point, double-spaced.

Residency and Publication of debut manuscript

  • Submission to the prizes is built on the assumption that the entrant is working on a manuscript that we anticipate will be further developed during the one-month residency at Stellenbosch University, and published by Black Letter Media should they win.
  • We therefore expect, and require winners to have a complete draft of a manuscript within one month of winning the prize, so that arrangements for the writing (editing) residency can commence soon.
  • We are flexible and allow for a period of maximum two and five years after winning the prize to take up the residency and publishing opportunity respectively.
  • We require that the publishing rights for the debut manuscript of a winner of our prizes are by the fact of submission, offered to our publishing partner.
  • Where the publishing partner deems that a manuscript does not require substantial development, a winner’s work can be published without attending the residency.
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Other Conditions and Terms of Submission

  • We discourage simultaneous submissions. Between November 1, 2018 when the prizes open and March 1, 2019 (a period of five months), when the longlist will be announced, we request that entrants do not submit the stories elsewhere.
  • While we generally grant permissions for republication of stories published in our annual anthologies, within the first ten years of their longlisting for our prizes, we, as a condition require that the writer informs us of republication opportunities for the story, before entering a contract for the same. The same applies for translation rights.
  • Every writer whose story is longlisted is required to undergo a two-month mentoring programme with an established writer. They will also be required to further work on their stories with our editorial team.
  • We expect to publish the annual prizes’ anthology within three years of the prize being awarded.

Visit www.writivism.org for more information.

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