The Island Prize is Open for Submissions of Unpublished Debut Manuscripts | How to Apply

Submissions are currently open for The Island Prize for Fiction. The prize initiative, in its second year, seeks to recognize and provide support for emerging literary talents from Africa. It invites submissions of unpublished debut literary manuscripts from authors across the African continent.

The prize is named after the South African author Karen Jennings’ Booker-longlisted novel by the same name. It is also administered by Jennings and her publishers, Holland House in the UK and Karavan Press in South Africa. The winner and two finalists will receive a cash reward of £500 and £200, in addition to the authors being introduced to an agent. All longlisted authors will be offered the opportunity to receive detailed feedback on their submissions, with their entire manuscript being read by industry professionals.The longlist will include a minimum of eight novels.

This year, there has also been a new category addition to the prize. A cash prize of £200 will be awarded to the best writer from the Maghreb region. The prize money was endowed by last year’s runner up, Hamza Koudri, who has donated his winnings to this cause.

In Koudri’s own words: “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.”

Submission Guidelines:

  • Entrants must be citizens of African countries or officially recognized 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.

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

Deadline: Friday, January 6, 2023

For more details and enquiries, email Robert at contact@hhousebooks.com or Poppy at submissions@theislandprize.com.

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