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Call For Submissions For The 2023 Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize For African Literature

Nairobi, Kenya, 23 March 2023  The Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature has today announced the call for submissions of manuscripts for its 8th edition. The prize, formerly knowns as The Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for Africa Literature re-branded its name to reflect the parent organization and main sponsor, the Safal Group Limited, with its member companies Mabati Rolling Mills (MRM) in Kenya and ALAF (ALAF) in Tanzania.  The Safal Group is Africa’s largest supplier of building solutions in 8 countries.

The prize, founded in 2014 by Dr. Lizzy Attree (Short Story Day Africa) and Dr. Mukoma Wa Ngugi (Cornell University), has the express goal of recognizing writing in African languages and encouraging translation from, between and into African languages.

Over the last seven years, Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature has supported Kiswahili authors whose manuscripts have been published with others in the pipeline of being published. In 2021, for its 7th edition, 263 manuscripts were submitted.

The Safal-Cornel Kiswahili Prize emulates Safal Group’s strong support for education and its impact in supporting African literature. In January this year, the winners of the 2022 Awards were unveiled at a special ceremony in Dar es salaam where His Excellency Majaliwa Kassim Majaliwa, Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania was the guest of honor.

This year, the overall prize will be awarded to unpublished manuscripts across the categories of fiction, poetry, memoir, and graphic novels. As from 2022, previously published books will not be considered. The total proposed awards of 15,000 USD will be divided as follows: The top Fiction/Non-Fiction Prize will be awarded 5,000 USD; top Poetry Prize will be awarded a similar amount of 5,000 USD while the two Runner-up Prizes will be awarded 2,500 USD each in any of the genres written.

The winning entries will be considered for publication in Kiswahili by Mkuki na Nyota Publishers (Tanzania), who will then work with other regional publishers and book distributors to ensure maximum reach for the winning books. The winning poetry will be translated to English and published by the Africa Poetry Book Fund. An award ceremony will be held in January 2024 with all the shortlisted writers in attendance.


Submission Guidelines:

Please send unpublished manuscripts (fiction, poetry, collections of short stories, and memoir, or graphic novels) to: Submissions close on June 30, 2023. For more information, please visit our Kiswahili and English bilingual website.