Booker-longlisted author Karen Jennings and Holland House announce The Island Prize 2023-2024 For Unpublished African Authors
THE ISLAND PRIZE
“As African writers, we are often faced with a double dose of challenges. Firstly, getting published within African countries can be incredibly difficult because local publishers are often constrained by finances. Secondly, for many writers getting published overseas is almost impossible because the rest of the world has certain ideas of what an African story should be. Having experienced these challenges first-hand – being told that a novel is ‘too African’ or ‘not African enough’ – I know how important it is that stories from Africa be given a wide variety of platforms so that they can be shared at home and abroad without the need to fit certain moulds. I am proud to be part of The Island Prize for a Debut Novel from Africa. This is one step towards bridging the gap between here and there, us and them. In fact, it is through prizes like these that authors across the continent can gain the confidence to tell stories as they wish. The hope is that, with time, such stories will become appreciated across the globe, without first being labelled as an exception or a surprise.”
Writers from all parts of Africa and the diaspora who have not had a novel published (short stories, poems, or non-fiction are fine) are invited to enter. There is no entry fee, and the prizes are:
1st Prize – £500
Runners-up – £200 each
All three will be read by publishers and agents, and considered for publication by Holland House Books in the UK. All shortlisted novels will receive feedback.
• The Island Prize is open to African writers aged 18 and over regardless of place of residence.
• For the purposes of the competition, we define “African writers” as writers born in or having citizenship of any African country.
• Please send a one-page summary and the first 3 chapters (or 10,000 words) of a completed unpublished debut novel.
• Submissions open on 1 October 2023 and close at midnight Central African Time on 1 January 2024.
• For the full set of rules and entry form please go HERE