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AKO Caine Prize for African Writing 2021

The Caine Prize for African Writing 2021 is presently receiving applications. The AKO Caine Prize for African Writing is a literature prize bestowed to an African author of a short story published in English.

The AKO Caine Prize for African Writing is an enlisted charity whose objective is to bring African writing to a broader audience with the use of their yearly literary award. Along with administering the Prize, they work to link readers with African writers via a range of public events, as well as assisting upcoming writers in Africa to get into the world of mainstream publishing through the yearly Caine Prize writers’ workshop which holds in a different African nation every year.

The stories written at Caine Prize workshops are published yearly together with the Prize’s shortlisted stories in the yearly Caine Prize Anthology by New Internationalist in the United Kingdom and publishers in eight African nations comprising, Cassava Republic (Nigeria), Jacana Media (South Africa), Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana), Kwani? (Kenya), Gadsen Publishers (Zambia), FEMRITE (Uganda), ‘amaBooks (Zimbabwe) and Langaa (Cameroon).

The prize is named after the late Sir Michael Caine, past Chairman of Booker plc., who was Chairman of the ‘Africa 95’ arts festival in Europe and Africa in 1995 and for almost 25 years, Chairman of the Booker Prize management committee. After his demise, friends and colleagues made a decision to establish a prize of £10,000 to be bestowed yearly in his memory.

Worth of AKO Caine Prize for African Writing

  • Winning and short-listed authors will be welcomed to take part in writers’ workshops in Africa, London and elsewhere as resources permit.
  • There is a cash award of £10,000 for the awardee and a travel fund for each of the short-listed applicants (up to five in all).
  • The shortlisted applicants will also get a Prize of £500.

Eligibility for AKO Caine Prize for African Writing

  • Unpublished work is not qualified for the Caine Prize.
  • Submissions can only be made by publishers.
  • Only fictional work is qualified.
  • Only one story per author will be given consideration in any one year.
  • Submissions have to state which African nation the author comes from and the word count.
  • They need 6 copies of the work in its first published version.
  • If the work is published in a book or journal, you should send at least one copy of the book/journal and five photocopies; but where a lot of stories are submitted from one anthology, they would prefer, if possible, to get six copies of the book/journal itself.
  • If the work is published online, they would like to receive six photocopies.

How to Apply for AKO Caine Prize for African Writing

They are moving to a digital process as the primary way of receiving entries to the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing; as this is the first year they are making use of an online entry process for the prize, together with a number of internal matters within the prize they aim to resolve soon – they hope you will assist them in the process of getting entries online for the first time by going through the following three steps:

  1. Handing in your entries through the entry form provided here – which can also be accessed through this link:
  2. Forward a backup copy of each entry to this email address:  –
  3. Mail a single print copy for reference to the Caine Prize address at: 51 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1RU.

The closing date for entries remains the 31st January 2021, as do the entry conditions for authors and publishers, which are stated here in more detail.

Deadline: The closing date to enter the 2021 Prize is January 31, 2021*.

*Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be adjustments to the usual dates and procedure of submissions, please monitor their website and social media channels for updates.

Click here for more details and to apply

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