Are you an African writer? Do you have a story that is set in or about Africa? Africa Book Club is seeking submissions for the Africa Book Club Short Reads Competition – our short story writing competition. We welcome entries from writers across the continent and the Diaspora. We do accept stories from non-African nationals provided the stories are contextually set in Africa. We will consider any short story that has not appeared in another print or electronic publication. Our goal for this competition, in line with our mission, is to promote African literature and increase knowledge of Africa through supporting creative writing. For writers, this is a platform to showcase your work, experiment, and be discovered.
After a hiatus, we are pleased to relaunch the Africa Book Club short story competition. We have made a few changes.
- We have changed the format from a monthly to annual competition
- We have increased the cash prizes
- Submissions will be considered on an annual rolling period, starting January 1 and closing on June 30. Winners will be announced on/before August 31.
About the Competition
The Africa Book Club Short Reads Competition features short stories drawn from contributors across the African continent. We accept unpublished fiction and creative non-fiction submissions, not exceeding 3,500 words, and whose setting and context are primarily set in Africa, or written by African authors.
We welcome entries that celebrate Africa’s diversity and rich story telling traditions – anything from fiction and non-fiction stories that reflect life on the continent to childhood memoirs and travel stories.
Winners will receive a cash prize, as follows: –
- 1st Prize – $250
- 2nd Prize – $150
- 3rd Prize – $100
- Other accepted entries, which will be included in our annual anthology – $25 per entry
In addition, the top 30 stories from all submissions received in the submission period (January 1 – June 30) will be considered for our annual short story anthology, to be published in the fall. The winning stories will also be featured on the Africa Book Club website under a special “Short Reads” section.
Entering the Africa Book Club Short Reads competition gives you the chance to:
- Get Published – Your story will be published on the Africa Book Club site and read by thousands of readers across the world who are interested in African literature.
- Get Discovered – Having your story published by Africa Book Club is an opportunity to get your name out and be discovered by potential publishers. It gives you a platform to showcase your talent.
- Win Prizes – There are cash prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd best entries, as well as all submissions accepted for inclusion in our annual short story anthology.
Unlike many other contests, we take no entry fees. This is because we want to encourage all eligible writers out there to submit their work for consideration.
- Submissions will be received throughout the year and can be made at any time through our online submission page – Click Here to Submit Your Entry.
- Entries must not exceed 3,500 words (suggested minimum length is 1,000 words).
- Entries must be written in English.
- There are no theme or style restrictions. We are interested in works of fiction and creative non-fiction. All genres will be considered. What we are looking for are good stories that our readers will enjoy.
- Writers can enter as many stories as they like. However, each entry can only have one story.
- Submitted stories must not have been published previously in any form. If you enter your story in another competition and you win, please notify us and withdraw your submission.
- Copyright remains with Africa Book Club. Entrants are deemed to grant us first publication rights and exclusive worldwide license over each entry submitted for one year after publication, and for publicity purposes thereafter. Selected pieces may appear in electronic format on the Africa Book Club site, other electronic forms, and in print. Entrants will be notified electronically upon receipt of their submissions.
- We reserve the right to cancel this competition, and not to publish our annual anthology, where circumstances are beyond our control, of if we determine that the quantity and quality of submissions do meet the required parameters for publication.
- By submitting an entry, you agree to be bound by the above rules.
Frequently Asked Questions
a) What are the eligibility criteria for this competition?
We accept short stories, written in English, and not exceeding 3,500 words. To be eligible, a story must be set in Africa, or written by an African author (i..e a writer who is a national of any one of the countries that make up the continent of Africa). We do accept stories from non-African nationals provided the stories are contextually set in Africa. Our goal for this competition, in line with our mission, is to promote African literature and increase knowledge of Africa through supporting creative writing.
b) Do you accept poems for this competition?
This is a prose-only competition and we are unable to accept poetry submissions.
c) Is there a submission fee?
No. Unlike many other short story competitions, there is no submission fee to enter this competition.
d) Is there a deadline for submissions?
We accept submissions throughout the year. All short story submissions will be considered so long as they meet the right criteria i.e. the story must not exceed 3,500 words and must be set in Africa or written by an African author.
e) Do you accept work that is already published?
No. Unfortunately, we do not accept work that has already been published. This competition is for new, unpublished work only. If your submission is accepted for publication elsewhere before we publish it on our site, we request you to inform us immediately so we can withdraw it from consideration.
f) Will authors be paid for their stories, if published on the Africa Book Club website?
Yes. The overall winner will receive a cash prize of $250 from Africa Book Club. There will also be cash prizes for the 2nd and 3rd overall best entries – $150 and $100 respectively. Other finalists will have their stories published on the Africa Book Club site and receive $25.
g) You mention a forthcoming anthology. Will writers receive copies if their work is included in the anthology?
Yes, writers can obtain copies at a discounted price from our website, or buy them from Amazon.com and other leading booksellers.
h) What if I have another question or idea regarding the competition? How can I contact you?
Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org