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Judges of the 2013 edition in Morocco deliberating on entries.

The Etisalat Prize for Literature is awarded for the first published fictional work by an African author.  Noviolet Bulawayo won the first edition of the prize with her debut novel, We Need New Names.

Believe it or not, a year has passed since the prize, sponsored by Etisalat Communications, was first announced. We won’t easily forget the powerful social media buzz created around the prize and the elegant award ceremony.

It’s now time for the second edition, and you could be the winning author taking home these goodies.

  • £15,000
  • A Samsung Galaxy Note
  • A Montblanc Meisterstuck pen retailing for as high as 2000 dollars.
  • Book Tour: As any emerging writer would tell you, promotion is as important as it is expensive.  If you win, you get to go on a book tour in three African city on Etisalat’s bill. 
  • Creative writing fellowship at the University of East Anglia  

As you think about whether to send in an entry, here are a few things you should know: 

Etisalat-Prize-2014

 

1. The deadline for entries is August 8. Find the application form HERE.

2. The Etisalat Prize is a first book prize—with “book” defined as a minimum of 30,000 words and “first book” defined as “first printed production.” 

3.  For the 2014 edition, the book has to have been published between may 1st 2012 and may 31st 2014.

4. Books must be published in English. No translations or books published in African languages. Sorry. {Read Carmen McCain’s criticism of this rule HERE)

5. The publisher of your book will be the one to enter your work for the prize. Note that only publishers who have published a minimum of 10 books are eligible and that each publisher can send in a maximum of 3 different entries.

6. You’d need to have a passport of an African country. That’s how I’m interpreting the statement—eligible novels must be “by an author of African citizenship.”

7. If you’re the solitary-artist type, a private person who hates cameras and the public eye, this prize is probably not a good fit for you. When you’re shortlisted, you’d be expected to “cooperate fully with Etisalat Corporate Communications, making [yourself] available for interviews, events and other opportunities.”

8. The folks at Etisalat understand the fact that African writing it tied to the African publishing industry. At the shortlisting stage, publishers based outside the continent will be required to have a “co-publisher partnership with an African based publisher.”

 

If the prize is right for you, contact your publisher and get things rolling.

 

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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