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Aspiring writers with completed fiction or non-fiction manuscripts, listen up.

The brilliant folks at Saraba Magazine just launched a literary initiative called The Saraba Manuscript Project. Writers are invited to send in completed manuscripts with a chance to win N100,000 ($500) and a publishing deal. The contest is open to Nigerians only. Entries will stay open until December 15, 2015.

Saraba Magazine is a popular Lagos-based literary magazine. Its quarterly publication of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction has established it as one of the leading online platforms dedicated to promoting African writing.

With the manuscript project, the editors of the magazine are aiming to “further the goal of promoting outstanding emerging Nigerian literature and non-fiction.”

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Like many African countries, Nigeria produces far more writers than there are publishing opportunities.

Emmanuel Iduma is the Director of Saraba Literary Trust. The way he sees it, “promoting writers at the earliest stages of their career” is a key step to enlivening the Nigerian literary scene. Authors are inspired to produce good work when there is a good chance of being published.

The N100,000 prize will be awarded to:

one fiction and one non-fiction writer, selected from a shortlist of ten writers (five per genre), as determined by a panel of judges, made up of Nigeria’s leading contemporary writers. Each shortlisted manuscript will be published as an e-book and audio book, and Saraba will collaborate with a Nigerian publishing company to publish the winning manuscripts in print. Saraba will take on a vigorous promotional process for all shortlisted manuscripts, through social media outlets as well as through readings and events at Nigerian universities and cultural centers.

This is all so exciting! Kudos to Saraba for putting this together.

For more info on entry details and how to apply, visit www.manuscript.sarabamag.com.