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Igoni A. Barrett will judge the inaugural Graywolf Press Africa Prize.

A new award just dropped: the Graywolf Press Africa Prize, for “a first novel manuscript by an African author primarily residing in Africa.” The inaugural prize will be judged by Igoni A. Barrett, author of the 2013 short story collection, Love Is Power, or Something Like That, and the 2015 novel Blackass, “in conjunction with the Graywolf editors.”

In an email to Brittle Paper, Yana Makuwa, an editor at Graywolf Press, stated that the prize hopes “to amplify the voice of a new author.” In addition to the juicy $12,000 advance and publication by Graywolf Press, the winning manuscript would see “a dedicated effort to making the book available in major markets in African countries.”

Founded in 1974 and located in Minneapolis, USA, the award-winning Graywolf Press is “committed to the discovery and energetic publication of contemporary American and international literature.” Books by their African authors include both books by Igoni Barrett, Anouar Benmalek’s The Lovers of Algeria (2004),  Nuruddin Farah’s Sweet and Sour Milk (2006), Binyavanga Wainaina’s One Day I Will Write About This Place (2012), and Tsitsi Dangarembga’s This Mournable Body (forthcoming 2018).

Graywolf Press is always looking for work that is distinctive, artistically singular, and of a high literary quality. For this prize, we are seeking novels that are engaged with the current moment—stories that could only be told in our time. We are excited by the wealth of talented and imaginative writers coming from a wide range of African countries and look forward to encountering authors who approach contemporary issues with innovative prose and fresh perspectives.

Igoni A. Barrett, who lives in Nigeria, is a recipient of the Chinua Achebe Center Fellowship, a Norman Mailer Center Fellowship, and a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency.

Eligibility and Procedure 

  • All submissions must be full-length, previously unpublished novel mansucripts.
  • Submissions must be in English, but translations are acceptable.
  • Applicants with prior books are eligible, so long as none of those books is a novel.
  • Only electronic submissions will be considered, and we will be accepting submissions through our page on Submittable.
  • Formatting guidelines: a PDF or Word file (.doc and .docx), twelve-point font, double-spaced text, numbered pages.
  • For questions, please email  submissions@graywolfpress.org.
  • We will be accepting submissions from October 1 – October 31, 2017 only. The submission period will close at 12:00 a.m. midnight (CST) on October 31, 2017.
  • All submissions will receive an email response after the winner has been chosen.
  • We cannot answer any queries about the status of manuscripts.

The prize opens for entries on October 1.

Check out their Submittable page

 

NOTE: Brittle Paper has no stake in the Graywolf Press Africa Prize or in its promotion. All questions should be directed to the email included in the announcement.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review ("Mulumba," 2016), Transition ("A Tenderer Blessing," 2015), and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award ("You Sing of a Longing," 2017), for which he was shortlisted. His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. His conversations appear in Africa in Dialogue, Bakwa, SPRINNG, and Dwartonline. He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, Enter Naija: The Book of Places (October 2016), focuses on Nigerian cities. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. Born in Aba, he combined history and literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies, and teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. When bored, he just Googles Rihanna.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Vol. 1 Brooklyn | Afternoon Bites: Joshua Cohen, Scott Esposito’s Playlist, Bushwick Open Studios, A Dead Moon Book, and More - 2017/09/20

    […] A. Igoni Barrett is judging a new literary award, the Graywolf Press Africa Prize. […]

  2. “I’m still learning to silence my presumptions” – Interview with Igoni Barrett - 2017/12/05

    […] am interested in this new Graywolf Press Africa Prize, of which you are the judge. What is the motivation behind it, and why […]

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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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