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The winners of the 2017 Brittle Paper Literary Awards: (top left) Chibuihe Obi, (top right) Megan Ross, (middle right) Hawa Jande Golakai, (bottom left) Sisonke Msimang, (bottom right) JK Anowe.

The Brittle Paper Awards is back for the 2018 edition. We are opening up the nomination process to the public. Anyone can nominate works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and essays or think pieces for consideration by our editorial team.

The Brittle Paper Awards was established in 2017 to mark our seventh anniversary. It is our way of highlighting the best pieces of online writing by Africans—an avenue for showcasing the range of thinking, stylistic innovation, and exploration of subjects happening on the literary scene. It is also an opportunity to celebrate writers who are leveraging digital technology for creative work, and of course the platforms that publish their work.

The Awards come in five categories: the Brittle Paper Award for Fiction ($200), the Brittle Paper Award for Poetry ($200), the Brittle Paper Award for Creative Nonfiction ($200), the Brittle Paper Award for Essays/Think Pieces ($200), and the Brittle Paper Anniversary Award ($300) exclusively for works on our blog. The inaugural edition shortlisted 48 pieces of writing across the five categories—10 for Fiction and Poetry, 8 for Creative Nonfiction and Essays/Think Pieces, and 12 for the Anniversary Award. The selections were made based on quality, significance, and impact. For the fiction, poetry, nonfiction and essays/think pieces categories, we considered works published between 1 January, 2016 and 31 July, 2017. For our anniversary award, our consideration was limited to between August 1, 2016 and July 31, 2017.

The Brittle Paper Award for Essays/Think Pieces went to South Africa’s Sisonke Msimang for “All Your Faves Are Problematic: A Brief History of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Stanning, and the Trap of #BlackGirlMagic,” in Africa Is a Country. The Brittle Paper Award for Poetry went to Nigeria’s JK Anowe for “Credo to Leave,” in Expound. The Brittle Paper Award for Creative Nonfiction went to Liberia’s Hawa Jande Golakai for “Fugee,” in Granta. The Brittle Paper Award for Fiction went to South Africa’s Megan Ross for “Farang,” in Short Story Day Africa’s Migrations: New Short Fiction from Africa. The Brittle Paper Anniversary Award went to Nigeria’s Chibuihe Obi for “We’re Queer, We’re Here.”

Read the pieces on the shortlists HERE.

While for the inaugural Awards, our editors depended on their knowledge as curators of African literary production, knowledge from monitoring the African literary scene closely, and from observing how much impact these writings have had on individuals and online communities, for this second year, we are inviting nominations as well so as to not miss out on anything remarkable.



  • All kinds of essays and think pieces, poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction by Africans, or about the African literary scene, are eligible.
  • Such works published on any platform, literary or pop culture or otherwise, are eligible.
  • Eligible works must have first appeared online between 1 August, 2017 and 31 August, 2018. Works published in print before this window but which appear online within it are eligible.
  • Eligible works must be available for free online. Availability is necessary as the Awards are an invitation to the literary community to consider nominated pieces.
  • Works in online anthologies can be nominated provided the anthologies are accessible for free.
  • We can only consider works in the English language.


Send an email to with the header “BPA 2018 Nomination.” The email is to contain only the following:

  1. Title of the nominated piece.
  2. Name of nominated author.
  3. Category for consideration.
  4. Link to nominated piece. In the case of an anthology, include the link to the anthology.

Here is a sample nomination email:


TITLE: Farang

AUTHOR: Megan Ross


LINK: [insert link]

A nomination email can contain more than one nomination.

The nomination period is from 9 July, 2018 to 31 August, 2018.

The shortlists will be announced in September.

Find out more about the 2017 Brittle Paper Awards HERE

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  1. Thursday Afternoon Links! | Gerry Canavan - 2018/07/12

    […] * Nominations Are Open for the 2018 Brittle Paper Awards. […]

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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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