Submissions for the 2019 Brunel International African Poetry Prize will begin on 30 October and end on 12 December 2018. Previous winners include Somalia’s Warsan Shire in 2013, Ethiopia’s Liyou Libsekal in 2014, Sudan’s Safia Elhillo and Uganda’s Nick Makoha in 2015, Nigeria’s Gbenga Adesina and Chekwube O. Danladi in 2016, Nigeria’s Romeo Oriogun in 2017, and the trio of Somalia’s Momtaza Mehri, Nigeria’s Theresa Lola, and Ethiopia’s Hiwot Adilow in 2018.
Founded in 2012 by British-Nigerian writer and Brunel University creative writing professor Bernardine Evaristo, the £3000 Brunel International African Poetry Prize is a major annual poetry prize “aimed at the development, celebration and promotion of poetry from Africa.” Now in its sixth year, the Prize is sponsored by Brunel University London and supported by the African Poetry Book Fund (APBF).
The Prize is open to poets who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African. It is for ten poems exactly in order to encourage serious poets. These poems may, however, have already been published. Only poets who have not yet had a full-length poetry book published are eligible. Poets who have self-published poetry books or had chapbooks and pamphlets published are allowed to submit for this prize.
Brittle Paper especially encourages eligible poets to enter for the Brunel Prize. Four of its six winners in the last three years—Gbenga Adesina in 2016, Romeo Oriogun in 2017, and Momtaza Mehri and Theresa Lola in 2018—were published by us before their wins, and we are hoping that figure increases next year. Furthermore, Brittle Paper also reviews the shortlisted poems.
Rules for 2019: General
1. The prize is open to African poets, defined as those who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African.
2. The prize is open to African poets who have not yet had a full-length poetry book published. Self-published poetry books, chapbooks and pamphlets are exempt from this stipulation.
3. Only poems written in English are accepted. Poems translated into English are also accepted with a percentage of the prize going to the translator.
4. The prize opens for submissions from October 30th to December 12th 2018. Each entrant must submit 10 poems to be eligible, no more and no less. There is no stipulation as to the content of submitted poems but no poem should exceed 30 lines in length.
5. The poems may have been previously published or won previous awards.
6. All entries must be submitted via email only to [email protected]. An acknowledgement will be sent. (Please note that email enquiries about the rules will not be answered.)
7. Under no circumstances can alterations be made to poems once entered.
8. Under no circumstances will the organisers or judges enter into discussions with entrants who have submitted for the prize.
9. The prize organisers reserve the right to not award the prize if, in the judges’ opinion, such an action is justified. The organisers also reserve the right to split the prize if they decide that more than one poet is worthy of it.
10. The judges’ decision is final and they will not enter into any correspondence with entrants regarding their decisions.
11. All poems must have a title.
12. Poems must be the original work of the entrant.
13. Poems should be single spaced.
14. There is no stipulation regarding font type and size.
15. Poems must be emailed in a SINGLE Word document attachment (not PDF) – with an index cover page that contains the entrants’ name, nationality, country of birth, full address including country of permanent residence, personal email address and telephone number.
16. The entire submission must be written with black ink, no colours.
17. Individual poems received as separate file attachments and poems sent within the body of an email will be automatically rejected with no notification to the poet.
18. People who have entered previously for the prize can re-submit again but it is advisable to re-submit with new poems. People who have previously been shortlisted for the prize, or won the prize, can re-submit but only with new poems and only after they have skipped one competition year since making the shortlist and/or winning. So if a poet was shortlisted in 2016, s/he cannot re-enter the prize until 2018.
Rules: Winner Only
19.The winner must be available via email to reply promptly to correspondence. The winner will be required to provide a biography and photograph and to be available for media interviews, either online, by phone or, if geographically possible, in person.
20. It will be helpful if the winner has or creates a social media presence but this is in no way a condition of winning the prize.
21. The copyright of the winner’s poems remains with the winning poet.
For press, media and other professional enquiries only, contact Bernardine Evaristo at [email protected].
Please note that email enquiries about the submission rules will not be answered.