- Ensure that your poetry manuscript is at least 50 pages long.
- The Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets is judged anonymously. The author’s name should not appear on the manuscript. Please include a cover page listing only the title of the manuscript (not the author’s name, address, telephone number, or email address).
- Submit your manuscript via the APBF submittable page.
- Multiple submissions will be considered. If you have more than one collection, feel free to submit them for consideration.
The prize is judged by the editorial board of the African Poetry Book Fund: poet and novelist Chris Abani, poet Gabeba Baderoon, novelist and Brunel Prize founder Bernardine Evaristo, Aracelis Girmay, John Keene, poet and essayist Matthew Shenoda, and Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, and poet Kwame Dawes, editor-in-chief of Prairie Schooner.
Other winners of the Sillerman First Book Prize include: Kenya’s Clifton Gachagua in 2013, for Madman at Kilifi; Somalia’s Ladan Osman in 2014, for The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony; Ethiopian-Eritrean Mahtem Shiferraw in 2015, for Fuchsia; Sudan’s Safia Elhillo in 2016, for The January Children; and Zimbabwe’s Bernard Matambo in 2017, for Stray.