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Alain Mabanckou’s Black Moses. Mabanckou is the best known Francophone African writer.

A new literary prize has been launched.

The €10,000 Orange Book Prize in Africa, set to debut in 2019, will honour the best Francophone fiction book published in the continent: “a fiction text written in French by an African writer and published by a publishing house based on the African continent.” All kinds of fiction books—novels, short story collections, short story anthologies—are eligible.

An initiative of the French cultural development sponsorship group Orange Foundation, which is engaged in 18 Francophone African countries, the Orange Book Prize in Africa is a sister prize to the prestigious Orange Book Prize, awarded since 2009 to a literary work written in French, and is being launched to mark the latter’s 10th anniversary next year. In implementing the new prize, the Orange Foundation will be assisted by The African Cultural Agency, headed by Aminata Diop Johnson, founder and director of the Pavilion des Lettres d’Afrique at the Salon Livre Paris.

The 2019 Orange Book Prize in Africa will consider only books published between 1 January 2017 and 30 October 2018. The submission deadline is 30 November 2018. Only publishers can submit books, and they can submit only two books.

Here is information from their website:

As part of our commitments in Africa and our commitment to the continent, we decided to launch an Orange Book Award in French-speaking Africa. This Prize is in keeping with our desire to work for the promotion of African literary talent and local African publishing.

A pre-selection of six books will be made by reading committees based in several countries and will be announced end of February 2019. Then a jury, composed of writers, literary critics as well as recognized figures in the literary world, will designate the laureate.

The prize ceremony will take place in an African capital between May and July 2019. In addition to the €10,000 prize money, the winner “will benefit from a campaign to promote his work.”

(The Orange Foundation in France appears to be connected to the former British multinational telecommunications company Orange, former sponsors of the Women’s Prize for Fiction [as the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction], which was eventually acquired by France Telecom and is now also Orange Foundation).

Find out more about the Orange Book Prize in Africa HERE.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he sits on the judging panels of The Miles Morland Writing Scholarships and of The Gerald Kraak Prize. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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