The novelist A. Igoni Barrett.

The 2019 Graywolf Press Africa Prize is now open to submissions. The award, launched in 2017 by the publishing house Graywolf Press, with the Nigerian novelist A. Igoni Barrett as judge, recognizes “a first novel manuscript by an African author primarily residing in Africa”—with a $12,000 advance, publication in the US and Italy by Graywolf Press, and a book marketing push in Africa. Its inaugural winner, in 2018, was Kenya’s Khadija Abdalla Bajaber, for her manuscript The House of Rust, a magical realist story described as “sumptuous” and “bold.”

The submission period for the second edition of the prize, to be judged again by Barrett in conjunction with Graywolf Press editors, is 1-31 May 2019.

Here is part of the press release:

Submissions must be full-length, previously unpublished novel manuscripts, either originally written in English or a complete English translation. The winning manuscript will receive a $12,000 advance and publication by Graywolf Press, which will include a dedicated effort to making the book available in major markets in African countries.

The winning manuscript will also be published in Italy by 66thand2nd, in partnership with Graywolf Press.

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In an email to Brittle Paper, Graywolf Press senior publicity manager Caroline Nitz stated that the publishing house “is always looking for work that is distinctive, artistically singular, and of a high literary quality.” For the prize, their editors “are seeking novels that are engaged with the current moment and that approach contemporary issues with innovative prose and fresh perspectives.”

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 Igoni Barrett’s Love Is Power, or Something Like That (2013) and Blackass (2016), 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), Tsitsi Dangarembga’s This Mournable Body (2018), and Wayétu Moore’s She Would Be King (2018).

A. Igoni Barrett is the author of a story collection Love Is Power, or Something Like That and a novel Blackass. He is the recipient of a Chinua Achebe Center Fellowship, a Norman Mailer Center Fellowship, and a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency. He lives in Nigeria.

Submit to the Graywolf Press Africa Prize HERE.

For questions, please email [email protected].