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Eritrean-Ethiopian-British novelist Sulaiman Addonia is running an innovative writing competition and invites writers to send their work for a chance to win 2000 Euros.

The competition asks writers to consider creating work that draws elements from a mix of languages and genres while representing worlds that are diverse and hybrid.

Support for the project comes from the European Cultural Foundation in collaboration with The Babel Review of Translations and the Asmara-Addis Literary Festival (In Exile).

The prize aims at “recognizing the wounds and wonders of language, in order to endorse and enhance the border-crossing, category-defying qualities of our contemporary world.”

Deadline is: July 1, 2020.

Send submissions to info@specimen.press.

See below for guidelines.

Submission Guidelines:

1) The submitted texts can be written in any language, but must be accompanied by a translation into one of the Focus languages: Amharic, Arabic, English, Somali, Tigrinya.
The shortlisted texts will be read and judged both in the original and the translation.
The Focus languages are chosen in order to subvert and eradicate the dominance of one language or form over another. Some of the Focus languages will change each year.

2) The submitted texts must have a Europe-related theme, or be set in Europe.

3) The submitted texts must satisfy at least one of these hybridizations:

– Linguistic hybridization: it can be of any shape or form, involving a mix of languages, registers or dialects;

– Human hybridization: the texts must be written in collective ways, either people working on the text together, or involving fieldwork, interviews, archival material, etc., in order to touch upon multiple strata of society and elements of reality. The way such experiences and procedures become language and are expressed in written form is paramount;

– Genre hybridization: the texts can be prose or poetry, essay or narrative, but they all should, in fact, be more than one of these things alone, in order to overcome clear-cut literary definitions and question the categories related to writing as well as to reading.

4) The submitted texts can be published or unpublished; each person can submit one text only.

5) The submitted text must be accompanied by a short description (300 words max) of how the texts meet the required guidelines on hybridization.

6) The word limit is 2,000 words.

The prize is run by Eritrean-Ethiopian-British novelist, Sulaiman Addonia, founder of the nomadic Asmara-Addis Literary Festival (In Exile). The judging panel for the inaugural prize will be composed of five writers who embody, in different ways, the prize’s ethos. The jury’s verdict is final and unobjectionable.

Go here for more information.

Note: This post has been updated to reflect a change in the submission deadline.

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