The Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature is currently accepting submissions for its sixth edition.

Founded in 2014 by Dr. Lizzy Attree and Dr. Mukoma Wa Ngugi, the prize “has the express goal of recognizing writing in African languages and encouraging translation from, between and into African languages.” The prize will be awarded to the best unpublished manuscript or book published within two years of the award year across the categories of fiction, poetry and memoir, and graphic novels.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the 2020 prize was moved to 2021. The organizers have announced that submissions sent during 2020 will be considered for the 2021 Prize.

The cash award of $15,000 is split among winners in the category of fiction/nonfiction and poetry, and two runners-up in any genre.

“The winning entries will be considered for publication in Kiswahili by Mkuki na Nyota Publishers (Tanzania), and East African Educational Publishers (Kenya). The winning poetry will be translated to English and published by the Africa Poetry Book Fund. An award ceremony will be held in East Africa with the 4 Prize winning writers in attendance.”

For the full submission guidelines as well as note on sponsors, go here.