The inaugural Island Prize for a Debut Novel from Africa is now open for entry. The prize was created by South African novelist Karen Jennings along with Holland House Books and Karavan Press. The competition’s goal is to highlight new writers from the continent and create an opportunity for them to share their work with a wider audience. First place will be awarded £500, £300 for second, and £200 for third place. These winning three manuscripts will all be considered for publication, in addition to their authors being introduced to an agent.

Interested authors who have not previously published a novel (including self-publishing or E-Books) are invited to submit a one-page summary and the first 3 chapters (or 10,000 words) of a complete debut novel of any genre.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Entry is open to African writers aged 18 and over regardless of place of residence. (“African writers” defined as writers born in or having citizenship of any African country.)
  • Submissions must be previously unpublished.
  • Submissions must be entrant’s own work and they must not be represented by a literary agent or under contract with an advance paying publisher.
  • Submissions must be submitted through the entry form on The Island Prize website.

See the full guidelines here.

The judging panel consists of Karen Jennings (South Africa), Hilda Twongyeirwe (Uganda) and Obinna Udenwe (Nigeria).

Deadline: December 12

For any questions or inquires email: [email protected]