African writers in the early stages of their career are invited to apply for the “Literary Ladder Fellowship for Emerging African Authors.”

The fellowship is an initiative of Nigerian novelist Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of the acclaimed novels Son of the Storm and David Mogo, Godhunter. The fellowship aims to “support, elevate and connect emerging fiction authors of Black and/or African descent, based primarily on the African continent and writing in English”

The fellowship offers:

a funded ($500 each) three-month digital residency,

membership in a private community of practice,

continuous support through the publishing ecosystem.

In a press statement, Suyi Davies described his motivation for setting up the fellowship:

As an author born and raised in Nigeria, I am particularly understanding of and sympathetic to the issues plaguing many talented writers residing on the African continent… I have witnessed equally talented and ambitious peers be defeated by a paucity of support infrastructure. The inertia of accolades and brief recognition must be connected to a sustainable community and support network that offers reliable infrastructure on which a writer can build a career. This laddership aims to offer support and access to African writers of minimal privilege.

The Advisory panel for the fellowship include award-winning authors Dhonielle Clayton, Tade Thompson, Makena Onjerika, Kwame Mbalia, Ukamaka Olisakwe, and literary agent Alexander Cochran.

How to Apply: 

Email the documents listed below to [email protected].

Cover letter: In the email body, briefly describe your basis for meeting the eligibility criteria.

Sample writing: A sample of 3000 words max (doc, docx, pdf), across 2 or 3 different works, split however the author wishes. We will receive any kind of work, but excerpts from a lengthy work in progress (novel or novella) are recommended over shorter fiction (flash, short stories, novelette). Please do not send in one work of 1500 words. Judges would like to see how authors work across different pieces.

Project description, fellowship plan, budget: A separate document (2 pages max, single spaced) detailing: why you should get this fellowship, what you will be working on while here, and how you will spend the funds to achieve this plan.

Note: ensure that no name or identifying information is present in the submission documents/materials. Such information may be present in the email body).

Deadline: 31 May 2022.

Winners will be announced before June 30, 2022.

For more information on eligibility and the application process, check out the website here.