Photo by Rudolf H. Boettcher

Submissions to the Graywolf Press African Fiction Prize will be open between February 1-28, 2023. The winning manuscript will receive a $12,000 advance and publication by Graywolf Press, so make sure to apply within this timeframe.

The prize is awarded for a first novel by an African author primarily residing in Africa and judged by Tsitsi Dangarembga, author of the Booker Prize-shortlisted This Mournable Body and Black and Female, along with Graywolf editors. The judges are seeking novels that are engaged with the current moment and that approach contemporary issues with innovative prose and fresh perspectives.

Graywolf Press is an award-winning independent publisher committed to the discovery and energetic publication of contemporary American and international literature. Founded in 1974, the press is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Previous winners of the prize include The House of Rust (2021) by Khadija Abdalla Bajaber and If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English (2022) by Noor Naga. The House of Rust won the inaugural Ursula K. Le Guin Prize for Fiction and If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English won the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.

Noor Naga spoke about her experience of winning the Graywolf Press African Fiction prize:

I couldn’t have imagined how transformative winning such a prize would be for my work or career. I am grateful for this arm tendered across the Atlantic, from Minneapolis to Cairo. In today’s increasingly conservative publishing climate, I believe such initiatives to be necessary for our literary health and cannot wait to hear the daring new voices from the continent that this prize will amplify in years to come.

Submissions must be full-length, previously unpublished first novels, or first novels published in Africa that have not been distributed or available for sale outside of the continent of Africa. Submissions may be either originally written in English or a complete English translation. If the submission is a translation, the translator need not live in Africa and the original-language book may be previously published.

Submissions will be accepted through Submittable.

Deadline: February 28, 2023.

For more information, go here.