Photo credits to the Kendeka Prize.

The Kendeka Prize for African Literature is accepting entries for its 2023 edition. The prize will be awarded for the best unpublished short story either in fiction or creative nonfiction. There will be no fee to submit entries.

The first prize will be Kshs.100,000, while the second and the third prize shall be Kshs.50,000 and Kshs.25,000 respectively. All longlisted stories shall be published in an anthology later in the year.

The Kendeka Prize for African Literature is an initiative by Kenyan writer Andrew Maina, aimed at encouraging Africans to write and read more. Many new talents have been discovered over the years through this prize. The winner of the 2022 prize was Scholastica Moraa (Kenya) for “Chained” and the 2021 winner was Jenny Robson (Botswana) for “Water for Wine.”

The 2023 edition of the prize was announced during the inaugural Kendeka Lecture by the incoming chairman of the Kendeka Prize, Goro Kamau, at Mount Kenya University. The lecture was delivered by Ugandan professor Austin Bukenya on “Why Literature Matters and Literary Prizes Matter,” so it was a fitting occasion.

Details about the judges and the award ceremony will be announced at a later date.

Submission Guidelines:
  • Writers must be born in, or are citizens of an African country.
  • Only one entry per writer is allowed.
  • The winners, first and second runners-up of the past Kendeka Prize, are not eligible.
  • Manuscripts should be between 3000 to 5000 words.
  • Entries must be in English.
  • Entries must be original and should not have been published elsewhere or longlisted in this prize or other prizes.
  • Entries should be attached in Microsoft Word or Rich Text format, with the title of the story as the file name.
  • The first page of the story should include the title of the story and the number of words.
  • The entry must be typed in Times New Roman 12-point font with 1.5-line spacing.
  • Submission email should include the writer’s legal name, telephone number, short bio, age, and country of residence.
  • Writers agree that the prize organizers may publicize the fact that a story has been entered, longlisted, shortlisted, or won the prize.
  • An author of a longlisted story agrees to its inclusion in the anthology, and to work with editors to get the story ready for publication.
  • The longlisting of a story is not a guarantee that the story shall be included in the anthology.
  • The writer gives exclusive global print and digital rights to Solano Publications Ltd for the longlisted stories for publication in an anthology. The author retains the copyright.
Email submissions here. For more details, go here.