Submissions are now open to Lọúnlọún, a Pan-African literary journal committed to historical fiction. If you are a writer who likes to write about fiction based on African history, consider submitting to this journal by the deadline February 23, 2024.

Lọúnlọún was founded by Nigerian writer Victor Ola-Matthew on December 25, 2023 as a literary journal focused on historical fiction set during historical events that have shaped and defined places and times in Africa, as well as the experiences of those who lived through the events, or didn’t.

In a conversation with Brittle Paper, Ola-Matthew noted that his interest in historical fiction began due to its potential to entertain as well as to educate:

There were people around me who knew nothing about the Tutsi and Hutus, or Apartheid in South Africa and Namibia. People who, for lack of better words, like me, are of the ‘younger generation,’ if that is a thing. At the same time, there were also people around me who learned about the Biafran genocide from Chinelo Okparanta’s Under the Udala Trees and Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun, or the issues mentioned earlier in the movies Trees of Peace and Sarafina! respectively.

Genocide, however, is not the only thing we wish to hear from our history for fear of forgetting the significant things people with less significance to their country’s ambitions did or experienced. Although not fiction, if you read Immaculata Abba’s winning essay for the 2023 Abebi Award in Afro-Nonfiction, “The Fire in My Memory” you would better understand the importance of remembrance and how we, Lọúnlọún, wish to make significant the seemingly insignificant people and times in our history.

As such, Lọúnlọún is interested in historica fiction as a broad category. It can include a car crash in 2004 published in the local newspapers as much as the Rwandan and Biafran genocides of 1994 and 1967 respectively.

Submission Guidelines:

  • African writers, and those of African descent, home and abroad, are eligible to submit.
  • Only submissions in fiction are accepted, with a 2000 to 5000 word range.
  • Only original pieces will be considered. Previously published pieces are not accepted.
  • Submissions should be in Times New Roman, size 12, double-spaced, and submitted in Word document format.
  • Submissions should be in English, or translated to English. Writers are however allowed creative freedom with the expression of their languages.
  • Submissions must be based on an event that has happened on the continent, or affected the continent, regardless of where characters in the telling are located.
  • Submissions may contain photos, if desired, with appropriate source crediting. This is however not a guarantee it will be used.
  • Submissions must contain a brief historical setting description (max 3 sentences) which could either describe the historical events in telling, dedicate the work to the event and/or lives in telling, or both.
  • Submissions must have at least two references, with links, to the historical events in telling.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions, but let us know promptly if your work is accepted elsewhere.

To submit your work, send an email to [email protected] with the subject ‘Fiction Submission.’ In the body of the email include your third-person bio and attach the story. Please ensure the story has references and is in Word document format.

Deadline: February 23, 2024

The editorial team carefully reviews each submission and the review process may take 3-8 weeks. If you have any questions, contact the editorial team at [email protected].

Good luck to all applicants!