The Caine Prize for African Writing 2023

Deadline: January 31, 2023

Competitions

Essay

Location(s)

  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • Online
  • South Africa
  • United Kingdom
  • Worldwide

Overview

The AKO Caine Prize for African Writing is an annual award for a short story by an African writer, published in English, whether they reside in Africa or elsewhere. The winner is awarded a cash prize of £10,000. Four shortlisted writers will receive £500 each.

Details

The Caine Prize for African Writing is a registered charity whose aim is to bring African writing to a wider audience using our annual literary award. In addition to administering the Prize, we work to connect readers with African writers through a series of public events, as well as helping emerging writers in Africa to enter the world of mainstream publishing through the annual Caine Prize writers’ workshop which takes place in a different African country each year.

The stories written at Caine Prize workshops are published annually alongside the Prize's shortlisted stories in the annual Caine Prize Anthology by New Internationalist in the UK and publishers in eight African countries including, Jacana Media (South Africa), Cassava Republic(Nigeria), Kwani? (Kenya), Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana), FEMRITE (Uganda), Gadsen Publishers (Zambia), 'amaBooks (Zimbabwe) and Langaa (Cameroon).

It is named after the late Sir Michael Caine, former Chairman of Booker plc, who was Chairman of the 'Africa 95' arts festival in Europe and Africa in 1995 and for nearly 25 years Chairman of the Booker Prize management committee. After his death, friends and colleagues decided to establish a prize of £10,000 to be awarded annually in his memory.

How do I apply?

There is no application form. To apply please send six original published copies of the work for consideration to the Caine Prize office including a letter from the publisher. 

  • If the work is published in a book or journal, we would like to receive at least one copy of the book / journal and five photocopies; but particularly where several stories are submitted from one anthology we would like if possible to receive six copies of the book / journal itself.

  • If published in a magazine or journal we will accept one original copy plus five photocopies, but would prefer six original copies.

  • If the work is published online, we would like to receive six printed copies.

  • Address and post the eligible submission to:

The Caine Prize for African Writing
51 Southwark Street
London
SE1 1RU

Submissions reopen on 5th December 2022.

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Eligibility

Candidates should be from:


Description of Ideal Candidate

A REMINDER OF OUR ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:

  • The story must have been published in the five years preceding the submissions deadline. For 2023 eligibility, the judges will only consider work published after 31st January 2018
  • Stories less than 3,000 words or exceeding 10,000 words are not eligible for the Prize.
  • Short stories must be submitted by a publisher - this includes publishers of physical and digital literary journals or magazines. Self-published and unpublished works are not eligible.
  • Stories that have been previously submitted for the Caine Prize are not eligible.
  • Publishers must obtain consent from the writer(s) before submitting stories for the Prize.
  • Stories submitted for the Prize must have been published in English. Translated stories are eligible, provided that the English translation has been published.
  • Genres not eligible for entry include stories for children, factual writing, plays and autobiography/biography.
  • Submissions must specify which African country the author comes from and the short story word count.
  • Publishers are encouraged to submit multiple short stories as long as they do not submit more than one story by the same author. 

Short stories that do not meet the criteria will not be considered for the prize.


Dates

Deadline: January 31, 2023


Cost/funding for participants

Rewards

  • Money
    • Winner receives a cash prize of £10,000
    • Four shortlisted writers receive a cash prize of £500 each
  • Exposure
    • Opportunity to participate in interviews, panel discussions and readings with a global audience
  • Experience
    • Opportunity to participate in the Prize's various programmes
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