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Kendeka Prize for African Literature

Kendeka Prize for African Literature is accepting entries from 1st February, 2021 to 31st May, 2021 for its’ 2021 edition. The competition is administered by Solano Publications Ltd and entry is free. This Prize will be awarded for the best piece of unpublished short story either fiction or creative non-fiction. The first prize will be KShs.100,000 while the 2nd and the 3rd   shall receive Kshs 50,000 and 25,000 for respectively. The remaining two of the five short listed stories shall receive KShs 5,000 each.

All long listed stories shall be published in anthology titled I Am listening, 2021 Edition. The prize shall be awarded at a ceremony to be held during the Nairobi International Book Fair.

Please send unpublished manuscripts to info@solanopublications.com

Eligibility;

  • Entrants must be born in, or are citizens of any African country.
  • One entry per writer.
  • Manuscripts should be of between 3000 and 5000 words.
  • All entries must be in English.
  • 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 name 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.
  • Entries must be sent as attachments to an email.
  • The email to which the story is attached must include the legal name of the writer, telephone number, a short Bio, age, and country of residence.
  • Entrants agree that the prize organizers may publicize the fact that a story has been entered, long listed, or shortlisted for the prize.
  • An author of a long listed story agrees to its inclusion in an anthology, and to work with editors to get the story ready for publication.
  • Every author confirms that the submission is their original work, it has not been published anywhere else, and that it has not been long listed in any other prize.
  • Every author gives exclusive global print and digital rights to Solano Publications Ltd for the long listed stories for publication in an anthology. The author retains the copyright.
  • The judges’ decision is final.

About the Short Story Prize

The prize is an annual event and it is an initiative of Andrew Maina, a Kenyan writer, through Solano Publications Ltd. It aims at giving African writers, especially the unpublished a platform on which to show case their work. Through this platform more people will have access to their work which will in turn inspire more writing.

Through this Prize, Africans will have an opportunity of not only telling their own stories, but the freedom of telling them, as they are. This is because for a long time, the ‘African Story’ has been told by foreigners, a people who purport to know Africa. They have ended up with a story of Africa, a single story of a hungry, warring, ailing and backward people, a story of a continent full of calamities. This is their new version of the story of the Dark Continent!

This kind of African story is what our sister, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie warns against and calls it ‘The Danger of a Single Story’. She goes on to tell us “That when we reject the single story, when we realize that there is never a single story about any place, we regain a kind of paradise”. This is the paradise that Kendeka Prize for African Literature aims at regaining.

We want to hear stories of the beauty of our people, the ingenious architect of the pyramids and that of Timbuktu, the snow-capped mountains in the tropics, the roar of the Victoria Falls, the wild savannas and much more.

Timelines for the Prize

Submissions: From 1st February to 31st May 2021

Judging: 1st June to 31August 2021

Long List; First week of August

Short List; Third week of August

Prize Giving Ceremony; 1st October at Sarit Centre, during the Nairobi International Book Fair

The Prize Advisory Board Members

James Murua – A blogger, podcaster, journalist, and editor who has written for a variety of media outlets in a career spanning print, web and TV. His online space www.jamesmurua.com focuses on literary news and reviews. He was a judge of the 2020 Cain Prize for African Writing. He is the Chairman to the Board.

 Andrew Maina – A writer and a representative of Solano Publications Ltd.

Dr Tom Odhiambo – A Senior Lecturer in Literature, at the University of Nairobi

Muthoni wa Gichuru – A short story writer, a multiple award winner of the Burt Award for African Writing and a coordinator AMKA, space for women writers, Kenya

Mercy Kiragu – A psychologist

Patrick Gatobu – A public policy expert

William Mureithi – A writer and lecturer at Kagumo Teachers College

About Kendeka Prize | Kendeka Prize for African Literature