2019 Call for Submissions

Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for

African Literature: 2019

Call for Submissions

We are pleased to call for submissions for the 5th The Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature.  The prize, founded in 2014 by Dr. Lizzy Attree (Richmond/Goldsmith’s) and Dr. Mukoma Wa Ngugi (Cornell University), has the express goal of recognizing writing in African languages and encouraging translation from, between and into African languages.

Award Criteria: The prize will be awarded to the best unpublished manuscript or book published within two years of the award year across the categories of fiction, poetry and memoir, and graphic novels. The total proposed awards of 15,000 US dollars will be divided as follows:
1st Fiction/Non-Fiction Prize 5,000 US dollars;
1st Poetry Prize, 5,000 US dollars
2nd Prize 3,000 US dollars in any genre
3rd prize 2,000 US dollars in any genre

The winning entries will be published in Kiswahili by Mkuki na Nyota Publishers (Tanzania), and East African Educational Publishers (Kenya). The winning poetry will be translated to English and published by the Africa Poetry Book Fund. An award ceremony will be held in East Africa with the 4 Prize winning writers in attendance.

Submission Guidelines:

Please send unpublished manuscripts or books (fiction, poetry, collections of short stories, and memoir, or graphic novels) published in Kiswahili within two years of the award year to, kiswahiliprize@cornell.edu by August 5, 2019. For more information please visit https://kiswahiliprize.cornell.edu our Kiswahili and English bilingual website.

Only one entry per writer may be submitted each year. Previous winners are not eligible for 12 months.

  • Manuscripts should not be less than 50,000 words for fiction and 60 pages for poetry
  • All entries must be in Kiswahili
  • 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
  • Send submissions as attachments
  • The email included with the submission attachment should include the following information: Legal Name, Pen Name, Telephone Number, Short Bio, Age, and Country of Residence
  • For published works, please have your publisher send three (3) hard copies to: Africana Studies and Research Center, 310 Triphammer Road, Ithaca, NY 14850

Notes to Editors

The Prize is primarily supported by Mabati Rolling Mills of Kenya (a subsidiary of the Safal Group), The Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs at Cornell University, the Africana Studies Center at Cornell University and the Ngugi wa Thiong’o Foundation.

Safal Investments Mauritius Ltd. and its subsidiaries (which include Mabati Rolling Mills Ltd of Kenya and ALAF Limited in Tanzania) are collectively known as The Safal Group. The Safal Group is the largest producer of Steel Roofing on the African continent with 36 operations in 12 countries. www.safalgroup.com

  • Mabati Rolling Mills Ltd (MRM) is the largest producer of steel roofing in Kenya. Established more than 50 years ago, the company is a leading innovator in its field. MRM led Africa in the manufacture of coated steel using the most advanced corrosion protection technology available worldwide, and its roofing brands are household names which are known and trusted by millions of consumers. mabati.com
  • The Safal MRM Foundation, based in Kenya, is a philanthropic enterprise of Mabati Rolling Mills and the Safal Group. It founded, and continues to fully manage, both the Mabati Technical Training Institute, and the Mabati Medical Centre, both in Mariakani, Kenya. safalmrmfoundation.org
  • ALAF Limited (ALAF) is Tanzania’s leading steel roofing manufacturer. Established in 1960, ALAF has always, and continues to be, a key player in the development of the country’s construction sector. ALAF is a fully integrated operation, not only making steel roofing, but also producing the metal coated coils used by these roofing operations. ALAF manufactures metal tubing and piping for various applications. co.tz

The Africana Studies and Research Center enriches the academic, cultural, and social environments on the Cornell University Ithaca campus. Website: http://www.asrc.cornell.edu

Mkuki na Nyota Publishers is an independent, vibrant Tanzanian imprint publishing relevant, progressive, liberating, affordable and entertaining content.  Established in 1991, Mkuki na Nyota Publishers emerged in response to the general absence of high quality, independent publishing in Tanzania. Its mission statement is to publish, “Relevant Books, Affordable Books, and Beautiful Books.” They have successfully published 2017 poetry winner Dotto Rangimoto’s Mwanangu Rudi Nyumbani (December 2018) and will publish Ali Hilal Ali’s novel Mmeza Fupa (January 2019). http://www.mkukinanyota.com

East African Educational Publishers is one of Africa’s leading publishers.  EAEP strives to juggle the seemingly contradicting values of publishing works of enduring value cutting across the social, cultural, political and economic spectrum of society and at the same

time excelling as a viable business that is ready to face the realities and vagaries of the technology age.  They published 2015 winners A.S. Manyanza and Enock Maregesi’s novels Penzi la Damu and Kolonia Santita in 2016.  http://www.eastafricanpublishers.com

The Africa Poetry Fund promotes and advances the development and publication of the poetic arts through its book series, contests, workshops, and seminars and through its collaborations with publishers, festivals, booking agents, colleges, universities, conferences and all other entities that share an interest in the poetic arts of Africa. Website: http://africanpoetrybf.unl.edu/

Ngugi Wa Thiong’o Foundation is powered by the interest and passion to raise the visibility of African Languages in Kenya, Africa and the world, as vehicles for performance, creativity, innovations, and scholarship. It sees African languages as the new intellectual frontier in everything from culture, biological sciences, technology and medicine. http://ngugiwathiongofoundation.org

Skip to toolbar