From our ancestors’ first forays
through the continent, to the
contemporary diaspora spread
around the world, people are
eternally moving in, out and about
the African continent. Not everyone leaves out of their own volition, and not everyone comes with the best intentions: nevertheless, the story of Africa is the story of souls migrating,
settling, unsettling, fleeing, seeking, resting, nesting and sharing stories, experiences and myths.
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From herds of migrating animals to treks both physical and spiritual, from the comfort of ancient myth to the desperation of those currently fleeing their homes, Short Story Day Africa is looking for a crop of short fiction that will bring a fresh, urgent
perspective to one of our most
profound phenomena, and the basis of all our greatest stories.
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Please read submissions guidelines and the terms and conditions of entry to the Prize below.
But before then check out the class of writers this competition has discovered.
2015: Cat Hellisen is a South
African-born writer of fantasy for
adults and children. Her work
includes the novel When the Sea
is Rising Red and short stories in
Apex , F & SF , Shimmer Magazine,
and Tor.com. Her latest novel is a
fairy tale for the loveless, Beast keeper .
2014: Diane Awerbuck is a South
African novelist. Her novel,
Gardening at Night, won the 2004
Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for
the Best First Book (Africa and the
Caribbean), and was shortlisted
for the International Dublin IMPAC
Award. In 2011, her collection of
short stories, Cabin Fever , was
published by Random House
Struik, who also published her
second novel, Home Remedies ,
the year after. She was shortlisted
for the Caine Prize for African
Writing in 2014, the same year
that she won the Short Story Day
2013: Okwiri Oduor was born in
Nairobi, Kenya. Her novella, The
Dream Chasers , was highly
commended in the 2012
Commonwealth Book Prize, while
her story “My Father’s Head” –
first published by Short Story Day
Africa in Feast, Famine & Potluck
– won her the 2014 Caine Prize
for African Writing, making her the
third Kenyan winner of the prize
after Binyavanga Wainaina in 2002
and Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor in
2003. Oduor is a 2014 MacDowell
Terms and conditions of entry:
1. Any African citizen or African
person living in the diaspora*,
as well as persons residing
permanent residence or
similar) in any African country,
2. Writers may only submit one
story for the competition.
Repeat entries by the same
writer will be disqualified.
3. Writers are welcome to submit
stories in any fiction genre.
4. Stories must be between 3000
and 5000 words in length.
5. Stories must be submitted in
English. While you are free to
incorporate other languages
into your story, the story must
be able to be understood fully
by its English content.
6. Stories must be submitted
online between 1 June 2016 –
3 1 July 2016. The link to the
submission form will be made
live on 1 June 2016.
7. To facilitate easy reading and
judging, please format your
stories according to the
standard manuscript format
stipulated below. Stories not
formatted in this way are at the
risk of being disqualified.
8. Stories must not have been
previously published in any
form or any format.
9. Simultaneous submissions are
not welcome. Any story
entered or published elsewhere
during the course of judging or
publication will be disqualified.
10. You are welcome to enter
under a pseudonym or nom de
plume, as long as you also
include your real name along
with your entry.
11. All entries will be judged
anonymously, i.e. with names
12. The judges’ decision is final.
13. By submitting a story the
author attests that it is their
own original work and grants
non-exclusive global print and
digital rights to Short Story Day
Africa; non-exclusive digital
rights to Worldreader to
publish individual stories on
Worldreader Mobile; and non-
exclusive global print and
digital rights to Short Story Day
Africa, and non-exclusive
digital rights to BooksLive for
14. By entering, the author agrees
to allowing Short Short Story
Day Africa to include their entry
in an anthology should it be
selected by the judges; and to
working with editors to get
their story publication ready.
15. We will not share your
personal information with
anyone. We will, however, add
you to Short Story Day Africa
mailing list for the sole
purpose of informing you of
next year’s event.
* Citizens of African countries
or former citizens who have
given up citizenship for
whatever reason, and second
generation Africans whose
parents are/were African
Standard manuscript format
If you submit manuscripts to
publishers or agents, you’ve probably
come across the demand that you
use “standard manuscript format” (or “SMF”) for your submissions. It isn’t always spelled out what this means, however. Generally speaking, the term indicates that you should format your document with the followi
ng guidelines in mind:
Type your document, using a
single, clear font, 12-point size,
double-spaced. The easiest font
to use is Times New Roman, or a
similar serif font.
Include your name and contact
information at the top left of the
first page. Put an accurate word
count at the top right. Put the title
of your story halfway down the
page, centred, with a byline
underneath. Start the story
Please number the pages.
Left-justify your paragraphs.
Ensure there is at least a 1 inch
or 2 centimetre margin all the way
around your text. This is to allow
annotation to be written onto a
printed copy. Indent each new paragraph by about 1/2 inch or 1 centimetre, except for the first line of the story or the first line of a new scene.
Don’t insert extra lines between
your paragraphs. A blank line
indicates a new scene.
Put the word “End” after the end
of your text, centred, on its own
line. It’s always worth checking the exact requirements of any publication or competition you submit to, but if they
don’t specify any formatting
requirements, or just say “standard manuscript format”, follow these guidelines.
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