Another award for early African writers – Blueprint Newspapers Limited


The award is named after his novel shortlisted by Booker, “An island”

The award is co-administered with Holland House Books and Karavan Press, the novel’s British and South African publishers. It was created with the aim of giving new African novelists a chance to present their work to a wider audience, as well as attracting agents and publishers to their work.

The initiative arose out of Jennings’ own experience trying to publish An island. After suffering a series of refusals for reasons ranging from perceived difficulties in selling the book to discomforts related to its subject, the book was picked up by two small presses in the UK and South Africa ready to try its luck. The novel received a relatively poor reception upon publication (with only 500 initial printed copies) until it was shortlisted for the coveted Booker Prize 2021, leading to an escalation in its status, as well as a dramatic increase. sales, several foreign translation rights sold, and publication rights acquired in dozens of countries including, most recently, Nigeria.

The award will be judged by Karen Jennings, Hilda Twongyeirwe and Obinna Udenwe. It is open to African writers (aged 18 or over) based anywhere in the world, who have completed a full novel manuscript and are not under contract with an agent or publisher, nor have previously published a novel. Editors are encouraged to submit a one-page summary and the first 3 chapters (or 10,000 words) of a completed manuscript. Five to ten authors will subsequently be invited to submit full texts and will receive optional comments. From the shortlist, the three winners will be chosen, with a cash prize of £ 500 for first, £ 300 for second and £ 200 for third place. The three winning manuscripts will all be considered for publication by Holland House and Karavan Press, and will be presented to an agent. More details here.

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