Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize For African Literature
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The Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature is now calling for submission from African Writers for its 6th edition.

About the Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize
Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize For African Literature

Dr. Lizzy Attree (Short Story Day Africa) and Dr. Mukoma Wa Ngugi (Cornell University) created the prize in 2014 with the express aim of acknowledging African language writing and promoting translation into, into, and into African languages.

The Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature organizers have announced that the long-awaited prize for authors is now available for submissions. The award had previously been suspended due to the covid-19 pandemic, but it has been confirmed that submissions received in 2020 will be eligible for the 2021 Prize.

Also read: The African Writers award 2021

Mabati Rolling Mills of Kenya (a subsidiary of the Safal Group), Cornell University’s Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs, the Africana Studies Center at Cornell University, and the Ngugi wa Thiong’o Foundation are the main sponsors of the prize.

NOTE: The Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature will be awarded to the best-unpublished manuscript or book published within two years of the award year across the categories of fiction, poetry and memoir, and graphic novels.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
  • Runner-up Prize : 2,500 US dollars in any genre

Mkuki na Nyota Publishers (Tanzania) and East African Educational Publishers would consider publishing the winning entries in Kiswahili (Kenya). The Africa Poetry Book Fund will publish the winning poetry after it has been translated into English. The four prize-winning authors will be present at an award ceremony in East Africa.

Also read: Kindle Storyteller Award 2021

Application Procedure

Candidates who wish to submit entries for the Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize For African Literature must follow the guidelines below:

  • All interested writers are hereby adviced to follow the instructions and adhere to them before any submission. Failure to do that might lead to disqualification.
  • Send unpublished manuscripts or books (fiction, poetry, collections of short stories, and memoir, or graphic novels) published in Kiswahili within two years of the award year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 [email protected].
  • Only one entry per writer per category may be submitted each year. Previous winners are not eligible for 2 years.
  • 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
  • The subject line must include the words Kiswahili Prize 2021.

For published works, please have your publisher send three (3) hard copies to:

Africana Studies and Research Center,
310 Triphammer Road, Ithaca,
NY 14850

or preferably, submit the PDF proofs via email: [email protected]

For more information visit the official website of the Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize For African Literature

By Bello

Ismail Bello is a content creator and enthusiast who is passionate about youth development.

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