Kendeka Prize for African Literature opens submission call for 2023 edition

Kendeka Prize for African Literature has announced the 2023 edition and is now accepting entries until 15th May. 

According to a statement by the organisers, the entry is free. 

Also, the prize will be awarded for the best unpublished short story either in fiction or creative non-fiction. The first prize will be Kshs.100,000, while the 2nd and the 3rd Prize shall be Kshs.50,000 and Kshs.25,000, respectively. 

All longlisted stories shall be published in an anthology later in the year. Judges and the date of the award ceremony will be announced at a later date.

The announcement was made during the inaugural Kendeka Lecture by Prof Goro Kamau, the in-coming chairman of Kendeka Prize for African Literature. The event was held at Mount Kenya University, Thika Campus, 

The Inaugural Kendeka Lecture was delivered by Prof Austin Bukenya, from Uganda, on 28th January, 2023. The Topic of the lecture was “Why Literature Matters and Literary Prizes Matter”

Submission Guidelines

  • Entrants must be born in, or are citizens of any African country.
  • The deadline for submission is mid-night 15th May, 2023.
  • 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 title 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, shortlisted or won the prize.
  • An author of a long listed story agrees to its inclusion in the anthology, and to work with editors to get the story ready for publication. 
  • The long listing of a story is not a guarantee that the story shall be included in the anthology.
  • The winners, first and second runners-up in the past Kendeka Prize, are not eligible.
  • 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 this prize or in any other prize.
  • The entrant 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.

Entries can be sent to

For more details, visit

The overall winner of the 2022 Prize was Scholastica Moraa, (Kenya) for her short story titled “Chained”. Adaoro Raji, (Nigeria) was the first runner-up for her story Star Boy”, while Beverley Ann Abrahams, from Zimbabwe was the second runner-up for her short story, Isithunzi”. The winning stories were chosen after a rigorous process by a panel of three Judges chaired by Dr. Siphiwo Mahala, from South Africa. Also in the panel were Bisi Adjapon from Ghana and Faith Oneya from Kenya. 

The winner of the 2021 Kendeka Prize for African Literature was Jenny Robson, Botswana, author of Water for Wine. Fatima Okhousami, from Nigeria, was the first runners-up for her story, The Women of Atinga House, while Okpanachi Irene Ojochegbe, from Nigeria, was the second runners-up for her story, Au Pair.

The three stories on that inaugural list of winners were chosen from the five short listed stories by a panel of three Judges chaired by Lucas Wafula, a Kenyan, Edwige Renée Dro, from Côte d’Ivoire and Remy Ngamije, a Rwandan/Namibian.

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