The Short Story Day Africa Prize is an African writing prize open to African citizens, permanent residents of African countries, or second generation Africans living in the diaspora only. Unpublished works between 3000-5000 words in response to the theme are eligible for the prize.

1st prize  R10 000 (approx US$500)

2nd prize R2 000 (approx US$125)

3rd prize  R1 000 (approx US$60)

In addition three emerging writers will receive a 20 week online creative writing course. These will be selected from the long list or slush pile.

The twenty-one long listed stories will be published in the annual Short Story Day Africa anthology, and selected stories entered into The Caine Prize for African Writing (£10 000).

Remember to delete any identifying marks on your submission before uploading your story.

Remember that the file name of your uploaded entry MUST BE the title of your short story.  If it is untitled, use the first line of your short story. DO NOT give your story the same name as the theme, the project or any abbreviation thereof, or your name.

Editable formats accepted are doc, docx, rtf, txt, as long as they are formatted according to our very specific guidelines. 

We DO NOT accept simultaneous submissions. Any story published or shortlisted elsewhere during the judging and publication process will be disqualified.

Please read the Terms and Conditions and Required Manuscript Format carefully before submitting. Any entry that does not adhere to the guidelines will not be read.

Submissions close 31 July 2016.

Ends in 5 days, 5 hours $3.00
$3.00

Short Story Day Africa's theme for 2017 is "ID". This year, we're looking for innovative short fiction that explores identity, especially (but not limited to) the themes of gender identity and sexuality.

In early psychoanalysis, the "Id" was postulated as being one of three aspects of personality, and the only one over which we have no control. Often hidden and home to the unconscious, the Id is the core of the self, our instinctual nature, our deepest desires. The I before ego, the earliest version of ourselves, the who we are before we have had time to be.

In modern Africa, our identities are too often defined for us and not by us, trapped by society, biology and history. In 2017, we hope to see work that seeks to break and redefine the strictures put onto our identities, as individuals and as peoples. Fiction that looks beyond the boundaries of expectation, and peers into the truest definitions of ourselves.

Please read the conditions of entry carefully before submitting. 

Terms and conditions of entry:

  1. Any African citizen or African person living in the diaspora*, as well as persons residing permanently (granted permanent residence or similar) in any African country, may enter. 
  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 via Submittable between 1 July 2017 - 31 July 2017. The link to the submission form will be made live on 1 July 2017.
  7. To facilitate easy reading and judging, please format your stories according to the 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. Please DO NOT put your name or any other identifying details anywhere on your manuscript. 
  12. The judges' decision is final.
  13. By submitting a story the author attests that it is their own original work and grants exclusive global print and digital rights to Short Story Day Africa for one year, and thereafter agrees to seek permission to republish and when published elsewhere attributes first publication to Short Story Day Africa; non-exclusive digital rights to Worldreader to publish individual stories on Worldreader Mobile; and non-exclusive digital rights to publications Short Story Day Africa selects for publicity purposes.
  14. By entering, the author agrees to allow 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, or of other Short Story Day Africa events that may be of interest to you.

    * Citizens of African countries or former citizens who have given up citizenship for whatever reason, and second generation Africans whose parents are/were African citizens.

    ** Please reread the guidelines on the submission's platform before submitting your story as they may change depending on sponsorship.

Required Manuscript Format

  • 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.
  • Put the title of your story at the top of the first page. Please give your story an original title. Please DO NOT title your story ID, SSDA Story or any similar version of such. Start your story immediately below the title.
  • Put an accurate word count at the top right. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. Please use the indent function of your programme, not multiple spaces or tabs.
  • 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.