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 Unpublished works between 3000-5000 words in response to the theme are eligible for the prize.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  $800
2nd prize $200
3rd prize  $100 


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, odt, 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 at midnight (UTC+02:00), 31 July 2018, .


Hotel Africa 


Check-in ...

To five-star neon-lit luxury. To budget motels with the option to pay by the hour. To intimate anonymous rooms wiped clean every twenty-four hours or clammy beds where remnants of yesterday's guests still lurk.

Check-in...

Lovers, aid workers, businessmen local and foreign, wedding guests, gap-year travellers, volunteer tourists, honeymooners, UN soldiers, politicians, adventure seekers, evangelists, holidaymakers, warmongers, peacekeepers.

Check-in...

To hotels made of brick and cement and blood and sweat. Hotels made of corrugated iron and clay and hope and faith. Hotels celebrated, hotels forgotten. Hotels that have served as shelter for the night or refuge when the shots rang out.

Check-in to Hotel Africa

In 2018, Short Story Day Africa is seeking innovative short fiction set in the rooms, the passages, the bars and the lobbies of hotels across the continent, as well as metafiction exploring Africa as a hotel herself. If these walls could talk, what story would they tell?


Terms and conditions of entry:

  1. Simultaneous submissions are not welcome. Any story entered or published elsewhere during the course of judging or publication will be disqualified.
  2. 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. 
  3. Writers may only submit one story for the competition. Repeat entries by the same writer will be disqualified.
  4. Writers are welcome to submit stories in any fiction genre.
  5. Stories must be between 3000 and 5000 words in length.
  6. 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.
  7. Stories must be submitted online via Submittable between 1 June 2018 - 3 1 August 2018. The link to the submission form will be made live on 1 June 2018.
  8. 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.
  9. Stories must not have been previously published in any form or any format.
  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 Johannesburg Review of Books for publicity purposes.
  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, 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 Hotel Africa, 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.
Short Story Day Africa