The African Poetry Book Fund, in partnership with Prairie Schooner and the University of Nebraska, promotes and advances the development and publication of the poetic arts  through its book series, contests, workshops, and seminars and through  its collaborations with publishers, festivals, booking agents, colleges,  universities, conferences and all other entities that share an interest  in the poetic arts of Africa.

We publish between three and five poetry books each year, including the winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, a chapbook box set of emerging African poets, and our New and Selected series. 


We accept electronic submissions to the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets annually between September 15 and December 1. Please check back to submit on September 15.


Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets

The  2018 submission period for the Sillerman First Book Prize is open as of September 15 and will remain open through December 1, 2018. We consider  electronic submissions only; any hard copy submissions will be recycled  unread.


The Prize:

The Sillerman First Book  Prize for African Poetry is awarded annually to an African poet who has  not yet published a collection of poetry. The winner receives USD $1000  and book publication through the University of Nebraska Press.

The African Poetry Book Fund Editorial  Board, including Kwame Dawes, Chris Abani, Gabeba Baderoon, Phillippa yaa de Villiers, Bernardine Evaristo, Aracelis Girmay, John Keene, and Matthew Shenoda will judge. 

A winner will be announced in early January, with notifications sent shortly thereafter.

Eligibility:

The  Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets will only accept “first  book” submissions from African writers who have not published a  book-length poetry collection. This includes self-published books if  they were sold online, in stores, or at readings. Writers who have  edited and published an anthology or a similar collection of other  writers’ work remain eligible.

An “African  writer” is taken to mean someone who was born in Africa, who is a  national or resident of an African country, or whose parents are  African.

Only poetry submissions in English can be considered. Work translated from another language to English is accepted,  but a percentage of the prize will be awarded to the translator.

No  past or present paid employees of the University of Nebraska Press or  Amalion Press, or current faculty, students, or employees at the  University of Nebraska, are eligible for the prizes.

Manuscript:

No entry fee is required to submit to the contest.

Poetry manuscripts should be at least 50 pages long.

The author’s name should not appear on the manuscript. All entries will be read anonymously. Please include a cover page listing only the title of the manuscript (not the  author’s name, address, telephone number, or email address). An  acknowledgements page listing the publication history of individual  poems may be included, if desired. No application forms are necessary. Eligible writers may submit more than one manuscript.

While  we have no specific formatting rules, we suggest sending your  manuscript in Times New Roman or Arial, 12 point font, single-spaced. We  also prefer one poem per page, meaning a new poem does not  begin on the same page on which another ends.

For more details on the Sillerman First Book Prize for African poets please visit our website here: http://africanpoetrybf.unl.edu/?page_id=2058#sillerman or email psbookprize@unl.edu.


General Submissions


We accept electronic unsolicited poetry manuscript submissions from published and unpublished African poets during our open submissions periods. Our next open submissions period begins January 1, 2019 and will run through May 1, 2019.


For more information on our other publishing and literary activities, visit our website: http://africanpoetrybf.unl.edu/.

During our open submissions period, the APBF is pleased to consider unsolicited manuscripts from African poets (previously published or not), and our editorial staff reviews each submission.

Please familiarize yourself with our organization and our publishing list to ensure your eligibility and determine if your manuscript is a good fit for our series.

Submissions that do not  initially meet the guidelines below will not be considered. Please note  that we cannot consider manuscripts that have been previously  self-published.

Of the hundreds of manuscripts we receive each  year, we publish only a handful. Our  selection process is rigorous and focused on finding the best writing by African poets.


OPEN SUBMISSIONS AND READING PERIODS

We are currently open to submissions. 

We do our best to respond to submissions  during the reading periods. We have a small staff and a  steady flow of  manuscript submissions, and our review may take around 3-4 months. Please be  patient while we give your manuscript our full consideration. We cannot  respond to letters, phone calls, or emails requesting manuscript status.

We only accept electronic submissions, and our submissions system only accepts manuscripts during  the open submission periods. Any manuscripts mailed to us will be recycled unread.


Submissions Guidelines

Unsolicited manuscripts are considered for publication through the University of Nebraska Press and Amalion Press in Senegal.


Eligibility:

The African Poetry Book Fund considers manuscript submissions from published and unpublished African writers. An “African  writer” is taken to mean someone who was born in Africa, who is a  national or resident of an African country, or whose parents are  African.

Only poetry submissions in English can be considered, though work translated from another language to English is considered for English-only publication.


Manuscript:

Poetry manuscripts should be at least 50 pages long. Please review our previous poetry titles to get a sense for what we’re  looking for in a poetry collection. Please submit a query letter along with the complete collection.

While  we have no specific formatting rules, we suggest sending your  manuscript in Times New Roman or Arial, 12 point font, single-spaced. We  also prefer one poem per page, meaning a new poem does not  begin on the same page on which another ends.

Please submit only one manuscript at a time and wait to hear our response before sending another.




African Poetry Book Fund