Rules & Dates

The 2020 prize opened for entries from Nov. 4th to Nov. 30th 2019.
The shortlist is announced in March & the winner on May 4th 2020.

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY – the Prize rules sometimes change from year to year.

Rules for 2020: General

1. The prize is open to African poets, defined as those who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African.

2. The prize is open to African poets who have not yet had a full-length poetry book published. Self-published poetry books, chapbooks and pamphlets are exempt from this stipulation.

3. Only poems written in English are accepted. Poems translated into English are also accepted with a percentage of the prize going to the translator.

4. The prize opens for submissions from October 1st 2017 to December 1st 2017. Each entrant must submit 10 poems to be eligible, no more and no less. There is no stipulation as to the content of submitted poems but no poem should exceed 30 lines in length.

6. The poems may have been previously published or won previous awards.

7. All entries must be submitted via email only to

An acknowledgement will be sent. (Please note that email enquiries about the rules will not be answered.)

8. Under no circumstances can alterations be made to poems once entered.

9. Under no circumstances will the organisers or judges enter into discussions with entrants who have submitted for the prize.

10. The prize organisers reserve the right to not award the prize if, in the judges’ opinion, such an action is justified. 
The organisers also reserve the right to split the prize if they decide that more than one poet is worthy of it.

11. The judges’ decision is final and they will not enter into any correspondence with entrants regarding their decisions.

Rules: Poems

12.  Poems must be the original work of the entrant.

13. Each poem must have a title or a number

14. Poems should be single spaced.

15. There is no stipulation regarding font type and size.

16. Poems must be emailed in a SINGLE Word document attachment (not PDF) – with an index cover page that contains the entrants’ name, nationality, country of birth, full address including country of permanent residence, personal email address and telephone number.

17. The submission document must be name of the poet, not the name of the prize.

18. The entire submission must be written with black ink, no colours.

19. Individual poems received as separate file attachments and poems sent within the body of an email will be automatically rejected with no notification to the poet.

20. People who have entered previously for the prize can re-submit again but it is advisable to re-submit with new poems. People who have previously been shortlisted for the prize, or won the prize, can re-submit but only with new poems and only after they have skipped one competition year since making the shortlist and/or winning. So if a poet was shortlisted in 2016, s/he cannot re-enter the prize until 2018.

Rules: Winner Only

21.The winner must be available via email to reply promptly to correspondence. The winner will be required to provide a biography and photograph and to be available for media interviews, either online, by phone or, if geographically possible, in person.

22. It will be helpful if the winner has or creates a social media presence but this is in no way a condition of winning the prize.

23. The copyright of the winner’s poems remains with the winning poet.