Are you an African Poet? Are you unpublished? Do you have a complete poetry manuscript that is not less than 50 pages? Then this might just be the life changing opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

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.


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.


Electronic submissions to the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets opens annually every year between September 15 and December 1.

For more details click here.