Cassava Republic launches groundbreaking black women’s non-fiction manuscript prize

Cassava Republic Press is on the cusp of unveiling the pioneering $30,000 (£24,374) Black Women’s Non-Fiction Manuscript Prize on October 26, 2023. This prestigious accolade plans to invite submissions from emerging and established writers worldwide who identify as cis, trans, or genderqueer black women. Their shared mission is to celebrate the most exceptional unpublished non-fiction manuscripts.

The primary objective of the prize is to celebrate and promote the literary contributions of Black women across Africa and the Afro-diaspora, with a particular emphasis on “critical ideas across time and space.” Cassava Republic will shortly announce the judging panel, comprising distinguished Black women writers and scholars from diverse parts of Africa and its diasporas.

“This prize is part of Cassava Republic’s vision of becoming a global Black publishing house, publishing books by Afro-descendant writers from across the world.”

Expressing her enthusiasm for the launch, Publishing Director Bibi Bakare-Yusuf highlighted the prize’s role in bridging a longstanding gap in the literary world. She emphasised the legacy of Black women writers as intellectuals and theorists, citing prominent figures such as Anna Julia Cooper, Amy Jacques Garvey, Claudia Jones, Noni Jabavu, Audre Lorde, May Ayim, Ellen Khuzwayo, Bell Hooks, and Toni Morrison, whose powerful legacies continue to inspire.

The grand prize, generously sponsored by Alitheia Capital and Open Society Foundation Africa, includes a coveted publishing contract with Cassava Republic Press and an advance of $20,000 (£16,246) for the winner. Furthermore, to honour the remarkable talents of the shortlisted authors, we will grant each of the two runners-up a $5,000 (£4,061) advance and offer them the possibility of a publishing contract.


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