FAQs

1. Can I submit a collection of stories, or a collection of essays? Yes you can. We are hoping to publish books of fiction and non-fiction that are really, really good.

2. Why is the prize not open to non-Nigerians? It’s simple—we can’t afford it. Saraba is run entirely by volunteers, who unfortunately cannot be compensated enough to read hundreds of manuscripts from around the continent, although they’ll love to.

3. Will the prize be run yearly? As eager as we are about the possibilities of this project, we must resist the temptations to commit seasonally to it, for now. It’s an exciting experiment. So let’s see.

4. Is there any age limit? You can’t submit if you’re less than 18. But that’s the only restriction.

5. Can more established writers submit for the prize? We define ‘emerging’ and ‘established’ loosely, mainly to provoke an argument. So yes, whether you consider yourself an emerging writer, or an established one, send us your best work.

6. What are the categories of fiction and non-fiction you’re looking for? All categories. There are certainly categories like ‘literary fiction,’ ‘speculative fiction,’ ‘creative nonfiction,’ etc., but we are not interested in constraining prospective entrants. Send us your most ambitious work, c’est finis. 

7. Can I send a work of more than 40,000 words, or less than 20,000 words? Be reasonable. The word count is a technical framework given our resources. We imagine, however, that if you send something of around 45,000 words, or 18,500, which is absolutely and stunningly compelling, we won’t turn you away. We’re kindhearted, and care deeply about good writing.

8. Can I submit a manuscript that is being considered for publishing elsewhere since it’s not yet published? Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but discouraged.

9. Will you accept a graphic novel manuscript? No, keep the content textual.

10. Must the content of my manuscript be about Nigeria? Not necessarily. You only have to be Nigerian.

11. Is there a submission fee I have to pay to submit my manuscript? None. Submission is free of charge.

12. Will you accept book reviews and critical essays as non-fiction? No. We are looking for the kind of content published in our magazine. See our latest issue, or browse past issues.

13. What is the fate of manuscripts not chosen for the prize? The author decides what to do with it. Saraba will only work with manuscripts on the shortlist.

14. When will winners be announced? In mid-March 2016.