Graywolf Press is a literary press that publishes about thirty books annually, mostly collections of poetry, memoir, essays, novels, and short stories. Our editors are looking for high quality literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that combine a distinct voice with a distinct vision.


A $12,000 advance and publication by Graywolf Press will be awarded to a first novel manuscript by an African author. Graywolf is always looking for work that is distinctive, artistically singular, and of a high literary quality. For this prize, we are seeking novels that are engaged with the current moment—stories that could only be told in our time. We look forward to encountering authors who approach contemporary issues with innovative prose and fresh perspectives. With this prize we hope to amplify the voice of a new author, whose novel will be published alongside exemplary African writers on the Graywolf list.

Submission Criteria

  • Applicants must primarily reside in Africa.
  • Submissions must be full-length, previously unpublished novel manuscripts.
  • Submissions must be in English, but full-length translations are acceptable (in the case of translations, the original language books may be previously published).
  • Applicants with prior books are eligible, so long as none of those books is a novel.

How to Submit

Please upload your complete manuscript as a PDF or Word document (either .doc or .docx), and include a cover letter in the provided field. In your cover letter please include relevant biographical information and a summary of the novel. For instructions on using Submittable, click here

About the Judge, A. Igoni Barrett

A. Igoni Barrett is the author of Blackass and Love Is Power, or Something Like That. He is the recipient of a Chinua Achebe Center Fellowship, a Norman Mailer Center Fellowship, and a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency. He lives in Nigeria.

Graywolf Press