Eligibility

  • Unpublished work is not eligible for the Caine Prize.
  • Submissions should be made by publishers only.
  • Only fictional work is eligible.
  • Only one story per author will be considered in any one year.
  • Submissions should specify which African country the author comes from and the word count.
  • We require 6 copies of the work in its originally published version.
  • If the work is published in a book or journal, we would like to receive at least one copy of the book / journal and five photocopies; but particularly where several stories are submitted from one anthology we would like if possible to receive six copies of the book / journal itself.
  • If the work is published online, we would like to receive six photocopies.

Please note that works which do not conform to the criteria will not be considered for the prize. Please do not waste your own time and postage by sending in material which is unsuitable. Works not eligible for entry include stories for children, factual writing, plays, biography, works shorter than 3000 words and unpublished work. If you are not sure whether your work is eligible, please email us for advice.

How do I apply?

There is no application form. To apply please send six original published copies of the work for consideration to the Caine Prize office

  • If the work is published in a book or journal, we would like to receive at least one copy of the book / journal and five photocopies; but particularly where several stories are submitted from one anthology we would like if possible to receive six copies of the book / journal itself.
  • If published in a magazine or journal we will accept one original copy plus five photocopies, but would prefer six original copies.
  • If the work is published online, we would like to receive six printed copies.

FAQ

When should I apply?

The deadline for the 2017 prize closes on 31st January 2017.

Can I submit unpublished or self-published work?

No. Unpublished work is not eligible for the Caine Prize and submissions can only be made by publishers. For practical reasons, unpublished work and work in other languages is not eligible.

What if my story is published online?

We are happy to take submissions from internet magazines, but must insist that we receive six hard copies of these, as of other submissions. Also it is important that internet entries be carefully edited: past judges have not viewed favourably entries containing typos and other errors.

Do you accept e-books or digital versions of entries?

No. Please print and send us six hard copies. 

What if my story isn’t in English?

Works translated into English from other languages are not excluded, provided they have been published in translation, and should such a work win, a proportion of the prize would be awarded to the translator.

Does my story have to be fictional?

Yes. Only fictional work is eligible. Works not eligible for entry include stories for children, factual writing, plays, biography, works shorter than 3000 words and unpublished work.

How long should my story be?

Indicative length is between 3000 and 10,000 words and only short stories are eligible.

What is an ‘African writer’?

'An African writer’ is taken to mean someone who was born in Africa, or who is a national of an African country, or who has a parent who is African by birth or nationality. The Prize is awarded to a short story by an African writer published in English, whether in Africa or elsewhere.

Can I submit more than one story?

No. The judges will consider only one work per writer in any one year. If different publishers enter stories from the same writer, we will consult the author direct to decide which story to submit that year.

When is the deadline to apply?

The deadline for the next prize is 31 January 2017 and the award is made in July each year. Works received after the 31st January will be put forward to the next year's prize. The short-list is selected from work originally published in the five years preceding the submissions deadline and not previously considered for a Caine Prize. In general it is unwise to delay the submission of entries until shortly before the deadline: postal and delivery hiccups can easily result in material arriving too late.

Permissions

The publisher agrees that by submitting an entry to the Caine Prize that, if the story is shortlisted, permission to reproduce the story in the annual Caine Prize anthology is given with the consent of the author.

Travel

Winning and short-listed authors will be invited to participate in writers’ workshops in Africa, London and elsewhere as resources permit. There is a cash prize of £10,000 for the winning author and a travel award for each of the short-listed candidates (up to five in all). The shortlisted candidates will also receive a Prize of £500. The winner is also invited to go to three literature festivals in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria.

Please note that works which do not conform to the criteria will not be considered for the prize. If you are not sure whether your work is eligible, please email us for advice. For further information, please contact us on info@caineprize.com

Applications for the 2017 prize close on 31st January 2017