Call For Submissions: Aliyu Mohammed Book Prize For Hausa Manuscript


The Aliyu Mohammed Book Prize is an annual award, open to new works of fiction or non-fiction written in Hausa. The prize is the Gusau Institute (GI)’s contribution to the encouragement of writing in Hausa, the most populous Chadic language and the major language of West Africa. It is both the first language and/or the lingua franca of millions in the region, and the award is meant to celebrate the cultural richness Hausa lends to several populations across state borders.

This new competition for unpublished Hausa manuscripts offers editing, design and layout assistance for the winning entry, as well as an official introduction at the first Kaduna Book and Arts Festival (Kabafest), following the announcement of the winning manuscript. The prize will alternate between fiction (in even years) and non-fiction (in uneven years).

Entrants to the Aliyu Mohammed Book Prize competition are asked to submit an excerpt of their manuscript, along with a 500-word synopsis, by the 31st of January of the year of entry. The three writers who make the shortlist, to be announced in mid-March, will be asked to send in a completed manuscript before the end of April, and the winner will be announced by the end of May. The competition will be judged by a rotating panel of four judges consisting of a publisher, editor, translator and an established writer. The total worth of the prize is N500,000 of which N300,000 will be a cash prize for the author. The balance will go towards editing and layout services, and the printing of 100 copies of the book for sale at the Kabafest.


ELIGIBILITY: Hausa writers are invited to enter. For any contestant who has not reached the age of majority in his/her state or country of residence, parental or guardian consent is necessary to enter the contest. Employees of the GI and their immediate family (father/mother, brother/sister, son/daughter) and persons living under the same roof, are not eligible to enter this competition. Previously published authors may submit texts providing that the submissions are unpublished works. There must be only one author per entry. All works that have already been published or broadcast are considered not eligible for the competition.

RIGHTS: Entrants warrant they have created the work they are submitting and that they own all rights to it. They will indemnify and hold the GI harmless from and against any and all loss, damage, costs and other expense arising out of claims, whatever their nature, resulting directly or indirectly from breach of this warranty.

ENTRY DEADLINE: Before or on the 31st of January of any given year an excerpt and a 500-word synopsis of the manuscript must be submitted. The three shortlisted authors must then submit their full manuscripts by the end of April. Please note that the prize will be awarded to a full-length fiction manuscript in even years and a full-length non-fiction manuscript in uneven years.

MANUSCRIPT DETAILS: Only unpublished manuscripts between 100,000 and 150,000 words are accepted. Collections of original short stories written by a single author are eligible, but anthologies will not be considered. Poetry is not eligible. The decision of the judging panel as to whether a book is eligible shall be binding and no correspondence shall be entered into.

JUDGING: Manuscripts are judged anonymously on the basis of the author's use of language, originality of subject and writing style.


·    Should participants make any false statement, they shall be automatically disqualified from the competition. If plagiarism is alleged, the jury shall conduct a reasonable inquiry in the circumstances, and if it determines that plagiarism has occurred, the participant concerned shall be disqualified and shall return the prize money. Such a decision by the jury shall be final and cannot be appealed.
·       All personal information, such as your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address, is collected solely for the purposes of administering this competition and shall not be used for any other purpose without your consent. By providing this information, you consent to it being used for the stated purposes.
·      By entering, participants agree to abide by the competition rules. All decisions of the judging panel are final and without appeal.


Each entrant must forward the following information/documents to or before or on the 31st of January:
1.         A 10-page excerpt (12 point font, 1.5 line spacing, 2.54cm page margins) and a 500-word anonymous synopsis of the manuscript (the name of the entrant must not appear anywhere on the text to ensure the objectivity of the jury);
2.         A resume, including full names, date of birth, passport or ID number, permanent address and contact details;
3.         Parental permission if applicable.
(Note: The three shortlisted authors will be informed by mid-March and will be required to submit their full manuscripts via Dropbox by the end of April.)


·         All submissions are final: no changes or substitutions are allowed.
·         No handwritten manuscripts will be accepted.
·         Works will not be returned and editorial comments will not be given on the works.

A non-refundable fee of N3,000 for administration purposes is required for each manuscript entered. The competition is 100% not-for-profit, with all fees going towards covering administrative costs, which include payment of readers and jurors of the competition. Candidates will not be eligible until payment has been received and deposited. Banking details will be supplied upon receiving an eligible entry.