Babishai Poetry Prize 2018

Babishai Poetry Prize 2018 seeks your submissions

The Babishai Poetry Prize 2018 is looking for submissions for this year’s edition of prize; the winners will be announced at the Babishai Poetry Festival 2018 in August.

The Babishai Poetry Prize was founded in 2009 by Ugandan Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva to shine a light on the Ugandan women poetry scene. The prize would go to Lillian Aujo (2009, Sophie Brenda Alal (2010), followed by Sanyu Kisaka (2011), and Susan Piwang (2012).

Realising that their organisation is the only one coordinating annual African poetry competitions, whose secretariat is based on the continent, the Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation expanded the prize to both genders and all Africans. The prize would subsequently be won by Tom Jalio (2014), Adeeko Ibukun (2015), and Sanya Noel and Moyosore Orimoloye (2016).

The 2018 edition of the prize is upon us and the organisers are calling on all African poets to enter their poems to hopefully win the US$700 prize money as well as the publication of a poetry chapbook. The terms and conditions for entry are;

  1. Open to ALL African poets who will not have published a full length poetry collection by July 2018.
  2. Send 5 original unpublished poems in English using the online portal on the website. We will not accept email submissions; only those sent from the website portal.  Previous online publications will not be considered.
  3. Poems must be single-spaced, between 10 and 40 lines each and sent as Word Attachments. DO NOT include your name on the poem itself.
  4. The longlisted poets will be announced in June. The shortlisted poets will be announced in July.
  5. Winners will be announced during the #Babishai2018 poetry festival, 3-6 August in Kapchorwa, Mbale, Eastern Uganda.
  6. Any form of plagiarism will lead to immediate disqualification.
  7. Judges to be announced in March.

Submissions will be accepted from 26 February to 26 May, 2018.

Good luck African poet.

Update: The deadline for this call out has since passed.






16 responses to “Babishai Poetry Prize 2018 seeks your submissions”

  1. […] Babishai Poetry Prize 2018 Another opportunity by our own Babishai Poetry Intiative, open to all African, unpublished poets. […]

  2. eltonjohn avatar

    wow, i must participate in this

    1. James Murua avatar
      James Murua

      Good luck.

  3. Danny Naicker avatar
    Danny Naicker

    The rules are so restrictive 10- To 40 Lines . and the link to the website has been cancelled, and unfortunately the deadline is the 26 May 2018 and it is too late to submit poems . May be better luck next year

    1. James Murua avatar
      James Murua

      Better luck next year.

  4. simbarashe nyahwa avatar

    I am still in high school and I wanted to ask, if I get to win the competition is there any chance that my school may be notified upon request?

    1. James Murua avatar
      James Murua

      I’m not sure about this. I suggest you ask the competition organisers either on their social media platforms or on their website at

  5. myheartprojectionspoems avatar

    hey, when will be the next competition?

    1. James Murua avatar
      James Murua

      Next year. I’ll post about it when they do the callout.

      1. Caroline avatar

        waiting for this years competition

        1. James Murua avatar
          James Murua

          We’ll post up information as soon as it becomes available.

  6. john mbatia kariuki avatar
    john mbatia kariuki

    I would love to be part of this noble idea of creative writing. Thank you to all who have made this happen.

  7. Seroney Kipkoskei avatar
    Seroney Kipkoskei

    when is the next submission?

    1. James Murua avatar
      James Murua

      Hi Seroney. As soon as we know, you’ll know.

  8. Wanjiru Kinyanjui avatar
    Wanjiru Kinyanjui

    When is the next competition?

    1. James Murua avatar
      James Murua

      The callout should be made sometime next year. We will be sharing it.

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