Global Black Women’s Nonfiction Manuscript Prize jury.

Bernardine Evaristo to chair Global Black Women’s Nonfiction Manuscript Prize jury.

Bernardine Evaristo is the chair of the jury of the new Global Black Women’s Nonfiction Manuscript Prize announced on November 28. Others are Sylvia Tamale, Natalie Baszile, Carole Boyce Davies, and Panashe Chigumadzi.

In October, Cassava Republic Press announced the new Black Women’s Non-Fiction Manuscript Prize open to emerging and established Black women writers globally. The new award worth $30,000 was seeking the best in unpublished non-fiction manuscripts: the winner would secure a publishing contract with Cassava Republic Press and a $20,000 advance while two runners-up would each receive a $5000 advance and a publishing deal. The mission is to reward and publish emerging and established Black women writers and thinkers from across Africa and the Afro-diaspora.

The new initiative has announced its first jury composed of accomplished Black women writers and scholars from across Africa and its diasporas chaired by Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo. Here are comments from each of the jury members;

Bernardine Evaristo

Bernardine Evaristo
Bernardine Evaristo

Award-winning author, academic and Booker Prize recipient Bernardine Evaristo said; “This is a ground breaking prize which will support, champion and elevate the writings of Black women who are interested in expanding the universe of ideas, the imagination and critical thinking, and I am overjoyed to be chairing such an illustrious panel of leading intellectuals.”

Sylvia Tamale

Sylvia Tamale
Sylvia Tamale

Ugandan feminist, legal scholar, and human rights activist Sylvia Tamale said, “Today, more than ever, African women’s voices are powerful in shaping the terrain of decolonized knowledge production. I’m honoured to join Cassava Republic’s panel of distinguished judges for the Global Black Women’s Non-fiction Manuscript Prize that is set to unearth fresh and creative critical writing.”

Natalie Baszile

Natalie Baszile
Natalie Baszile

African-American author and filmmaker Natalie Baszile said, “I am thrilled to be able to uplift and celebrate the work of Black women writers from across Africa and the diaspora. This prize is long overdue.”

Carole Boyce Davies

Carole Boyce Davies
Carole Boyce Davies

Caribbean-American feminist, professor and literary scholar Carole Boyce Davies said, “I stood at the border; stood at the edge and claimed it as central and let the rest of the world move over to where I was” is how Toni Morrison framed how we must position our excellence. A Global Black Women’s non-fiction prize represents this powerfully.”

Panashe Chigumadzi.

Panashe Chigumadzi
Panashe Chigumadzi

Zimbabwean-South African essayist, novelist, and scholar Panashe Chigumadzi said, “What an honour to be part of a prize that honours the centuries-long tradition of Black women’s knowledge-making with not only a global vision but the kind of deep historical consciousness necessary to build what Cassava Founder Bibi Bakare-Yusuf calls, the archive of the future.’”

The Global Black Women’s Non-Fiction Manuscript Prize is open for submissions until March 31st, 2024. Submission guidelines are available on the Cassava Republic website by clicking here.

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