APBF Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets 2018 (USD $1000 for Winner)

APBF Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets 2018 (USD $1000 for Winner)

Deadline: December 1, 2017

Applications are open for the APBF Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets 2018. The Prize for African Poetry is awarded annually to an African poet who has not yet published a collection of poetry. The African Poetry Book Series is made possible through the generosity of philanthropists Laura and Robert F. X. Sillerman, whose generous contributions have facilitated the establishment of the APBF. In recognition of their invaluable support of their work, the Sillermans have welcomed the use of their name for the First Book Prize for African Poets.

The African Poetry Book Fund, in partnership with Prairie Schooner and the University of Nebraska, promotes and advances the development and publication of the poetic arts through its book series, contests, workshops, and seminars and through its collaborations with publishers, festivals, booking agents, colleges, universities, conferences and all other entities that share an interest in the poetic arts of Africa.


  • The winner receives USD $1000 and book publication through the University of Nebraska Press and Amalion Press in Senegal.


  • The Prize will only accept “first book” submissions from African writers who have not published a book-length poetry collection. This includes self-published books if they were sold online, in stores, or at readings. Writers who have edited and published an anthology or a similar collection of other writers’ work remain eligible;
  • An “African writer” is taken to mean someone who was born in Africa, who is a national or resident of an African country, or whose parents are African;
  • Only poetry submissions in English can be considered. Work translated from another language to English is accepted, but a percentage of the prize will be awarded to the translator;
  • No past or present paid employees of the University of Nebraska Press or Amalion Press, or current faculty, students, or employees at the University of Nebraska, are eligible for the prizes.


  • Submit your entries here
  • The author’s name should not appear on the manuscript. All entries will be read anonymously. Please include a cover page listing only the title of the manuscript (not the author’s name, address, telephone number, or email address);
  • An acknowledgements page listing the publication history of individual poems may be included, if desired;
  • While they have no specific formatting rules, they suggest sending your manuscript in Times New Roman or Arial, 12 point font, single-spaced. They also prefer one poem per page, meaning a new poem does not begin on the same page on which another ends.

A winner will be announced in early January, with notifications sent shortly thereafter.

For more information, visit APBF Sillerman First Book Prize.