The 2nd annual Nyanza Literary Festival writing competition is now open for submissions. The theme of this year’s contest is “Freedom.” Freedom. We all want it. We all seek it–sometimes at a price we didn’t consider when we first began our quest. The desire for freedom has launched world wars and caused the demise of structures we once upheld. We’d like to see stories that cover the quest for freedom as it relates to work and family.

Contest winners in the categories of Fiction, Screenplays/Plays, and Poetry will win $500 each. In addition, the winning submissions will be published in an anthology.

* Please note that we hold the right to rescind or deny an award for any reason as agreed upon by the board.

The complete guidelines for the 2017 contest are as follows:


  • Only previously unpublished work written in English will be accepted.
  • Past winners are not eligible.
  • All applicants should be current or former residents of the Western Kenya/ formerly Nyanza region; or residents of the East African regions surrounding Lake Victoria (Entebbe, Kampala, Jinja, Bukoba, Mwanza, Musoma).
  • All entries should be submitted in a standard type face, 12pt font and attached as a .pdf or .doc format.
  • For fiction: ONE short story or novel excerpt, maximum 25 (double-spaced) pages per entry.
  • For screenplay: ONE screenplay excerpt, maximum 50 (double-spaced) pages per entry.
  • For poetry: No more than SIX poems per entry, up to 10 pages total.
  • Entrants may submit to only one category.
  • In your subject line, please include your name and type of submission (short story, novel excerpt, poetry, screenplay etc.) e.g. Jane Owiso – Poetry
  • Include your complete contact information (name, address, telephone, email address) on a cover page of the manuscript.
  • Include proof of residency. Passports and National IDs are acceptable forms of identification.

Please note that NALIF does not condone plagiarism. Any plagiarized work will be disqualified.

More details, including the judges, date, place and time of the award ceremony, will be announced at a later date.