Akuko Magazine Inaugural Literary Contest | Over $400 cash prize

Akuko Magazine Inaugural Literary Contest
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Akuko Magazine is now receiving entries for their inaugural literary contest. Cash prizes include $250 for 1st place; $100 for 2nd place; $50 for 3rd place; and $25 for four honorable mentions.


Akuko is a new online magazine that aims to champion writing by Black writers from the African continent and its vast diaspora. Akuko means story in Igbo and rooster in Yoruba.

It defines Africa not by the physical continent but by its descendants spread all over the Diaspora. Akuko is currently open for submissions to our inaugural literary competition.

Categories for Akuko Magazine Inaugural Literary Contest

For its inaugural year, Akuko Magazine will accept works in the following categories: 
– Fiction
– Nonfiction
– Poetry

Definition of categories

Submitted works do not need to adhere to a specific theme or topic. Just send your best work! However, please ensure you are submitting your work in the appropriate category.

Fiction: We’re open to any and all types of stories here! Any genre and style is welcomed from literary, romance, comedy, speculative, satire, children’s, and beyond. You can either submit a short story or you can submit excerpts of a longer work (if part of a longer work, please indicate that on the title page). 

Nonfiction: Nonfiction must be 100% based on fact, research, and/or interviews you’ve conducted. If there are any fictional elements to your writing, please submit under the fiction category. All types of nonfiction are welcome! We are open to creative non-fiction like personal essays, memoirs, or short biographies and to critical or analytical essays like historical, philosophical or economic writing. 

Poetry: You can submit up to three (3) poems, in whatever style, as long as the total word count is 8,000 or less. The three poems can be related in theme or they can all be completely different from each other. Again, just send us your best work! 

Terms and Conditions of Entry

Editorial Support: If your piece is chosen for publication, you will work with our passionate and talented editors to help further shape and polish your work. To accept a prize or offer of publication, you are agreeing to collaborate with our editors on your manuscript.

Copyright & Publishing Rights: While the copyright always belongs to the author, if you are chosen for publication, Akuko Magazine has exclusive print and electronic publishing rights for one year. To accept the prize, you will be asked to sign a contract agreeing to these terms. The rights revert back to the author one year after publication date.

What they want

Writers who self-identify as African or African descent. **We are also open to considering writers who have immigrated to Africa, have called the continent home, and have a long-standing association with Africa.**

Real, authentic, and well-written pieces about Africa or Africans. We define Africa and African not by the physical continent but by its descendants spread all over the African Diaspora.

Submitted works such as historical fiction, literary fiction, non-fiction essays, and poetry that tackle the idea of what it means to be African, either in present or past times.

Timeline of Akuko Magazine Inaugural Literary Contest

  • August 15 – November 30, 2020 : Submission Window
  • March 2021: Winners and runner-ups are notified and announced
  • March – May 2021: Content development and editing period
  • June 2021: Publication Design and Layout
  • July 2021: First issue of Akuko releases

Prizes for Akuko Magazine Inaugural Literary Contest winners

We will choose a total of 21 writers to publish in our inaugural issue. Three writers in each category will be chosen to receive our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes. Twelve additional writers will also be chosen for publication. Because we believe in the importance of artists being paid for their work, selected writers will receive the following compensation:

  • First place in each category will receive $250
  • Second place in each category will receive $100
  • Third place in each category will receive $50
  • Additional writers chosen will receive $25 

All writers chosen for the prizes and publication will have the added benefit of working with editors to help further shape and improve their work.

How to Submit to Akuko Magazine Inaugural Literary Contest

Use Times New Roman or Calibri, 12pt-sized font, standard 1” margin spacing. Do not include your name or contact information in the file name, header, footer, or title page of your submission. Should you include any identifying information, your submission will automatically be disqualified. The submitted work should be a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file. DO NOT submit PDF files.

For fiction and nonfiction: submission should be double-spaced; for poetry: submission should be single-spaced unless unique spacing is deliberate for the poetic technique/style.

The file name should be the title of your piece. For poetry, if you’re submitting more than one poem, please title it the name of the first poem (you can add “and other poems” to the file name). DO NOT include your personal name or any identifying information in the file name.

Manuscripts must be predominantly written in English, however, the team welcomes the use of African words and language in your submission.


Use the buttons above to submit your manuscript for consideration. Please follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Telegram.

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