With every year that passes storytelling for the African Spirit has found inspiration in the many voices of those whose hearts are riddled with scars, freshly beaten, open to change, embracing conflict, and looking for a heartfelt response to who we are becoming. Africa is home to cultures so diverse and deep-rooted. It’s where we are scattered abroad and retrieved like the harvest of many seasons. We are looking, forlorn, at history, exposing the present, and longing for a future. 

So when we make a call for stories, we are looking for a trail, history, culture, the things that matter. In this wrap of similarities and dissimilitude, we hope to create a perfect cocktail of reality, the bizarre, the shocking, and joyful expressions of prose, poetry, and pristine artistry. Please move us to tears and shake us to our core. Bring us to awaken to the beauty of Africa and the homes around which this identity is built. 

Itanile Magazine accepts submissions twice a year for its biannual issues. We are currently accepting works for our issue, Prisms, which will go live in May 2022. We seek inventive works that speak to the human condition in a complex local and global context from an individual perspective. Prisms invite you to consider the world and all its complexities from where you stand. We want to read about your moments of clarity, confusion, anger, pain, surprise, wonder, and joy; about your perception and experiences with people and places, geographically or psychologically; about your longings, struggles, dreams, reflections, regrets, failures, and triumphs. 

See our media kit: click here and spread the word

In rewarding the efforts and commitments of literary creatives for advancing the African experience through storytelling, we are launching an annual award in five categories: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Essay, Poetry, and the Chapbook Award. The winner(s) in each category will receive $200 each. Writers can qualify for the awards by sending in their works to Itanile during our reading periods in January and July. Only works published by Itanile throughout the year—up till October—will be considered for the awards. The awarded works, selected by guest editors, will be chosen based on strength, quality, and impact on the Itanile community. 

These selected entries will be guest-edited and judged to prove quality. We will have the honour of publishing solicited and unsolicited works in a biannual anthology. All entries will then be considered for our various award categories including the Collins Elesiro Prize (Up to $1000 funding across categories), Itanile Editor’s Prize ($250 for the most read publication on the platform). 

Submission Guidelines 

  • Works must be previously unpublished, and by that, we mean that the story must not have appeared anywhere online or in print, even in your personal blog. However, we welcome simultaneous submissions, and only ask that you notify us at (put email) once your work is accepted elsewhere. 
  • Please only submit one piece per category (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Essay, Poetry, and the Chapbook) at a time. Writers submitting for the poetry category can submit a maximum of three poems.  
  • Fiction, creative nonfiction, and essay submissions should be kept under 5,000 words. 
  • We aim to respond within two months. Authors of selected pieces for Prisms will be duly notified. 

Subsequently, if your work is chosen for the Itanile Award, you will be notified by mail in November, and a shortlist as well as the list of eventual winners will be released in December.