Hamwe Short Story Prize – Second Edition

The best stories will be published in the second edition of the annual Hamwe anthology in November 2023

The University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) is delighted to announce the second edition of the Hamwe Short Story Prize.  African writers are invited to submit short fiction inspired by the ideas of memory, cultural heritage and mental health.  

Cultural heritage suggests a common bond that transcends time and a sense of belonging. This year’s Hamwe festival proposes a reflection on the responsibilities emerging once cultural heritage is created, managed, preserved, and transmitted. These actions construct memory, build identities and include in or exclude from collective narratives. In addition, knowledge and valorization of cultural heritage can strengthen self-esteem as well as community cohesion, therefore impacting collective and individual mental health, now and in the future.   

We are interested in short stories that speak creatively to these ideas and help us think about the questions that emerge from them: How and where is memory located and constructed, and by who? What is the relationship between archival materials, cultural heritage, and storytelling? Where is history created or lost, individually, and collectively? And what is the relationship between cultural heritage and mental health?   

Eligibility Criteria 

  • The prize is open to African writers based on the continent or from the diaspora.
  • This competition is only open to writers aged 18 and above, participants must be of legal age in their country of residence. 

Submission Guidelines 

  • Stories can be submitted in either English or French (although other languages can form part of the dialogue and text if it serves the story).
  • All entries must be submitted no later than September 25, 2022, at 11:59 pm CAT. Submissions after the deadline will not be considered.
  • Stories should be between 2000 and 5000 words.
  • Participants should fill the following submission form fully and attach their story as a Word document: Link . An incomplete form or a form filled with inaccurate information can be a cause of disqualification. 
  • The entry must be original work by the entrant, in English or French. Plagiarism, which includes the use of third-party characters or another person’s universe, without written permission, will result in disqualification. Examples of plagiarism are also available at the Plagiarism.org website.
  • Entries should not have been previously published. Simultaneous submissions are also not encouraged. Any story entered or published elsewhere during the course of judging or publication will be disqualified.
  • By submitting to the competition, the entrants agree that if selected by the jury their submitted work will be published in the Hamwe Festival Anthology (if it passes the editor selection); and to work with editors on preparing their story for publication. Published authors will receive an honorarium. 

If you have any queries regarding the above, please contact us via email at hamweshortstoryprize@ughe.org 


The winners of the Hamwe Writing Contest will be announced at an event as part of the Hamwe Festival in November 2022. One winner will be selected for each language (English and French), and each will receive a prize (VAT inclusive) of 1000 USD. 

For more information about the first edition of the Hamwe Short Story Prize, please click here.