LittAfrica 2023 Writing Contest

Writing Contest Guidelines


If you are between the ages of 18 and 30, we invite you to write a letter to your generation. Ask yourself: If I had a chance to write a letter imparting hope to all the young people in Africa what would I write?

You can address specific issues causing young Africans to lose hope, share your own or someone else’s story, talk about something hopeful happening in your country, speak on a Scripture verse that imparts hope, or even write a blessing or poem for your letter readers.

Selected entries will be published in an anthology and two entry winners will receive a full scholarship to the LittAfrica Publishing Conference (5 to 9 November 2023).

New! Every person submitting an entry will receive a free digital copy of the book, African Writers: A Journey in Writing, in which 11 Christian writers from 7 African nations tell how they began their journey in the ministry of the written word.

Contest Rules


Please read these carefully to ensure your entry qualifies.

Age and nationality: The contest is open to residents of African countries, between the ages of 18 and 30 (at 30 June, 2023).

Original work only: The submission must be your own writing and not be previously published in print or online.

Language of Submission: Entries can be in either English or French.

Word limit: 800 total words or less. Entries exceeding this limit will be disqualified.

Submission of entry: Send your submission by email to [email protected].

Please follow this format:

  1. Subject line: Letter of Hope Contest Entry
  2. Initial information in body of email:
  • Your name and surname
  • Your date of birth
  • Your country of birth
  • Your country of residence (if different to country of birth) 

After this, include your Letter of Hope submission (800 words or less) in the email. Please do not send the entry as an attachment.

Confirmation of entry: MAI-Africa will reply to the sending email address within 5 days to verify that we have received your submission. There will be no further engagement or interaction unless the entry is selected for the anthology.

Deadline: Submissions close on Wednesday, 30 June, 2023 (midnight, East Africa Time).

Criteria for judging:  Contest judges will evaluate your submission on the impact and takeaway value for a reader in your generation. Creativity and the quality of your writing (such as clarity, vocabulary and style) will also be considered.

Awards: The judges’ decision will be final. Prizes are as follows:

  1. Selected winning entries will be published in the Letters of Hope anthology to be published by Step Publishing. The author of each selected entry will receive a copy of the printed book (*see assignment of rights below).
  2. In addition, the authors of two of the winning entries (one English and one French entry) will be awarded a full scholarship to attend LittAfrica 2023, to be held in Lusaka, Zambia from 5 to 9 November 2023 (**see additional criteria below)

*Assignment of rights: If your entry is selected for the anthology, you will be required to sign an agreement with Step Publishing allowing them to publish your letter and grant Step Publishing and MAI-Africa permission to share extracts of your letter on their social media platforms. You will also need to provide a photo, short biography and proof of your age (birth certificate or passport). There are no royalty payments or remuneration to authors.

**Criteria for scholarship awardee: If the winner of the scholarship is unable to attend the conference in Zambia from 5 to 9 November 2023, a modest cash prize will be given to them in lieu of the scholarship. The full scholarship will then be granted to another writer whose letter was selected for the anthology.

The contest is not open to MAI staff, Board members and Trustees, or their immediate family members.


Click here to view these writing contest guidelines in French.

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