The International Literary Seminars Fiction & Poetry Contest is now open for entries!
A little backstory…
Once upon a time there was an organization called Summer Literary Seminars (SLS)(1998-2019). There is now an organization called International Literary Seminars (ILS). They list SLS as their parent. From their ABOUT page:
“Our mission as a not-for-profit organization is to amplify the literary and cultural visibility of Nairobi and Lamu within an international context and with a particular focus on showcasing the vibrant and complex voices of emerging East African writers.”
I entered the SLS fiction contest and went to the Kenya seminar in 2009 after being awarded a partial fellowship to attend.
You can click the link below to go right to the contest page for entry and prize details:
2023 ILS + FENCE FICTION AND POETRY CONTEST
The prizes are substantial. First place will win full scholarship, which includes tuition, accommodation, and an airfare stipend. You can see the other prizes by clicking the above link.
The program is an excellent experience. The itinerary will be different than the one I had when I went through SLS, but it’s also essentially the same. You will go to both Nairobi and Lamu, which were the settings I experienced through SLS. This was a life-changing retreat for me in more ways than one. They have an excellent writing program, and it is perfectly balanced with the cultural experience of place.
You should enter this contest!
For more on my own personal experiences on Lamu Island, visit THIS LINK: THE WHITE RABBIT OF LAMU AND TIME MARCHES ON
Here’s a link to a detailed rundown of this year’s ILS program, which begins in Nairobi. It runs from DECEMBER 5th – 20th, 2023>>> 2023 PROGRAM
It looks like the entry fee is $19.00USD. ILS is a not-for-profit organization.
Other things to know: Submissions are capped at 1,000. They had over 450 entries last year. Fiction can be a short story OR a novel excerpt—unpublished at 6,000 words or less. Poetry is up to 3 poems. Entries are accepted until AUGUST 25th, through Submittable.
Good luck! May you fall in love with Kenya as I did!