Deadline for submission: Tuesday, 5th January 2021 at 5pm GMT


The AWT Manuscript Assessment Programme (MAP) was designed to offer quality appraisals of book manuscripts by highly experienced editors and readers.  In addition, the assessors provide a detailed report on the manuscript, focusing on key areas such as plot, structure, character development and dialogue, as well as on the quality of the writing. Now in its second edition, the aim of the programme is to inspire and motivate writers to develop their craft with the goal of publishing their manuscripts.

Target Group

The programme is open to African writers working and living on the continent. For the purpose of this programme, an African writer will be described as someone who is an African by birth or by nationality.  


The assessors are: Leila Aboulela, Emma Shercliff, Jeanne -Marie Jackson Awotwi, Madhu Krishnan, Susan Nalugwa Kiguli, Jessica Atwooki Kaahwa, Gilbert Braspenning, and Goretti Kyomuhendo. (Find full bios here)

Editorial Feedback

The assessors will provide a report of 2,000 words on key areas, such as plot, structure, character development, and dialogue, as well as on the quality of the writing. They will also make suggestions for the future development of the manuscript.


  • Participating writers will gain a fresh perspective to their writing, and utilise the knowledge gained to develop their writing to higher standards.
  • The opportunity to become an AWT Alumni Associate and benefit from on-going support to gain additional experience in writing, editing and publishing.
  • Participating writers will be directed to opportunities aimed at developing their careers such as contests, prizes, publishing opportunities, trainings, conferences and others.
  • The opportunity to be part of the AWT online platforms which promotes a community of writers from which they can receive practical advice and guidance about how to maintain a writing life. 

Criteria for Participating Writers

  • All manuscripts must be written in English.
  • Manuscripts genres will include: Novel, short stories, poetry, plays, creative non-fiction and memoir/autobiography/biography.
  • Participating writers will be required to pay a fee of USD 300 per manuscript
  • Manuscript guidelines and criteria:


  • Novel: minimum 200 pages and maximum 300 pages (50,000 words)
  • Short story collection/anthology: minimum 150 pages and maximum 250 (30,000 words)
  • Poetry: minimum 50 pages and maximum 100 pages
  • Memoir/autobiography /biography: Maximum: 50,000 words
  • Creative non-fiction: Maximum: 50,000 words
  • Plays: Maximum: 75 pages


  • Manuscripts should be written in English.
  • Writers should include a synopsis of their manuscript of not more than 1,000 words.
  • Manuscripts should be submitted as a one-word document using black, 12 point, Times New Roman font.
  • Publishers will submit manuscripts they are developing for publication.
  • Writers, poets, and playwrights will submit their own manuscripts which they plan to self-publish or submit for consideration to other publishers.
  • Submission window: Monday 16th November 2020- Tuesday 5th January 2021.

How to submit your manuscript

  • Submit your manuscript and the synopsis to and
  • Please include in Subject line: Submission for Manuscript Assessment Programme.

How to pay

For East African nationals, you may pay using:

  • Airtel money (+256 753 033086) or MTN mobile money (+256 775 685909). All registered as Mark Akampurira Edson. 
  • For international participants, you may use Money Gram, Western Union or bank transfer.

For enquiries on how to apply, please contact: Racheal Kizza, on +256 752 570573 and email

Please note that we will aim to give individual feedback by March 2021.

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