AFREADA x Africa Writes Present: Warsan Shire Flash Fiction Competition

AFREADA x Africa Writes Present: Warsan Shire Flash Fiction Competition

The UK’s biggest annual African literature festival is just around the corner and, as the creatures of habit that we are, we’ve decided to return with the AFREADA x Africa Writes Competition.

This year’s exciting programme will showcase the very best writers and writing from the continent and the diaspora, including none other than the much-loved, Somali British poet, Warsan Shire, who will be in conversation on Sunday, 1st July at the British Library.

We asked Warsan to come through with a writing prompt, and she certainly didn’t disappoint. We are inviting writers, anywhere and everywhere, to participate in a 500-word flash fiction competition based on this striking line from the poem, The House. It reads:


Mother says there are locked rooms inside all women. 


If you know anything about AFREADA competitions, you’ll know that we like to keep it simple with the rules. All you have to do is read this prompt until you begin to see colours and hear sounds. Read it until the sounds become voices and the voices become conversations between characters… then use all that wonderful creative energy to write a fictional story.

We are offering a £100 cash prize to the winning entry, which will be selected by Warsan Shire, announced at her headline event at Africa Writes, and published in AFREADA.

So if you think you’ve got what it takes (or even if you’re riddled with fear and self-doubt), read the guidelines below and get to work!

Entry Guidelines:

  • All entries must be no more than 500 words.
  • All entries must be emailed to as Microsoft Word attachments (.doc or .docx format).
  • Please put “AFREADA x Africa Writes Competition – Your Full Name” in the subject line.
  • In the body of the email, please include your contact details, social media handles and a short bio (100 words max).
  • In the body of the email, indicate if you would prefer to opt-out of the AFREADA and Africa Writes newsletters
  • Deadline: Friday, 15th June. 23:59 BST.

Questions? Click here and go straight to the comment section.


Photo by Amaal Said