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Once again Mozilla’s Common Voice and Hekaya Arts initiative are calling upon Kiswahili writers to submit creative essays in fiction and non-fiction subcategories. (Our last competition was in April 2022.) The winning prizes for the top three best essays are USD $400, $250, and $100 respectively.

Writers are encouraged to stretch their creativity and language prowess, including writing in various Kiswahili dialects. The reviewing panel also welcomes submissions of translated works given that the original author(s) are credited.

The essays will be used to help expand Mozilla’s Common Voice Kiswahili open-source data set, enabling the inclusion of local African languages in tech use and development.

Entries should be submitted here; and the deadline is Friday, September 30, 2022. Winners will be announced and awarded before the end of October.

Submission Guidelines

  • Received submissions will be in the public domain. All work submitted will be under Public Domain (CC-0) license.
  • Submissions should be between 2,500 to 5,000 words.

Text specifications

  • There should be no digits in the written work such as 2021; instead, use words.
  • Abbreviations and acronyms like “USA” or “ICE” should be avoided because they may be read in a way that does not coincide with their spelling
  • The text should not use derogatory language
  • The text should not promote any form of gender harassment, abuse, or violence
  • The text should not perpetuate or condone sexual harassment or biases
  • The text should be respectful of gender diversities i.e. usage of correct pronouns
  • The text should not propagate violence and/or threats of violence
  • The text should be in a digital format not handwritten
  • The content must be your own, no plagiarized content
  • Remember, content that will be viewed as offensive in any way will be declined

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