The Miles Morland Foundation is pleased to announce that applications for the 2023 Morland Writing Scholarships for African writers will be accepted beginning on Saturday, July 1st. The deadline for submissions is September 18th.
Before becoming established, it might be difficult for writers to compose while also making a living. The MMF annually provides a small number of Morland Writing Scholarships to assist meet this demand, with the goal of giving each Scholar enough time to complete the first draft of a completed book. The Scholarships are accessible to anyone writing in English who was born in Africa or had both parents born in Africa.
Last year we received nearly 600 applications. As we enter the eleventh year of the Morland Writing Scholarships, we’re as excited as ever to read new entries and to discover who the 2023 winners will be. Our judges will have the difficult task of selecting just four scholars out of those who apply. The winners will be announced in November.
About Miles Morland Foundation
Miles Morland set up the foundation which bears his name in 2013, after a career investing in Africa via two companies he created, Blakeney Management and DPI (Development Partners International). Based in London, the Miles Morland Foundation (MMF) is a UK registered charity which makes grants in areas reflecting its founder’s interests. The Foundation’s main aim is to support entities in Africa which allow Africans to get their voices better heard.
Scholars writing fiction will receive a grant of £18,000, paid monthly over the course of twelve months. At the discretion of the Foundation, Scholars writing non-fiction, who require additional research time, could receive an additional grant, paid over a period of up to eighteen months.
At the end of each month scholars must send the Foundation 10,000 new words that they will have written over the course of the month. Scholars are also asked to donate to the MMF 20% of whatever they subsequently receive from the book they write during the period of their Scholarship. This includes revenues as a result of film rights, serialisations or other ancillary revenues arising from the book written during the Scholarship period. These funds will be used to support other promising writers. The 20% return obligation should be considered a debt of honour rather than a legally binding obligation.
To qualify for the Scholarship a candidate must submit an excerpt from a piece of work of between 2,000 – 5,000 words, written in English that has been published and offered for sale, you must send clear evidence that the piece you upload as part of your application has been both published AND offered for sale. This will be evaluated by a panel of readers and judges set up by the MMF. The work submitted will be judged purely on literary merit. It is not the purpose of the Scholarships to support academic or scientific research, or works of special interest such as religious or political writings. Submissions or proposals of this nature do not qualify.
The only condition imposed on the Scholars during the year of their Scholarship is that they must write. They will be asked to submit by email at least 10,000 new words every month until they have finished their book, or their Scholarship term has ended. If the first draft of the book is completed before the year is up, payments will continue while the Scholar edits and refines their work.
The candidates should submit a description of between 400 – 1,000 words of the work they intend to write. The proposal must be for a full length book of no fewer than 80,000 words. The MMF does not accept proposals for collaborative writing or short story collections. The proposal should be for a completely new work, not a work in progress, and must be in English.
Please note that if you are shortlisted for a Morland Writing Scholarship, you will be asked to send us a 3,000 – 4,000 word “chapter” of the book you are proposing to write on your scholarship year to help the judges assess your ability. Writers will be notified that they are on the shortlist at the end of October. Shortlisters will then have 15 days to return the sample “chapter”. In view of that, please do some advance thinking about the sample “chapter” you will have to provide if you are shortlisted.
Please also tell us in 200 – 300 words something about yourself and your background. People who reach the shortlist will be asked for further information about themselves and how they propose to write their book.
Fiction or Non-Fiction
The Foundation welcomes both fiction and non-fiction proposals. We are aware that non-fiction Scholars may need extra time for research, so the Foundation may exercise its discretion to offer non-fiction writers a longer Scholarship period of up to 18 months.
Interview Date, Process and Venue
The Scholars may elect to start at any time between January and June in the year following the Scholarship Award. Their payments and the 10,000 word monthly submission requirement will start at the same time.
The Scholarships are meant for full length works of adult fiction or non-fiction. Poetry, plays, film scripts, children’s books, and short story collections do not qualify.
The Foundation will not review or comment on the monthly submissions as they come in. However, each Scholar will be offered the opportunity to be mentored by an established author or publisher. In most cases the mentorship will begin after the book has been finished and the Scholarship period has ended. At the discretion of the Foundation, the cost of the mentorship will be borne by the MMF. It is not the intention of the MMF to act as editor or a publisher. Scholars will need to find their own agents and publishers although the MMF is happy to offer advice.
Please note that this is not a residential Scholarship. It is up to the Scholars what their living arrangements are during their Scholarship year.
Applications will be received between 1st July 2022 and 18th September 2022. Applications submitted outside that period will not be looked at.
Documents Required for Application
Have you enclosed all six things on the checklist below?
- A submission of between 2,000 to 5,000 words as a Word document of work that has been published and offered for sale.
- Proof of publication and proof of sale.
- A scan of an official document showing that you, or both of your parents, were born in Africa.
- A description of between 400 – 1,000 words about the new book you intend to write.
- A brief bio of between 200 – 300 words.
- Please tell us how you heard about the Morland Writing Scholarships.
How to Apply
Interested and qualified? Go to Miles Morland Foundation on milesmorlandfoundation.com to apply
For more details visit: MMF website on https://milesmorlandfoundation.com/morland-african-writing-scholarship-2023-opening-date/