2023 Literary Leadership for Emerging Authors / How to Apply (Award: $1500)
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2023 Literary Leadership for Emerging Authors / How to Apply (Award: $1500)

Suyi Davies Okungbowas Literary Laddership for Emerging Authors Fellowship is currently open to writers who are Black and/or of African descent.

Suyi says the Literary Laddership for Emerging Authors was created “with the aim of forming stronger connections between initial support and paths to publication by offering African writers with minimal privilege access to community and network. Emergent writers will be placed on a true path of growth with the aim of offering both funding and accessibility that barely exists naturally on the continent.”

This program is based on the writing fellowship model, but with one marked difference: they are invested in the continuous act of “sending the ladder down.” Their community is built by working writers and professionals for those who aspire to break into writing professionally. They retain an awareness of the privileges and inequities resident in communities built on traditional institutions like publishing. The literary “laddership” is their way of building a fellowship that pays attention to these inequities and designs systems to alleviate them.

Eligibility Guideline for the 2023 Literary Laddership for Emerging Authors

  • Their aim at this time is to provide support to writers of prose fiction. This may be interpreted to include hybrid forms like fiction in verse, but the submitted work must be fiction-based storytelling with a narrative arc in any genre and for any audience.
  • They do not currently accept submissions in other literary forms (creative nonfiction, poetry, screenwriting, etc). If this policy changes at any point in the future, they will announce said changes.
  • They are mostly interested in considering authors who write original works in English. Works in translation are currently ineligible.
  • The fellowship is open only to writers of Black and/or African descent. Additionally, they ask that applicants pair this eligibility requirement  with that of continental citizenship and primary residency as described below:
  • All applicants must be aged 18 and above.


How to Apply for the 2023 Literary Laddership for Emerging Authors

To apply, submit the following information to: fellowship(at)suyidavies.com. (Kindly ensure that no name or identifying information is present in the submission documents/materials. Such information may be present in the email body).

  1. Cover letter: In the email body, briefly describe your basis for meeting the eligibility criteria. Learn how to write a captivating cover letter to assist your submission. 

  2. Writing sample: A sample of 3,000 words max (doc, docx, pdf), across 2 different works, split however the author wishes. They will receive any kind of work, but excerpts from a lengthy work-in-progress (novel or novella) are recommended over shorter fiction (flash, short stories, novelette). Please do not send in one work of 3,000 words. Judges would like to see how authors work across different pieces. Ensure your submissions are well written and properly edited

  3. Project description, fellowship plan, budget: A separate document (2 pages max, single spaced) detailing:

  • why you should get this fellowship

  • what you will be working on while here

  • how you will spend the funds to achieve this plan

NOTE: The proposed work in your plan MUST be a manuscript of minimum novella-length (i.e. 17,500 – 40,000 words) or novel length (i.e. 40,000+ words). 

Response time: *Selected fellows will be announced (and contacted) between 30-90 days from the application deadline.


The prize given to the three selected fellow consists of Three Laddership Solution. For the monetary award, Each writer will receive a grant of $500 each, paid out a third each month.

Visit the Official Website to get detailed information on them.


Applications are open from April  17th 2023, to  April 30th 2023. 

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