List of Commonwealth Writers prizes

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The following is a list of Commonwealth Writers' prizes, award by Commonwealth Writers - a world of new fiction.

Prior to 2012, the award was called the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and was composed of three prizes: the Best Book Prize (overall and regional) was awarded from 1987 to 2011; the Best First Book prize was awarded from 1989 to 2011; the Commonwealth Short Story Competition was awarded from 1996–2011.

During 2012-2013, the award was renamed and restructured under the banner of Commonwealth Writers - a world of new fiction. The award composed of two prizes.[1] The Commonwealth Book Prize was for the best first book, regional winners received £2,500 and the overall winner received £10,000. The Commonwealth Short Story Prize was for the best short stories, regional winners received £1,000 and the overall winner received £5,000.

Starting in 2014, the Commonwealth Writers decided to discontinue the Commonwealth Book Prize and focus on only the Short Story Prize.[2] Also, the award for regional winners of the Short Story Prize was increased to £2,500.


Commonwealth Short Story Prize[edit]

Regional winners and overall winners.

Year Region Author Title Country
2012[3][4] Africa Jekwu Anyaegbuna "Morrison Okoli (1955–2010)" Nigeria
Asia Anushka Jasraj "Radio Story" India
Canada and Europe Andrea Mullaney "The Ghost Marriage" Scotland
Caribbean Diana McCaulay "The Dolphin Catcher" Jamaica
Pacific Emma Martin "Two Girls in a Boat" New Zealand
2013[5][6]
(joint winners)
Africa Julian Jackson "The New Customers" South Africa
Asia Michael Mendis "The Sarong-Man in the Old House, and an Incubus for a Rainy Night" Sri Lanka
Canada and Europe Eliza Robertson "We Walked On Water" Canada
Caribbean Sharon Millar "The Whale House" Trinidad and Tobago
Pacific Zoë Meager "Things with Faces" New Zealand

Commonwealth Book Prize (discontinued)[edit]

Year Region Author Title Country Publisher
2012[3][7] Africa Jacques Strauss The Dubious Salvation of Jack V South Africa Jonathan Cape
Asia Shehan Karunatilaka Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew Sri Lanka Random House
Canada and Europe Riel Nason The Town that Drowned Canada Goose Lane Editions
Caribbean Alecia McKenzie Sweetheart Jamaica Peepal Tree Press
Pacific Cory Taylor Me and Mr Booker Australia The Text Publishing Company
2013[5][6] Africa E.E. Sule Sterile Sky Nigeria Pearson Education
Asia Nayomi Munaweera Island of a Thousand Mirrors Sri Lanka Perera-Hussein Publishing House
Canada and Europe Lisa O'Donnell The Death of Bees United Kingdom William Heinemann
Caribbean Ezekel Alan Disposable People Jamaica self-published
Pacific Michael Sala The Last Thread Australia Affirm Press

Commonwealth Writers' Prize (discontinued)[edit]

Commonwealth Short Story Competition (1996–2011)[edit]

Year Author Country Title
1996
1997 Dana Gilkes Barbados "Crab Catcher"
1998 Sujam Sankranti India
1999
2000 Dennis Nichols Guyana "The Release"
2001 Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming Bahamas "Saving Rupa"
2002 Michael Reckord Jamaica "The Cleaning Class"
2003 Madhulika Liddle India "A Morning Swim"
2004 Ruvanee P. Vilhauer Sri Lanka "Going Home"
2005 Preeta Krishna India "Treason"
2006 Erin Soros Canada "The Moon, the Cat and the Donkey"
2007 Banda-Aaku Zambia "Sozi's Box"
2008 Julie Curwin Canada "World Backwards"
2009 Jennifer Moore United Kingdom "Table Talk"
2010 Shachi Kaul India "Retirement"
2011 Philip Nash United Kingdom "Rejoinder"

Commonwealth Writers' Prize: Best Book (1987–2011)[edit]

In the following lists for the Best Book Prize and Best First Book, the overall winners are in bold and in blue background; those not in bold are the winners of the listed regions.

Year Region Author Title Country Publisher
2011[8] Africa Aminatta Forna The Memory of Love Sierra Leone
Canada and the Caribbean Emma Donoghue Room Canada
Europe and South Asia David Mitchell The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet UK
South East Asia and South Pacific Kim Scott That Deadman Dance Australia
2010[9] Africa Marié Heese The Double Crown South Africa
Canada and the Caribbean Michael Crummey Galore Canada
Europe and South Asia Rana Dasgupta Solo India/UK
South East Asia and South Pacific Albert Wendt The Adventures of Vela Samoa
2009[10] Africa Mandla Langa The Lost Colours of the Chameleon South Africa Picador Africa
Canada and the Caribbean Marina Endicott Good to a Fault Canada Freehand Books
Europe and South Asia Jhumpa Lahiri Unaccustomed Earth India/UK Bloomsbury Publishing
South East Asia and South Pacific Christos Tsiolkas The Slap Australia Allen & Unwin
2008 Africa Karen King-Aribisala The Hangman's Game Nigeria Peepal Tree Press
Canada and the Caribbean Lawrence Hill The Book of Negroes Canada HarperCollins
Europe and South Asia Indra Sinha Animal's People India Simon and Schuster
South East Asia and South Pacific Steven Carroll The Time We Have Taken Australia HarperCollins
2007 Africa Shaun Johnson The Native Commissioner South Africa Penguin Books
Canada and the Caribbean David Adams Richards The Friends of Meager Fortune Canada Doubleday
Europe and South Asia Naeem Murr The Perfect Man UK Heineman
South East Asia and South Pacific Lloyd Jones Mister Pip New Zealand Penguin Books
2006 Africa Benjamin Kwakye The Sun by Night Ghana Africa World Press
Canada and the Caribbean Lisa Moore Aligator Canada House of Anasi Press
Europe and South Asia Zadie Smith On Beauty UK Hamish Hamilton
South East Asia and South Pacific Kate Grenville The Secret River Australia Text Publishing
2005 Africa Lindsey Collen Boy South Africa Bloomsbury
Canada and the Caribbean Alice Munro Runaway Canada McClelland and Stewart
Europe and South Asia Andrea Levy Small Island UK Review
South East Asia and South Pacific Andrew McGahan The White Earth Australia Allen & Unwin
2004 Africa Damon Galgut The Good Doctor South Africa Viking Books
Canada and the Caribbean Frances Itani Deafening Canada Flamingo
Europe and South Asia Caryl Phillips A Distant Shore UK Secker & Warburg
South East Asia and South Pacific Michelle de Kretser The Hamilton Case Australia Knopf
2003 Africa Andre Brink The Other Side of Silence South Africa Secker & Warburg
Canada and the Caribbean Austin Clarke The Polished Hoe Canada Thomas Allan
Europe and South Asia Michael Frayn Spies UK Faber and Faber
South East Asia and South Pacific Sonya Hartnett Of a Boy Australia Viking Books
2002 Africa Nadine Gordimer The Pickup South Africa Bloomsbury
Canada and the Caribbean Alice Munro Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage Canada McClelland and Stewart
Europe and South Asia Ian McEwan Atonement UK Jonathan Cape
South East Asia and South Pacific Richard Flanagan Gould's Book of Fish Australia Picador
2001 Africa Zakes Mda The Heart of Redness South Africa Oxford University Press
Canada and the Caribbean Anita Rau Badami The Hero's Walk Canada Knopf
Europe and South Asia J. G. Ballard Super-Cannes UK Flamingo
South East Asia and South Pacific Peter Carey True History of the Kelly Gang Australia University of Queensland Press
2000 Africa J. M. Coetzee Disgrace South Africa Secker & Warburg
Canada and the Caribbean Shauna Singh Baldwin What the Body Remembers Canada Doubleday
Europe and South Asia Salman Rushdie The Ground Beneath Her Feet UK Jonathan Cape
South East Asia and South Pacific Lily Brett Too Many Men Australia Picador
1999 Africa Marion Molteno If You Can Walk, You Can Dance South Africa Shola Books
Canada and the Caribbean Lawrence Scott Aelred's Sin Trinidad Allison & Busby
Europe and South Asia Beryl Bainbridge Master Georgie UK Duckworth
South East Asia and South Pacific Murray Bail Eucalyptus Australia Harvill Press
1998 Africa Charles Mungoshi Walking Still Zimbabwe Baobab Books
Canada and the Caribbean Mordecai Richler Barney's Version Canada Knopf
Europe and South Asia Vikram Chandra Love and Longing in Bombay India Faber and Faber
South East Asia and South Pacific Peter Carey Jack Maggs Australia University of Queensland Press
1997 Africa Yvonne Vera Under the Tongue Zimbabwe Boabab Books
Canada and the Caribbean Earl Lovelace Salt Trinidad Faber and Faber
Europe and South Asia Beryl Bainbridge Every Man for Himself UK Duckworth
South East Asia and South Pacific Sue Woolfe Leaning Towards Infinity Australia Random House
1996 Africa No selection made
Canada and the Caribbean Rohinton Mistry A Fine Balance Canada McClelland & Stewart
Europe and South Asia David Lodge Therapy UK Secker & Warburg
South East Asia and South Pacific Gillian Mears The Grass Sister Australia Random House
1995 Africa J. M. Coetzee The Master of Petersburg South Africa Secker & Warburg
Canada and the Caribbean V.S. Naipaul A Way in the World Trinidad Heinemann
Europe and South Asia Louis de Bernières Captain Corelli's Mandolin UK Secker & Warburg
South East Asia and South Pacific Tim Winton The Riders Australia Pan Macmillan
1994 Africa Lindsey Collen The Rape of Sita Mauritius Ledikasyon pu Travayer
Canada and the Caribbean Margaret Atwood The Robber Bride Canada McClelland & Stewart
Europe and South Asia Vikram Seth A Suitable Boy India Penguin Books
South East Asia and South Pacific David Malouf Remembering Babylon Australia Random House
1993 Africa Isidore Okpewho Tides Nigeria Longman
Canada and the Caribbean Michael Ondaatje The English Patient Canada McClelland & Stewart
Europe and South Asia Lee Langley Persistent Rumours UK William Heinemann
South East Asia and South Pacific Alex Miller The Ancestor Game Australia Penguin Books
1992 Africa Ama Ata Aidoo Changes Ghana The Women's Press
Canada and the Caribbean Rohinton Mistry Such a Long Journey Canada McClelland & Stewart
Europe and South Asia Louis de Bernières Señor Vivo & the Coca Lord UK Secker & Warburg
South East Asia and South Pacific Albert Wendt Ola Samoa/New Zealand Penguin Books
1991 Africa Syl Cheney-Coker The Last Harmattan of Alusine Dunbar Sierra Leone Heinemann
Canada and the Caribbean Alice Munro Friend of My Youth Canada McClelland & Stewart
Europe and South Asia A. S. Byatt Possession: A Romance UK Chatto & Windus
South East Asia and South Pacific David Malouf The Great World Australia Chatto & Windus
1990 Africa Shimmer Chinodya Harvest of Thorns Zimbabwe Baobab Books
Canada and the Caribbean Mordecai Richler Solomon Gursky Was Here Canada Viking Books
Europe and South Asia Shashi Tharoor The Great Indian Novel India Penguin Books
South East Asia and South Pacific Robert Drewe The Bay of Contented Men Australia Picador
1989 Africa Tsitsi Dangarembga Nervous Conditions Zimbabwe The Women's Press
Canada and the Caribbean Erna Brodber Myal Jamaica New Beacon Books
Europe and South Asia Marina Warner The Lost Father UK Chatto & Windus
South East Asia and South Pacific Janet Frame The Carpathians New Zealand Century Hutchinson
1988 Africa Festus Iyayi Heroes Nigeria Longman
Canada and the Caribbean Jack Hodgins The Honorary Patron Canada McClelland & Stewart
Europe and South Asia Bruce Chatwin Songlines UK Jonathan Cape
South East Asia and South Pacific George Turner The Sea and Summer Australia Faber and Faber
1987 Africa Ben Okri Incidents at the Shrine Nigeria William Heinemann
Africa Ken Saro-Wiwa A Forest of Flowers Nigeria Saros International
Canada and the Caribbean Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale Canada Jonathan Cape
Canada and the Caribbean Olive Senior Summer Lightning Canada Longman
Europe and South Asia Nayantara Sahgal Plans for Departure India William Heinemann
South East Asia and South Pacific Blanche d'Alpuget Winter in Jerusalem Australia Heinemann
South East Asia and South Pacific Witi Ihimaera The Matriarch New Zealand Heinemann

Commonwealth Writers' Prize: Best First Book (1989–2011)[edit]

Year Region Author Title Country Publisher
2011[8] Africa Cynthia Jele Happiness is a Four-Letter Word South Africa
Canada and the Caribbean Katrina Best Bird Eat Bird Canada
Europe and South Asia Mischa Hiller Sabra Zoo UK
South East Asia and South Pacific Craig Cliff A Man Melting New Zealand
2010[9] Africa Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani I Do Not Come to You By Chance Nigeria
Canada and the Caribbean Shandi Mitchell Under This Unbroken Sky Canada
Europe and South Asia Daniyal Mueenuddin In Other Rooms, Other Wonders Pakistan
South East Asia and South Pacific Glenda Guest Siddon Rock Australia
2009[10] Africa Uwem Akpan Say You‘re One of Them Nigeria Abacus
Canada and the Caribbean Joan Thomas Reading by Lightning Canada Goose Lane Editions
Europe and South Asia Mohammed Hanif A Case of Exploding Mangoes Pakistan Jonathan Cape
South East Asia and South Pacific Mo Zhi Hong The Year of the Shanghai Shark New Zealand Penguin Books New Zealand
2008 Africa Sade Adeniran Imagine This Nigeria SW Books
Canada and the Caribbean C.S. Richardson The End of the Alphabet Canada Doubleday
Europe and South Asia Tahmima Anam A Golden Age Bangladesh John Murray
South East Asia and South Pacific Karen Foxlee The Anatomy of Wings Australia University of Queensland Press
2007 Africa Maxine Case All We Have Left Unsaid South Africa Kwela Books
Canada and the Caribbean D. Y. Béchard Vandal Love Canada Doubleday
Europe and South Asia Hisham Matar In the Country of Men UK Viking Books
South East Asia and South Pacific Andrew O'Connor Tuvalu Australia Allen & Unwin
2006 Africa Doreen Baingana Tropical Fish: Stories Out of Entebbe Uganda University of Massachusetts Press
Canada and the Caribbean Mark McWatt Suspended Sentences: Fictions of Atonement Guyana Peepal Tree Press
Europe and South Asia Donna Daley-Clarke Lazy Eye UK Scribner
South East Asia and South Pacific Tash Aw The Harmony Silk Factory Malaysia Harper Perennial
2005 Africa Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Purple Hibiscus Nigeria Fourth Estate
Canada and the Caribbean David Bezmozgis Natasha and Other Stories Canada Flamingo
Europe and South Asia Rupa Bajwa The Sari Shop India Viking Books
South East Asia and South Pacific Larissa Behrendt Home Australia University of Queensland Press
2004 Africa Diane Awerbuck Gardening at Night South Africa Secker & Warburg
Canada and the Caribbean Kate Taylor Madame Proust and the Kosher Kitchen Canada Doubleday
Europe and South Asia Mark Haddon The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time UK Jonathan Cape
South East Asia and South Pacific Nada Awar Jarrar Somewhere, Home Australia William Heinemann
2003 Africa Helon Habila Waiting for an Angel Nigeria Hamish Hamilton
Canada and the Caribbean Paulo da Costa The Scent of a Lie Canada Ekstatis Editions
Europe and South Asia Sarah Hall Haweswater UK Faber and Faber
South East Asia and South Pacific Rani Manicka The Rice Mother Malaysia Sceptre
2002 Africa Manu Herbstein Ama South Africa e-reads
Canada and the Caribbean Michael Redhill Martin Sloane Canada Anchor Books
Europe and South Asia William Muir The 18th Pale Descendant UK Quartet
South East Asia and South Pacific Meaghan Delahunt In the Blue House Australia Bloomsbury
2001 Africa K. Sello Duiker Thirteen Cents South Africa David Philip Publishing
Canada and the Caribbean Pearl Luke Burning Ground Canada Flamingo
Europe and South Asia Zadie Smith White Teeth UK Hamish Hamilton
South East Asia and South Pacific Arabella Edge The Company Australia Picador
2000 Africa Funso Aiyejina The Legend of the Rockhills and Other Stories Nigeria TSAR Publications
Canada and the Caribbean Jeffrey Moore Prisoner in a Red-Rose Chain Canada Thistledown Press
Europe and South Asia Raj Kamal Jha The Blue Bedspread India Picador
South East Asia and South Pacific Kapka Kassabova Reconnaissance New Zealand Penguin Books
1999 Africa Benjamin Kwakye The Clothes of Nakedness Ghana Heinemann
Canada and the Caribbean Kerri Sakamoto The Electrical Field Canada Knopf
Europe and South Asia Manju Kapur Difficult Daughters India Penguin Books
South East Asia and South Pacific Catherine Chidgey In a Fishbone Church New Zealand Victoria University Press
1998 Africa Pamela Jooste Dance with a Poor Man's Daughter South Africa Doubleday
Canada and the Caribbean Tim Wynveen Angel Falls Canada Key Porter Books
Europe and South Asia A. Sivanandan When Memory Dies UK Arcadia Books
South East Asia and South Pacific Emma Tom Deadset Australia Random House
1997 Africa Ronnie Govender At the Edge and other Cato Manor Stories South Africa Hibbard Publishers
Canada and the Caribbean Ann-Marie MacDonald Fall on Your Knees Canada Knopf
Europe and South Asia Jeremy Poolman Interesting Facts about the State of Arizona UK Faber and Faber
South East Asia and South Pacific Sia Figiel Where We Once Belonged Samoa Pasifika Press
1996 Africa Dene Coetzee Winds of Change South Africa Hodder and Stoughton
Canada and the Caribbean Thomas Wharton Icefields Canada NeWest Publishers
Europe and South Asia Vikram Chandra Red Earth and Pouring Rain India Penguin Books
South East Asia and South Pacific Charlotte Randall Dead Sea Fruit New Zealand Reed Publishing
1995 Africa Margaret A. Ogola The River and the Source Kenya Focus Books
Canada and the Caribbean Hiromi Goto Chorus of Mushrooms Canada Newest Publishing
Europe and South Asia Derek Beaven Newton's Niece UK Faber & Faber
South East Asia and South Pacific Adib Khan Seasonal Adjustments Australia Allen and Unwin
1994 Africa Lucy Safo Cry a Whisper Ghana Bogle-Louverture
Canada and the Caribbean Vanessa Spence The Roads are Down Jamaica Heinemann
Europe and South Asia Keith Oatley The Case of Emily V UK Secker & Warburg
South East Asia and South Pacific Forini Epanomitis The Mule's Foal Australia Allen & Unwin
1993 Africa Paul Conton The Price of Liberty Sierra Leone Macmillan
Canada and the Caribbean Alecia McKenzie Satellite City Jamaica Longman
Europe and South Asia Githa Hariharan The Thousand Faces of Night India Penguin Books
South East Asia and South Pacific Andrew McGahan Praise Australia Allen & Unwin
1992 Africa Lawrence Darmani Grief Child Ghana Lion Publishing
Canada and the Caribbean Robert Antoni Divina Trace Bahamas Quartet
Europe and South Asia Amit Chaudhuri A Strange and Sublime Address India Heinemann
South East Asia and South Pacific Beryl Fletcher The Word Burners New Zealand Daphne Brasell
1991 Africa Karen King-Aribisala Our Wife and Other Stories Nigeria Malthouse Press
Canada and the Caribbean Pauline Melville Shape Shifter Guyana The Women's Press
Europe and South Asia Louis de Bernières The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts UK Secker & Warburg
South East Asia and South Pacific Thea Welsh The Story of the Year of 1912 in the Village of Elza Darzins Australia Simon & Schuster
1990 Africa M.G. Vassanji The Gunny Sack Kenya Heinemann
Canada and the Caribbean Darlene Barry Quaife Bone Bird Canada Turnstone Press
Europe and South Asia Paul Griffiths Myself and Marco Polo UK Chatto & Windus
South East Asia and South Pacific John Cranna Visitors New Zealand Heinemann
1989 Africa No selection made
Canada and the Caribbean Bonnie Burnard Women of Influence Canada Coteau Books
Europe and South Asia Allan Sealy The Trotter-Nama India Viking Books
South East Asia and South Pacific Gillian Mears Ride a Cock Horse Australia Pascoe Publishing

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]