Commonwealth Short Story Prize

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Commonwealth Short Story Prize
Awarded forBest piece of unpublished short fiction (2,000 – 5,000 words)
LocationCommonwealth countries
Presented byCommonwealth Writers
First awarded2012

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded annually for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2,000 to 5,000 words). The prize is open to Commonwealth citizens aged 18 and over. The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is managed by Commonwealth Writers, the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation, which was set up in 2012 to inspire, develop and connect writers and storytellers across the Commonwealth.[1] The Prize replaced the Commonwealth Short Story Competition, a roughly similar competition that existed from 1996 to 2011 and was discontinued by the Commonwealth Foundation, along with the Commonwealth Writers' Prize.[2]

The Prize is open to writers who have had little or no work published and particularly aimed at those places with little or no publishing industry. The prize aims to bring writing from these countries to the attention of an international audience. The stories need to be in English, but can be translated from other languages.

The overall winner receives £5,000 and the regional winner £2,500. During 2012–13, the regional received £1,000. Starting in 2014, the award for regional winners of the Short Story Prize was increased to £2,500. At the same time, Commonwealth Writers discontinued the Commonwealth Book Prize and focused solely on the Short Story Prize.[3]

Commonwealth Foundation[edit]

Commonwealth Writers is the cultural programme of the Commonwealth Foundation. The Commonwealth Foundation is an intergovernmental organisation established in 1965, resourced by and reporting to Commonwealth governments, and guided by Commonwealth values and priorities.


Regional winners and overall winners.

Year Region Author Title Country
2012[4][5] 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
(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
2014[7][8] Africa Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi "Let's Tell This Story Properly" Uganda
Asia Sara Adam Ang "A Day in the Death" Singapore
Canada and Europe Lucy Caldwell "Killing Time" United Kingdom
Caribbean Maggie Harris "Sending for Chantal" Guyana
Pacific Lucy Treloar "The Dog and the Sea" Australia
2015[9][10] Africa Lesley Nneka Arimah "Light" Nigeria
Asia Siddhartha Gigoo "The Umbrella Man" India
Canada and Europe Jonathan Tel "The Human Phonograph" United Kingdom
Caribbean Kevin Jared Hosein "The King of Settlement 4" Trinidad and Tobago
Pacific Mary Rokonadravu "Famished Eels" Fiji
2016[11] Africa Faraaz Mahomed "The Pigeon" South Africa
Asia Parashar Kulkarni "Cow and Company" India
Canada and Europe Stephanie Seddon "Eel" United Kingdom
Caribbean Lance Dowrich "Ethelbert and the Free Cheese" Trinidad and Tobago
Pacific Tina Makereti "Black Milk" New Zealand
2017[12] Africa Akwaeke Emezi "Who Is Like God" Nigeria
Asia Anushka Jasraj "Drawing Lessons" India
Canada and Europe Tracy Fells "The Naming of Moths" United Kingdom
Caribbean Ingrid Persaud "The Sweet Sop" Trinidad and Tobago
Pacific Nat Newman "The Death of Margaret Roe" Australia
2018 Africa Efua Traoré "True Happiness" Nigeria
Asia Sagnik Datta "The Divine Pregnancy of a Twelve-Year Old Girl" India
Canada and Europe Lynda Clark "Ghillie's Mum" United Kingdom
Caribbean Kevin Jared Hosein "Passage" Trinidad and Tobago
Pacific Jenny Bennett-Tuionetoa "Matalasi" Samoa
2019[13][14] Africa Mbozi Haimbe "Madam’s Sister" Zambia
Asia Saras Manickam "My Mother Pattu" Malaysia
Canada and Europe Constantia Soteriou "Death Customs" Cyprus
Caribbean Alexia Tolas "Granma's Porch" Bahamas
Pacific Harley Hern "Screaming" New Zealand

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About". Commonwealth Writers. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Cassava Republic Press — Commonwealth prizes get face-lift for 25th year". 26 September 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  3. ^ Tanya Batson-Savage (15 August 2013). "Commonwealth Writers Snuffs the Book Prize: Focus on Commonwealth Short Story Prize". Susumba. Archived from the original on 23 April 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. ^ "Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2012: Regional Winners". 21 May 2012. Archived from the original on 31 May 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  5. ^ "Sri Lanka & New Zealand triumphant in the Commonwealth Writers 2012 prizes". 8 June 2012. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  6. ^ "Commonwealth Writers announces regional winners for 2013 prizes". Commonwealth Writers. 16 May 2013. Archived from the original on 12 August 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  7. ^ "Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2014: Regional Winners". Commonwealth Prize. 14 May 2012. Archived from the original on 16 June 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  8. ^ "Jennifer Makumbi, Overall Winner of the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize". Commonwealth Prize. 13 June 2014. Archived from the original on 16 June 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  9. ^ Luca Furio (2 October 2015). "Commonwealth short story prize 2015". Commonwealth Writers. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  10. ^ Alison Flood (28 April 2015). "First-time Fijian author scoops award in Commonwealth short story competition". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
  11. ^ Luca Furio. "Commonwealth short story prize 2016". Commonwealth Writers. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  12. ^ Luca Furio (22 May 2017). "Commonwealth short story prize 2017". Commonwealth Writers. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  13. ^ "NZ writer Harley Hern named Commonwealth Short Story Prize regional winner". Books+Publishing. 2019-05-09. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  14. ^ "Cypriot writer Soteriou wins 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize". Books+Publishing. 2019-07-10. Retrieved 2019-07-10.

External links[edit]