Friday 13th September, London, United Kingdom: The 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Prize is accepting entries from 1 September to 1 November 2019. The competition is administered by Commonwealth Writers and is free to enter.
The prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2,000–5,000 words). The five regional winners receive £2,500 each and the overall winner receives a total of £5,000.
In addition to English, submissions are accepted in Bengali, Chinese, French, Greek, Kiswahili, Malay, Portuguese, Samoan, Tamil, and Turkish. Stories that have been translated into English from any language are also accepted.
The prize is open to citizens of all Commonwealth countries and judged by an international panel, representing each of the five regions of the Commonwealth. The judges for the 2020 prize are: Nii Ayikwei Parkes (Chair), Mohale Mashigo (Africa), William Phuan (Asia), Heather O’Neill (Canada and Europe), Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw (Caribbean), and Nic Low (Pacific).
The five regional winning stories are published online by the literary magazine Granta. Past winners of the prize have gone on to win other literary competitions and secure book deals.
The overall winner is announced at a ceremony which is held in a different region of the Commonwealth each year. All the regional winners are invited to attend this special event which provides opportunities to network with other writers and engage the media.
Janet Steel, Programme Manager of Commonwealth Writers, said:
‘The prize is at the heart of all the work we do at Commonwealth Writers. It’s a chance for new voices to shine from around the Commonwealth and be recognised on a global platform.’
Constantia Soteriou, Cypriot writer and overall winner of the 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, said:
‘I feel honoured and happy to win this amazing prize; it feels like a reward for all the hard work I have been doing over the last eight years, writing about the perspectives of women on the political and historical events of Cyprus.
‘This prize is a recognition for giving voice to those who did not have the chance to be heard before; those who were left behind.’
Those interested in applying can find out more about eligibility, rules, and the submission process at www.commonwealthwriters.org/