This year Commonwealth Writers turns its focus solely on the Commonwealth Short Story Prize as a unique award.
The short story provides an accessible format as well as enabling writers to enter from countries where there is little or no publishing industry and to submit stories that have been translated into English. As a result it has become the main focus for Commonwealth Writers, a cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation.
‘It would be wonderful to see submissions from bold stylists and stories that experiment with the form as well as more traditional approaches to the short story,’ said Ellah Allfrey, who is chairing the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
‘This prize celebrates the power of the short story to spin a tale that concentrates experience and character in such specificity that the local is transformed to significance far beyond its borders,’ said Allfrey, who is Deputy Chair of the Council of the Caine Prize, previously Deputy Editor of Granta and a senior editor at Random House. ‘This is the magic of good writing, and this is what I hope we will find,’ she added.
‘Writers from across the Commonwealth will be encouraged to send us stories that bring us news of wherever they are, in the wide variety of voices and accents that make up the English language’.
Regional winners of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize will receive £2,500 and the overall winner receives £5,000. Translators of winning stories will receive additional prize money.
‘We’re proud to have such an accomplished team of judges and excited to be putting more resources into this year’s Short Story Prize,’ said Lucy Hannah, Programme Manager at the Commonwealth Foundation.
Commonwealth Writers continues its partnership with Granta Magazine, providng winners with an opportunity to have their story published online, while for the first time, selected writers will be offered a chance to work with the London-based literary and media agency Blake Friedmann.
The judges are pictured left to right: Ellah Allfrey, Doreen Baingana, Michelle de Kretser, Marlon James, Courttia Newland and Jeet Thayil, reflecting the Commonwealth regions of Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
The 2014 Short Story Prize closed on 30 November 2013. Entry was via the online application form at www.commonwealthwriters.org
Photo Credits: Ellah Allfrey: Daniella Silva, Jeet Thayil: Basso Cannarsa; Doreen Baingana: Jerry Riley.