We have announced the five regional winning Commonwealth Short Story Prize stories Learn more

The 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Posted on 31/08/2015
By Commonwealth Foundation

The 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize was won by Jonathan Tel for his story ‘The Human Phonograph’.

IMG_0368Jonathan Tel is the overall winner of the 2015 Prize. Listen here to his interview with broadcaster and journalist Razia Iqbal.




2015-Commonwealth-Short-Story-Prize-Regional-Winners-CSSP2015contrastThe 2015 Regional Winners came from Nigeria, India, Trinidad & Tobago, Fiji and the UK. Read their stories and listen to the writers talk about their work.



Short Story Prize logoThe 2015 shortlist featured 22 stories by writers from 11 countries. Read excerpts from each story on the shortlist page.




For news of other competitions, prizes and submission calls, visit our Opportunities page.



The 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize Judges 

The 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize judging panel was chaired by Romesh Gunesekera. Each year our judges select five winning writers from five different Commonwealth regions who share a total prize money of £15,000. The overall winner receives £5,000, one of the highest amounts for an international short story prize open to unpublished writers. Regional winners receive £2,500. All stories submitted are unpublished, but published writers are also eligible to apply. The Shortlist, the Regional Winners and the Overall Winner of the Prize will be announced in 2015.


Romesh Gunesekera, Judge 2015CSSP

Romesh Gunesekera was born in Sri Lanka and moved to Britain in the early 1970s. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he is the author of eight books of fiction. His novel Reef was short-listed for the 1994 Booker Prize. His new collection of stories set in post-war Sri Lanka, Noontide Toll, was published by Granta in 2014 along with a 20th anniversary edition of his first novel Reef. Twitter: @RomeshG






Leila Aboulela, Judge 2015CSSPLeila Aboulela’s latest novel Lyrics Alley (2010) was the Fiction Winner of the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards. It was long-listed for the Orange Prize and short-listed for the S. Asia and Europe Region in the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize. Her previous novels The Translator (1999), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Minaret (2005) were longlisted for the Orange Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Award. Leila was awarded the Caine Prize for African Writing for ‘The Museum’ included in her story collection Coloured Lights (2001). Her work has been translated into 14 languages.


Fred D'Aguiar Judge 2015CSSPFred D’Aguiar was born in London of Guyanese parents and grew up in Guyana. His twelve books include novels, poems and plays. His latest novel, inspired by events at Jonestown, Guyana, is Children of Paradise (2014). Fred teaches at Virginia Tech in the United States. Twitter: @VTPOET



Marina Endicott, Judge 2015CSSPMarina Endicott worked as an actor and director before turning to fiction. Marina’s novels and stories have been serialized on CBC Radio, and she’s had three plays produced. Her novel Good to a Fault was a finalist for the Canada’s Giller Prize and was a regional winner of the Commonwealth Prize for Best Book. Her novel Close to Hugh is released in 2015. Twitter: @marinaendicott



Withi Ihimaera, Judge 2015CSSPWiti Ihimaera is a New Zealand novelist, short story writer, film producer and teacher. In 1973 he became the first Maori novelist with Tangi, and won a Commonwealth regional prize for The Matriarch in 1987. His book The Whale Rider was made into a successful international film in 2002. His memoir Maori Boy, will be released in November 2014 in New Zealand.



Bina Shah, Judge 2015CSSP

Bina Shah is a Karachi-based author of four novels,  including her most recent book A Season of Martyrsand two collections of short stories. A regular contributor to The International New York Times and a frequent guest on the BBC, she has contributed essays and op-eds to Al Jazeera, Granta, The Independent, and The Guardian, and writes a regular column for Dawn, the top English-language newspaper in Pakistan. Twitter: @BinaShah