The online community of Commonwealth Writers has grown exponentially in recent years, with our online activity achieving a truly global reach. In this we saw an opportunity: to create a place where writers and readers can talk to each other, across global and geopolitical divides.

This space is now known as adda. In Bengali, adda describes an informal conversation that takes place at length; in Hindi it can be traced back to a ‘perching spot’ for birds, in the Punjab it is a pit stop on long highways where travellers stop and exchange news. Put simply: an adda is a meeting place. It is now Commonwealth Writers’ online gathering of stories.
At adda we publish nonfiction and fiction – whether it takes the form of narrative essays, photo-essays, memoir, short stories, graphic novels or poetry. Alongside nonfiction and fiction we have an “Anomalies” section which offers the occasional quirky rejoinder to stories on the site or in the world. For the present, adda will exist online and will not be available in print form.

We don’t accept unsolicited submissions. Stories are selected through a combination of open calls and commissions. Our commissioning process is simple: we look for varied and complementary material, curating the site in such a way that stories might speak to each other in both form and content. While we will remain responsive to events in the world at large, we will also select stories precisely because we haven’t heard them before – whether as a result of geographical isolation, societal marginalisation or unexpected thinking.

Visit the Adda Stories website

  • Good Manners by Gothataone Moeng

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    It took me a moment to recognise him.  When I did, I was overcome by the shyness of seeing a friend after years, suspecting that he was scrutinising me to see how much of the old me I still retained. K was a friend from school; we had been in the same classes all four […]

  • He Put me in a Bubble by Marwa Haitham Melham

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    In a few moments, you will hear a loud noise like a shot from a high cavernous space. The echo will be massive. But you are probably used to loud noises and will not know what is happening. I used to be different from what I am now. My mother was very pleased the day […]

  • Poem for the Commonwealth 2018 by Karlo Mila

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    We gather here and feel the weight of the world on our shoulders. It does not feel like we’ve inherited commonwealth. But rather common problems. If we are to heed the words of poets Ben Okri said yesterday, “We have entered the garden of nightmares and wonders the giants have woken and they are stirring […]

  • 25 Notes on Becoming by Boluwatife Afolabi

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    I I write to tell you that the walls of my bones are made of contention and I am always situated between desires that threaten to break or mould me.   II I write to tell you that I am not the cartographer of memory and that sometimes, I forget my way home and stumble […]

  • Catalayah by Wendy Hara

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    I memorised the rhythm of your heart, almost inaudible but I heard you, a beating body inside a body being beaten. Growing within me Growing with me The tiny footprints you made on the home we shared, I could never erase them, and you had me wrapped around your finger while his fingers were wrapped […]