The Commonwealth Short Story Prize

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. 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.

The competition brings stories from new and emerging voices, often from countries with little or no publishing infrastructure, to the attention of an international audience.

The Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2,000–5,000 words) in English. Short stories translated into English from other languages are also eligible, and writers from Mozambique who write in Portuguese, and writers who write in Swahili and Bengali, and who do not have an English translation of their story, are invited to submit their stories in the original language. Each year, five winning writers from five different Commonwealth regions are selected. Regional winners receive £2,500 (US$3,835) and the overall winner will receive £5,000 (US$7,670). If the winning short story is a translation into English, the translator will receive equal prize money. Entry is free.


Overall winners

Year Region Author Title Country
Africa Jekwu Anyaegbuna Morrison Okoli (1955—2010) Nigeria
Asia Anushka Jasrai Radio Story India
2012 Canada and Europe Andea Mullaney The Ghost Marriage Scotland
Caribbean Diana McCaulay The Dolphin Catcher Jamaica
Pacific Emma Martin Two Girls In A Boat New Zealand
Africa Julian Jackson The New Customers South Africa
Asia Michael Mendis The Sarong-Man in an Old House, and an Incubus for a Rainy Night Sri-Lanka
(Joint overall winners)
Canada and Europe Elisa Robertson We Walked On Water Canada
Caribbean Sharon Millar The Whale House Trinidad and Tobago
Pacific Zoe Meager Things With Faces New Zealand
Africa Jennifer Mansubuga Makumbi Let’s Tell This Story Properly Uganda
Asia Sarah Adam Ang A Day in the Death Singapore
2014 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
Africa Lesley Nneka Arimah Light Nigeria
Asia Siddhartha Gigoo Umbrella Man India
2015 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
Africa Faraaz Mahomed The Pigeon South Africa
Asia Parashar Kulkarni Cow And Company India
2016 Canada and Europe Stefanie Seldon Eel United Kingdom
Caribbean Lance Dowrich Ethelbert and the Free Cheese Trinidad and Tobago
Pacific Tina Makereti Black Milk New Zealand




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