The world’s most global literary prize – the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize is now open for entries and they are seeking unheard and unusual stories.
The prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2,000–5,000 words). Apart from English, stories are also accepted in the Bengali, Chinese, French, Greek, Kiswahili, Malay, Portuguese, Samoan, Tamil and Turkish languages. Translated entries from any language into English are also eligible.
October 31st, 2005, fourteen years ago, Amrita Pritam breathed her last. The writer- poetess, who with her avant-garde outlook, was the first woman to win the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award in 1966. The Padma Shri followed in 1969 and then the Padma Vibhushan — the second highest Indian civilian award — in 2004 along with the highest literary recognition given to ‘immortals of literature’, Sahitya Akademi Fellowship. Her unconventional stance towards life and powerful writing, the creator of Pinjar, Ajj Aakhaan Waris Shah Nu ( Today I Invoke Waris Shah), impacted moderns, like versatile poet, Nabina Das. In these lines, Das jubilates the inspiration provided by Pritam…
Love Story between Composing
by Nabina Das
out for the days
of waiting, still-live
on the expectant
ashtray (the smitten
one) that the Urdu Read more
Commonwealth Writers is delighted to announce the regional winners for this year’s Commonwealth Short Story Prize. The five outstanding stories were successful in a year of fierce competition when the Prize received a record 6,000 entries from across the Commonwealth.
“It speaks to the high quality of the shortlisted stories that the judges’ decisions were rarely straightforward – and it speaks to the high quality of the winners that none of the judges left the conversation unsatisfied by the choices we ended up with. These are engaging and moving stories that honour and understand the potential of the short story form to burrow in on intimate stories and also to give you vast canvases painted with precise strokes. They also reveal the extent to which human concerns cross borders while the ways in which those concerns are played out are always individual and specific.” Kamila Shamsie, Chair, 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
Commonwealth Writers has partnered again with Granta magazine to give regional winners of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize the opportunity to be published by Granta online.
The stories will be published on www.granta.com every Tuesday from 30 May until 27 June, in order from East to West across the Commonwealth:
‘The Death of Margaret Roe’, Nat Newman – 30 May
‘Drawing Lessons’, Anushka Jasraj – 6 June
‘Who is Like God’, Akwaeke Emezi – 13 June
‘The Naming of Moths’, Tracy Fells – 20 June
‘The Sweet Sop’, Ingrid Persaud – 27 June
The overall winner will be announced in Singapore on Friday 30 June. Read more
Source: Commonwealth Writers
Dhaka Translation Centre (DTC), in partnership with the British Centre for Literary Translation, Commonwealth Writers and English Pen, is delighted to announce a call for applications for a workshop on Bangla-English translation, to be held in Dhaka from 15-20 November 2014. Read more
Commonwealth Writers has announced the regional winners of the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. The Prize provides a platform for writers from the 53 countries of the Commonwealth to inspire others by bringing compelling short stories to a wider audience. This year unpublished stories were entered by nearly 4,000 writers from the five regions of the Commonwealth.
This year’s Chair is Ellah Allfrey, Deputy Chair of the Council of the Caine Prize and previously Deputy Editor of Granta and Senior Editor at Jonathan Cape, Random House. The judges reflect the five regions: Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, Caribbean, and the Pacific: Doreen Baingana, (Africa), Michelle de Kretser (Pacific), Marlon James (Caribbean), Courttia Newland (Canada and Europe) and Jeet Thayil (Asia). Read more
Commonwealth Book Prize will be discontinued from 2014; the prize will instead focus on short stories, according to an official announcement.
Commonwealth Writers develops the craft of individual writers and builds communities of emerging voices which can influence the decision-making processes affecting their lives. The Short Story Prize aims to identify talented writers who will go on to inspire their local communities.
The 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize will be chaired by Ellah Allfrey, Deputy Chair of the Council of the Caine Prize and previously Deputy Editor of Granta and Senior Editor at Jonathan Cape, Random House.
In a panel chaired by Razia Iqbal, the novelists Michelle de Kretser, Kamila Shamsie and Monique Roffey discussed the way in which fiction illuminates the history, the geography and the spirit of place. From how events might have transpired to the importance of historical accuracy when placing fictional characters in a certain time and place, to the pressures of writing about a country like Sri Lanka and that writing becoming Sri Lanka’s story, the discussion was stimulating and wide-ranging.
In 2010, I was amazed and delighted when my flash fiction piece ‘Judgement Day’ won Highly Commended in the Commonwealth Short Story Competition. At the time, entries to the competition consisted of no more than 600 words; and while those words could in theory be written on any topic, the organisers did provide a theme each year to assist the undecided writer.
In 2010, the theme was ‘Science, Technology and Society’. When I heard about it, my heart sank. I knew very little about writing flash fiction, and even less about science and technology! By default, my focus would have to be on the ‘society’ part of that equation. Anyway, I’m not quite sure where the original idea came from, but I ended up writing a piece exploring how the institution of marriage might change in the future as a result of advances in science and technology, and what might remain disturbingly familiar to us today – a kind of futuristic fable.