This year Commonwealth Writers turns its focus solely on the Commonwealth Short Story Prize as a unique award. The short story is an accessible form for writers across the Commonwealth who are able to enter from countries where there is little or no publishing industry, as well as being able to enter stories translated into English.
The 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize judging panel 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.
“My hope is that 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. 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. 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. This is the magic of good writing, and this is what I hope we will find.” Ellah Allfrey, Chair, 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize The judges are: Doreen Baingana, Michelle de Kretser, Marlon James, Courttia Newland and Jeet Thayil. The panel reflects the five regions of the Commonwealth: Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. 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 excited to be putting more resources into this year’s Short Story Prize. The award plays a key role in identifying strong original voices, as one part of Commonwealth Writers, the cultural initiative from the Commonwealth Foundation. We’re also proud to have such an accomplished team of judges.” Lucy Hannah, Programme Manager, Commonwealth Foundation
Commonwealth Writers is delighted to continue its partnership with Granta Magazine to give the overall and regional winners of the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize the opportunity to have their story edited and published by Granta online.
This year Commonwealth Writers is pleased to announce a new association with the London-based literary and media agency Blake Friedmann, who will work with selected writers identified through the Prize.
1. Entry is via the online application form - www.commonwealthwriters/prizes. The closing date is 30 November 2013.
2. Regional winners of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize receive £2,500 and the overall winner receives £5,000. For more information visit www.commonwealthwriters.org
3. Commonwealth Writers
The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is part of Commonwealth Writers, the cultural initiative from the Commonwealth Foundation, which identifies, develops and connects writers and storytellers in a range of disciplines. It builds communities of less-heard voices and links them to groups that are trying to bring about social change - www.commonwealthwriters.org
4. Commonwealth Foundation
The Commonwealth Foundation is a development organisation with an international remit and reach, uniquely situated at the interface between government and civil society. It develops the capacity of civil society to act together and learn from each other to engage with the institutions that shape people’s lives. It strives for more effective, responsive and accountable governance with civil society participation, which contributes to improved development outcomes - www.commonwealthfoundation.com
Granta is a quarterly literary magazine of new writing. Published in book format, each issue includes stories, essays, memoir, poetry and art centred around a theme. Throughout its long history, Granta has published the most significant writers of our time featuring work by writers including Julian Barnes, Edwidge Danticat, Kazuo Ishiguro, Salman Rushdie, Santiago Roncagliolo, David Mitchell, Lorrie Moore, Zadie Smith, Jeanette Winterson and more. In recent years, the magazine has expanded to include foreign-language editions – in Spain, Italy, Brazil, Norway, China, Finland, Sweden, Portugal, Turkey, Bulgaria and Japan. www.granta.com
6. Blake Friedmann
Blake Friedmann is a literary, film and television agency, representing a broad range of writers globally in both fiction and non-fiction. Their focus is on working with the most talented, dynamic and exciting writers across all genres, and the intention is always to represent writers' careers, rather than individual books or projects, and to sell those writers into as many markets, languages and media platforms as possible.
Blake Friedmann authors have won a wide variety of prestigious prizes, including the Caine Prize, the Commonwealth Prize, the Orange Prize and PEN Awards; and been shortlisted for, among others, the Man Booker Prize, Guardian First Book Prize, Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year and the Costa Book Awards. Their books have topped bestseller charts around the world, and continue to regularly appear in the Sunday Times bestseller lists.