Commonwealth Writers has re-focused its prizes to concentrate only on the Short Story. It will no longer offer the Commonwealth Book Prize.
The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is part of Commonwealth Writers the cultural initiative from the Commonwealth Foundation. 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 Prize aims to identify talented writers who will go on to inspire their local communities.
There will be five winners, one from each region. One regional winner will be selected as the overall winner. The overall winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize will receive £5,000 and the remaining four regional winners £2,500. If the winning short story is a translation into English, the translator will receive additional prize money: £2,000 for the overall winning story and £1,000 for a regional winning story.
The final selection will be judged by an international judging panel; experienced readers will assist the named judges in selecting the long lists. 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.
- Entrants must be citizens of a Commonwealth country. The Commonwealth Foundation will request verification of citizenship before winners are selected. Writers from non-Commonwealth countries (including the Republic of Ireland and Zimbabwe) are not eligible.
- For regional purposes, entries will be judged by country of citizenship. Where the writer has dual citizenship, the entry will be judged in the region where the writer is permanently resident.
- Entrants must be aged 18 years or over.
- There is no requirement for the writer to have current residence in a Commonwealth country, providing she/he is a citizen of a Commonwealth country.
- All entries will be accepted at the discretion of the Commonwealth Foundation which will exercise its judgement, in consultation with the prize chair as necessary, in ruling on questions of eligibility. The ruling of the chair on questions of eligibility is final, and no further correspondence will be entered into.
- Entries must be made by the writer
- Entries will only be accepted via the online entry form at Commonwealth Writers Prize.
- The deadline for receipt of entries is 30 November 2013 (12 noon GMT).
- Only one entry per writer may be submitted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
- The story must be the entrant’s own work.
- The story must be original and should not have been previously published anywhere in full or in part. Published work is taken to mean published in any printed, publicly accessible form, e.g. anthology, magazine, newspaper. It is also taken to mean published online, with the exception of personal blogs and personal websites.
- Entries previously submitted to the Commonwealth Short Story Prize are not eligible.
- All entries must be in English. Translations of short stories written in languages other than English are eligible if submitted by the writer (not the translator) and provided the translator is a citizen of a Commonwealth country. Details of the translator must be stated on the entry. If successful a proportion of the prize money will be awarded to the translator.
- Entries must be 2,000 words minimum, 5,000 words maximum.
- Entries should be uploaded in a PDF document. Please save your document as a PDF and use the title of the story as the file name. Please note the story must not be saved as ‘Commonwealth Story’, ‘Short Story’ or any other generic title. If it is not possible to save the entry as a PDF document, it may be uploaded as a Microsoft Word document, with the file name in the same format as above. The first page should include the name of the story and the number of words (and details of the translator if it is a story written in a language other than English).
- The author’s details should be included in the entry form. They must not be given anywhere on the uploaded document. All entries are judged anonymously.
- All entries should be submitted in Arial 12 point font and double line spacing.
- There are no restrictions on setting, genre or theme.
- The story should be adult fiction and must not have been written for children alone.
- Entrants agree as a condition of entry that the prize organisers may publicise the fact that a story has been entered or shortlisted for the Prize.
- Worldwide copyright of each story remains with the writer. The Commonwealth Foundation will have the unrestricted right to publish the winning stories (the overall winning story and the four regional winning stories) in an anthology and for promotional purposes.
- The overall and regional winners will be expected to take part in publicity activities including social media where possible.
- The overall and regional winners will be expected to undertake a mutually acceptable programme of regional outreach activities to develop and promote Commonwealth Writers.
- Africa: Botswana, Cameroon, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia. Overseas Territories: St Helena, Tristan Da Cunha, Ascension Island.
- Asia: Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, India, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka.
- Canada and Europe: Canada, Cyprus, Malta, United Kingdom. Overseas Territories: Gibraltar, Falkland Islands.
- Caribbean : Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago. Overseas Territories: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands.
- Pacific: Australia, Fiji Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu. Overseas Territory: Pitcairn.