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 the 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 he 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. The 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
The judges are: Doreen Baingana, Michelle de Krester, Marlon James, Courtia 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.
According to the Programme Manager of the Commonwealth Foundation, Lucy Hannah
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 the Commonwealth Writers, the cultural initiative from the Commonwealth Foundation. We're also proud to have such an accomplished team of judges.