Applications call for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2021
The competition is free to enter and with a global reach across five continents, the Prize seeks out talented writers and brings stories from new and emerging voices to an international audience. Stories often come from countries with little or no publishing infrastructure and from places that are marked by geographical, geopolitical or economic isolation.
The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is an annual award for unpublished short fiction administered and funded by the Commonwealth Foundation. Basically, it is run by Commonwealth Writers, the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation. Moreover, the prize covers the Commonwealth regions of Africa, Asia, Canada, and Europe, Caribbean, and the Pacific.
The Prize attracts between 5,000 and 6,000 entries each year from almost all of the 54 countries of the Commonwealth. It is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction.
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.
- Entrants must be citizens of a Commonwealth country – please see Section 5 for the list of Commonwealth countries – or stateless persons currently residing in a Commonwealth country. The Commonwealth Foundation will request verification of citizenship status before winners are selected. Entries from citizens of non-Commonwealth countries are not eligible.
- For regional purposes, entries will be judged by country of citizenship. Moreover, where the writer has dual citizenship (of two Commonwealth countries), the entry will be judged in the region where the writer is permanently resident.
- There is no requirement for the writer to have current residence in a Commonwealth country, providing that they are a citizen of a Commonwealth country.
- Entrants must be aged 18 years or over on 1 November 2020.
- All entries will be accepted at the discretion of the Commonwealth Foundation which will exercise its judgment, in consultation with the prize chair, 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.
- All entries from previous overall winners of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize are not eligible. Entries from previous regional winners are eligible.
- Entries from current members of staff at the Commonwealth Foundation are not eligible.
- All entries must be unpublished and remain unpublished in any language until 1 May 2021
2021 rules and guidelines