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Judges for Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2023 announced

By Agency report Rémy Ngamije, Mac Donald Dixon are Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2023 judges. The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded for the best…

By Agency report

Rémy Ngamije, Mac Donald Dixon are Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2023 judges.

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction in English in the regions of Africa, Asia, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. Each of these winners is then eligible for the global prize.

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Previous winners in the Africa region have been Jekwu Anyaegbuna (2012), Julian Jackson (2013), Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (2014), Lesley Nneka Arimah (2015), Faraaz Mahomed (2016), Akwaeke Emezi (2017), Efua Traoré (2018), Mbozi Haimbe (2019), Innocent Chizaram Ilo (2020), Rémy Ngamije and Roland Watson-Grant (2021), and Ntsika Kota (2022). Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi won the global prize in 2014. 

The judging panel for the 2023 edition of the prize chaired by Pakistani writer and translator Bilal Tanweer was also revealed. His fellow judges, drawn from the five regions of the Commonwealth, are Rwandan-born writer, photographer, and editor, Rémy Ngamije (Africa), Sri Lankan author and publisher Ameena Hussein (Asia), Canadian writer and critic Madeleine Thien (Canada/Europe), poet and New Zealand’s former Poet Laureate, Dr. Selina Tusitala Marsh (Pacific), and poet and novelist Mac Donald Dixon from Saint Lucia (Caribbean). 

Bilal Tanweer said, “The calling of literature is nothing less than to reimagine what it means to be human. I am delighted and honoured to chair the 2023 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, an invitation for writers across the Commonwealth’s vast and disparate literary geographies to enter a global conversation about our place in the world; to revive old connections; to build new understandings of ourselves and each other. I greatly look forward to working with my fellow judges, reading the submissions and discovering, again, what it means to be alive in these times.” 

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize accepts entries until 1 November 2022. The competition is administered by the Commonwealth Foundation. It is open to citizens of all Commonwealth countries and is free to enter. Now in its twelfth year, the Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2,000–5,000 words). The five regional winners receive £2,500 and the overall winner receives £5,000. 

In addition to English, submissions are accepted in the original Bengali, Chinese, Creole, French, Greek, Malay, Portuguese, Samoan, Swahili, Tamil, and Turkish. Stories that have been translated into English from any language are also accepted and the translator of any story that wins (regional or overall) also receives prize money.