Commonwealth Writers has announced the regional winners of the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. The Prize provides a platform for writers from the 53 countries of the Commonwealth to inspire others by bringing compelling short stories to a wider audience. This year unpublished stories were entered by nearly 4,000 writers from the five regions of the Commonwealth.
This year’s Chair, 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, had this to say about the regional winning stories:
“Whilst recognising craft and excellence, the judges were equally impressed by stories which transported us in place and time and thrilled us with language that felt original. In the end, the stories that impressed us the most were those that took risks – in subject and style. From Australia, we chose an episodic and poetic exploration of a man surviving a troubled childhood; from Guyana, a fresh telling of the familiar story of diaspora and loss. A dazzlingly accomplished, yet understated story from Ireland focuses on one girl’s private anxieties during the Troubles; the lives of history’s forgotten victims are explored in a story from Singapore and from Uganda comes a bold, compact story about betrayal and the pull of tradition.”
This year’s judges reflect the five regions: Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, Caribbean, and the Pacific: Doreen Baingana, (Africa), Michelle de Kretser (Pacific), Marlon James (Caribbean), Courttia Newland (Canada and Europe) and Jeet Thayil (Asia).
The regional winners will compete with each other to become the overall winner, who will be announced in Kampala, Uganda, on 13 June. This will coincide with a series of Commonwealth Writers initiatives in East Africa.
Africa: Let’s Tell This Story Properly, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (Uganda)
Asia: A Day in the Death, Sara Adam Ang (Singapore)
Canada and Europe: Killing Time, Lucy Caldwell (United Kingdom)
Caribbean: Sending for Chantal, Maggie Harris (Guyana)
Pacific: The Dog and the Sea, Lucy Treloar (Australia)