Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2024 shortlists announced.

Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2024 shortlists announced.

The shortlists for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2024 were announced on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. Here are the African and Caribbean writers in the running.

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction in English in the regions of Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. Each of these winners is then eligible for the global prize. Some previous winners in the Africa region have been 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), Ntsika Kota (2022), as well as Kwame McPherson and Hana Gammon (2023). Global winners include Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (2014) and Kwame McPherson (2023).

The jury for 2024 is chaired by previous winner Ugandan-British novelist and short story writer Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi alongside South African writer Keletso Mopai, (Africa), Singaporean short story writer, screenwriter, and novelist O Thiam Chin, (Asia), Canadian writer and editor Shashi Bhat (Canada/Europe), poet and author Richard Georges from the British Virgin Islands (Caribbean) and award-winning Australian Bundjalung writer Melissa Lucashenko (Pacific). This panel has announced the shortlist from 7,359 entries from 53 Commonwealth countries.

Chair of the Judges Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi said: ‘This is a dream list for lovers of the short story form—readers who wish to read around the world, writers who wish to hone their skills, agents looking for talent and content creators who relish the challenge of predicting regional winners and the overall winner. Whether reading stories from Africa and Asia, through Europe and Canada to the Caribbean Islands and the Pacific, you’ll be amazed and thrilled, startled and shocked, and heartbroken and humbled in equal measure by the skill and talent, imagination and creativity, by the flexibility of the form and what it is capable of, and by what the world is doing with the English language. For the judging panel, it has been an incredible literary journey.’

Those in the running in Africa and the Caribbean are;

Africa

  • Fadi, Azags Agandaa (Ghana)
  • Dite, Reena (Mauritius)
  • House No. 49, Olajide Omojarabi (Nigeria)
  • The Goat, Jean Pierre Nikuze (Rwanda)
  • A Song Sung in Secret, Jayne Bauling (South Africa)

Caribbean

  • You Had Me at Aloe, Ark Ramsay (Barbados)
  • The Marriage Proposal, Heather Archibald (Saint Kitts and Nevis)
  • Wrinkle Release, Stefan Bindley-Taylor (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Terre Brulée, Celeste Mohammed (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • The Devil’s Son, Portia Subran (Trinidad and Tobago)

Here are the shortlistees talking about their stories;

The regional winners will be announced on May 29 before the overall winner is made public at the Commonwealth Short Story Prize Award Ceremony on June 26.

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