Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2020/2021 for Young Writers

Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2020/2021 for Young Writers: Writers are invited to submit entries for the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. The deadline for submission of entries is 1st November, 2020. The competition is free to enter.

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is an annual award for unpublished short fiction administered and funded by the Commonwealth Foundation.

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Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2020/2021 for Young Writers.

The Prize is run by Commonwealth Writers, the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation. They inspire and connect writers and storytellers across the world, bringing personal stories to a global audience.

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Commonwealth Writers believes in the transformative power of creative expression in all its forms. They work with local and international partners to identify and deliver a wide range of cultural projects. Their activities take place in Commonwealth countries, but their community is global.

Commonwealth Short Story Prize Eligibility.

  • Entrants must be citizens of a Commonwealth country or stateless persons currently residing in a Commonwealth country:
    • Africa: Botswana, Cameroon, Swatini, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia. Overseas Territories: Saint Helena, Tristan Da Cunha, Ascension Island.
    • Asia: Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka.
    • Canada and Europe: Canada, Cyprus, Malta, United Kingdom. Overseas Territories: Gibraltar, Falkland Islands.
    • Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago. Overseas Territories: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands.
    • Pacific: Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu. Overseas Territories: Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn.
  • For regional purposes, entries will be judged by country of citizenship. 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 November 1, 2020
  • All entries will be accepted at the discretion of the Commonwealth Foundation which will exercise its judgement, 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
  • 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
  • Entries must be unpublished and remain unpublished in any language until May 1, 2021.

Commonwealth Short Story Prize Entry Rules.

1. Entries, including those in translation, must be made by the original author

2. Only one entry per writer may be submitted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize

3. The story must be the entrant’s own work

4. The story must be original work and should not have been published anywhere, in full or in part, in any language, before May 1, 2021. Published work is taken to mean published in any printed, publicly accessible form, e.g. anthology, magazine, newspaper. It is also taken to mean published online, with the exception of personal blogs and personal websites

5. Entries previously submitted to the Commonwealth Short Story Prize are not eligible

6. Entries should be submitted in English, with the following exceptions: entries from Commonwealth citizens who write in Bengali, Chinese, French, Greek, Kiswahili, Malay, Portuguese, Samoan, Tamil and Turkish and who do not have an English translation of their story, may submit their stories in the original language. English translations of short stories written in other languages are eligible if submitted by the writer (not the translator) and provided that the translator is also a citizen of a Commonwealth country

7. Simultaneous submissions are eligible as long as the entrant informs the Commonwealth Writers immediately should the story be accepted for publication elsewhere or be selected for a prize

8. Entries must be 2,000 words minimum, 5,000 words maximum (not including title)

9. Entries should be uploaded in a PDF document. Please save your document as a PDF and use the title of the story as the file name. Please note that the story must not be saved as ‘Commonwealth Story’, ‘Short Story’ or any other generic title. If it is not possible to save the entry as a PDF document, it may be uploaded as a Microsoft Word document, with the file name in the same format as above. The first page should include the name of the story and the number of words

10. All entries should be submitted in Arial 12-point font and double line spacing. All pages should be numbered and include a header with the title of the story

11. There are no restrictions on setting, genre or theme

12. The story should be adult fiction and must not have been written for children alone.

Commonwealth Short Story Prize Benefits.

  • 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.

How to Apply Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

The competition is free to enter.

Submit Entry

If you experience any problems with submission please email [email protected]

Apply Before: 1st November, 2020.


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