The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is a contest that seeks talented writers who go on to inspire their communities. It promotes the best new writing from across the Commonwealth, developing literary connections worldwide.
The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2000 – 5000 words). It is open to translated fiction.
Eligibility for Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2023
- Entrants must be citizens of a Commonwealth country – 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. Where the writer has dual citizenship (of two Commonwealth countries), the entry will be judged in the region where the writer is permanently resident.
- Entrants must be aged 18 years or over on 1 November 2022.
- Entries from current members of staff at the Commonwealth Foundation are not eligible.
- Entries must be unpublished and remain unpublished in any language until 1 May 2023.
- Entries, including those in translation, must be made by the original author.
- Entries will only be accepted via the online entry form.
- The deadline for receipt of entries is 1 November 2022 (11.59pm in any time zone).
- Only one entry per writer each year may be submitted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
- The story must be the entrant’s own work.
- The story must be original work and should not have been published anywhere, in full or in part, in any language, before 1 May 2023. 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, except for personal blogs, personal websites and personal Facebook pages.
- Entries previously submitted to the Commonwealth Short Story Prize are not eligible.
- Entries should be submitted in English, with the following exceptions: entries from
- Simultaneous submissions are eligible as long as the entrant informs the organisers (via [email protected]) immediately, should the story be accepted for publication elsewhere or be selected for a prize.
- Entries must be 2,000 words minimum, 5,000 words maximum (not including title).
- 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.
- The author’s details should be included on the entry form. They must not be given anywhere on the uploaded document. All entries are judged anonymously.
- Where applicable, the translator’s details should be included on the entry form.
- All entries in English should be submitted in Arial 12-point font and double line spacing. For entries in other languages, the appropriate font should be used. All pages should be numbered.
- There are no restrictions on setting, genre or theme.
- The story should be adult fiction and must not have been written for children alone.
- Entrants agree as a condition of entry that the prize organizers may publicise the fact that a story has been entered or shortlisted for the Prize.
- Commonwealth citizens who write in Bengali, Chinese, Creole, 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.
- Worldwide copyright of each story remains with the writer. The Commonwealth Foundation will have the unrestricted right to publish the winning stories (the overall winning story and the four regional winning stories) online, in an anthology, or for promotional purposes where appropriate.
- The shortlisted writers, the regional winners, and the overall winner will be expected to take part in publicity activities including social media where possible.
- The overall and regional winners may be expected to undertake a mutually acceptable programme of regional outreach activities to develop and promote Commonwealth Writers.
- Submissions should be made to the official submission site.
The overall winner receives £5,000 and regional winners receive £2,500. Translators will receive additional prize money.
We wish you success on this! If you need to apply for more contests, apply here