The 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize/ How to Submit (Prize: £15000)

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize has opened for submissions for 2021. The prize, which is worth £15000 (£2,500 to each regional winner, and £5000 to the overall winner), is open to any citizen of a Commonwealth country.

The most recent regional winner (Africa) is the Nigerian writer, Innocent Chizaram Ilo, who won the prize for their short story, “When a Woman Renounces Motherhood”. The Indian writer, Kritika Pandey, won the overall prize for her story, “The Great Indian Tee and Snakes”. These winners have two things in common. Their writing is eloquent; and their story ideas are unique and brilliant.

The judges for the prize this year are: A. Igoni Barrett (Africa), Khademul Islam (Asia), Keith Jarrett (Canada and Europe), Diana McCaulay (the Caribbean) and Tina Makereti (the Pacific), with Zoë Wicomb as the chair.

The prize is open until November 1, 2020.

Who is Eligible to Submit to the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2021:

  • Anyone who is a citizen of a Commonwealth country.
  • There is no entry fee.
  • Entrants must be 18 years or over.
  • Submissions are accepted in eleven languages: English, Bengali, Chinese, French, Greek, Kiswahili, Malay, Portuguese, Samoan, Tamil, and Turkish languages.

How to Submit to the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2021:

  • Submit a short story of between 2000 and 5000 words.
  • The story should be previously unpublished.
  • The story could be in any of the aforementioned languages.
  • Stories translated from other languages into English are eligible.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • Simultaneous submissions are eligible. However, the entrant must inform the Commonwealth Writers if the story is accepted elsewhere.
  • Entry should be uploaded as a PDF document.
  • Use the title of the story as the file name.
  • Format: Arial, 12 pt. font, double-spaced. Each page should be numbered.
  • Submit here.
  • The deadline for submissions is November 1, 2020.

To Better Your Submission:

Check out these reviews and recommended stories here and here, and these tips from TJ Benson on how to write good short stories.

Get more writing tips from this essay about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Writing Workshop.


  • Five regional winners will be selected. Each will receive £2,500.
  • The overall winner will receive £5000.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *