Wed | Aug 21, 2019

Two Jamaicans among shortlisted for 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Published:Thursday | May 24, 2018 | 12:34 PM

Two Jamaicans are among 24 finalists for the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

‘An Elephant in Kingston’ by Marcus Bird and ‘Son Son’s Birthday’ by Sharma Taylor were selected from a field 5182 entries from 48 Commonwealth countries by an international judging panel.

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction in English from the Commonwealth.

“As well as being open to entries translated into English from any language, it is the only literary prize in the world where entries can be submitted in Bengali, Chinese, Malay, Portuguese, Samoan, Swahili, and Tamil. Again, in 2018, we’re delighted that a translated story has reached the shortlist. The inclusion of other languages in the Prize speaks to Commonwealth Writers’ recognition of the need for linguistic diversity to promote the richness of varied literary traditions and lesser-heard narratives,” the organisation said.

Chair of the judges, award-winning novelist and short story writer Sarah Hall, said of this year’s shortlist: “The versatility and power of the short story are abundantly clear in this shortlist. With such a range of subject, style, language, and imagination, it is clear what a culturally important and relevant form it is, facilitating many different creative approaches, many voices and versions of life,”. 

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is part of Commonwealth Writers, the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation.

Now in its seventh year, it is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2000-5000 words).

Regional winners receive £2,500 and the overall winner receives £5,000.

Short stories translated into English from other languages are also eligible. Translators receive additional prize money.

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