Commonwealth Short Story Prize - £5,000 Grants Available

Commonwealth Short Story Prize - £5,000 Grants Available

The prize is free to enter and open to any citizen of a Commonwealth country aged 18 and over. It is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2,000–5,000 words).

An international judging panel of writers will select a shortlist of around twenty stories, from which five regional winners are chosen. One of the regional winners is then selected as the overall winner, who receives £5,000. All winning and shortlisted stories will be published online.

Scroll down to read answers to frequently asked questions about the prize, including who can enter, how stories are judged and what languages we accept.

Frequently asked questions

Who is eligible to submit?

  • The prize is open to all Commonwealth citizens aged 18 and over – please see the full list of Commonwealth countries.

    What do the winning writers receive?

  • The regional winners receive £2,500 and the overall winner receives a total of £5,000. The winning stories are published online by Granta and in a special print collection by Paper + Ink. The shortlisted stories are published in adda, the online literary magazine of the Commonwealth Foundation.

    What is the word limit?

  • The story must be between 2,000 and 5,000 words.

    Is there any required theme or genre?

  • The prize is only open to short fiction, but it can be in any fiction genre–science fiction, speculative fiction, historical fiction, crime, romance, literary fiction–and you may write about any subject you wish.

    In what languages do you accept entries?

  • Submissions are accepted in Bengali, Chinese,
    Creole, English, French, Greek, Malay, Maltese, Portuguese, Samoan, Swahili, Tamil, and Turkish. Stories that have been translated into English from any language are also accepted and the translator of any winning story receives additional prize money.

    Can the story be published?

  • Your submission must be unpublished in any print or online publication, with the exception of personal websites.

    How is the prize judged?

  • Entries are initially assessed by a team of readers and a longlist of 200 entries is put before the international judging panel, comprising a chair and five judges, one from each of the Commonwealth regions – Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. All judges read entries from all regions.

  • Entries in other languages are assessed by relevant language readers and the best submissions are selected for translation into English to be considered for inclusion on the longlist.

  • The judging panel select a shortlist of around twenty stories, from which five regional winners are chosen, one of which is chosen as the overall winner.

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; Commonwealth Short Story Prize - £5,000 Grants Available

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