CommonWealth Short Story Prize 2024 Submissions Now Open
The 2024 Prize is open for submissions until 1 November 2023.
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 It is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2,000–5,000 words).
Submissions should be made via the online entry form which is available from the link below. The eligibility and entry guidelines can be found here.
The international judging panel 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. The regional winners will receive £2,500. All five regional winning stories will be published on Granta.
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.
Eligibility and Entry Rules
a. Entrants must be citizens of a Commonwealth country – please see Section 5 forthe list
of Commonwealth countries – 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 nonCommonwealth countries are not eligible.
b. 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.
c. 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.
d. Entrants must be aged 18 years or over on 1 November 2023.
e. 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.
f. Entries from previous overall winners of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize are
not eligible. Entrants who have won the regional prize three times are also not eligible to submit to the prize.
g. Entries from current members of staff at the Commonwealth Foundation are not eligible.
h. Entries must be unpublished and remain unpublished in any language until 1 May 2024.
i. If your entry has been shortlisted or won a prize in other competitions, provided it has not been published, it is eligible.
a. Entries, including those in translation, must be made by the original author.
b. Entries will only be accepted via the online entry form.
c. The deadline for receipt of entries is 1 November 2023 (11.59pm in any time zone).
d. Only one entry per writer each year may be submitted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
e. The story must be the entrant’s own work.
f. The story must be original work and should not have been published anywhere, in full or in part, in anylanguage, before 1 May2024. Published work is takento mean published in any printed, publicly accessible form, e.g. anthology, magazine, newspaper. It is also taken to mean published online, exceptfor personal blogs, personal websites and personal Facebook pages.
g. Entries previously submitted to the Commonwealth Short Story Prize are not eligible.
h. Entries should be submitted in English, with the following exceptions: entries from
Commonwealth citizens who write in Bengali, Chinese, Creole, French, Greek, Kiswahili,
Malay, Maltese, 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.
i. 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.
j. Entries must be 2,000 words minimum, 5,000 words maximum (not including title).
k. Entries should be uploaded in a PDF document. Pleasesave yourdocumentas a PDFanduse 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.
l. 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.
m. Where applicable,the translator’s details should be included on the entry form.
n. 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
o. There are no restrictions on setting, genre or theme.
p. The story should be adult fiction and must not have been written for children alone.
q. Entrants agree as a condition of entry thatthe prize organisers may publicise the fact that a story has been entered or shortlisted forthe Prize.
r. 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.
s. The shortlisted writers, the regional winners, and the overall winner will be expected to
take part in publicity activities including social media where possible.
t. The overall and regional winners may be expected to undertake a mutually acceptable
programme of regional outreach activities to develop and promote the Commonwealth
For any questions about eligibility or rules, please contact
Africa: Botswana,Cameroon, Eswatini, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana,Kenya, Lesotho,Malawi,
Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa,
Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia. Overseas Territories: Saint Helena, Tristan Da Cunha,
Asia: Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, India, Malaysia, Maldives, 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,St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia,StVincent andthe 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.
1 September 2023
Entries must be submitted via the online entry form.
Entries must be submitted via the online entry form by 1 November
2023 (11.59pm in any time zone)
Noentries willbe considered if submitted after thisdate.
About the Prize
a. The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is an annual award for unpublished short fiction administered and funded by the Commonwealth Foundation.
b. The prize covers the Commonwealth regions of 1. Africa, 2. Asia, 3. Canada and Europe, 4. Caribbean and 5. Pacific. (See Section 5 for countries in each region).
c. The international judging panel comprises one judge from each of the five regions. Please note that while the entries will be judged regionally, all judges will read and deliberate on entries from all regions.
d. There will be five winners, one from each region. One regional winner will be selected as
the overallwinner. 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.
e. The final selectionwill be judged by an international judging panel; experienced readers will assist the named judges in selecting the longlist.
For any inquiries regarding the prize, please email: [email protected]