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Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Unpublished Short Fiction Writers

The 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize is now open for entries. Applications are currently ongoing for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Commonwealth Countries. Interested students should see the details below.

2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Unpublished Short Fiction Writers

Commonwealth Short Story Prize Details and FAQs

The Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2,000–5,000 words) in English written by a citizen of a Commonwealth country. Short stories translated into English from other languages are also eligible, and we invite writers from Mozambique who write in Portuguese, and writers who write in Samoan, Swahili and Bengali, and who do not have an English translation of their story, to submit their stories in the original language.

When is the application deadline?

1st November, 2018

Is the scholarship/opportunity offered annually?


Which countries are eligible for the scholarship?

Countries in Africa include:

  • Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia. Overseas Territories: St Helena, Tristan Da Cunha, Ascension Island.

Other countries:

  • 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, St Lucia, St Vincent and the 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 Territory: Pitcairn.

What is the category of this opportunity?


How do I know if I’m eligible for the scholarship?

To be eligible, candidates must:

  • have an unpublished short fiction (2,000–5,000 words)
  • be a member of a Commonwealth country
  • For regional purposes, entries will be judged by country of citizenship. Where the writer has dual citizenship, the entry will be judged in the region where the writer is permanently resident.
  •  must be aged 18 years or over on 1 November 2018.
  • There is no requirement for the writer to have current residence in a Commonwealth country, providing she/he is a citizen of a Commonwealth country.

All entries will be accepted at the discretion of the Commonwealth Foundation which will exercise its judgement, in consultation with the prize chair as necessary, 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.

What are the selection criteria?

The international judging panel comprises one judge from each of the five regions – Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, the Caribbean and the Pacific. While the entries will be judged regionally, all judges will read and deliberate on entries from all regions.

How many scholarship awards are available?


Value of Contest

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

How to Apply for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Before you enter your story, do make sure you read the eligibility and entry guidelines. Then apply here

Contest Webpage

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  • Tomoloju Tomisin

    Pls. how am I going to make entries for the 2017 commonwealth short story prize?

    1. Sorry for the delayed response.

      Visit the link below to submit your entry
      Submit an entry

      Before you enter your story, do make sure you read the eligibility and entry guidelines.

      From NigerianScholars Team

  • Tomoloju Tomisin

    How am I going to make the entries?