By Irene Gaitirira
Published May 5, 2016
Commonwealth Writers has announced the regional winners for its Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2016. It is from this lineup that the overall winner of the 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize shall emerge on June, 2016.
The winners are Faraaz Mahomed, The Pigeon, South Africa (Africa); Parashar Kulkarni, Cow and Company, India (Asia); Stefanie Seddon, Eel, United Kingdom (Canada and Europe); Lance Dowrich, Ethelbert and the Free Cheese, Trinidad and Tobago (Caribbean); and Tina Makereti, Black Milk, New Zealand (Pacific).
Commonwealth Writers says it has partnered with Granta magazine to give the regional winners “the opportunity to be published by Granta online. The stories will be published every Wednesday, May 4-June 1, 2016.
The development of the anthology, says Commonwealth Writers, follows “two Commonwealth Writersâ€™ workshops, in partnership with the African Writersâ€™ Trust, held in Uganda. Commonwealth Writers then approached Ellah Allfrey to commission a collection of nonfiction from emerging writers.”
The five stories from the five regions cover a diverse range of subject matter: “coming of age in New Zealand, a culture in twilight, an advertising campaign for chewing gum in 1920s India, love and guilt in South Africa, and a tale of life and work exuberantly told in the language of Trinidad,” Commonwealth Writers says in a Media statement.
The Overall Winner of the 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize shall be announced at the Calabash International Literary Festival in Jamaica.
“We are honoured and excited to be the stage on which this announcement will be made,â€ says Kwame Dawes, Artistic Director of Calabash.
The 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize is reported to have “attracted nearly 4000 entries from 47 countries.”
Gillian Slovo, a South African novelist and playwright who chaired the Jury, says of the regional winners, “These were all worthy winners and show how well the short story is flourishing in the Commonwealth.â€