By Iminza Keboge
Published June 11, 2016
Parashar Kulkarni of India has won the 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
Parashar Kulkarni was announced the winner during the Calabash International Literary Festival in Jamaica on June 5, 2016.
The five regional winners–Lance Dowrich, Parashar Kulkarni, Faraaz Mahomed, Stefanie Seddon and Tina Makereti–had congregated in the Caribbean for the three-day literary festival that was organised by Kwame Dawes and Justine Henzell.
Excerpts from their winning stories having been read to a rapt audience of some 1000 ears at the Calabash International Literary Festival, Parashar Kulkarni was declared the overall winner of the 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for his story, Cow and Company.
Marlon James, the Jamaican winner of the Man Booker prize in 2016 and former Commonwealth Short Story Prize judge, presented the award to Parashar Kulkarni.
“Parasharâ€™s story had everyone in stitches and was well received by the large crowd,” writes Lance Dowrich, the regional winner for the Caribbean, 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
The Calabash Literary Festival ran June 3-5, 2016 in Treasure Beach, Jamaica.The next edition of the festival is scheduled for 2018.
Meanwhile, shortlisting for the BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition has been announced.
Organisers of the playwriting competition–BBC World Service and the British Council, with co-producers The Open University, and in partnership with Commonwealth Writers–say they received more than 1000 entries from 112 countries.
Among the countries whose Writers have made it to the shortlist for the 25th International Radio Playwriting Competition are Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, India, and Jamaica.
As is increasingly becoming the practice with BBC and the Commonweal Writers, the competition has two first prizes; one for writers with English as a First Language and another for writers with English as a Second Language. The third award–the Georgi Markov Prize–is said to celebrate the most promising script from the competitionâ€™s shortlist.
The 14 shortlisted plays will be considered for the three main prizes; English as a First Language, English as a Second Language and the Georgi Markov prize. The winners of these categories and the regional prizes will be announced in August 2016. The three winners will travel to London, England, in October 2016.
The plays shortlisted in the English as a first language category are Goodbye Kofi by Bode Asiyanbi of Nigeria; Tomorrowâ€™s Child by Janet Morrison of Jamaica; Easter Island by Anton Krueger of South Africa; Playing With Fire by Joanne Gutknecht of Canada; Listening by Leland Frankel of USA; The Virgin Missile Crisis by Hoyt Hilsman of USA); and If You Come This Way Again by Lindsay Nightingale of Australia.
Appearing under the English as a Second Language category are The Day Dad Stole a Bus by Pericles Silveira of Brazil; Only Some of Us by Elizabeth Gail of South Africa; The Waterloo by Ifeoluwa Watson of Nigeria; The Confessions by Thomas Hukahu of Papua New Guinea;The Maid Who Made It by Mariam Samah of India;Darkness at Dawn by Erupu Jude of Uganda;and Tell them where I am by Ivy Rose Universe Baldoza of The Philippines.
The panel of judges comprises Madani Younis (Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre, London, UK);Charlotte Jones (an award-winning writer); Pippa Bennett-Warner (Stage, Screen, and Radio Actress); Neil Webb, (Director of Theatre & Dance, British Council); Steve Titherington (Commissioning Editor, English, BBC World Service); and Marion Nancarrow (Executive Producer, BBC Radio Drama).