23 Authors Make 2024 Commonwealth Short Story Prize Shortlist


For the 2024 edition of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, 23 writers have been selected by an international judging panel from 7,359 entries in a record-breaking year.  


This year’s shortlist hail from 13 Commonwealth countries. Writers from Mauritius, Rwanda and St Kitts and Nevis feature for the very first time.  


Many of the stories are told through the eyes of children—tales of parents splitting up, of school, and of the often baffling behaviour of adults around them. Older characters also appear—sometimes destructive, sometimes inspiring. Five of the stories reflect on motherhood in very different ways. Others tell of forbidden love in a hostile world. 


Subject matters range from music, football, art, film, the impact of electricity arriving in a village, and even one woman’s passion for tea.  While romance and thrillers feature prominently, nearly a quarter of the shortlisted stories are speculative fiction. 


Chair of the Judges, Ugandan-British novelist and short story writer Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi says: ‘This is a dream list for lovers of the short story form. You’ll be amazed and thrilled, startled and shocked, and heartbroken and humbled in equal measure by the skill and talent, imagination and creativity.’ 


Dr Anne T. Gallagher AO, Director-General of the Commonwealth Foundation, added: ‘The Short Story Prize is legendary for unearthing and nurturing the rich creative talent of our Commonwealth. This year is no exception. My congratulations to the 23 writers whose stories will now secure a truly global audience.’ 


Five regional winners will be announced on May 29th and the overall winner will be announced on June 26th . The stories on the shortlist will be published in adda, our online literary magazine. 

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