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Five African Writers Shortlisted for the 2024 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Five African Writers Shortlisted for the 2024 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

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The African writers were shortlisted for their works “Fadi”, “House No. 49”, “The Goat”, “Dite”, and “A Song Sung in Secret”, respectively.

By Hope Ibiale

Ghanaian writer, Azags Agandaa, Nigerian writer, Olajide Omojarabi, Rwandan writer, Jean Pierre Nikuze, Mauritius writer, Reena Usha Rungoo, and South African writer, Jayne Bauling, have been announced as some of the writers shortlisted for the 2024 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. 

The African writers were shortlisted for their works “Fadi”, “House No. 49”, “The Goat”, “Dite”, and “A Song Sung in Secret”, respectively. The five writers were shortlisted alongside Pip Robertson, M Donato, Anna Woods, Ajay Patri, and many others. The prize, which is awarded for the best short fiction manuscript, will announce regional winners on May 29, while the overall winner will be announced on June 26, 2024, at the Commonwealth Short Story Prize Award Ceremony.

Commonwealth short story prize shortlist 2024
Commonwealth short story prize shortlist 2024

While speaking about the shortlist, the Chair of the Judges, Ugandan-British novelist and short story writer Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi stated, “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”.

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded annually for the best piece of unpublished short fiction. The prize is open to citizens of member states of the Commonwealth of Nations and aims to bring writing from these countries to the attention of an international audience. 

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The overall winner receives £5,000 and the regional winner £2,500. All the shortlisted stories will also be published in Adda, the Commonwealth Foundation flagship magazine. This year, writers from Rwanda, Mauritius, St Kitts, and Nevis feature for the first time on the shortlist. The 2025 edition of the short story prize will start accepting entries from September 1, 2024. 

This year’s judging panel, chaired by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, includes South African writer, Keletso Mopai, Singaporean short story writer, screenwriter, and novelist, O Thiam Chin, Canadian writer and editor, Shashi Bhat, poet and author, Richard Georges, and award-winning, Australian Bundjalung writer Melissa Lucashenko.

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