Entries for the 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize will open on 24 October 2012. The eligible African countries are Botswana, Cameroon, The Gambia, 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, and Ascension Island.

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2000 – 5000 words). Submissions must be made by the author of the short story. Regional winners receive £1,000 and the overall winner receives £5,000. Please read these eligibility and entry rules carefully before beginning the online entry process.


  • The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is an annual award for unpublished short fiction administered and funded by the Commonwealth Foundation
  • The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is part of Commonwealth Writers, a pan-Commonwealth initiative which unearths and develops new writers.
  • The prize covers the Commonwealth regions of 1. Africa, 2. Asia, 3. Canada and Europe, 4. Caribbean and 5. Pacific. (see Section 4 for countries in each region)
  • There will be five winners, one from each region. The overall winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize will receive £5,000 and the remaining four regional winners £1,000.
  • The final selection will be judged by an international judging panel; experienced readers will assist the named judges in selecting the long lists.
  • Worldwide copyright of each story remains with the writer. The Commonwealth Foundation will have the unrestricted right to publish the winning stories (the overall winning story and the four regional winning stories) in the annual anthology and for promotional stories.
  • The overall and regional winners will be expected to take part in publicity activities including social media where possible
  • The overall winner (and regional winners) will be expected to undertake a mutually acceptable programme of
  • regional outreach activities to develop and promote Commonwealth Writers.


  • Entrants must be citizens of a Commonwealth country.
  • Entrants must be aged 18 years or over.
  • Entries will only be accepted via the online entry forms
  • Writers from non-Commonwealth countries (including the Republic of Ireland and Zimbabwe) are not eligible.
  • 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.
  • The prize is for living writers.
  • The entry must be written in English (Works translated from other languages are not eligible).
  • All entries will be accepted at the discretion of the Commonwealth Foundation who 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.


  • Entries must be made by the writer
  • 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.
  • One entry per writer.
  • The story must be the entrant’s own work.
  • The story must be original and should not have been previously published anywhere in full or in part. Published work is taken to mean published in any printed, publicly accessible form, e.g. anthology, magazine, newspaper. It is also taken to mean published online, with the exception of personal blogs and personal websites.
  • All entries must be written in English.
  • Entries must be 2,000 words minimum, 5,000 words maximum.
  • Entries must be uploaded in a PDF or word document (or equivalent). All entries must be submitted in Ariel 12 point font and double line spacing. The first page should include the name of the story and the number of words.
  • The author’s details should be included in the entry form, they must not be given anywhere on the uploaded document;
  • There are no theme or genre restrictions
  • The story should be adult fiction and must not have been written for children alone
  • Entrants agree as a condition of entry that the prize organisers may publicise the fact that a story has been entered or shortlisted for the Prize.
  • Entries will not be returned.
  • For any other entry or eligibility queries please  for clarification before submitting an entry.


For queries:

For submissions: via the online submission page





  1. What does
    ” should be adult fiction and must not be written for children alone”
    Adult stories for children?
    written tales for both adults and kids?!

    Posted by Adeigbo DeBisi | November 25, 2012, 7:31 pm
  2. How do we get the entry form.

    Posted by Dotun | February 15, 2013, 9:57 am
  3. am having a problem accessing the submission page but then again, when is the competition deadline?

    Posted by anastasiaruth | March 7, 2013, 12:05 pm
  4. when is the deadline of submission?

    Posted by Roshan Bhandari | April 5, 2013, 10:49 am


  1. Pingback: Commonwealth Book Prize 2013 - November 6, 2012

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