Call for submissions | 2019 Commonwealth unpublished Short Story Writing Competition

Submissions are invited for the 2019 Commonwealth unpublished Short Story Writing Competition. The competition worth £15,000 Cash Prize.

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is given out annually to the best written unpublished short fiction in English. The length of the story should be between 2,000 and 5,000 words.
The prize covers the Commonwealth regions of  Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, Caribbean and Pacific.

  1. Entry into the competition is free.
  2. Entrant must be a citizen of a Commonwealth nation
  3. Entries from writers from non-Commonwealth countries (including the Republic of Ireland and Zimbabwe) are not eligible.
  4. Entrants must be 18 years old or above on November 1,  2018.
  5. Entries must be unpublished and remain unpublished in any language until 1 May 2019
  1. The Commonwealth Foundation will request verification of citizenship before winners are selected.
  2. 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.
  3. There is no requirement for the writer to have current residence in a Commonwealth country, providing they are a citizen of a Commonwealth country.
  4. All entries will be accepted at the discretion of the Commonwealth Foundation which will exercise its judgement, in consultation with the prize chair, 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.
  5. Entries from previous overall winners of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize are not eligible. But entries from previous regional winners are eligible.
  6. Entries from current members of staff at the Commonwealth Foundation are not eligible.
  1. There will be five winners (one from each region).
  2. One regional winner will be selected as the overall winner.
  1. The overall winner will get £5,000 while the remaining four regional winners will get £2,500 each.
  2. If the winning short story is a translation into English, the translator will receive additional prize money.
  1. Entries, including those in translation, must be made by the original author.
  2. Entries will only be accepted via the online entry form.
  3. Only one entry per writer.
  4. The story must be the entrant’s own work.
  5. The story must be original work and should not have been published anywhere, in full or in part, in any language, before 1 May 2019. Entrants should understand that published work is defined to mean published in any printed, publicly accessible form, such as published in anthology, magazine, newspaper or published online, with the exception of personal blogs and personal websites.
  6. Entries previously submitted to the Commonwealth Short Story Prize are not eligible.
  7. Entries should be submitted in English, except entries from Commonwealth citizens whose stories are written in Bengali, Chinese, Kiswahili, Malay, Portuguese, Samoan and Tamil and who do not have an English translation of their story. They may submit their stories in the original language.
  8. English translations of short stories written in other languages are eligible if submitted by the writer (not the translator) and provided the translator is also a citizen of a Commonwealth country.
  9. Simultaneous submissions are eligible as long as the entrant informs the Prize immediately should the story be accepted for publication elsewhere or be selected for a prize.
  10. Entries must be minimum of 2,000 words and maximum of 5,000 words, excluding the title
  11. There are no restrictions on setting, genre or theme.
  12. The story should be adult fiction and must not have been written for children alone.
  13. 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.
  14. Worldwide copyright of each story remains with the writer. Commonwealth Writers will have the right to publish the winning stories in an anthology and for promotional purposes.
  15. The overall and regional winners will be expected to take part in publicity activities including social media where possible.
  16. The overall and regional winners will be expected to undertake a mutually acceptable programme of regional outreach activities to develop and promote Commonwealth Writers.

An entrant who has problem with submission should email

  1. All entries should be submitted in Arial, 12 -point font and double line spacing.
  2. All pages should be numbered and include a header with the title of the story
Acceptance of entries closes on November 1, 2018 (11:59pm in any time zone).