Commonwealth Short Story Prize for International Fiction Writers 2022

Commonwealth Foundation is taking applications for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for International Fiction Writers in 2022.

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is a yearly award for unpublished short fiction managed and funded by the Commonwealth Foundation and run by Commonwealth Writers, the cultural program of the foundation.

The prize is for the Commonwealth regions of Asia, Africa, Canada and Europe, Caribbean and Pacific. The foreign judging committee has one judge from each of the five regions. Please be aware that while the entries will be assessed regionally, all judges will read and consider entries from all regions.


The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is free to enter and available to any national of a Commonwealth nation who is aged 18 and over.  It is granted for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2,000–5,000 words). Regional recipients each obtain £2,500 and the chance to be published online by Granta magazine, and the overall winner gets £5,000.

In addition to English, stories are accepted in the Bengali, Creole, Chinese, Greek, French, Malay, Kiswahili, Samoan, Portuguese, Tamil and Turkish languages. Translated submissions from any language into the English language are also eligible. If the winning entry is a translation, the translator gets the extra prize money.

Worth of Commonwealth Short Story Prize

  • The overall recipient receives £5,000.
  • Regional recipients each receive £2,500 and the chance to be published online by Granta magazine.

Eligibility for Commonwealth Short Story Prize

  • Applicants have to be citizens of a Commonwealth nation or stateless individuals currently residing in a Commonwealth nation. Be aware that the Commonwealth Foundation will request verification of citizenship standing before winners are chosen as entries from nationals of non-Commonwealth countries are not qualified.
  • For regional purposes, entries will be assessed by nation of citizenship. Where the writer possesses dual citizenship (of two Commonwealth nations), the entry will be judged in the region where the writer is permanently domiciled.
  • There is no condition for the writer to have present residence in a Commonwealth nation, provided that they are a citizen of a Commonwealth nation.
  • Applicants have to be aged 18 years or over on November 1, 2021.
  • All submissions will be accepted at the discretion of the Commonwealth Foundation which will implement its judgment, in consultation with the prize chair, in deciding on questions of eligibility. The decision of the chair on questions of eligibility is absolute, and no further communication will be entered into.
  • Submissions from past overall winners of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize are not eligible but entries from past regional winners are acceptable.
  • Present members of staff at the Commonwealth Foundation are not qualified to apply.
  • Submissions have to be unpublished and stay unpublished in any language until May 1, 2022.

How to Apply for Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Submissions have to be submitted through the online entry form at: www.commonwealthwriters.org.

Very Important

  • The prize is only for short fiction, but it can be in any fiction category–science fiction, historical fiction, speculative fiction, romance, crime, literary fiction–and you may write about any theme you wish.
  • You cannot submit a story you entered in past years.
  • Your submission has to be unpublished in any print or online publication, with the exemption of personal websites.

Submissions must be uploaded in a PDF document. Please save the document as a PDF and use the name of the story as the file name. Please be aware that the story should not be saved as ‘Commonwealth Story’, ‘Short Story’ or any other nonspecific title. If the entry cannot be saved as a PDF document, it may be submitted as a Microsoft Word document, with the file name in the same format as above. The first page should have the title of the story and the number of words.

Application Deadline

Submissions end on November 1, 2021, at 11.59 pm in any time zone. 

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