Bengali writers invited for commonwealth short story prize

Bengali writers invited for commonwealth short story prize

Bengali writers invited for commonwealth short story prize

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize worth 5,000 pounds now invites writers in Bengali, Swahili and Portuguese. The competition is now allowing authors to submit stories in languages other than English.

Commonwealth Writers stated that they wanted to invite writers from Mozambique who write in Portuguese along with writers who write in Swahili and Bengali. This option is made for those writers who lack an English translation of their story. Now they can submit their stories in the original language. The organizers did this move in order to include stories from other languages and also get more entries.

Gillian Slovo, a South African-born and London-based novelist was announced as the chair of the 2016 edition of the prize. Other members of the jury panel include writers Pierre J Mejlak from Malta, Patrick Holland from Australia, Olive Senior from Jamaica, Helon Habila from Nigeria, and Firdous Azim from Bangladesh.

The organizers stated that during the judging process the stories will be read first by the expert readers of Bengali, Portuguese and Swahili. The stories which are successful in the first stage will be translated to English so that they can be ready the international judging panel.


The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is a cultural initiative started by the Commonwealth Foundation. It was set up in 2012. The aim is to inspire and improve writers across the world by connecting them. In 2012, the Commonwealth Book Prize was discontinued by the Commonwealth and they focused mainly on the Short story prize.

The short story prize will be awarded to the best piece of fiction submitted. Each story will be around 2000-5000 words. Every year, there are five winning writers chosen from five different Commonwealth regions. The regional winners receive 2,500 pounds and the main winner is awarded 5,000 pounds.

Image Reference: Mwendengao

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