Commonwealth Short Story Short List 2016

I’ve been meaning to post about this but I’ve been backed up. But better late than never. Congratulations to all the writers making the Commonwealth Short Story Short List. If you entered and that’s not you, don’t be discouraged. That’s not platitudes. I’m someone who enjoys experimenting and testing myself with the short story form and who, as a journeying writer, stretches toward every opportunity I can alllmost reach for, who continues to receive more than my fair share of rejections (that’s the cycle, submit, shake it off, submit again, and every now and again go crazy celebrating that w/in), and who’s had to stem the disappointment as far as this prize is concerned. The closest I’ve gotten to the main draw is my selection for the Commonwealth short story prize for the collection entitled Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean. It was encouraging to know I’d gotten that close though – and can I tell you, the reviews of the published story (Amelia at Devil’s Bridge which, incidentally, was also short listed for the Small Axe Fiction prize) have been really positive and it’s even been taught at the University of Belize, so you never know why something didn’t make the final cut, doesn’t mean it has no value, and you never know where something may end up and never will if you don’t put it out there. I continue to work on strengthening my writing skills and looking for the opportunity to sink that black eight ball in the pocket. You better believe the Commonwealth judges ah go tired fu see me face (thanks, Bob). And so I say to you, if your name’s not on this list, shake it off (thanks, Mariah). Those who know me know I’m not relentlessly optimistic (ha!) but I am obstinately persistent. So, to you I say, I know through the blood, sweat, and tears of rejection that it can be discouraging but DO NOT GIVE UP.

Big up to all the finalists and especially the Caribbean finalists in bold below.

Aabirah, Sophia Khan (Pakistan)
A Visitation, Jane Healey (United Kingdom)
Black Milk, Tina Makereti (New Zealand)
Charmed, Jane Downing (Australia)
Children of the Zocalo, Don McLellan (Canada)
Confluence, Nova Gordon-Bell (Jamaica)
Cow and Company, Parashar Kulkarni (India)
Dirty White Strings, Kritika Pandey (India)
Eel, Stefanie Seddon (United Kingdom)
Ethelbert and the Free Cheese,
Lance Dowrich (Trinidad and Tobago)
Exorcism, Lausdeus Chiegboka (Nigeria)
Girdhar’s Mansion, Sumit Ray (India)
Imbecile, Craig S Whyte (United Kingdom)
Instant Karma, Vinayak Varma (India)
Kurram Valley, Munib A Khan (Pakistan)
Niroporadh Ghum (Innocent Sleep),
Sumon Rahman (Bangladesh);
Translator: Arunava Sinha
Saving Obadiah, Enyeribe Ibegwam (Nigeria)
Space Invaders, Stuart Snelson
(United Kingdom)
The Driver, Oyinkan Braithwaite (Nigeria)
The Entomologist’s Dream, Andrew Salomon (South Africa)
The Pigeon, Faraaz Mahomed (South Africa)
This Here Land, Miranda Luby (Australia)
This is How We Burn, Cat Hellisen
(South Africa)
Vestigial, Trent Lewin (Canada)
When I Came Home, Mark Winkler
(South Africa)
Where Mountains Weep, Bonnie Etherington (New Zealand)

This version of the list pulled from the Scoop.

As with all content on, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, DancingNude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you share this list, give credit; if you appreciate the service, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.


1 Comment

Filed under Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love, Literary Gallery

One response to “Commonwealth Short Story Short List 2016

  1. Reblogged this on Wadadli Pen and commented:

    Just letting you know that the regional winners of this prize have been announced. They area:

    Faraaz Mahomed, The Pigeon, South Africa

    Parashar Kulkarni, Cow and Company, India

    Canada and Europe
    Stefanie Seddon, Eel, United Kingdom

    Lance Dowrich, Ethelbert and the Free Cheese, Trinidad and Tobago

    Tina Makereti, Black Milk, New Zealand

    The five stories from the five regions cover very different subject matter: coming of age in New Zealand, a culture in twilight, an advertising campaign for chewing gum in 1920s India, love and guilt in South Africa, and a tale of life and work exuberantly told in the language of Trinidad.

    The regional winners will now compete to be selected as the Overall Winner of the 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, to be announced at the Calabash International Literary Festival in Jamaica on 5 June. In the words of Calabash’s Artistic Director Kwame Dawes:

    “In one generous gesture of righteous collaboration, Commonwealth Writers has given Calabash exactly the kind of gift that our audience relishes, an opportunity to enjoy and celebrate the best new writing from around the world. We are honoured and excited to be the stage on which this announcement will be made.”

    Commonwealth Writers has partnered with Granta magazine to give regional winners of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize the opportunity to be published by Granta online. The stories will be published every Wednesday from today until 1 June.

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