Out Of Africa: Five African Writers Shortlisted For 2024 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Five African writers have made it to the shortlist for the 2024 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, including writers from Mauritius and Rwanda for the first time in history.

The 23 stories on the 2024 shortlist were selected from a total of 7,359 entries from 53 Commonwealth countries—a ten per cent increase compared to 2023.

The African stories that made the cut include:

  • Fadi” by Azags Agandaa (Ghana)
  • Dite” by Reena Usha Rungoo (Mauritius)
  • House No. 49” by Olajide Omojarabi (Nigeria)
  • The Goat” by Jean Pierre Nikuze (Rwanda)
  • A Song Sung in Secret” by Jayne Bauling (South Africa)

Dr Anne T. Gallagher AO, Director-General of the Commonwealth Foundation, noted: “The Short Story Prize is legendary for unearthing and nurturing the rich creative talent of our Commonwealth. This year is no exception. Congratulations to the 23 writers whose stories will now secure a truly global audience.”

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded annually for the best piece of unpublished short fiction from any of the Commonwealth’s 56 Member States. The Prize is administered by the Commonwealth Foundation. Regional winners receive £2,500 and the overall winner receives £5,000. The winning stories are published online by Granta and in a special print collection by Paper + Ink.

Chaired by Ugandan-British writer Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, this year’s judging panel includes South African writer Keletso Mopai, Singaporean novelist O Thiam Chin, Canadian writer Shashi Bhat, poet Richard Georges from the British Virgin Islands, and Australian Bundjalung writer Melissa Lucashenko.

“This is a dream list for lovers of the short story form. You’ll be amazed and thrilled, startled and shocked, and heartbroken and humbled in equal measure by the skill and talent, imagination and creativity”, said Makumbi, commenting on the shortlist.

The 2024 shortlisted stories will be published online in adda, featuring new writing from around the Commonwealth. Regional winners will be announced on 29 May, while the overall winner will be announced on 26 June.

Read more about the shortlisted writers on the Commonwealth Foundation’s official website.


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