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Title: Commonwealth Short Story Competition 2007
Date: 30-Mar-2007
Category: CPA

Press Release 12 February 2007

The Commonwealth Foundation and the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association are now calling for entries for the 2007 Commonwealth Short Story Competition.

This highly acclaimed international competition has been an essential platform for now renowned writers such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who went on to win the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for 'Purple Hibiscus'. The competition gives winners the chance to have their story broadcast around the world on the radio and offers a first prize of 2,000, as well as other cash prizes.

Erin Soros of Canada, overall winner of the 2006 Commonwealth Short Story Competition, said that the prize meant a great deal to her because she was able to heighten awareness of an aspect of life in British Columbia that is rarely discussed:

"Winning the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for 'The Moon, the Cat and the Donkey' means a great deal to me. While the story is fictional, the described circumstances arise from the history of logging in British Columbia, with its inherently dramatic setting and risks. Logging remains the most dangerous occupation in Canada. The danger of this work, and the resulting injury and death, is not necessarily witnessed in the discourse of Canadian nationalism, so I am honoured that this story will be broadcast internationally and hope it may inspire listeners to consider the often complex and hidden histories of our Commonwealth. Hearing the broadcast will be like hearing a character walk off the page."

Amateur and professional writers alike are invited to submit their short story for consideration. The stories must be around 600 words in length, and may be on any theme or subject. Applicants must be citizens of one of the 53 member countries of the Commonwealth. Entries will be accepted until 1 May 2007. Full entry details and rules are attached

The winning stories - around 25, including an overall winner, regional winners and highly commended entries - will be professionally recorded and broadcast on radio stations around the Commonwealth.

For more information, visit

Notes to Editors

 Over the years, some winners of the competition have gone on to achieve notable success. The well-known Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, for example, first won a Commonwealth Short Story Competition prize before going on to win the overall Best First Book award in the 2005 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, as well as being shortlisted for the Orange Prize, for 'Purple Hibiscus'.  Her latest novel 'Half of a Yellow Sun' has just been shortlisted in the Africa region of the 2007 Commonwealth Writers' Prize. Usha Rajagopalan, an Indian writer, after winning the competition published an acclaimed first novel 'Amrita', while Laurie Kubuitsile, from Botswana, who received a Highly Commended award in 2004, has since reached international audiences, winning a prize in the John Reid/Tom Howard contest (USA) and being published in magazines in the UK.

The competition, which has been held each year since 1996, is administered by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and funded by the Commonwealth Foundation as part of its Culture and Diversity Programme. The competition exists to increase understanding between and appreciation of different Commonwealth cultures, to showcase the rich diversity of the Commonwealth and to support rising literary talents.

 The Commonwealth Foundation is an intergovernmental organisation resourced by and reporting to Commonwealth governments. It works to enhance the role of civil society organisations in governance, democracy, sustainable development, and culture and diversity by strengthening their institutional and human capacity, and creating opportunities and space for partnership, participation, advice and leadership. The Foundation was established by Commonwealth governments in 1965 and is guided by the principles, values and priorities of the Commonwealth.

 The Commonwealth Foundation, Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5HY, United Kingdom. Tel + 44 (0) 20 7747 6576, Fax +44 (0) 20 78398157

 For further information please contact:

Andrew Firmin, Programme Manager, Culture and Diversity +44 207 747 6576 or email


 There is no entry fee or form. Only the winners will be notified and entries will not be acknowledged or returned. The deadline for receipt of entries is 1 May 2007.


The Commonwealth Short Story Competition aims to increase understanding and appreciation of and between Commonwealth cultures, to showcase the rich diversity of the Commonwealth and to support rising literary talents.

The objectives of the competition are as follows:

* To recognise new writers and give them increased confidence to pursue writing as a career.
* To make more widely known the work of rising literary talents.
* To encourage people to write about their lives, their societies and the things that matter to them.
* To highlight a diversity of cultures, voices and viewpoints through radio broadcast.

Rules and Regulations
All Commonwealth citizens are eligible to participate in the Competition. There is no age limit and entries can come from either amateur or professional writers.

* All entries must clearly state the country of citizenship and residence.
* The stories may have any theme or subject, but should not exceed 600 words (which should be 4'30" when read aloud).
* The stories must be original and should not have been previously published anywhere in full or part. Entrants should confirm this in writing.
* All entries must be in English.
* Maximum of three entries per person.
* Entries should be type-written or word processed on A4 paper, double spaced, and include the word count.
* Handwritten entries will not be accepted.
* Each entry must include the name, address, telephone number, and email address of the writer.
* Entries will not be returned or acknowledged.
* Winners will retain the copyright but assign the broadcasting rights (including audio on demand) for ten years to the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association to pass on to its members. Winners will also assign publication rights for ten years to the CBA and the Commonwealth Foundation, and the rights for the story to be sold on any audio medium by the CBA. Both these rights are non-exclusive.
* The administrators of the competition reserve the right to disqualify any competition entry. No correspondence will be entered into in this regard.
* Only winners will be notified. The names of the winners will be published in 'Commonwealth People' and 'Commonwealth Broadcaster' magazines, the Commonwealth Foundation and CBA websites and in the press and broadcast media of Commonwealth countries.

How to enter
All entries for the 2007 competition should be sent by post or courier to:

Commonwealth Short Story Competition
Commonwealth Broadcasting Association
17 Fleet Street
London EC4Y 1AA

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7583 5550

Please mention "Short Story Competition" on the envelope. You can also email

Please note there is no entry form for this competition


Marcie Shaoul 
Communications Officer
Commonwealth Foundation
Marlborough House
Pall Mall
London SW1Y 5HY
United Kingdom
Tel:  +44 (0) 20 7747 6582
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7839 8157

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