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Commonwealth Prizes 2013 Shortlists (Including SA Partridge and Jamala Safari)

SA Partridge

Alert! It has just been announced that Books LIVE members Jamala Safari and SA Partridge have made it onto the shortlists for the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize and the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, respectively.

The Great Agony and Pure Laughter of the GodsSterile SkySarah HouseThe Spider King\'s DaughterDark Poppy's Demise

Safari’s novel The Great Agony and Pure Laughter of the Gods (Umuzi) is joined on the Book Prize shortlist by twenty other writers, including Nigerians EE Sule’s Sterile Sky and Ifeanyi Ajaegbo’s Sarah House, both of which were on the 2012 Nigeria Prize for Literature shortlist, and their compatriot Chibundu Onuzo’s The Spider King’s Daughter, which was shortlisted for the 2012 Dylan Thomas Prize. The Commonwealth Book Prize is awarded to the best first novel. The winner of the Book Prize will receive £10 000 with regional winners (Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, Caribbean, and the Pacific) receiving £2 500.

On the Commonwealth Short Story Prize shortlist of 19 stories, Partridge’s “Take Me Home United Road” is joined by fellow South Africa Julian Jackson’s “The New Customers”, Nigerian writer Tobenna Nwosu’s “No War is Worth Debating” and Kenyan Alexander Ikawah’s “Fatima Saleh”. The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded to the best piece of unpublished short fiction. £5 000 will be presented to the winner of the Short Story Prize and regional winners will get £1 000.

The overall winners will be announced at the Hay Festival, on 31 May 2013.

Congratulations and good luck!

Press release

The Commonwealth Foundation has announced shortlists for the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize and Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Part of Commonwealth Writers, the prizes unearth, develop and promote the best new writing from across the Commonwealth, developing literary connections worldwide.

The Commonwealth Book Prize is awarded for the best first novel, and the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for the best piece of unpublished short fiction. Writers from around the world have been shortlisted in anticipation of being announced as overall winners at Hay Festival, on 31 May 2013.

Political, religious and social conflict runs through many of this year’s shortlisted entries, but there are also humorous stories, stories of hope, and stories full of imagination and power. The unmatched global reach of the prizes allows readers internationally to engage with a world of literature that might otherwise remain undiscovered, consistently bringing less-heard voices to the fore.

Encompassing a span of 54 countries, entries are judged within the five regions of Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, the Caribbean and the Pacific, each of which will produce a regional winner for the two prizes. These will be announced on 14 May 2013.

The prizes’ judging panels are made up of eminent members of the international literary community. Commenting on the shortlisted entries, Chair of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, BBC Special Correspondent Razia Iqbal, said, “People often assume short stories are easier to write because they’re, well, short! But it takes a particular skill to establish mood, character and tone in quick strokes, and tell a story which leaves a lasting impression. These stories open windows on worlds which seem familiar but, through fiction, which is tightly written, reflect those worlds, in richer and more surprising colours.”

Chair of the Commonwealth Book Prize, Godfrey Smith, said, “Our five judges did an admirable job of shortlisting from a bountiful harvest of debut novels, based on originality, linguistic flair, depth, quality of writing and freshness of tone. A number of books boldly pushed the boundaries of form and explosively rebelled against the conventional structures of fiction-writing, inspiring lively and passionate debates among the judges.”


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Recent comments:

  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    April 9th, 2013 @16:31 #

    Good news! Go Sally & Jamala :)

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    April 9th, 2013 @17:36 #

    *shrieks with joy* I am SO proud of you both! You both work SO hard. I'm jumping up and down!

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Nozizwe Cynthia</a>
    Nozizwe Cynthia
    April 9th, 2013 @19:47 #

    Well done to both, I remember this moment very well. All the best.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Liesl</a>
    April 10th, 2013 @13:00 #

    Oh, oh, oh! Most excellent news! Holding thumbs, you two.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Rachel Zadok</a>
    Rachel Zadok
    April 10th, 2013 @17:09 #

    Such great news. Yay!


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