2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize: Regional Winner, Canada & Europe

Banner for Commonwealth Short Story Prize: Celebrating Ten Years

As they say in Italian, I’m touching the sky/heaven with one finger. The news is out today… I am one of the five regional winners of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2021. I’m thrilled and honoured and still a little stunned to have my story, ‘Turnstones’, represent Canada and Europe.

The prize attracted 6423 entries this year, so it means a lot that the judges have chosen my story. I’m still walking on air after reading judge Keith Jarrett’s generous comments.

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize stories has long been a highlight of the short-story year for me. Every year they pick short story gems such as Ingrid Persaud’s ‘The Sweet Sop’; every year, they send an anthology of wonderful, international short stories out into the world.

The prize was launched in 2012 and seeks out writers and stories from across the five continents. This award celebrates the short story and supports writers often from countries ‘with little or no publishing infrastructure and from places that are marked by geographical, geopolitical or economic isolation’.

The regional winners’ stories will be published in Granta, in the weeks leading up to the final announcement of the overall winner in June. I’ve dreamed of appearing in Granta’s pages since I was knee-high as a writer, so I am overjoyed at this!

The winning stories have also been published in a beautiful anthology, I Cleaned the – & Other Stories: Winners of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2021, available in bookshops and online.

You can read more about the five regional winner and our stories here. You can also listen to all the twenty five shortlisted writers, including me, talk about our stories here.

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