Author, Researcher, Peace & Conflict Professional


  • 2016/2017 apexart New York City (NYC) Fellow
  • 2014 Winner Burt Award for African Literature, Kenya Chapter
  • 2010 Penguin Prize for African Writing nominee
  • Ist Prize, Adult Fiction Category – NBDCK  Literary Awards, September 2008 Book Week

The 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize shortlist has been announced and the eclectic list includes seven African writers – 3 Nigerians and 4 South Africans.

This year’s prize attracted nearly 4000 entries from 47 countries. Twenty-six said to be “fresh and unexpected” stories by writers from eleven countries make up the shortlist.

After an initial sift by a team of international readers, the global judging panel, representing each of the five regions of the Commonwealth – Helon Habila (Africa), Firdous Azim (Asia),  Pierre Mejlak (Canada and Europe)  Olive Senior (Caribbean), and Patrick Holland (Pacific) – settled on the short-list.

Chair of the judges, South African novelist and playwright Gillian Slovo, said of this year’s shortlist:

As a novelist accustomed to the luxury of the long form it has been a treat to discover writers who manage to crystallise such different experiences into so few words. The stories we have chosen for the shortlist are in turn comic, touching, poetic, mysterious but always fresh and unexpected.

The prize aims to “bring stories from new and emerging voices, often from countries with little or no publishing infrastructure, to the attention of an international audience”

The prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction in English, translations are also eligible. Five winners from the five different Commonwealth regions are selected, winning £2,500 each, with the overall winner receiving £5,000.

More about the prize

The full shortlist 

  • 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 Kulkani (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) (translated by 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)

 Excerpts from all 26 stories are available to read on the Commonwealth Writers website.

Congrats to all the short-listed writers!

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