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And the Juges Are... CWW 2013

Godfrey Smith

Attorney Godfrey Smith has been selected Chair of the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize. Smith, a national of Belize, is the author of the biography, George Price: A Life Revealed which earned the 2012 Bocas Prize for literary non-fiction. Smith is also the founding editor of the Belize Law Reports, the Belize Law Review and the Belize Foreign Policy Yearbook.

Smith heads up a panel of judges which includes Ugandan author Goretti Kyomuhendo (The First Daughter and Secrets No More); Manu Joseph (India) author of Serious Men and The Illicit Happiness of Other People; writer and publisher Linda Leith (Canada); Barbadian poet Esther Phillips (When Ground Doves Fly and The Stone Gatherer); and Martin Shaw (New Zealand) head of the book department of the Readings independent bookstore chain in Australia.  

 The 2013 Prize is open to writers of the Commonwealth who’s first book has been published between January 1 and December 31, 2012. This year, the CWW Prize has widened their criteria to include self-published works as well as works in translation. The decision was taken to level the playing field for those writers in territories with limited publishing opportunities. Hopefully this may mean that writers, writing from territories like the Caribbean will have a greater chance of copping the coveted prize.

 “This year’s exciting expansion of the Prizes gives even more writers the chance to be heard,” says Lucy Hannah, Programme Manager, Commonwealth Foundation. “It also brings a greater diversity of stories from all parts of the world to Commonwealth Writers’ growing international readership.”

Smith agreed that the widening of the prize allows for greater inclusion. “This year’s decision to include translated and self-published works will finally unite the tributaries of fiction and imagination from diverse corners of the Commonwealth into one powerful, rushing river of new writings, from which the best will be selected, recognized and celebrated,” he said.

The five regional winners cop a £2,500 purse while the overall winner receives £10,000.