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Two Caribbean Writers Make 2016 Commonwealth Shortlist

Commonwealth Writers Prize 2016 Shortlist announced

Two Caribbean writers have made it to the shortlist of the  2016 Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize. Jamaica’s Nova Gordon-Bell with ‘Confluence’ and Trinidad and Tobago’s Lance Dowrich with ‘Ethelbert and the Free Cheese’ join 24 other writers on this year’s shortlisted stories which have been described as “fresh and unexpected”.

Commonwealth Writers revealed that they received over 4,000 entries from new and emerging writers from 47 countries across the five regions. However, writers from only 11 countries made it to the shortlist.

South African novelist and playwright Gillian Slovo chaired the 2016 panel of judges which comprised Olive Senior (the Caribbean), Patrick Holland (Pacific), Helon Habila (Africa), Firdous Azim (Asia) and Pierre Mejlak (Canada and Europe).

The 26 writers now vie for the regional prize, which will be announced on May 4, 2016 while the overall winner will be announced in September 2016. Regional winners receive £2,500 while the overall winner receives £,5000. 

The 2016 shortlist is as follows:


‘Exorcism’, Lausdeus Chiegboka - Nigeria

‘Saving Obadiah’, Enyeribe Ibegwam - Nigeria

‘The Driver’, Oyinkan Braithwaite - Nigeria

‘The Entomologist’s Dream’, Andrew Salomon - South Africa

‘The Pigeon’, Faraz Mahomed - South Africa

‘This is How We Burn’, Cat Hellisen - South Africa

‘When I Came Home’, Mark Winkler - South Africa

The Caribbean

‘Confluence’, Nova Gordon-Bell - Jamaica

‘Ethelbert and the Free Cheese’, Lance Dowrich - Trinidad and Tobago


‘Aabirah’, Sophia Khan - Pakistan 

‘Cow and Company’, Parashar Kulkani - India

‘Dirty White Strings’, Kritika Pandey - India

‘Girdhar’s Mansion’, Sumit Ray - India

‘Instant Karma’, Vinayak Varma - India

‘Kurram Valley’, Munib A Khan - Pakistan

‘Innocent Sleep’, Niroparadh Ghum - Bangladesh

The Pacific

‘Black Milk’, Tina Makereti - New Zealand

‘Charmed’, Jane Downing - Australia

‘This Here Land’, Miranda Luby - Australia

‘Where Mountains Weep’, Bonnie Etherington - New Zealand

Canada and Europe

‘A Visitation’, Jane Healey - United Kingdom

‘Children of Zocalo’, Don McLellan - Canada

‘Eel’, Stefanie Seddon, United Kingdom

‘Imbecile’, Craig S Whyte - United Kingdom

‘Space Invaders’, Stuart Snelson - United Kingdom

‘Vestigial’, Trent Lewin - Canada