Commonwealth Short Story Prize: Meet the 2024 Regional Winners

The literary world is abuzz with the announcement of the regional winners of the 2024 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, each of whom has been shortlisted for the first time. This prestigious prize, an initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation, seeks to amplify the voices of emerging writers across the Commonwealth.

This year’s winners hail from diverse backgrounds, bringing unique perspectives to their storytelling.

Reena Usha Rungoo

Mauritian writer Reena Usha Rungoo, who is also a scholar and mother, has been recognised for her compelling fiction that aims to inspire action and build community. As an islander and a diasporic South Asian, Rungoo’s work speaks truth to power, resonating deeply with her multifaceted identity.

Sanjana Thakur

From India, Sanjana Thakur, a graduate in English and Anthropology from Wellesley College, draws upon her academic background to challenge perceptions and explore the complexities of human experience. Thakur’s writing embodies the essence of making the familiar strange and the strange familiar, offering fresh insights into everyday life.

Julie Bouchard

Canadian writer Julie Bouchard, based in Montreal, brings her literary prowess to the fore with two short story collections and a novel already to her name. Influenced by literary giants such as Virginia Woolf and Anne Hébert, Bouchard’s work, translated from French by Arielle Aaronson, delves into intricate human emotions and relationships.

Portia Subran

Trinidad and Tobago’s Portia Subran, a writer and ink artist from Chaguanas, celebrates her Caribbean heritage through stories that honour the oral traditions of her ancestors. Subran’s work is a testament to the enduring legacy of Caribbean storytelling, rich with historical and cultural significance.

Pip Robertson

New Zealand’s Pip Robertson rounds out the list of winners with her nuanced fiction that explores life’s inherent ambiguities and contradictions. Robertson’s stories, featured in various journals and anthologies, highlight her ability to capture the complexity of human nature.

In anticipation of the overall winner announcement on June 26, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize team has invited readers to engage with the finalists’ stories through videos that offer a glimpse into the motivations and inspirations behind their work. The public is encouraged to share their favourite stories on social media, fostering a community of literary appreciation and dialogue.

The Commonwealth Foundation continues to champion the transformative power of creative expression, supporting platforms like the Commonwealth Short Story Prize to provoke debate and inspire action on critical issues. Through initiatives like these, the Foundation elevates the voices of the people, shaping a more inclusive and vibrant literary landscape.

For more information about the Commonwealth Foundation and to watch the finalists’ videos, visit their website here.



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