The Commonwealth writers organization have announced the regional winners of the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize who will each receive £2500.
From a Shortlist of twenty-two writers, five writers have been declared the regional winners of the 2015 competition. The winners are; Lesley Nneka Arimah(Nigeria), Siddhartha Gigoo(India), Jonathan Tel (UK), Kevin Jared Hosein(Trinidad) and Mary Rokonadravu (Fiji).
The Chair of the Judges of Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2015, Romesh Gunesekera describes the process:
'We had a strong shortlist of stories from around the world that excited the judges and provoked a lively, stimulating set of discussions. The judges were looking for well-crafted stories that were compelling and original. The standards were high. We wanted stories that would engage us and make us rethink our notions of form, language and what mattered. The winning stories did all of that and more. Thank you, writers'.
Lesley Nneka Arimah grew up in Nigeria and the UK. She currently resides in the US in the state of Minnesota where she spends the winters in hiding, working on a novel and a collection of short stories. Here is her winning story - Light.
Siddhartha Gigoo is the author of two books of fiction, The Garden of Solitude (2011) and A Fistful of Earth and Other Stories (2015). He has also written and directed two short films, The Last Day and Goodbye, Mayfly. As a student, his two books of poems, Fall and Other Poems and Reflections were published by Writer’s Workshop, Kolkata, India. Here is his winning story - The Umbrella Man.
Jonathan Tel is writing a fiction book set in contemporary China. It is composed of ten chapters, each of which may be read as an independent story, but which link together to form a novel. The shortlisted story is extracted from this work. The opening chapter, ‘The Shoe King of Shanghai’ was shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Award 2014. He is looking for a publisher for this book. He is also writing a book of poems about Berlin. Here is his winning story - The Human Phonograph
Kevin Jared Hosein is a poet, writer and science teacher in Trinidad and Tobago and a graduate of the University of the West Indies. He illustrated and published a book for younger audiences, Littletown Secrets, in 2013. His short stories have been featured in Caribbean anthologies such as Pepperpot and Jewels of the Caribbean. Here is his winning story - The King of Settlement 4.
Mary Rokonadravu is Communications Manager at WWF-Pacific based in Suva, Fiji. She finds inspiration in the lives of ordinary people and communities, particularly untold stories of people in the frontlines of climate change and environmental degradation in the Pacific islands region. She believes in the power of culture and the arts, particularly storytelling, to inspire transformation in society. She loves cats. Here is her winning story - Famished Eels.