Nigerian writer Lesley Nneka Arimah has emerged Africa regional winner of the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. A statement released on Tuesday in London by the organisers said she won with her entry entitled ‘Light’.
Other 2015 Regional Winners are Asia: Siddhartha Gigoo, ‘The Umbrella Man’ (India); Canada and Europe: Jonathan Tel, The Human Phonograph (United Kingdom); Caribbean: Kevin Jared Hosein, ‘The King of Settlement 4′ (Trinidad and Tobago); and Pacific: Mary Rokonadravu, ‘Famished Eels’ (Fiji).
The regional winners will compete with each other to become the overall winner, which will be announced in London on 8 September.
The Prize provides a platform for writers from the 53 countries of the Commonwealth to inspire others by bringing compelling short stories to a wider audience. This year unpublished stories were entered by 4,000 writers from the five regions of the Commonwealth. The international judges reflect these regions: Leila Aboulela, (Africa), Bina Shah (Asia), Marina Endicott (Canada and Europe), Fred D’Aguiar (the Caribbean) and Witi Ihimaera (the Pacific).
This year’s Chair, Romesh Gunesekera, said of the winning stories:
“We had a strong short-list 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.” (News Express)