Commonwealth Writers, the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation in London, was in Singapore to announce the winner of this year’s Commonwealth Short Story Prize. The Prize started in 2012 with the launch of Commonwealth Writers. Free to enter, it attracts entries from writers across the globe. 6,000 submissions were received this year, a record number, up 50% from 2016.
Singaporean author Catherine Lim presented the award to Ingrid Persaud from Trinidad and Tobago for her story ‘The Sweet Sop’ on the evening of 30 June in the Chamber of The Arts House. The international judging panel, chaired by novelist Kamila Shamsie, selected Ingrid, the Caribbean Regional Winner, from the 5 regional winners. Also present were the other four winners: Akwaeke Emezi for ‘Who is Like God’, Anushka Jasraj for ‘Drawing Lessons’, Tracy Fells for ‘The Naming of Moths’, and Nat Newman for ‘The Death of Margaret Roe’.
Hosted by the Director-General of the Commonwealth Foundation, Vijay Krishnarayan, the evening included readings from the regional winners, poetry and photography from Marc Nair and a reading by Ms Lim, as well as performances by two groups, NUS Dance Synergy and NUS Electronic Music Lab, from the NUS Centre For the Arts.