The Commonwealth Short Story Competition 2009 (United Kingdom)

The Commonwealth Short Story Competition is a prestigious, annual competition open to anyone who is a citizen of a Commonwealth country, whether an amateur or professional writer. There is no restriction on theme, but the stories must be new, original, and of no longer than 600 words (around four and a half minutes when read aloud).

Five regional winners are chosen, for Africa, Asia, Caribbean and Canada, Europe and the Pacific, of which one is then selected as the overall winner.

Each year 26  winning and highly commended stories from the different regions of the Commonwealth are recorded on to CDs and broadcast on radio stations across the Commonwealth.

The overall winner of the competition receives £2,000, regional winners £500 and each highly commended author £100.

Rights: “Winners will retain the copyright but assign the broadcasting rights (including audio on demand) to the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association to pass on to its members. Winners will also assign publication rights to the CBA and the Commonwealth Foundation, and the rights for the story to be sold on any audio medium by the CBA. Both these rights are non-exclusive. The winners will also assign rights to the CBA to use the story for press and promotion and for using on the website.”

Please note there is no entry form or fee for this competition.

DEADLINE: send by snail mail to the Commonwealth Foundation by 11 May 2009

Short Story Competition’ should be clearly written on the envelope, and on the subject line on emails.

More information is available from the Commonwealth Foundation’s website

**Seawoman’s 2 cents – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR ALL

Commonwealth Short Story Competition
Commonwealth Broadcasting Association
17 Fleet Street
London EC4Y 1AA

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7583 5550
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7583 5549


Sandra Sealy is Principal Consultant & Writer for Seawoman Creative Media - Her background in public relations in marketing combined with her strong creative writing skills have ably prepared her as a freelance writer/ editor. Sandra covers a number of niches like copy for brochures and websites, advertorials, restaurant and book reviews, press releases, feature and cover stories, pictorial text and more. Sandra's work has been widely anthologised. Some of her writing credits include: CALABASH: A Caribbean Journal of Arts & Letters (USA) ; Arts Etc (Barbados); Her Circle; Caribbean Writing Today (ezine); POUI: The Cave Hill Literary Annual of the University of the West Indies (Barbados); Wedding Guide Barbados; SHE Caribbean Magazine (St. Lucia); Urban Entertainment (USA); In Paradise Magazine:Barbados (Writer/Editor) and the Nation Newspaper (Barbados). Her dèbut spoken-word CD single- "Beauty Of The Bald Head: The Jazzy Spoken-Word Single" (Butterfly Creative Productions/Kolaiah Studios 2003)-was launched on the luxurious Freewinds Cruise Ship in January 2003. The Aquarian was backed by the celebrated Freewinds Band and Dominican singing sensation Michele Henderson. Top Barbadian musicians who also were featured in her CD shared the stage: saxophonist extradordinaire (Chris Harper (founder of "Cool Jazz'); beloved Bajan diva Tamara Marshall and multi-awarding winning Dwain Gill (on trombone). The CD was favourably reviewed in Listen to Seawoman's acclaimed 2-track music set by clicking on the link below. You can read samples of Sandra's work at

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Posted in Competitions & Awards
19 comments on “The Commonwealth Short Story Competition 2009 (United Kingdom)
  1. JamesRodrig says:

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    • seawoman says:

      That’s ok, James.. I’m not sure I’m tech savvy enough to help you but try posting your query on our Caribbean Writers page in Facebook.

      Please visit again to see what changes have been made.


  2. sujit says:

    Your blog is really informative. could you please tell me the names of Indian writer and name of their stories who have won commonwealth short story competition till date. i will really appreciate your help. actually i am searching a story by a Indian female writer who won the common wealth competition. I forget the name of the writer and its story. It was about children who used to dive into the river to collect the coins.

  3. Your blog is so informative … ..I just bookmarked you….keep up the good work!!!!

    I’m Out! 🙂

  4. Eric Kombey says:

    I Must say i was enchanted when i browsed through your website. Can i possibly be linked with other writers around the world at!Thanks.

  5. Hey..

    Potbake Productions has decided to launch a Caribbean Short Story Competition with the intention of showcasing local talent 13 years and older.. The deadline for entries is Sunday 28th February, 2010.. For more information please see the following website or if you’re like me and dislike opening new pages the contents of the website is as follows..

    Caribbean Short Story Competition 2009/2010

    Great news! Potbake Productions has been making waves in the news recently with the release of Lyndon Baptiste’s 90 Days of Violence and oOh My Testicles! and Michael Cozier’s Forward Ever! Backward Never!

    At Potbake Productions, part of our vision is promoting the growth of literature. In light of this, we are launching a Caribbean Short Story Competition, a short story competition with a twist. There will be a total of 17 prizes. The overall winner gets USD $ 250.00 and their story, along with 16 other winning stories, will be published as short story book collection by November 2010.

    guidelines and rules for submitting stories

    * Entrants must be from the Caribbean.
    * Entrants must be greater than or equal to 13 years of age.
    * Stories must be a minimum of 2,500 words but no greater than 3,000 words. Other entries will not be considered.
    * Stories must be original works, having never been featured in any other publication, newspaper, magazine or otherwise.
    * Submissions must be in MS WORD or PDF format and must include the word count, author’s name and contact information
    * Entries submitted after Sunday, 28th February 2010, will not be considered.
    * Entries can be sent via hard or soft copy
    o Email: Subject line must be: “CSSC.2009/2010”.
    o Hard copy submissions must be made to #3, 3rd Street West, Beaulieu Avenue, Trincity, Trinidad, West Indies.

    the end result for the top 17 stories

    * The overall winner will receive a cash prize of USD$250.00.
    * The top 17 stories will be compiled in a book and each winner will receive a free copy.
    * An about the author page will be included in the publication for reach of the 17 winners.
    * The authors will retain the copyright for their stories.
    * Potbake Productions will retain distribution rights for the top 17 stories.
    * There is no other monetary gain for the winning authors. There are no royalties to collect on sales.

    Please feel free to participate as well as forward this to any talented writer/s you may know.. Thanks and may the best entry win!!

  6. Silvester says:

    I cannot wait to try my passion and skill… who knows!

  7. Yemi Soneye says:

    Writing is a profession that gives bliss to the writer. Writing is an art that I can do for free. Short stories gives us the platform to increase our writing capabilities. So why not start writing and enter for the competition, and who knows?

    • seawoman says:

      Thanks so much for your comments, Yemi.

      Yes, I agree writing just does something for your soul. We writers may write for several reasons at different seasons of their lives. Many (like me) decide that there is extra joy for deriving income from your writing- hence SEAWOMAN’S CARIBBEAN WRITING OPPS.


  8. Mike says:

    Just passing by.Btw, your website have great content!

    Making Money $150 An Hour

  9. richard andoj says:

    how do i submit my competitionmstory please.

  10. seawoman says:

    Kindly note the updates, folks.

  11. seawoman says:

    Dear Sharon:

    Heartiest congratulations on your win with the CBA competition and thanks for visiting Seawoman’s Caribbean Writing Opps.

    I appreciate your endorsement and hope you’ll find other wonderful opportunities here at the site. We also have a long tradition of Commonwealth winners from the Caribbean like:

    Mark McWatt (Barbados) – best first book (2006)
    Michael Reckford (Jamaica) – CBA short story winner (2003)
    “Tom” Austin Clarke (Barbados) – best book (2003)
    Dana Gilkes (Barbados) – CBA short story winner (1997)
    …and the list goes on!

    **See uploads!

    We, in Barbados also started a fledgling tradition years ago of flash fiction writing (250 words!) launched at our WritersFest-organized by the literary arts desk of our National Cultural Foundation.

    As far as storytelling in the Caribbean, our oral tradition remains strong. There are many cultural influences-though the African one remains dominant. Tales traditionally told via our storytelling, books, poetry and calypso songs are leaping out in less traditional ways with dynamism of technology.

    However, we still have a challenge to have MORE of our rich stories out in the world.

    Storytellers (like me!!) would be happy to hear from you so we can share tips and resources.

  12. I won a prize one year and contacted another of the winners in India, 10 years later we’re still in contact and still discussing stories and writing.

    I recommend entering, it’s great discipline to write a story in 600 words.

    Trust Me, I’m a Storyteller

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