2013 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (UK)

The Commonwealth Writers Prize  is one of the most prestigious international writing competitions for prose, co-ordinated  by the Commonwealth Foundation and the official opening date for entries is October 24th 2012 (You can also get reminders by following them on Facebook.)

The inserted video features winners of the 2012 Regional Commonwealth Writers’ prize.  Congrats to all but especially Caribbean regional winner Alecia McKenzie of Jamaica, who had her book published with Peepal Tree Press, UK.

The prizes target and identify talented writers from different regions of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Book Prize (CBP) is awarded for the best first book, and the Commonwealth Short Story Prize (CSSP) for the best piece of unpublished short fiction.

For each prize we award four regional winners and one overall winner. The regions are Africa; Asia; Canada & Europe; Caribbean; and the Pacific.

The prizes are open to Commonwealth citizens aged 18 or over.

Opening date: The 2013 prizes will open for entry via the online entry form on 24 October 2012.

Book Deadline: Online entry forms must be submitted by Tuesday 18 December 2012 (12 noon GMT). Books must be received by the Prize Administrator no later than Wednesday 2 January 2013 (5pm GMT)

Short Story Deadline: Entries must be submitted via the online entry form by Tuesday 4 December 2012 (12 noon GMT) No entries will be considered if submitted after 4 December 2012 (12 noon GMT).

Rule Highlights


Book Prize Rules:  The book must have been first published between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2012. Books published in earlier years, including books which have previously been published in countries other than the country of the current publisher, are not eligible.  Read ALL the rules carefully at the website.


Short Story Rules: The story must be original and should not have been previously published anywhere in full or in part. Published work is taken to mean published in any printed, publicly accessible form, e.g. anthology, magazine, newspaper. It is also taken to mean published online, with the exception of personal blogs and personal websites.  Again, read ALL the rules carefully on the short story page at the website.



  • SHORT STORY PRIZE: There will be five winners, one from each region. One regional winner will be selected as the overall winner. The overall winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize will receive £5,000 and the remaining four regional winners £1,000. If the winning short story is a translation into English, the overall winner will receive £3,750 and translator will receive £1,250; and the regional winners will receive £750 and the translator will receive £250.
  • BOOK PRIZE: There will be five winners, one from each region. One of the regional winners will be selected as the overall winner. The overall winner of the Commonwealth Book Prize will receive £10,000 and the remaining four regional winners £2,500. If the winning book is a translation into English, the overall winner will receive £7,500 and translator will receive £2,500; and the regional winners will receive £1,875 and the translator will receive £625.

Address for Sending Books

After completing the online entry process, you must send two copies of each book to the prize organisers at the following address:

Prize Administrator, Commonwealth Writers
Commonwealth Foundation Marlborough House
Pall Mall London SW1Y 5HY United Kingdom

QUERIES? writers@commonwealth.int

You may be requested to send a further six copies in early January 2013.

Seawoman’s note: WELL worth your time!


Sandra Sealy is Principal Consultant & Writer for Seawoman Creative Media - seawomancreativmedia.co 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 Ezine.com; 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 Ejazznews.com. Listen to Seawoman's acclaimed 2-track music set by clicking on the link below. You can read samples of Sandra's work at Contently.com

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Posted in Competitions & Awards, Fiction, Paying markets, Publishers, Short Story

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