Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Commonwealth Short Story PrizeLucy Caldwell has been named Regional Winner, Canada & Europe for the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for her story Killing Time.

The prize provides a platform for writers from the 53 countries of the Commonwealth to share unpublished work with a wider audience.

The five regional winners (Africa, Asia, Canada & Europe, Caribbean, Pacific) will now move forward to the next round and the overall winner will be announced in Kampala, Uganda, on 13 June to coincide with a series of Commonwealth Writers initiatives in East Africa.

Killing Time is the story of ayoung girl just turned thirteen who tries to take her own life. She swallows down as many paracetamol and baby aspirin tablets as she can and goes downstairs to have dinner with her family. That evening, and in the days that follow, she waits for something to happen, caught between the equally terrifying possibilities that something might, and that nothing will at all.

Asked about being named Regional Winner, Lucy said:

“I am thrilled to hear that my story Killing Time has been chosen as the Canada and Europe regional winner. It was a very difficult story to write, and took well over a dozen entirely new drafts for me to get the balance and tone of it right. At several points I almost abandoned it entirely. So it’s a huge boost for it to receive such recognition.”

The judges for the Prize reflect the five regions with Doreen Baingana from Africa, Michelle de Kretser from the Pacific, Marlon James from Caribbean, Courttia Newland representing Canada and Europe, and Jeet Thayil representing Asia. The chair is Ellah Allfrey, who is deputy chair of the Council of the Caine Prize and was previously deputy editor of Granta and senior editor at Jonathan Cape, Random House.