Three Trinbagonians have been shortlisted for the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Ingrid Persaud, Caroline MacKenzie, and Jon Lewis-Katz were all shortlisted for the prestigious award, making Trinidad and Tobago the country with the highest number of shortlisted entries this year.
Lewis-Katz’ short story, Shopping, is among the entries up for the Prize, along with McKenzie’s short story The Dying Wish, and Persaud’s The Sweet Sop.
Jon Lewis-Katz, who lives in the Bronx, New York, has written for publications such as Fiction, New Walk, and the Trinidad Guardian.
He teaches writing at CUNY and is working on a collection of short stories about West Indians and West Indian-Americans in New York City.
Mackenzie is based in Trinidad and has written for literary journals and magazines around the world.
A former national scholar, she speaks four languages and holds a Masters in technical translation from Imperial College London.
Persaud, who resides in Barbados, initially pursued a successful legal career that included teaching and scholarship at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, in the United States and King’s College London.
Her creative work has been widely exhibited and her writing featured in several magazines. Her debut novel, If I Never Went Home (2014) was highly praised.
Twenty-one stories have been selected by an international judging panel out of almost 6000 entries from 49 Commonwealth countries.
This was a record number of submissions, an increase of almost 50 percent from 2016. Now in its sixth year the Prize is for the best piece of unpublished short fiction in English.
Chair of the judges, novelist Kamila Shamsie, said of this year’s shortlist:
“The extraordinary ability of the short story to plunge you into places, perspectives and emotions and inhabit them fully in the space of only a few pages is on dazzling display in this shortlist.”
“The judges weren’t looking for particular themes or styles, but rather for stories that live and breathe. That they do so with such an impressive range of subject matter and tone has been a particular pleasure of re-reading the shortlisted stories.”
“The geographic spread of the entries is, of course, in good part responsible for this range – all credit to Commonwealth Writers for structuring this prize so that its shortlists never seem parochial.”
The Prize is judged by an international panel of writers, representing each of the five regions of the Commonwealth. The 2017 judges are Zukiswa Wanner (Africa), Mahesh Rao (Asia), Jacqueline Baker (Canada and Europe), Jacob Ross (Caribbean) and Vilsoni Hereniko (Pacific).
T&T news blog
The intent of this blog is to bring some news from home and other fun items. If you enjoy what you read, please leave us a comment..