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Monday, June 27, 2022

Oxford student shortlisted from over 5,000 entries for global story award

The St Hilda’s student was one of 21 writers whose stories were shortlisted for this year’s Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

Nuzha Nuseibeh, who is studying at Oxford for a PhD on the sociology of educations, has been nominated for the Commonwealth Short Story prize for her story, ‘Love-life’.

The story is described on the website for Commonwealth Writers, who run the award, as a “half-love story for the millennial generation.

The organisers describe their mission as to “inspire and connect writers and storytellers across the world, bringing personal stories to a global audience.”

Nuseibeh was one of two writers from the United Kingdom to make the 2019 shortlist. In total, 5,081 people from around the world entered this year’s contest.

Nuseibeh told Cherwell: “I’m honoured and over the moon to have been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize—I still can’t quite believe it!

“It’s a wonderfully diverse, exciting and inclusive prize, and has been since the start, and I’m a great admirer of the judges on the panel.

“The other shortlisted authors are wildly impressive as well, so I feel very privileged to be included alongside them.”

The decisions will be made by an “international judging panel” consisting of writers from each of the “five Commonwealth regions: Asia, Africa, Canada and Europe, the Caribbean and the Pacific.”

Chair of the Judges, British novelist, playwright and essayist Caryl Phillips said: “The vitality and importance of the short story form is abundantly clear in this impressive shortlist of stories from around the world.

“These authors have dared to imagine into the lives of an amazingly wide range of characters and their stories explore situations that are both regional and universal.

“Compared to many literary prizes, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize is still young. However, with each passing year the prize gains importance within the literary world. It offers a unique opportunity to read and think across borders, and to connect imaginations from around the globe.

“It has been a great honour to be a part of the judging of the 2019 prize.” 

To qualify for the award, stories have to be unpublished, and have a word count between 2,000 and 5,000 words in English. £2,500 is awarded to regional winners, while the overall winner receives £5,000. The contest also accepts translated entries as well as stories written in the original Bengali, Chinese, Greek, Kiswahili, Malay, Portuguese, Samoan, Tamil and Turkish.

The competition is free to enter.

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