Cypriot author Eva Koursoumba’s short story ‘The Fisherwoman’, translated into English by Lina Protopapa, has been shortlisted for the 2023 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, which includes 28 writers from 19 countries.
According to a press release issued by the Commonwealth Foundation, Eva Koursoumba’s short story is competing in the shortlist for Canada and Europe, which has been joined by six writers from countries in this region including Canada and the United Kingdom.
The shortlisted stories move between myth and family drama, and deal with a range of themes from violence and war to environmental destruction and from love and loss to unexpected friendships.
The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded annually to the best unpublished short fiction entry from any of the 56 Commonwealth countries. It is noted that in addition to English, authors can submit their works in many other languages such as Bengali, Chinese, Creole, French, Greek, Malay, Portuguese, Samoan, Swahili, Tamil and Turkish.
It is added that the 2023 competition received a total of 475 entries, written in languages other than English.
The shortlisted stories for 2023 have been selected from 6,642 stories from Commonwealth countries, including the Commonwealth’s newest members, Togo and Gabon, who entered the competition for the first time.
It is also noted that the authors included in this year’s shortlist, 10 men and 18 women, range in age from 20 to 74, while 27 authors, a quarter of whom are between 20 and 30 years old, are new arrivals.
The full shortlist for 2023 is as follows:
‘Price Tags’ – Buke Abduba (Kenya)
‘Punching Lines’ – Josiah Mbote (Kenya)
‘Arboretum’ – H. B. Asari (Nigeria)
‘Mama Blue’ – Michael Boyd (South Africa)
‘The Undertaker’s Apprentice’ – Hana Gammon (South Africa)
‘Falling from a knife tree’ – Matshediso Radebe (South Africa)
‘Deficiency Notice’ – Arman Chowdhury (Bangladesh)
‘A Groom Like Shahrukh’- Vidhan Verma (India)
‘Relative Distance’ – Shih-Li Kow (Malaysia)
‘Khicheenk!’ – Usama Lali (Pakistan)
‘Oceans Away From My Homeland’ – Agnes Chew (Singapore)
‘Principles of Accounting’ – Rukshani Weerasooriya Wijemanne (Sri Lanka)
CANADA AND EUROPE
‘Lost Boys’ – Trevor Corkum (Canada)
‘So Long, Gregor’ – Mehdi M. Kashani (Canada)
‘The Fisherwoman’ – Eva Koursouba (Cyprus) translated by Lina Protopapas
‘Lech, Prince, and the Nice Things’ – Rue Baldry (UK)
‘Crossing Lake Abaya’ – Gail Davey (UK)
‘Because You Drowned’ – Jay McKenzie (UK)
‘The Ovelias at Benzie Hill Dump’ – Alexia Tolas (Bahamas)
‘Where The Winds Blow’ – Cosmata Lindie (Guyana)
‘Road Trip and Fall’ – Demoy Lindo (Jamaica)
‘Ocoee’ – Kwame McPherson (Jamaica)
‘Teef From Teef’ – Deborah Matthews (Trinidad and Tobago)
‘Sauce’ – Jean Flynn (Australia)
‘Catching Up’ – Janeen Samuel (Australia)
‘Sugartown’ – Emma Sloley (Australia)
‘Kilinochchi’ – Himali McInnes (New Zealand)
‘When this island disappears’ – Dennis Kikira (Papua New Guinea)
Jury members are Rwanda-born writer, photographer and editor Rémy Ngamije (Africa), Sri Lankan writer and editor Ameena Hussein (Asia), British-Canadian writer Katrina Best (Canada and Europe), poet and St. Lucian novelist Mac Donald Dixon (Caribbean), and former New Zealand Poet Laureate, Dr. Selina Tusitala Marsh (Pacific).
It is noted that on May 17th the 5 regional winners will be announced, while on June 27th the grand winner will be announced and the award ceremony will be held.