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Commonwealth Writers shortlists announced

26th April 2012

The shortlists for the re-launched Commonwealth Writers awards have been announced, with 19 promising new authors from across the world in contention to win the prestigious best book prize.

Formerly known as the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and Commonwealth Short Story Prize, the awards were re-launched last year under the new banner Commonwealth Writers - A World of New Fiction.

According to the Commonwealth Foundation, the aim was to bring the awards 'into the 21st century', with an increase in prize money and an even greater emphasis on exciting new writing.

This year's awards are divided into five regions - Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Pacific and Canada and Europe, with a winner from each area going through to compete for the overall prize in each category.

This year's best book prize includes three debut authors based in the UK - Yvvette Edwards, who is nominated for A Cupboard Full of Coats, Denis Hirson, who is shortlisted for The Dancing and the Death on Lemon Street, and Kerry Young, who is in contention with Pao.

The triumphant author in each region will receive GBP 2,500, while the overall winner will be awarded GBP 10,000.

Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize will be awarded to the best piece of unpublished short fiction between 2,000 and 2,500 words in length, with GBP 5,000 given to the overall winner and the best work in each region receiving GBP 1,000.

The regional winners will be announced on May 22nd, with the recipients of the overall Commonwealth Book Prize and Commonwealth Short Story Prize announced at the Hay Festival on June 8th.

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