Awards: Commonwealth Short Story Regional Winners; New-York Historical's Children's History Winner

The Commonwealth Foundation announced regional winners of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, awarded annually for the best piece of unpublished short fiction from the Commonwealth. Regional winners each receive £2,500 (about $3,190) and the overall winner, who will be named June 26, gets £5,000 (about $6,380). This year's regional honorees:

Africa: "Dite" by Reena Ushan Rungoo (Mauritius)
Asia: "Aishwarya Rai" by Sanjana Thakur (India)
Canada & Europe: "What Burns" by Julie Bouchard, translated by Arielle Aaronson (Canada)
Caribbean: "The Devil's Son" by Portia Subran (Trinidad and Tobago)
Pacific: "A River Then the Road" by Pip Robertson (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Chair of judges Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi said: "The short story form has neither the luxury of time nor the comfort of space. It is an impatient form; it does not dance around. The punch of a good short story leaves you breathless. As the judging panel, we enjoyed, sorrowed, celebrated and eventually agreed that these stories came up on top of the different regions."

The five regional winning stories will be published online by the literary magazine Granta in the run-up to the announcement of the overall winner. 


The Lost Year by Katherine Marsh (Roaring Brook Press) has won the $10,000 New-York Historical Society's Children's History Book Prize, given to "the best American history book for middle readers ages 9–12, fiction or nonfiction."

The Society commented: "Set in alternating timelines that connect the present day to the 1930s and the US to the USSR, The Lost Year tells the story of a young boy living through the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic as he starts to unravel a secret family history: the Holodomor, the horrific famine that killed millions of Ukrainians, which the Soviet government covered up for decades. Inspired by Marsh's own family history, the book is a story of family, survival, and sacrifice."

Society president and CEO Dr. Louise Mirrer added: "Katherine Marsh masterfully intertwines the past and the present in The Lost Year, evoking emotions and surprises. The richly depicted characters and the incorporation of Katherine's family's history leave readers yearning to know more about the time period and how the famine was depicted in the news and history books."

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