Maham Javaid | Photo courtesy Commonwealth Short Story Prize
Maham Javaid | Photo courtesy Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Maham Javaid, whose short story ‘The Tallest Woman’ won the first Zeenat Haroon Rashid Writing Prize for Women — and was also published in Eos — is among the 20 finalists vying for the 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Prize with her latest work of unpublished fiction.

Established in 2012 by the Commonwealth Writers — an initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation that seeks to connect writers and storytellers from around the world — the prize is awarded annually for the best pieces of previously unpublished short fiction from any of the Commonwealth’s 54 member countries. A most distinctive feature of the prize is that writers are not limited by language; stories can be submitted in any of the languages spoken and written in the member countries.

Entries are divided into five regions: Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Pacific, and Canada and Europe. Regional winners will be announced on June 2 and the overall winner will be announced on July 7.

The judging panel for 2020 is chaired by Ghanaian writer Nii Ayikwei Parkes (Tail of the Blue Bird). The other panellists are South African writer and musician Mohale Mashigo (The Yearning); executive director of the Singapore Books Council William Phuan; Canadian author Heather O’Neill (Lullabies for Little Criminals); Trinidadian scholar and writer Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw (Stick No Bills) and Australian writer Nic Low (Arms Race: And Other Stories).

Published in Dawn, Books & Authors, May 10th, 2020