New Amsterdam’s Cosmata Lindie shortlisted for 2023 Commonwealth Short Story Prize


‘But they had nothing to worry about; the Hurricane King was simply awaiting the birth of his first child. If all went as he anticipated, this new hurricane would grow in strength and fury to wreak havoc in the years to come, cementing his or her place as next in line to rule the powerful winds.’

-Excerpt from ‘Where the winds blow’ by Cosmata Lindie, shortlisted for the 2023 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Cosmata Lindie, a Guyanese writer and artist based in New Amsterdam, Berbice was shortlisted for the 2023 Commonwealth Short Story Prize from a crop of over 6,600 writers for her story “Where the Winds Blow”.

The Short Story Prize is awarded annually for the best piece of unpublished short fiction from the Commonwealth.

Regional winners (Africa, Asia, Canada-Europe, Caribbean and Pacific) each receive £2,500 and the overall winner receives £5,000.

“Where the winds blow” is “a coming-of-age story about Iscar, firstborn son of the royal house of fearsome Caribbean hurricanes, learning to navigate the storms of life as a gentle breeze.”

Lindie in her “Meet the 2023 Shortlist” video for the Commonwealth Foundation Creatives said the prize was quite easy to enter and “this makes it particularly attractive to writers who have the drive and talent but who may be lacking the necessary resources to promote their talent.”

“It offers writers like me an opportunity to get our stories out there, to be heard, to be recognised,” she shared.

Cosmata Lindie was shocked to find out she was shortlisted and still finds the fact she was selected “all very surreal”.

“Telling stories is not only important, it is necessary,” the multitalented artist noted.

“We build bridges across our differences by telling and sharing our stories.”

The 2023 regional winners will be announced on 17 May and the overall winner in an online ceremony on 27 June 2023.

The prize was created by the Commonwealth Writers, now the Commonwealth Foundation Creatives, over a decade ago “with the explicit goal of inspiring, connecting, and helping to develop writers.”

Chair of the Judges, Pakistani writer and translator Bilal Tanweer said, “This year’s shortlist is a concert of voices from across the Commonwealth, showcasing the richness of its writing traditions, histories, and perspectives. These stories brim with the energy and urgency of the present moment—read them to experience the beat and pulse of contemporary storytelling.”


2023 Commonwealth Short Story Prize Shortlist

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