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Commonwealth short story prize for Witsie?

- Wits University

Wits alumnus Michael Boyd has been shortlisted for this major literary prize.

Wits alumnus Michael Boyd has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2023

Boyd has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2023 for his story Mama Blue. His work was selected from over 6,600 submissions by an international judging panel.

Watch Boyd talk about this story of a man remembering his life through the memories of his neighbour, Mama Blue. With touches of the magical, Mama Blue is about hope in our ever-changing world, and how we can use the past to look forward.

The Short Story Prize is awarded annually for the best piece of unpublished short fiction from the Commonwealth. Regional winners each receive £2,500 (approximately R58 000) and the overall winner receives £5,000 (about 114 000).

He is on a shortlist of six for the African regional prize. The overall prize will be announced on 27 June during an online ceremony.

Boyd is a Wits alumnus and holds a Masters in Creative Writing completed in 2020 under the School of Literature, Language and Media at Wits. His novel written during his studies is soon to be published.

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.”

The School has congratulated Boyd on this achievement adding that it looks forward to more creative work from the talented writer.

The School is also celebrating another Masters student Tafadzwa Taruvinga, whose literary work Small Housing has been longlisted for the Afritondo 2023 short story prize. Afritondo aims to improve diversity in publishing by offering aspiring African and black minority writers a viable platform for telling their stories.