This year’s shortlist for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize was just announced, and Ling Low, a Malaysian author, short filmmaker/director, and journalist is one of five shortlisted under the Asian region.
The annual prize, which is in its 10th year of edition, was first launched by the Commonwealth Foundation in 2012, and is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction.
Selecting 25 writers from five regions of the Commonwealth – Africa, Asia, Canada & Europe, the Caribbean and the Pacific, each region will then pick one winner on May 25th, with the overall winner to be announced on June 30th. Regional winner will receive £2500 (RM14,200), and the overall winner walks home with £5000 (RM28,400).
‘Weeds’ tells the story of a retired wealthy man, forced to stay indoors due to the pandemic. Ling authored her story during the first movement control order (MCO) last year.
Speaking at a press release, Director-General of the Commonwealth Foundation, Dr Anne T Gallagher AO, says the following:
“The authors on this shortlist are to be celebrated for their mastery of the form. It is an honour for the Foundation to bring their work to wide public attention. And to all those who entered: we thank you for the timely reminder of the power of storytelling, not least its ability to comfort, inspire and heal.”
This contest is judged by writers, scholars, and artists from around the world. The 25 shortlisted stories will be published on adda while those of the five regional winners will also be published on Granta.
Ling, who has also written for BBC Radio 4, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Time Out Kuala Lumpur, Esquire Malaysia, South China Morning Post and more, has found her niche writing about culture, travel, and urban development.