Commonwealth Short Story Prize shortlist: When a story arrives

by eashmere

The Queens Theatre Adelaide, 1992, photo by Delma Corazon.

My short story ‘Nightfall’ has just been published on adda, the online literary magazine for the Commonwealth Foundation. The story was shortlisted for the Pacific region of the 2019 Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize.

‘Nightfall’ is set in 1800s Adelaide and features the Prado Music Hall at the old Queens Theatre. Apparently it’s the oldest theatre in mainland Australia.

I was actually writing something else when the voice of the protagonist arrived. I scribbled it down, submitted it to a few places, had no luck, cut it by a third, thought why not, and sent it into the 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize – and was stunned to hear many months later it was shortlisted.

Since then, my short story collection Dreams They Forgot has been picked up by Wakefield Press and will be published in 2020. ‘Nightfall’ will be in the collection.

My thanks to all involved with the Prize, and the Commonwealth Foundation.

Thanks also to Delma Corazon giving permission to use her photo.

The 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Prize closes on 1 November. Entry is free, there’s a diverse panel of judges, and you can submit in a number of languages.

Best of luck!

Emma Ashmere’s short stories have been widely published including in The Age, Griffith Review, adda, Review of Australian Fiction, and forthcoming in Overland. Her debut novel The Floating Garden was shortlisted for the 2016 Small Press Network MUBA prize. Her short story collection Dreams They Forgot will be published in 2020 by Wakefield Press.

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