Commonwealth Stories

Winning entries from thie year's Commonwealth Short Story Competition, run by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association.

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Episodes

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20061211

A selection of the best entries from this year's Commonwealth Short Story Competition.

Including:

The Moon, the Cat and the Donkey, by Erin Soros in Canada - this year's overall winner, read by Garrick Hagon; Down South, by Peter James in Australia, read by Matt Dyktynski; Clean Sheets, by Sue Seah in Singapore, read by Jason Chan

20061212

A selection of the best entries from this year's Commonwealth Short Story Competition.

Including:

Recycling by Eleanor Verbicky-Todd in Canada, read by Barbara Barnes; Wings of Vedanthangal (Regional Winner, Asia), by Anupama Chandrasekhar in India, read by Lyndam Gregory; The List (Regional Winner, Pacific), by Sue Perkins in New Zealand, read by Susan Curnow.

20061213

A selection of the best entries from this year's Commonwealth Short Story Competition.

Including:

Considering Cuckoo Clocks (Regional Winner, Europe) by Fran Hunnisett in the UK, read by Stephen Critchlow; Living by Bread, Alone, by Becky Apteker in South Africa, read by David Bailie; You Got a Problem, by Carin Makuz in Canada, read by Liza Ross.

20061214

To mark the Commonwealth Short Story Competition, a special commission from an award-winning Trinidadian author.

From the Cane

Written and read by Lawrence Scott.

A white man stops to talk to one of his Indian neighbours in a London street.

He's surprised to find they have the same accent.

20061215

To mark the Commonwealth Short Story Competition, a special commission from an award-winning Nigerian writer.

The Immigrants

By Helon Habila, read by Colin MacFarlane.

Naomi Osasa travels with Yakubu to America to join her husband.

He tells her that Osasa has a good job and a nice apartment, but she doesn't know he's dying.

01Renewals, By Romesh Gunesekera20140310

The first of five short stories by leading literary voices writing in English from around the Commonwealth. Starting on 10th March, Commonwealth Day, they are being broadcast across this week, with stories from South Africa, Australia, Jamaica and Uganda.

The series opens with Romesh Gunesekera introducing and reading his poignant short story "Renewals", set in Sri Lanka. A local driver takes an important visitor to Jaffna Public Library and, while waiting, finds that he is also curious to explore the building and enters it for the first time.

Romesh Gunesekera was born in 1954 and grew up in Sri Lanka and the Philippines before moving to England in 1972. His acclaimed first novel, Reef, was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize and the Booker Prize.

He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and has also received a National Honour in Sri Lanka. His most recent book, Noontide Toll, will be published later in 2014.

Reader, Romesh Gunesekera

Writer, Romesh Gunesekera

Studio Producer, Allegra McIlroy

Producer, Kirsteen Cameron.

02Art Work, By Zoe Wicomb20140311

A series of five short stories by leading literary voicesfrom around the Commonwealth. Starting on 10th March, Commonwealth Day, they are being broadcast across this week, with stories from Sri Lanka, Australia, Jamaica and Uganda.

In "Art Work" by Zoe Wicomb, South African Letty, who has lived and worked as a nurse in Glasgow for many years, struggles to come to terms with her nephew's desire to become an artist. She's raised Leo as her own, watched him flourish away from township life in Cape Town and gain excellent grades at school, so his career choice feels to her like a waste of his academic talent.

Acclaimed as "an extraordinary writer" by Toni Morrison, Zoe Wicomb is Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at Strathclyde University. Her critical work focuses on postcolonial theory and South African writing and culture. Her published works of fiction are "You Can't Get Lost in Cape Town", "David's Story", "Playing in the Light", and "The One That Got Away"; she will publish a new novel in 2014.

Reader, Janice Acquah

Writer, Zoe Wicomb

Studio Producer, Allegra McIlroy

Producer, Kirsteen Cameron.

03Just Six Souls, By Carrie Tiffany20140312

A series of short stories by leading authors writing in English from around the Commonwealth. Being broadcast across this week, the series features work from Sri Lanka, South Africa, Australia, Jamaica and Uganda.

In "Just Six Souls", Carrie Tiffany explores the warm and supportive friendship of two women living in small town Australia; earth mother Ruth, and Sally, a nurse on maternity leave.

Carrie Tiffany was born in West Yorkshire and grew up in Western Australia. She spent her early twenties working as a park ranger in the Red Centre and now lives in Melbourne, where she works as an agricultural journalist.

Her first novel, "Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living" (2005) was shortlisted for numerous awards including the Orange Prize, the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Guardian First Book Award and the Commonwealth Writer's Prize. Her second novel, "Mateship with Birds" (2012) was also short-listed for the Miles Franklin Award and won the inaugural Stella Prize, a major literary award celebrating Australian women's writing.

Reader, Federay Holmes

Writer, Carrie Tiffany

Studio Producer, Allegra McIlroy

Producer, Kirsteen Cameron.

04Blood On The Door, By Kei Miller20140313

A series of five short stories by leading literary voices writing in English from around the Commonwealth. Starting on 10th March, Commonwealth Day, they are being broadcast across this week, with stories from South Africa, Australia, Sri Lanka and Uganda.

In "Blood on the Door" by Kei Miller, the inhabitants of a Jamaican slum flee in fear of an approaching hurricane. All except Miss Yvonne, who stands her ground, sure that the spirit of her first born son will watch over her and the remaining members of her family.

Kei Miller was born in Jamaica in 1978. He currently teaches creative writing at the University of Glasgow. His collection of short stories "The Fear of Stones" was short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book. He has written two poetry collections and is also editor of Carcanet's New Caribbean Poetry Anthology. His first novel "The Same Earth" was selected for Waterstone's New Voices and short-listed for the Scottish Book of the Year.

Reader, Nadine Marshall

Writer, Kei Miller

Studio Producer, Allegra McIlroy

Producer, Kirsteen Cameron.

05 LASTThe Exam, By Doreen Baingana20140314

The final story in a series by leading authors writing in English from around the Commonwealth; being broadcast across this week, the series features work from Sri Lanka, South Africa, Australia, Jamaica and Uganda.

In "The Exam", a young girl living with her extended family in a slum in Uganda dreams of escape through academic achievement. The story was originally commissioned as part of girlrising, a global campaign for girls' education. Their slogan is: One Girl with Courage is a Revolution.

Doreen Baingana won the Commonwealth Prize First Book Award in 2006 for her collection of stories "Tropical Fish" and has twice been nominated for the Caine Prize for African Writing. She was recently Chairperson of FEMRITE: the Uganda Women Writers Association and is one of the judges of this year's Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

Reader - Amaka Okafor

Writer - Doreen Baingana

Producer - Kirsteen Cameron.

200301A Morning Swim - Maggie - Big Little Man20031208

1.

A Morning Swim by Madhulika Little.

The overall competition winner, from Delhi, inspired by a newspaper cutting about a young boy and his desperate attempts to make a living.

2.

Maggie by Denise Whittaker, from New Zealand.

A bereaved woman faces a moment of decision.

3.

Big Little Man by Imelda Yabara from Papua New Guinea.

A rite of passage in a market place.

200302 LASTDance With Me - For A Horseshoe Nail - Dancing With The Magician20031209

1.

Dance With Me by Jackee Budesta Batanda from Uganda.

A dance is an occasion for both terror and hope.

2.

For a Horseshoe Nail by Amara Bhavani Dev of INDIA.

A husband takes a terrible risk to earn money for his family.

3.

Dancing With the Magician by Rachel Fixen from ENGLAND.

The residents of an old people's home are expecting a special visitor.

200401The Photograph - The Kite Maker - Going Home20041115

1.

The Photograph, by Sefi Atta from Nigeria.

Starvation meets the hunger for celebrity.

Read by Adjoa Andoh.

2.

The Kite Maker, by Anu Kumar from INDIA.

A kite brings a lost son home.

Read by Lyndam Gregory.

3.

Going Home, by Juliane Okot Bitek in Canada.

A dangerous journey, answering a grandmother's longing.

Read by Janice Acquah

200402Going Home - The Television - Dora's Turn20041116

1.

Going Home, by Ruvanee Pietersz Vilhauer from Sri Lanka, the overall winner.

Home means stringhoppers, but Niki misses hot dogs.

Read by Josephine Welcome.

2.

The Television, by M.

Mather from South Africa.

Which matters more, a television or a child?

Read by Noma Dumezweni.

3.

Dora's Turn, by Jackee Budesta Batanda from Uganda.

A girl soldier is ordered to kill her friend.

Read by Rakie Ayola

200403The Festive Season In A Part Of Africa - Mangoes To Buy - Soundscape20041117

1.

The Festive Season in a Part of Africa, by Tod Collins from South Africa.

A vet haggles for his fee.

Read by Christopher Wells.

2.

Mangoes to Buy, by Alake Pilgrim from Trinidad.

Angela longs for news of her soldier son.

Read by Sandra James-Young.

3.

Soundscape, by Liz Healy from Australia.

A boy records the sounds of winter, while his parents argue.

Read by Andrew Macklin.

200404The Cat20041118

, by Rani Manicka from Malaysia, a competition judge.

Malini is old and lonely until a mysterious companion arrives.

Read by Jamila Massey

200405 LASTSoft Boy20041119

Ardashir Vakil, one of the judges of this year's competition, reads his own story, Soft Boy.

Teenager Ravi hates living at home in Mumbai, and envies his Americanised cousin, Deepak.

200501The Painterboy Of Demerara20051121

Written by David Dabydeen.

A story specially written by David Dabydeen, one of the judges of the 2005 Commonwealth Broadcasting Association Short Story Competition.

20050220051122

Three winning stories from this year's Commonwealth Broadcasting Association short story competition.

Islama-Bad Boys

By Rasheeda Azam, read by Pooja Ghai.

Yesterday's Darkness

By Ifeanyi Ajaegbo, read by Jude Akuwudike

An Old Wife's Tale

By Luke Jorsling, read by Sandra James-Young.

20050320051123

Three more winning stories from this year's Commonwealth Broadcasting Association short story competition.

Chinna and Muthu

By Suchitra Ramadurai, read by Lyndam Gregory

A Child has Gone Missing from this House

By Fiona McFarlane, read by Bronwyn Lim

Good Fences

By Faiza Sultan Khan, read by Pooja Ghai

200505 LASTThe Fog20051125

a specially commissioned reading set in Malaysia.

The Fog, by Elly Niland is read by Liz Sutherland.