Commonwealth commendation for Neluka’s short story

Neluka Silva’s short story ‘Our Neighbours’ has been announced as one of the highly commended winners in this year’s Commonwealth Short Story Competition. Our Neighbours, set during the ethnic riots of 1983, depicts a situation of rivalry and reconciliation narrated through the eyes of a child in the year that marks the 25th anniversary of the July 1983 riots.

The winner of this year’s competition was Canadian author Julie Curwin for World Backwards. Highly commended entries were from Nigeria, South Africa, Antigua, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, Sri Lanka and the UK. The winning stories have been recorded on CD and distributed to broadcasting stations around the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Short Story competition sponsored by the Commonwealth Association and administered by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA) selects 25 winning stories each year from thousands of submissions by authors throughout the Commonwealth. This year 1700 stories were submitted. The competition aims to increase an understanding and appreciation for Commonwealth cultures by showcasing the rich diversity of its societies and supporting rising literary talents.

Neluka Silva is Professor in English and Head of the English Department at the University of Colombo. Her collection of short stories The Rolled Back Beach – Stories from the Tsunami was published earlier this year and her manuscript novel The Choices We Make was short-listed for the Gratiaen Prize in 1998. Her children’s story, “The Monkey Man” was published in the anthology Milk Rice in 2008.

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