NZ writer Harley Hern named Commonwealth Short Story Prize regional winner

New Zealand writer Harley Hern has been named the regional winner for the Pacific in the 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, for her story ‘Screaming’.

Hern’s story, about two friends who confront deceit, identity and endings during a visit to a New Zealand care home, was chosen from a shortlist that also included New Zealand writer Maria Samuela and Australian Emma Ashmere.

Four other women were announced as winners in the other regions: Zambian writer Mbozi Haimbe’s ‘Madam’s Sister’ won for Africa; Malaysian writer Saras Manickam’s ‘My Mother Pattu’ won for Asia; Cypriot writer Constantia Soteriou’s ‘Death Customs’ won for Canada and Europe; and Bahamian writer Alexia Tolas’s ‘Granma’s Porch’ won for the Caribbean.

Each regional winner will receive £2500 (A$4655) and the overall winner, to be announced on 5 June, will receive an additional £5000 (A$9310).

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction between 2000 and 5000 words.

For more information, visit the Commonwealth Writers website.

Story from Books + Publishing