New Zealand Writers Highly Commended in
International Short Story Competition
Five New Zealand writers have been highly commended in the 2003 Commonwealth Broadcasting Association Short Story Competition.
The Commonwealth Short Story Competition began in 1996. It is funded by the Commonwealth Foundation and administered by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association.
This year the competition attracted 3,741 entries from 37 countries including 437 from New Zealand.
Highly commended among the New Zealand entrants were Mahinaarangi Leong from New Plymouth, Jenny Argante, from Tauranga and three Wellington writers, Anton Nannestad, David Somerset and Stephen Press.
The Overall winner was Indian writer, Madhulika Liddle from Delhi.
Liddle’s story “ A Morning Swim” was inspired by an obscure newspaper cutting about a young boy who dives into the Yamuna River to make a living from the coins flung into it by worshippers. The river was a swirling mass of sewage, carrying with it; plastic bags wilted marigolds and garbage. A sacred river, they called it – sacred enough for the ashes of the dead, from cremation grounds upriver to be immersed in it.
“Poverty is something that anyone living in India is very familiar with” says Liddle, “but I found this report of a poor boy’s life particularly disturbing and I wrote the story with a lot of feeling.”
The judges were Rani Manicka from Malaysia and the Nigerian, Helon Habila, both prize-winning novelists and Anne Theroux, former editor of the BBC World Service Short Story.
“The stories offer a remarkable insight into the imaginations of people in vastly different parts of the world,” says Liz Mardall of the CBA who shortlisted the entries.
For more information visit the CBA website: www.cba.org.nz