Commonwealth Writers is the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation. It inspires, develops and connects writers and storytellers in a range of disciplines. It builds communities of less-heard voices and links them to groups which seek to bring about social change.
Creative expression is related to every aspect of life in society. It is one of the roots of development, understood not just in terms of economic growth but also as a means to achieve a more satisfactory intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence. Creative expression is at the heart of contemporary debates about identity, social cohesion, and the development of a knowledge based economy.
At the heart of Commonwealth Writers is the transformative power of stories. We believe there’s an opportunity in Commonwealth countries to utilise the potential of fiction to affect the way people think, act and ultimately engage with the governance structures in their communities. Commonwealth Writers particular application of this process is an innovative combination of unearthing and developing new writing talent and then inspiring and enabling some of those writers to provide Civil Society organisations with the impetus and confidence to use creative expression for social change.
In line with this vision, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize unearths talented writers to take part in online residencies and on-the-ground activities, as well as inspiring others through their work. You can see how our other projects act in the same way here.