Books

Montreal's Heather O'Neill joins 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Prize jury

Heather O'Neill, author of Lullabies for Little Criminals and Daydreams of Angels, will help select the winner of the £5,000 ($8,146 Cdn) prize.
Heather O'Neill is a award-winning writer from Canada. (J Artacho)

Heather O'Neill, author of Lullabies for Little Criminals and Daydreams of Angels, will help select the winner of an international prize open to writers in the Commonwealth regions of Africa, Asia, Canada, Europe, Caribbean and Pacific.

The prize accepts unpublished short stories. Four regional winners will receive £2,500 ($4,073 Cdn), with one overall winner selected for the grand prize of £5,000 ($8,146 Cdn).

O'Neill represents Canada and Europe on the jury panel. She is joined by jury chair Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Mohale Mashigo, William Phuan, Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw and Nic Low.

The Montreal writer has twice been shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize — in 2014 for the novel The Girl Who Was Saturday Night and in 2015 for the short story collection Daydreams of Angels. Her debut novel, Lullabies for Little Criminalswon Canada Reads 2007.

Her latest books are the novel The Lonely Hearts Hotel and the nonfiction book Wisdom in Nonsense.

The 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize winner was Cypriot writer Constantia Soteriou for Death Customs.

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