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Samanthi Munasing shares inspiration for prize winning story

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

We are delighted to hear from Samanthi Munasing, about the inspiration for her short story, Rice On a Banana Leaf, which recently won 3rd Prize in the international 2020 Bath Short Story Award competition.

Rice On a Banana Leaf was selected from over 1500 stories from the UK and around the world, and will be published in the 2020 BSSA anthology this November by Ad Hoc Fiction. For a full list of the winning and shortlisted entries, including writers' bios visit the BSSA website.

Commenting on Rice On a Banana Leaf, BSSA judge, Kate Johnson from MacKenzie Wolf Literary Agency said: 'This ambitious story tackles a novel’s worth of plot and empathy in just a few pages, examining how poverty and relative wealth send the narrator and her servant’s son on divergent paths in 1980s Sri Lanka.' Kate's full comments on Samanthi's story and on the other winning entries are also published on the BSSA website here.

So what inspired Samanthi to write her prize-winning story? ‘The memory of a lined face which flitted across my mind through the years was the inspiration for this story. I watched the news one day and was confronted with the age-old dichotomy of the Haves and the Have-nots. Reflecting on the helplessness of those who do not have the opportunities awarded to others through an accident of birth, the story took form.'

Samanthi Munasing, a founding member of Chalk Circle, was born in Sri Lanka and lives in the village of Alfriston in East Sussex. Following a Creative Writing course at Sussex University she began working on her novel which is now complete. She is an avid reader and loves walking in the South Downs.

Two of Samanthi's previous stories, Chickens Argue all the Time and Fantasy, are published in the 2018 Chalk Circle flash fiction anthology Strata - slices through the human landscape .

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