Shipwrights is home to the Conrad-Nabokov Prize, an award given to the most impressive second-language poet, fiction writer, or essayist who submits work to Shipwrights during the review period. The award is given every second year. The final decision is made by a noteworthy and respected guest judge, from a short list compiled by the editorial staff. If you read on, you'll see a short history of of the awards given thus far, starting in 2009.

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The winner of the 2018 Conrad-Nabokov Award is Efi Kalogeraki.

Efi is originally from Athens, Greece and now lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. This is the first time a poet has been selected for the award. 

Our judge for the award was California poet Chryss Yost. (Please find more information about her below. And please seek out her lovely book Mouth & Fruit.) We are grateful for her participation. The Conrad-Nabokov Award is not an easy contest to judge, as the judge must choose among poets and prose writers. It’s also difficult because the sample size is small, meaning that Chryss made her choice based on a single story or two poems from each writer.

The other writers shortlisted for the award were fiction writers Cecilia Duijts Lindahl and Silje Wessel Pettersen and poets Robert Johansson and Lydia Duprat. Congratulations to you all as well!

Along with her final decision, here’s what Ms. Yost wrote: 

I found much to enjoy and elements to admire in each piece. I was impressed by the imagery in both poems and stories. Both fiction entries captured the disequilibrium of travel with careful description and the sensual impressions of place. The poems reflected a range of style of subject matter, with individual lines and images that captured my imagination. Ultimately, I selected Poet 2 [Efi] for the connection between the internal and external worlds. The image of moving through a crowd "like liquid poured into a jar full of stones" stuck with me. The "garden of transplants" struck me as well, carefully observed and resonating with the poet's sense of displacement. I will forever see magnolia blossoms as "velvet candles," a poetic labeling that makes the familiar suddenly new. 

Congratulations to Efi Kalogeraki! And thank you again to Chryss Yost for judging!


Chryss Yost is the author of Mouth & Fruit, and two previous chapbooks. She has co-edited numerous anthologies and served as Santa Barbara Poet Laureate from 2013-2015. Her poems have been widely collected and have appeared in Crab Orchard ReviewQuarterly WestHudson ReviewAskewSoloMiramar, and many other journals, anthologies, and textbooks. She is co-editor of Gunpowder Press and director of the Santa Barbara Poetry Fund.


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The winner of the 2015-16 Conrad-Nabokov Award is Johanna Jellback, of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Our judge for the award was novelist, poet, and literature professor April Lindner. (Please find more information about her below.) We are extremely grateful for her participation! It's not easy choosing between the apples and oranges of poems and short stories, but as a writer of both, herself, April was uniquely quaified for the job.

The authors shortlisted for the award were selected from all submitters to both the 2015 and 2016 issues. These were fiction writers Aje Björkman, Anna Rickman, and Johanna Jellback; and the poets Maria Exarchou and Birgitte Bröndum. Congratulations to you all as well!

Along with her final decision, here’s what Ms. Lindner said about the process and about Johanna Jellback's winning short story "The Other Half":

It wasn't easy choosing among some very strong entries. My first choice is "The Other Half." Complex and haunting, "The Other Half" drew me in from its first sentence. In just a few deftly crafted pages, the story builds a vivid and menacing world and peoples it with characters I root for and one or two who terrify me.   

Congratulations to Johanna!!! And thank you again to April Lindner.

April Lindner is the author of three young adult novels, JaneCatherine, and Love, Lucy, all published by Poppy/Little, Brown Young Reader. Far From Over, a digital-exclusive novella, was published by NOVL in April. Lindner has also published two poetry collections, Skin (Texas Tech University Press) and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped (Able Muse Press). She teaches writing at Saint Joseph’s University and lives in New Jersey.


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The winner of the 2013 Conrad-Nabokov Award was Katarina Svedberg, of Stockholm, Sweden.

The judge for the 2013 Conrad-Nabokov Prize was Jane Draycott. Jane Draycott is a UK-based poet with a particular interest in sound art and collaborative work. Her latest collection Over (Carcanet/OxfordPoets) was shortlisted for the 2009 T S Eliot Prize. Nominated three times for the Forward Prize for Poetry, her first two full collections Prince Rupert's Drop and The Night Tree (Carcanet/OxfordPoets) were both Poetry Society Recommendations. Other collections include, from Two Rivers PressChristina the Astonishing (with Peter Hay and Lesley Saunders) and Tideway, a long sequence of poems about London's working river (with paintings by Peter Hay) written while poet-in-residence at the River & Rowing Museum as well as a short collection No Theatre (Smith/Doorstop).

Her audio work with Elizabeth James has won several awards including BBC Radio 3 Poem-for-Radio and a London Sound Art Award. Winner of the Keats Shelley Poetry Prize in 2002 and nominated as one of the Poetry Book Society's Next Generation poets in 2004, she teaches on postgraduate writing programmes at Oxford University and the University of Lancaster. Her new translation of the 14th century dream-vision Pearl (2011) is a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation and was a Stephen Spender Prize-winner in 2008. She is currently Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Aston University.  

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Congratulations to Christopher Entzenberg of Malmö, Sweden, the winner of the second awarding of our Conrad-Nabokov Prize! The final judge for this award was Simon Kerr

The editors of Shipwrights short-listed writers from our last three issues. The final decision was then made by Mr. Kerr. We are grateful for his participation as judge.

Mr. Entzenberg won for his short story "The Grid." The other writers short-listed for the award were Jenny Karlsson and Mateo Jarrín Cuvi

 Christopher Entzenberg  

Simon Kerr is an Irish author. His debut literary novel, The Rainbow Singer was published in the UK and the US. It was nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Award (2002). His second novel, As Seen on TV (written under the pseudonym Chris Kerr) was published in 2005 and optioned by Ideology Pictures in Hollywood. He writes under various pen names and is represented by Simon Trewin at United Agents.

Simon has taught Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, Reading University, and the University of Leeds. He currently lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Hull and convenes the MA there. He has worked as a reader for Fish Publishing and The Literary Consultancy. In 2005 he set up the Huddersfield Literature Festival and directed it for two years. 

Simon established Lightship Publishing because he is a writer and is absolutely passionate about developing new writing and helping new writers get the recognition they deserve. He was inspired to name this enterprise "Lightship" because every day he used to walk past the Spurn Head Lightship in Kingston-upon-Hull, and because the purpose of a lightship is to help other vessels steer to safe haven. That seems a suitable metaphor for a company that aims to help new writers win recognition and get published.

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Nanna Brickman of Stockholm, Sweden was the winner of Shipwrights’ first Conrad-Nabokov Award, in May 2009. The judge of the first Conrad-Nobakov Award was the esteemed Janet Burroway

Photo: Nanna Brickman and Janet Burroway, after Nanna received the award

The editors of Shipwrights short-listed writers from our first three issues. The final decision was then made by Ms. Burroway. On reading the six short-listed texts, she wrote, "This is hard! There is truly enough talent here to merit six prizes." She also said, "It's hard to believe that these authors are writing in English as a second language, for all of them have superior command of it." Ms. Burroway is among the most respected writing pedagogues in the world, as well as being a fine author herself, and we are exceedingly grateful for her participation as final judge.

Ms. Brickman won for her short story "The Tail Slates," as well as her poems "Couples Only" and "Mountain View Village." The Conrad-Nabokov Award runner-up was Jesper Fink of Copenhagen, Denmark for his short story "Rot." The other writers short-listed for the award were: Jenny Karlsson, J.K. Mabin, Katarina Graah-Hagelbäck, and Emma Gustafsson.