Nimrod Literary Awards 2018

The editors of Nimrod International Journal are delighted to announce the winners, honorable mentions, finalists, and semi-finalists of the 40th Nimrod Literary Awards.

Nimrod Literary Awards: The Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry

FIRST PRIZE: Emma DePanise, MD, “Dry Season” and other poems

Emma DePanise is a writer from Queenstown, Maryland. Her poems are forthcoming or have appeared recently in such journals as Potomac Review, Little Patuxent ReviewRoute 7 Review, Mochila Review, and Runestone. She currently studies creative writing at Salisbury University in Maryland and plans to pursue an M.F.A. in the fall of 2019.

SECOND PRIZE: Megan Merchant, AZ, “Marrow” and other poems

Megan Merchant is an editor at The Comstock Review. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Gravel Ghosts (Glass Lyre Press, 2016) and The Dark’s Humming (2015 Lyrebird Award Winner, Glass Lyre Press, 2017), four chapbooks, and a children’s book, These Words I Shaped for You (Philomel Books).


Anna Scotti, CA, “When I could still be seen” and other poems
Jeanne Wagner, CA, “Dogs That Look Like Wolves” and other poems
Josephine Yu, FL, “Women Grieving” and other poems

Nimrod Literary Awards: The Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction

FIRST PRIZE: Sharon Solwitz, IL, “Tremblement”

Sharon Solwitz’s books include Blood and Milk, Bloody Mary, and Once in Lourdes, which won the 2018 Prize for Adult Fiction from the Society of Midland Authors. She has received other awards, such as the Pushcart Prize, the Carl Sandberg Prize, and the Nelson Algren Award. Her novel in stories, Abra Cadabra, won the 2018 Christopher Doheny prize. She teaches fiction writing at Purdue University.

SECOND PRIZE: Ellen Rhudy, PA, “Would You Know Me”

Ellen Rhudy’s work is forthcoming in cream city review and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. When not writing, she works as an instructional designer in Philadelphia.

HONORABLE MENTION: Liz Ziemska, CA, “Hunt Relic”

Nimrod extends deep appreciation to all who submitted. Selecting the poetry and fiction finalists was a task that dominated the lives of Nimrod’s editors all spring. They approached their mission with dedication and discretion, reading and rereading the final group, comparing notes, and speaking for favorites. The finalists’ manuscripts, without cover letters or names, were sent to the judges for 2018. Patricia Smith served as poetry judge, and Rilla Askew served as fiction judge. They chose the winners and honorable mentions from the finalist groups.

Work by the winners, as well as by the honorable mentions, finalists, and many semi-finalists,  will be published in Awards 40, which will be available in October.

The 41st Nimrod Literary Awards competition begins January 1, 2019; the deadline is April 30, 2019. We welcome your submissions, knowing that each year brings new discoveries, often from those who have submitted to the competition before.

All entrants not previously contacted by Nimrod about their work may consider their work released at this time.

Finalists: Fiction 2018

Ellen Furman, CA, “Things”
Mimi Lok, CA, “Last of Her Name”
Reena Shah, NY, “The Jains’ Annual Beach House Picnic”
Amy Shearn, NY, “Some Fun”

 Semi-Finalists: Fiction 2018

April Alvarez, TN, “Tatau”
Judith Dancoff, CA, “Roman Glass”
Richard Hermes, TN, “Here, Where We Can Be Honest”
Alex Hughes, OK, “Dutzow”
Sandra Hunter, CA, “Meanwhile The Forests Continue To Die”
Aaron Landsman, NY, “Love Story”
Kristie Letter, CO, “Göttingen Seven”
Karin Lin-Greenberg, NY, “A Small Enemy”
Elizabeth Moller, NY, “Alice’s Tea Cup”
Barbara Morrison, VT, “Nebula”
Gale Pace, WA, “Jenny – My Life As Subject Matter”
Darryl Pebbles, IN, “Apotheosis”
Ann Russell, MA, “Conversational French”
Jessica Tumio, CT, “Don’t Look Up”
Namrata Verghese, TX, “God’s Intern”
Kirk Wilson, TX, “The Meteor”

Finalists: Poetry 2018

Caroline Berblinger, OK, “Interviewing My Grandfather” and other poems
Ayokunle Falomo, TX, “The World’s Loudest Sound”
Matty Layne Glasgow, TX, “Plumage” and other poems
Darrel Alejandro Holnes, NY, “The land is made a stepmother” and other poems
Bailey Hutchinson, AR, “Became My Body, Too”
Chrissy Kolaya, MN, “The House Sitters”
Matthew MacFarland, VA, “Singing Saw” and other poems
Susan Nguyen, AZ, “Beast Angel” and other poems
Liz Rees, MD, “Elegy for Good Health” and other poems

Semi-Finalists: Poetry 2018

Cynthia Amoah, NY, “Handrails”
Roger Camp, CA, “Ascension”
Don Colburn, OR, “Ginkgo on 19th” and other poems
Caroline Earleywine, AR, “Lipstick” and other poems
Mel Elberger, NJ, “Recipe”
Melanie Figg, MD, “Psyche’s History of Houses”
Rebecca Foust, CA, “Spring Is”
Katherine Gaffney, IL, “With Ghost”
Benjamin Garcia, NY, “Gay Epithalamium”
Emily Harman, WA, “Cairn”
W.J. Herbert, NY, “The Smell of Almost Rain”
Don Hogle, NY, “Mother”
Luke J. Johnson, CA, “Song of the Stillborn”
Susan Landgraf, WA, “What’s Left”
Freesia McKee, FL, “Peeling an Orange”
Ryan Meyer, NY, “Estuary” and other poems
Kelly Michels, NC, “What I mean when I say he went peacefully”
Adela Najarro, CA, “Chantico Swings”
Lee Sharkey, ME, “To Look Out Is to See; to Look In, to Turn Wholly White”
Mark Smith-Soto, NC, “Let It Spill”
Christie Towers, MA, “Sugar Water in Winter”
Cornelia Veenendaal, NH, “Rehearsal”
Namrata Verghese, TX, “Kathakali”
John Walser, WI, “Heaven” and other poems
Michael Warr, CA, “What Not To Do . . . (an unfinished poem after Michael Harriot at The Root)”
Arne Weingart, IL, “The Painting of the Barn without the Barn”

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