EBA 2022 – our finalists (bio & photo)!


The House of Genyo and Other Stories  – Terry Watada/Canada

Terry Watada is a well-published writer living in Canada. He has three novels, four poetry books and a short story collection in print. His fourth novel is scheduled for release in 2024 and his fifth poetry collection in 2023.

There is a Heart in the Fridge for You  –  Raluca Comanelea/USA

Raluca Comanelea is a woman writer born in Romania. She enjoys green spaces, loose-leaf teas, and fine books. She goes to sleep with the same desire to own more time in the palm of her hand, so that her writing dreams would manifest freely. Raluca is a lover of American theatre and drama, with all sights set on Tennessee Williams and his complex female characterization. From Las Vegas, Nevada, she paints our world in fiction and nonfiction colors. Her imagined universe centers on the human drama lived behind closed doors of a dominator culture, one which pulls the average man into its vortex with an intensity hard to contain. Raluca’s novelette-in-flash, “The Art of Surviving in a Glass of Water,” has been awarded the Finalist title in the Newfound Prose Prize 2021 competition. Raluca’s creative work has been featured in STORGY Magazine, Reflex Fiction, Toho Journal and Secret Attic Journal, among other literary venues. You can connect with Raluca at www.ralucacomanelea.com

Everything Loved and Lost – Jeffrey Feingold / USA

Jeffrey M. Feingold is a writer of short stories and essays in Boston. His stories have been nominated for the Pen America Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers, the Pushcart Prize, and The Best American Short Stories, finalist for the Exeter Story Prize in London, and winner of London’s Superlative literary journal annual short story prize. Jeffrey’s work appears in magazines, such as the international Intrepid Times, and in The Bark (a national magazine with readership over 250,000). Jeffrey’s work has also been published in anthologies, and by numerous literary reviews and journals, including The Pinch, Wilderness House Literary Review, American Writers Review, Glacial Hills Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal, and elsewhere. Jeffrey’s stories about family, about the tension between heritage versus assimilation, and about love, loss, regret, and forgiveness, reveal a sense of absurdity tempered by a love of people and their quirky ways. 

 A Book of Goodbyes – Peter Hankins /United Kingdom

Peter Hankins spent many years pecking out a novel on his iPad while sitting with his elbows pressed together on London commuter trains, travelling to and from his civil service job (where his ability to write prose that sounded authoritative was an important asset). He wrote a long-running blog Conscious Entities about philosophy, the mind, and artificial intelligence and self-published a book The Shadow of Consciousness on the same subject. He now has another blog, Seen and Done about writing and other creative work by him and others. Since retiring with chronic health problems in the shape of Crohn’s disease, he has focused his energy mainly on short stories, which have been recognised in a number of competitions and published in anthologies or online. He hopes to return to the novel in due course.

Stories, Mostly Short, Often Deadly – Townsend Walker /USA


12 Random Words / 12 Mots au Hasard –  Fabiana Elisa Martínez /USA

Fabiana Elisa Martínez was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She graduated from UCA University with a degree in Linguistics and World Literature. She is a linguist, a language teacher, and a writer. She speaks English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Italian. She has lived in Dallas, Texas, for twenty years. She is the author of the bilingual short story collection 12 Random Words, the short story Stupidity, published as an independent book by Pierre Turcotte Editor, and the grammar series Spanish 360 with Fabiana. Other short stories of hers have been published in Rigorous Magazine, The Closed Eye Open, Ponder Review, Hindsight Magazine, The Good Life Review (UK), The Halcyone, Rhodora Magazine (India), Mediterranean Poetry, Writers and Readers Magazine (UK), Libretto Magazine (Nigeria), Automatic Pilot (Ireland), Lusitania (Buenos Aires), The Pilgrims of the Plate (Buenos Aires),  Heartland Society of Women Writers, Egophobia Journal (Romania), Defunkt Magazine, Brilliant Flash Fiction, Freshwater Literary Journal, Syncopation Literary Journal, The Raven’s Perch, and the anthologies Writers of Tomorrow, Pure Slush-Love, Lifespan 4 Anthology (Australia), the 2022 Wordrunner Anthology, the Crossing the Tees Firth Short Story Anthology (England), and Pure Slush-Marriage, Lifespan 6 Anthology (Australia). Two short stories were featured in the Manawaker Flash Fiction Podcast.             

Tales from an American Singer – J. J. Maze /USA

Jade J. Maze is a singer, composer, author, and educator. She spent her early years as a musical artist on the East and West coasts singing original Soul-Rock and Jazz. Maze discovered a love for Classical music in college and received an MM in classical vocal performance from Northwestern University. Upon moving to Chicago, she recorded her highly acclaimed CD My Favorite Color is Blue featuring members of the Otis Rush band. Ms. Maze received the 2016 Clementine Skinner award for her contributions as a singer/educator to Chicago’s diverse music culture. Ms. Maze’s debut memoir Walk Until Sunrise, a vivid recollection of her teen runaway experience, was well received and won several awards. Her recently released short story collection, Tales from an American Singer, was born out of necessity as she works on part two of her memoir. She started penning the amusing little stories with a singer featured in each one to balance out the painfully intense memoir writing process. Her plan is working beautifully and has added much peace and joy to her literary efforts.  J.J. is thrilled and encouraged to be recognized as a finalist by the Eyelands Book Awards! She currently resides in the Chicagoland area.

Music from a Strange Planet – Barbara Black

Barbara Black is an award-winning poet, short fiction and flash fiction writer, and librettist. Her debut short story collection Music from a Strange Planet (Caitlin Press) was released to critical acclaim in 2021. Her writing has been published in national and international literary journals and anthologies including The Cincinnati Review, Geist, The Hong Kong Review, Negative Capability Press, Prairie Fire, and Bath Flash Fiction Volumes Five and Six. Achievements include: Fiction Finalist in the 2020 National Magazine Awards; Winner of the 2017 Writers’ Union of Canada Short Prose Competition; Double Longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize; Winner of the Federation of BC Writers Literary Contest (Flash Fiction) 2022 and 2021, and Literary Writes Contest (Prose Poem) 2018, and Shortlisted for the 2021 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. She lives in Victoria, BC, Canada, where she enjoys gardening and riding the twisties on her Triumph motorcycle.

blu’s Muse – Craig (blu) Ritchie /Canada

Craig (blu) Ritchie:Three and a half years ago I survived a major coronary, almost died twice in  the ambulance.  Most people, including me have a bucket list.  Upon retirement, I had done two big ones; walked the Camino and traveled to Sligo, Ireland to celebrate my hero, W. B. Yeats.  My heart attack got me very focused on completing a life long dream; to write, seriously.  I have things to say and must get out, still do.    I grew up in the middle of the prairies in a small city in Canada and worked til age fifty in investment and insurance sales as well as marketing and public affairs consulting. Then had the mid life, “What the f— am I doing!” sold my small business, returned to university and got my teacher’s degree (also divorced my wife).    Since 2007, I have lived and worked as an English teacher in Thailand. Now I have three university degrees, speak three languages and studied two others. I have traveled throughout most of Thailand where most of my stories were conceived.  Now I am a mostly retired Canadian residing seven months of the year in Thailand and five months in Canada, near family. I am a father of four and grandfather to two.

Stumbling Through Adulthood: Linked Stories – John Sheirer/USA

John Sheirer (pronounced “shy-er”) lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with his wonderful wife, Betsy, and happy dog, Libby. He has taught writing and communications for thirty years at Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, Connecticut, where he also serves as editor and faculty advisor for Freshwater Literary Journal  (submissions welcome). He writes a monthly column on current events for his hometown newspaper, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, and his books include memoir, fiction, poetry, educational materials, essays, political satire, and photography. His latest book is Stumbling Through Adulthood: Linked Stories. Find him at JohnSheirer.com.


My Summer With the Dictator – Cathy Adams /USA

Cathy Adams’ latest novel, A Body’s Just as Dead, was published by SFK Press. Her writing has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. She is a short story writer with publications in The Saturday Evening Post, Utne, AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, Barely South, Five on the Fifth, Southern Pacific Review, and 55 other journals from around the world. She earned her M.F.A. at Rainier Writing Workshop, Pacific Lutheran University, Washington.

Broken Kismet – Hardy Griffin /USA

Hardy Griffin has published writing in Aesthetica Magazine, Fresh.ink, New Flash Fiction, Alimentum, Assisi, The Washington Post, American Letters & Commentary, and a chapter in The Gotham Writer’s Guide to Writing Fiction (Bloomsbury). His translations can be found in Words Without Borders, The Istanbul Biennial, and for Ermeniler, an award-winning book on the lives of Armenians in contemporary Turkey. He is the founding editor of Novel Slices, a publication dedicated solely to novel excerpts.

The Zygan Emprise – Y S Pascal

Yolanda (Paschalides) Stassinopoulos Reid Chassiakos is an award-winning author of mystery-thrillers (as Linda Reid) and science-fiction/fantasy (as YS Pascal).  Her essays and columns have been published in the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Woman’s Day, Salon, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times,  and Tribune International. Dr. Chassiakos was also a staff writer for the TV series Family Medical Center, and is a member of the Writers Guild of America West.   Her most recent mystery short story, “Natural Causes”, is being published in the Sisters in Crime LA  Anthology in early 2023.  Her mini-documentary, The Full Catastrophe, based on her short story about her family’s Odyssey during the tragedy of Smyrna in 1922, was presented at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival in May 2022.  She and her husband Anastassios Chassiakos are the proud parents of three adult children.  

The Long & Winding Road – Randall Silvis

Randall Silvis is the internationally acclaimed author of twenty-six books of fiction and creative nonfiction thus far. Also a prize-winning playwright and a produced screenwriter, his literary awards include the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, two National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowships, a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, and a Doctor of Letters degree bestowed upon him for “a sustained record of distinguished literary achievement.”

The Ministry of Time – Sylvia Bluck /United Kingdom

I was inspired to write the ‘Ministry of Time’ sitting around a campfire in a dark wood in the English countryside, imagining walking into the trees and coming out into a different time. What might happen? Who would you meet? Would you ever get home? I started the novel with the two-year Creative Writing Course at New Writing South, Brighton, and I’m now using the Novelry ‘Big Edit’ to help me finish off. I’m a member of an online writing group and have had lots of brilliant help and feedback from fellow writers and from feedback through the Cinnamon Mentoring Programme. I’ve been longlisted and shortlisted for several novel awards, including the Blue Pencil Agency, Eludia, Exeter, Eyelands, Flash 500, Page Turner, Book Pipeline, and also the Cinnamon Award. In my day job, I work for the UK Foreign Office (sadly not in the Ministry of Time) and I live by the sea in Brighton with my partner and two almost fully-fledged ‘children’. We have a small wood in the countryside where I go to write.

Ain’t No Jazz in Kansas City – Bruce Rodgers /USA

I began a freelance writing career in 1980 though I started writing earlier in typical teenage angst fashion in high school. While freelancing I held a variety of blue-and white-collar jobs including government bureaucrat, substitute teacher, bartender, landscape laborer, delivery driver, deli cook and correctional officer. I landed a full-time writing/editing job in 1993 as editor of a Kansas City liberal newsweekly. Left that job after a corporate buyout and bought a small, regional publication focusing on antiques and historical tourism. Sold that publication eighteen years later, moved to Florida and began writing short stories, essays and reworking my novel. I was a draftee during the Vietnam War era, thankfully never sent to that tragedy in Southeast Asia. As one gets older the writing life becomes more centered in memories and the sharing with others about what happened and could have happened.

Life, And What’s Wrong With It – Tom G Reynolds /Canada

Tom G. Reynolds lives in small town Ontario, Canada. He has written much and published a little. The novella, Break Me, was published in 2011 by Quattro Books, Toronto. Married, on disability, and with one rescue dog, he wishes everyone well.


Sticks and Stones: Three Murder Mysteries – Karen Keeley /Canada

Karen Keeley first fell in love with a good who-done-it when she stumbled upon Rex Stout and his Nero Wolfe novels at a used bookstore in northwestern Ontario, what she lovingly calls her Archie books, her go to resource when looking for inspiration for her own writing. She has published short fiction in more than a dozen anthologies, the most recent Crime Wave 2: Women of a Certain Age (Sisters-in-Crime, Canada West). Her stand-alone works include Sticks and Stones, three murder mysteries, and There Goes the Neighbourhood, Syd Malloy, Private Investigator, short stories. She is also one of the winners in the Eyelands 9th international short story competition Round Midnight, with her short story Crying all the way to the bank. Born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Karen has lived and worked in many locales across Canada, eventually ending up in Yukon where she worked as a Communications Analyst with the Yukon government. Now retired, she makes her home in Alberta where she divides her time between family and friends, the outdoors, and writing. She can be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/karen.keeley.77

Buttercups in the Basement – Jane Harvey /United Kingdom

Dreena Collins was born in Jersey, Channel Islands. She has a background in teaching and Special Educational Needs and now works as the Deputy Executive Officer of a Mental Health charity. She lives with her husband, teenage son, and a very grumpy dog. As well as her feel-good Hummingbird House novels (under Jane Harvey), Dreena has published a number of short fiction collections and a suspense novel, And Then She Fell. She has been listed and placed in numerous writing competitions, including The Bridport Prize and Bath Flash Fiction Award. Her flash fiction collection, Bird Wing, was a finalist in the 2020 SPR Book Awards. Her hobbies include eating spicy food and unintentionally waking at 3.30 am, and she makes it a matter of principle to fall over at least once a month. *(Contemporary fiction as Jane Harvey)

No Milk Today –  Liz Gwinnell /United Kingdom

Liz won the Eyelands 5th international short story contest in 2015 with her contribution Waiting for my Tomorrow and other stories were prize winners in Eyelands 6 and 10. No Milk Today is her first published adult fiction novel having mostly written short stories and non fiction articles for many years.When she is not writing, Liz can be found spinning wool, tending to her vegetables, knitting socks or delighting in being a novice bee keeper. She is also passionate about the environment. She works full time as a prison law solicitor and lives in Wiltshire with two black cats.

From the village of Lucca – JP Roarke

P Roarke was a litigating attorney for 30 years, including as chief trial counsel for one of the oldest law firms in California.  He’s written two novels, several short stories, and a number of poems.  His writings have been published both in the United Kingdom and United States.  He and his wife live in the Palm Springs area of Southern California.

Embers on the Wind – Lisa Williamson Rosenberg /USA

AMP’D – Ken Pisani /USA

In addition to his work as a novelist, Ken Pisani is an Emmy-nominated TV producer, screenwriter, playwright, and comic book author. His Los Angeles Times best-selling debut novel “AMP’D” was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor. Earlier this year, Ken optioned his quirky mystery novella, “4 Corners,” for television. His recent novel, “The Defection and Subsequent Resurrection of Nikolai Pushkin,” (pub date TBD) is a decades-spanning farce based on true events. He recently completed a new novel, “Days Are Here Again,” and is working on a variety of new projects. Follow on Twitter: @kpsmartypants or visit kenpisani.com.


Nothing For Granted – Kasia Weber /United Kingdom

London-based Kasia Weber was born and raised in Poland. An art lycée alumnus, she took up consecutively three different full-time linguistic courses at Polish universities: in English, Turkish, and in Spanish, of which she only completed her English studies. She holds her master’s degree in English linguistics. Her early experience of the publishing industry was to translate some international guidebooks to Polish language for a printing house. ‘Nothing For Granted’ was her first writing project, although she is planning more. Kasia lives in the outskirts of London with her partner, and she has an administrative job. She was thrilled and grateful to be acknowledged as a finalist of Eyelands Book Awards 2022.

Things We Do for Love – Nannette Holliday /Australia

Nannette Holliday (yes, her real surname) is a photographer, freelance travel, lifestyle, and content writer today. Her work features in various well-known magazines in Australia, Asia,NZ, the UK and USA. She has also ghost-written two books. But this hasn’t always been the case. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English and Art, she worked in television, radio, headed major Australian Government communications units, and owned a multi -award-winning advertising and media placement agency before moving to France in her 50s – for a man. Her memoir, Things We Do for Love, documents that move. Sprinkled with romance and her travelogue experiences, it also offers inspiration for anyone experiencing (not always obvious) emotionally abusive relationships. Her journey was life changing. Propelling her in a direction she’d never anticipated, let alone envisaged. It launched her travel writing and book writing career. She’s currently writing the sequel, Unforgettable, which documents her on going journey of self-discovery. Travelling the world, including walking the red carpet in Cannes and globally house-sitting

Mythology of a Teacher – Mary Wright /United Kingdom

Once upon a time there was a dragon, living as a human, hoarding words and life experiences in the guise of a teacher, mother, lover. I live in the East Midlands area of the UK, and still work with teenagers in the classroom, surrounded by books, and stories read, waiting to be read, written, and waiting to be written.I am supported by my partner-in-crime, a fellow dragon, who keeps me fed, and believes in me, so I can create lessons, blankets, decorated eggs, smiles and stories.Born in the ‘60’s, a product of ‘70’s education, teaching from the late ‘80’s to the present day. . .I wonder what lies ahead?

A Girl Called Redemption – Sophie Neville /United Kingdom

Sophie Neville began writing A Girl Called Redemption on an Eyelands’ Three Rock Residency in Crête. This historical novel set in the early 1960s is the sequel to Makorongo’s War which won a Eyelands prize in 2019. An Anthropology graduate, Sophie spent twelve years collecting stories in southern Africa, bringing out two humorous memoirs: Ride the Wings of Morning, and Funnily Enough serialised in iBelieve magazine. After her ebook The Secrets of Filming Swallows & Amazons became a bestseller, she was commissioned to write The Making of Swallows and Amazons(1974), now published by The Lutterworth Press. After acting in movies as a child, Sophie went into television production, working on BBC drama serials and directing her first documentary for Channel 4 when driving from London to Johannesburg. She wrote a number of her own programmes for BBC Education and worked freelance for the BBC Natural History Unitin Botswana and Namibia. While president of The Arthur Ransome Society, Sophie wrote forewords for books and gave Q&As at cinemas, also speaking at literary festivals, on BBC Radio and ITV News. She is now focused on writing novels set in Africa.

The Merchant, the Janisary and the Corsair- Randall Moore /USA

Randall Moore hails from Boise, Idaho after living most of his life in Southern California. After a decades-long hiatus, he returned to fiction in 2013, and to date has completed 31 novels. He’s a rabid reader and lover of history, and peppers his tales with historical references, and strives to make the details as historically accurate and pertinent as possible. While he has extensive writing experience, from poetry, personal journals, newspaper articles, songwriting, and advertising copywriting, fiction has become his mainstay. He’s self-published 15 novels, just published another with Atmosphere Press, and is working on his 32nd and 33rd. He published a weekly column for a daily newspaper on wine in the 1990s and was a contributing editor for The Underground Wine Journal. For more information please visit his website at randallmoorefiction.com.


Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops – Allison Hong Merrill /U.S.A.

Allison Hong Merrill is a Taiwanese immigrant in Utah and an award-winning author who shares her Chinese culture with strong storytelling skills to create empowering memoirs. With a reading disorder, Allison earned an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and writes both fiction and creative nonfiction in both Chinese and English, which means she spends a lot of time looking up words on Dictionary.com. Her work appears in The New York Times. She is a keynote speaker, an instructor, and a panelist at various writer’s conferences both in the U.S. and in Asia. She also appears on TV, radio, and podcasts; in magazines, newspapers, and journals. She’s available for interviews, teaching, and speaking engagements. Visit her at allisonhongmerrill.com to sign up for her short monthly email.

If God Will Spare My Life – Mike Lewis /United Kingdom

Mike Lewis hails from the former fishing village of Aberporth, west Wales, where his family have farmed for generations.   Having joined a local newspaper straight from school, he proceeded to work as a writer and sub-editor on a number of national titles in London, including The Guardian and The Daily and Sunday Telegraphs.A lifelong rock and pop music fan, in the 1990s he co-authored biographies on Scott Walker and Syd Barrett, of Pink Floyd.Mike later worked as The Sunday Telegraph boxing correspondent, covering the Beijing Olympic Games of 2008.Having returned to west Wales to raise a family, he stumbled across the story of William James, a west Wales farmer’s son who emigrated to the United States, joined the US Seventh Cavalry and ended up fighting at the Battle of the Little Bighorn (Custer’s Last Stand).During his research for this lost Victorian soldier, Mike discovered five previously-unknown letters James had dispatched back to his younger brother in Wales from the 1970s US frontier. These long-forgotten missives – a poignant reminder of the homesickness and displacement experienced by immigrants to the New World – form the framework of his debut novel ‘If God Will Spare My Life…'(Victorina Press, 2021).

Ships in the Desert – Jeff Fearnside /USA

Jeff Fearnside is the author of two full-length books—the short-story collection Making Love While Levitating Three Feet in the Air (Stephen F. Austin State University Press) and the essay collection Ships in the Desert (forthcoming from the SFWP Press)—and two chapbooks: Lake, and Other Poems of Love in a Foreign Land (Standing Rock Cultural Arts) and A Husband and Wife Are One Satan (fiction, forthcoming from Orison Books as winner of the 2020 Orison Chapbook Prize). Fearnside’s individual stories, essays, and poems have appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies such as The Paris Review, Los Angeles Review, Story, The Pinch, Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet (Press 53), and Forest Under Story: Creative Inquiry in an Old-Growth Forest (University of Washington Press).Among several competitive writing fellowships he has received are residencies at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky, and the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains. Other awards for his writing include a Grand Prize in the Santa Fe Writers Project’s Literary Awards Program, the Mary Mackey Short Story Prize, the Peace Corps Writers Poetry Award, and an Individual Artist Fellowship award from the Oregon Arts Commission. Photo taken by Sabina Poole for the Oregon Arts Commission.

Love Spell –  Oma Stanescu /United Kingdom

Romanian writer Oma Stanescu, the literary pseudonym of Mihaela Carmen Stanescu, has been a member of Bucharest Writers Union since 2010. Mihaela Carmen Stanescu was born at Bozioru-Buzau, Romania on June 18th, 1961. After she graduated primary, secondary and high schools in Buzau and Constanta, she graduated the Faculty of Economics in Iasi in 1985, along with a neo-Greek course, between 1982 and 1985.Living in India for three and half years, she graduated courses in Hatha Yoga in India at Serampore- Calcutta, Ananda Ashram- Pondicherry, Lonavla Yoga Institute- Poona, Jain Yoga Institute Adhyatma Sadhana Kendra- New Delhi.She was a student of Ayurveda for six months in 1988, at Ariya Vaiyda Chikitsa Salayam, Coimbatore, India and at Ariya Vaiyda Salayam, Kottakkal- Kerala. She also visited Dera Baba Jaimal Singh and the Golden Temple in Amritsar.She returned to Romania after the Romanian changing of the regime.https://en.everybodywiki.com/Oma_Stanescu

The Common Wife: Getting Lost, Dancing Naked & Collecting Seashells – Lindy Hughes /Canada

After forays into journalism and astrology, and a failed attempt at joining the circus, Lindy Hughes taught English literature at the University of South Africa. For the past 23 years, since immigrating to Canada, she has lived in a navy-blue cottage in Eagle Harbour, BC, where she writes, dances, and edits a community newspaper. Her writing workshops (in different parts of the world) break as many rules as possible. She collects rocks, burns stuff under the moon, and walks barefoot whenever she can, even though it embarrasses her family. The Common Wife: Getting Lost, Dancing Naked & Collecting Seashells is her second book, and she wrote it during her peculiar midlife crisis. The crisis led to her secret life as a middle-aged burlesque dancer, and then a 700-kilometre pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago, all in an attempt to find her Big Life and hunt down God. She failed on both counts. Lindy still goes walking with Petunia, her purple backpack. She also still gets lost – often – and each time, in her lostness, she finds the most fantastic surprises. Like strangers. And their stories. She is presently working on her fourth book. You can find her at LindyHughes.com. 


Icarus and Velvet – Kate Wiseman /United Kingdom

Kate Wiseman: As a working-class girl growing up in the 70s, I missed out on going to university until the age of 38. I had a wonderful time when I eventually got there, graduating with a first-class degree in English and Creative Writing. I followed it with a Masters in English Literature. That gave me the courage to try to fulfil my dream of being a writer. I was very lucky because my first manuscript – the first in the Gangster School series – was taken up and has been published in four languages. Since then, I have branched out into novels for older readers. Icarus and Velvet has recently been published in the UK, and my series of Mudlark Mysteries commences publication next year. The Red Tunic, my first novel for adults, will be published in 2024. This is my fourth nomination for an Eyelands Award. I have won twice in the past and think that I am unlikely to make it three in a row, but nomination is a reward in itself. Thank you, Eyelands!

The Venetian Pearls – Karin Bachmann /Switzerland

Karin Bachmann was born in the year of the first moon landing. Perhaps this explains why she is equally interested in technology, history, and stories. Karin has been writing children’s and YA books for over 30 years. She’s the author of over 10 whodunits and several short stories, has won prizes for her writing, and has appeared on the radio and on local TV. In 1993 and 1995, she travelled to New Zealand, ostensibly to learn English. That was when she became permanently infected with the travelling-bug. She spent every free minute exploring the country and its people – and, incidentally, earned her Proficiency in English qualification. Since that time, she has been expressing her whims and her passion for adventures in English as well. In 2021, Karin was awarded the Cultural Prize (Kulturpreis) of her hometown of Pieterlen in the Swiss Canton of Berne. One of her books in German (Monster im Dunkeln) will be on the IBBY list of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities in 2023. Karin lives in an apartment full of books that also serves as a base camp for hikes in the Alps and the Jura Mountains.

Fluffy Happiness -Iryna Polishchuk /Ukraine

Iryna Polishchuk is an author of children’s literature, English teacher with twenty years of teaching experience in higher educational institutions, translator. She is 44 years old. She was born in Kyiv, Ukraine and spent most of her life there. She is a mother of two children and is engaged in charity work now, helping displaced persons by conducting free lessons and consultations. Finalist of the “Children’s Coronation” competition in 2021. She gave the last copies of her books to orphans who were forced to move from Kyiv to Lviv due to the war. All others were successfully sold before the full-scale invasion. Author of book series:- Fluffy Happiness /- Letter of Hope – Top-5 the best children novel of Ukraine in 2021 /- Brave Heart 2022 – not published yet. She considers it her public duty to spread the human values ​​with the help of literature. She loves children and finds the time to teach them. She adores music, books and good cartoons. She tries to make a world a little bit better. Her books are full of beauty and hope, which are very important things in our troubled world.

Katya’s Sunflowers – Julie Fox

Julie G. Fox is an author and the founder of Clever Fox Press Charitable Publishing House. The proceeds from sales of ‘Goodbye, Emma’, Julie’s first book about a child refugee and his dog, Katya’s Sunflowers, Julie’s latest book about the war in Ukraine, and all other Julie’s books (50 titles and counting!), are routinely donated to charities and shipped to refugee camps and primary schools around the world. Julie connects with artists, illustrators and writers in countries troubled by wars and economic problems to encourage those talented and creative individuals, who often lack a platform, to participate in the amazingly creative process of making children’s books. “Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down”, said Elwyn Brooks White, the famous author of Charlotte’s Web. Julie’s motto is to write up to children. Thus, she does not break down her books by age. The books are written for children of all ages, including parents and grandparents. 

 The secret of Magic tree – Janine M. Perdue /United Kingdom


The Long Bleak Tone – Philip Wexler /USA

Originally from New York City, Philip Wexler lives in Bethesda, Maryland and is retired after a long federal career at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.  He has written poetry his entire adult life.  Some 200 of his poems have appeared in magazines.  His full-length poetry collections include The Sad Parade (prose poems), and The Burning Moustache, both published by Adelaide Books, The Lesser Light (Finishing Line Press), With Something Like Hope (Silver Bow Publishing) and I Would be the Purple (Kelsay Books), the latter 3 all published in 2022.  He also organizes and hosts Words out Loud, a monthly spoken word series convened in-person at the Friends of the Library of Montgomery County (FOLMC) bookstore in Rockville, Maryland and remotely via Zoom.  In addition to poetry, he spends his time editing technical publications in the field of toxicology, creating mosaics, and tending to his indoor collection of cacti and succulents.  He is married to Nancy and has one son, Jake.

I Know Why the Heart Sings – Patience Chiyangwa /Zimbabwe

An Author & Poet from  Zimbabwe who is a passionate mum of two girls, Amazon Author of A Diary of Patience, Poet in Kirin/Unicorn, joint bilingual publication with Carmen Voinescu in Romania. Published poet Sweetycat Press, Songs of our Time, in Raven Quoth Press, Balm, Dream & Evermore Anthologies, Zimbabwe Women Writers Traps Anthology and English Anthology amongst other publications. Awarded the 2012 Ulrich Wickert Children’s Rights International Journalist Award. She is a trained in Public Relations, Journalism and Communications and a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities. She is a Humanitarian and Entrepreneur

Obits, tales & accounts from WW1 – Joan Michelson

Joan Michelson’s collections are: ‘The Family Kitchen’, 2018, The Finishing Line Press, USA, ‘Landing Stage’, 2017), SPM Publishers, UK, ‘Bloomvale Home’, 2016, Original Plus Books, UK and ‘Toward the Heliopause’, 2011, Poetic Matrix Press, USA. She’s received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Centre for the Arts, Valparaiso, Spain, Sangam House, India and other foundations. A folio collection ‘Accident’ was one of five finalists in the Manchester 2020 International Poetry Prize. Her collection ‘Refugees’ was one of five finalists for the Eyelands, Greece, 2021 International Book Prize.  Her poems have won the Bristol Poetry Competition, the Torriano International Poetry Competition, the Hamish Canham Prize, and others. Originally from the United States, she lives in London and teaches creative writing to medical students at Kings College, University of London. Previously an English lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton, she was responsible for Creative Writing and Holocaust Studies. Her reading, research and teaching of the Holocaust, in particular, artistic responses to it, lies behind the poetry collection,  ‘Obits, Tales & Accounts form WWII’

From an Indian Diary – Sreekanth Kopuri /India

Sreekanth Kopuri PhD is an Indian poet, Alumni Writer in Residence, Poetry Editor and a Professor of English from Machilipatnam, India. His poetry is the prism of life’s reflection in the microcosm of his hometown Machilipatnam – History’s spilled leaf soaked / beneath the mossy stones of / time’s cornered light, that scents of the English and the French. It searches for an appropriate metaphor in the collective psyche of a people that struggle for an identity with voices against corruption, injustice, honour-killing, casteism, fascist amendments seen in the bleeding picture of communal killings on obsolete canvass of Gandhian endurance. His search goes on digging …for a good turf of classic meanings of a culture with love for his land, commuting between the deep rooted contraries like Independence and in dependence, Unity and Diversity, Reservation and Anti-reservation Violence and Non violence, Gandhi and Subash Chandra Bose. Kopuri recited his poetry in Oxford, John Hopkins, Heinrich Heine universities, and many. His poems appeared in Arkansas Review, Christian Century, A Honest Ulsterman, Two Thirds North, Tulsa Review, Expanded Field. His book Poems of the Void won the Golden Book of the year award 2022. He lives in his hometown Machilipatnam with his mother.


Blood Sugar, Sex, Magic –  Sarah James /United Kingdom

Sarah James is a prize-winning poet, fiction writer, journalist and photographer, also published as Sarah Leavesley. Her poetry has featured in the Guardian, Financial Times and three Forward Prize anthologies, as well as in a café mural, on the BBC, on buses and in the Blackpool Illuminations.  She is the author of nine poetry titles, an Arts Council England funded multimedia hypertext poetry narrative > Room, two novellas and a touring poetry-play. Winner of the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine 2020, Sarah’s manuscript Blood Sugar, Sex, Magic won the CP Aware Award Prize for Poetry 2021. The collection, which is published by Verve Poetry Press, is partially inspired by having type one diabetes from the age of six. In her spare time, Sarah is a keen walker, especially enjoying time outdoors exploring nature along the canal near where she lives. Meanwhile, her spare room is home to V. Press, publishing award-winning poetry and flash fiction. The collection: https://vervepoetrypress.com/product/sarah-james-blood-sugar-sex-magic-pre-order-free-uk-pp-due-apr-22/?v=11aedd0e4327. Her personal website: http://www.sarah-james.co.uk. V. Press: http://vpresspoetry.blogspot.com/. Book bundles: https://www.sarah-james.co.uk/?page_id=15168.

The Fading Garden – Maria Papageorgiou-Foroudi /Australia

Maria Papageorgiou-Foroudi is a Melbourne-based lawyer and editor.Published in Inscape (1997) and Antipodes Periodical, she has awards for her writing through the Greek Australian Cultural League’s Literary Competition (various years), and the City of Glen Eira’s My Brother Jack Literary Competition (2002). She was published in UK Anthology “VSS 365-Volume One- A Series of Stunning Very Short Stories from Around the Globe” in 2019, proceeds of which were donated to Book Bus, a children’s literacy project. Her poetry collection “Tears in My Bread” (2020) won the Prize in the published manuscript category for poetry in the international Eyelands Awards in 2021. The January edition of Australia’s literary journal Quadrant noted that the book “achieved a luminous simplicity that is both the result of the experiences considered as well as of a mastery of language that is trimmed of excess and hyperbole…”. Her second book, “The Fading Garden” (2021), is a collection of poems which bend the borders of the modern Australian suburb to explore the lure of escape, the weight of circumstance and the longing for home. It deals with love, cultural inheritance, family, betrayal, the environment, treatment of Australia’s indigenous people and death. The audiobook is available through http://www.drumrecords.com.

Washed Over…Or, Things Dedicated – Reinfred Dziedzorm Addo /USA

Reinfred Dziedzorm Addo is a Ghanaian-American writer. He is the author of the poetry collections Washed Over and The Dedicadas (the latter is a recipient of the Royal Palm Literary Awards and the GAW Literary Awards). His work, including his health humanities creative writing, has been published in various publications and by various organizations such as Tampered Press and Signs of Life: An Anthology. He currently lives in Gainesville, Florida.

Portrait of a Woman Walking Home – Anne Casey /Australia

The Moral Judgement of Butterflies – k.eltinaé /Spain

k.eltinaé is a diaspora poet of Sudanese-Nubian and Mediterranean descent, whose work is centered around otherness, cultural/geographic displacement, generational trauma, and exile. His work has appeared in World Literature Today, The Ordinary Chaos of Being Human: Many Muslim Worlds (Penguin), The African American Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review, among others. His debut collection The Moral Judgement of Butterflies won The Beverly Prize for International Literature 2019 (BSPG Press). He is a World Literature lecturer and an Oldies and Classic Afrobeat Disc jockey residing in Granada, Spain. 

Goat song –Dean Gessie /USA

Dean Gessie is an author and poet who has won dozens of international awards and prizes. Among other honours, Dean won the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award in England, the Allingham Arts Festival Poetry Competition in Ireland, the Samuel Washington Allen Prize in Massachusetts, the COP26 Poetry Competition in Scotland [in honour of the U.N. Climate Change Conference], the UN-aligned Poetry Contest in Finland [to celebrate International Literature Day], a Creators of Justice Literary Award from the International Human Rights Art Festival in New York and, in England, he was one of twenty international poets included in the Poetry Archive NOW! World View 2022 Video Anthology. Elsewhere, Dean won the Frank O’Hara Poetry Prize in Massachusetts, the Enizagam Poetry Contest in California, the Ageless Authors Poetry Contest in Texas, the Indigo Open Poetry Prize in England, the Spoon River Review Editors’ Prize in Illinois and the Southern Shakespeare Company Sonnet Contest in Florida. In addition, Dean was also included twice in The 64 Best Poets by Black Mountain Press in North Carolina and his collection of award-winning short stories – called Anthropocene – won an Eyelands Book Award in Greece and the Uncollected Press Prize in Maryland.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.