Django Wylie – Eyelands Book Awards Grand Prize winner /interview

Bridge over the Neretva,   a brilliant novel by Django Wylie, won the Grand Prize of Eyelands Book Aards for 2021.  As it goes for four years now, every new year comes with the interview of the grand prize winner. Note that the category is Unpublished books and that means it wont stay unpublished for long.  It will be published from Strange Days Books later this year.  Here is a short biographical note by his own words:

I’m an English and Drama teacher, based in Switzerland. I hold an MA in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths and studied poetry at UC Berkeley. In 2017, I was the recipient of the Yeovil Literary Prize, and in 2019 I won the Indigo Dreams Firsts Competition. I had a prose manuscript shortlisted for the London Magazine First Novel Award and the Blue Pencil Agency Novel Award. My first collection of poetry, New and Selected Heartbreaks, was published in May of 2019.

How does it feel to be the grand prize winner of an international books contest?

It is a great feeling to win the Grand Prize in the Eyelands Book Awards. The idea that my words will now be read by others, and my book will find its way into print, is one that fills me with an enormous sense of gratitude not only for those  involved in the reading and judging process, but also for everyone in the world of literature.

How did you hear about the contest?

I can’t recall exactly, but it was probably through the National Association of Writers in Education website.

How do you feel with the idea you will be the judge for the books of your  category on Eyelands Books Awards 2022?

It’ll be an honour to judge the books in my category this year. I’m sure it’ll be immensely tricky to choose a winner, but doubtless it’ll be supremely rewarding, too.

When did you start writing?

In a way that is almost too embarrassingly cliché, I started writing poems when I was a teenager… in my diary. I suppose it was a way for me to try and make sense of the things that were happening around me, and the unpredictable ways I would find myself reacting to them, by isolating them and crystallising them in my own words. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties, finishing my degree and thinking about beginning my MA in Creative Writing, that I started to become more serious about writing and more conscious of its (lack of) quality. Since then I’ve published a short book of poetry and  written many abortive manuscripts… I usually write in tiny fragments, on the Notes app on my phone, that I then try to weave together or build into something larger.

You wrote a brilliant book. What was the inspiration?

 The inspiration for Bridge over the Neretva was a trip I took around the Balkans in 2018 with my friends. We went to many wonderful and uniquely memorable places, but the one that left the most indelible impression was Mostar, in Bosnia. Set there, the book is about two adoptive brothers from different ethnic backgrounds, one of whom makes a living diving off the city’s Old Bridge for tourists. Well, this is something we watched on our first evening in Mostar. Though thronging with life, rich in culture, and inscrutably beautiful, the whole place is suffused with a real, palpable sense of its recent violent history – many of the buildings are still pock-marked with bullet holes, and the bridge itself is largely a replica of the one that had stood there from the sixteenth century, until it was blown up in the war in 1993. The place is a sort of poem – its beauty and its tragedy can be read between the lines. Bridge over the Neretva is my attempt to come to some sort of understanding of what it might be like to live and to try and build a life in a place where the bloody divisions of the past, though dormant, are very much still alive, and threaten to spill into the present… I’ve been watching the news coming out of Bosnia lately with sadness, but haven’t lost hope.

What are your plans as a writer for the future?

Lately, I’ve found myself becoming increasingly interested in what it would take to make meaningful literature given the near certainty of climate catastrophe… I’m still at a bit of a loss, but have found solace in the seemingly endless stream  of excellent novels that continue to be published. I’ve begun working on the rough outline of a postmodern novel that toys with the ideas of immortality/AI/free will. But this could very well remain an outline. I’m also working on redrafting some poems that will hopefully find their way into print someday.

Have you ever been in Greece before?

I’ve never been to Greece before, but I have always wanted to go. So much Greek philosophy, mythology and literary culture has been important to me and to many of the writers and artists I most admire. I would love the chance to go and see experience it for myself.

How do you feel that your book will be translated into Greek?

It’s a real privilege to be translated into Greek. When I was writing the book, I never really thought it would find a reader, so the idea of it potentially landing in the hands of readers in Greece, and rendered in another language, is humbling and immensely pleasing.


Eyelands Book Awards 2021 – Prizes & Grand Prizes

We are glad to announce the prizes and grand prizes of Eyelands Book Awards 2021!

Short Stories

Judge: Andriana Minou

Published: It’s Funny Until Someone Loses an Eye (Then It’s Really Funny) / Kurt Luchs / USA

Unpublished: A General History of the Feminine Brain / Raluca Comanelea / USA


Judge: Gail Sidonie Sobat

Published:  Tears In My Bread /Maria Papageorgiou-Foroudi /Australia

Unpublished:  Resistance /Colin Campbell Robinson / Scotland


Judge: Gregory Papadoyiannis

Published: The Landlord of Hummingbird House / Jane Harvey/UK – Channel Islands

Unpublished: The Accidental Time Traveller / Sylvia Bluck /UK

Historical fiction – Memoir

Judge: Gregory Papadoyiannis

Published:  Drudgeries for Feat, Identifying and Leveraging Opportunities in a Foreign Country/ Beatrice Hofmann /UK

Unpublished: Yesteryear / Stephen G. Eoannou /USA

Children’s book

Judge: P.H.C. Marchesi

Published: Sailing away to Nod/  Brenda M. Spalding/USA

Unpublished: The Grinning Throat (Mudlark Mystery 1) Kate Wiseman/ UK

U-18 Category: 1941 / Abigail  Keoghan /Ireland


Published:  Perishable World /poetry / Alicia Hokanson / USA


Unpublished: Bridge over the Neretva / novel / Django Wylie /Switzerland


Grand prize (published books): Five-day staying in Athens plus a special handmade ceramic designed especially for Eyelands Book Awards and publication (excerpts) online on our website. A unique handmade ceramic designed especially for Eyelands Book Awards

The ceremony will take place in Athens in May 2022.

Alternative prize: (in case of travel restrictions): online ceremony & translation of the prize winner book in Greek

Grand prize (unpublished books): Translation into Greek and publication from Strange Days Books. A unique handmade ceramic designed especially for Eyelands Book Awards


Prizes: a unique handmade ceramic designed especially for Eyelands Book Awards and a book from Strange Days books plus Certification document.

Congratulations and a happy new year to all!!

EBA 2021 – THE FINALISTS (bio and photos)

bios by category and submission order


The Stroke Artist /Bevan Choate, MD /USA

Dr. Bevan Choate is a urologist, artist, and author of The Stroke Artist a self-penned story that speaks to all who have at one time or another faced and then overcome life’s unplanned obstacles. Just when Dr. Choate had found his stride as a successful surgeon, he suffered a stroke and the music stopped.  Overnight, he went from the ship’s captain to a passenger floating aimlessly at sea. His story is one of grit and the determination to be better despite the odds. Dr. Choate received his medical doctorate from Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and completed a five-year residency through the University of New Mexico Hospitals.    He now lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife and dog Indi and pursues painting, fly fishing, and urology. 

The Smoke is me, Burning / C A Blintzios /Greece

Constantine Blintzios is a Greek/British writer. He has a background in music and Contemporary Art and holds an Mst in Creative Writing from the University of Oxford. He has had poetry, short stories and reviews published in journals such as Visual Verse, Ash magazine, Paris Lit-Up, the Oxonian Review and the Literary Review. His poem ‘Where I am From’ was shortlisted for the 2017 Martin Starkie awards, he was long-listed for the 2019 DISQUIET fiction prize. As of 2021 his manuscript was longlisted for the Laxfield Literary Launch Prize. He is currently a PhD candidate in nightmare aesthetics at the University of Bristol.

Honour’s Rest / Judith Crow /Scotland

Judith was born in Orkney, grew up in Lincolnshire and now lives in the far north of Scotland. Her work draws inspiration from folklore, experience and the natural world.

The Backwater, Judith’s debut book, was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2019. Her latest novel, Honour’s Rest, is the first book in The Rite Way series.

When she isn’t writing, Judith is a teacher at a small primary school in Caithness. She sometimes finds that writing gets usurped by crafting, music, and being a generally doting spaniel owner.

Childfree /Claire Sewell /New Zealand

Claire Sewell worked for a leading New Zealand University for over 17 years as a print and web Writer, Editor and Publisher. Attention to detail, meeting writing deadlines, and a love of words were fundamental to her success in these roles.

As a youngster, Claire was an avid reader and loved to write. In fact, that was what she wanted to be when she grew up: a writer. Most of all, Claire wanted to learn and master the art of incorporating unexpected layers into her writing.

Claire’s first career was in health. As a former New Zealand trained registered nurse with a clinical background in mental health, Claire is drawn to writing about issues involving mental well-being. Claire’s characters are often conflicted within and searching for inner peace. Sometimes the characters are a collection of personality traits, inspired from the clients who Claire supported in real life.

Claire’s self-help book, How to Soothe Yourself During Mild Depression published in 2008, was well-received and popular with staff and readers within inpatient settings, both here in New Zealand and internationally.

The Landlord of Hummingbird House / Jane Harvey /UK/ Channel Islands

Jane Harvey is the pen name of Dreena Collins. Dreena was born in Jersey, Channel Islands, where she now works as a manager in a mental health charity. She has a background in teaching, with a degree and a Masters’ degree in English Literature.

The Landlord of Hummingbird House is her first novel, and arose from a personal challenge to write something positive and heart-warming. She loves unusual and off-beat people and places, and likes to celebrate these in her writing.

Dreena also writes literary short fiction under her birth name and has had several collections published. For her short stories and flash fiction, she has been a finalist in the SPR Book Awards, and listed and placed in numerous writing competitions, including the internationally celebrated ‘Bridport Prize’. She is currently editing her second novel, the story of a middle-aged woman who refuses to believe her daughter’s death was an accident.She makes it matter of principle to fall over at least once a month.

Don’t think a single thought / Diana Cambridge /UK

Diana Cambridge : I live in Bath, UK.I left school at sixteen and joined the local paper as an apprentice reporter.I’ve been in journalism for 40 years in both newspaper, magazines and now fiction writing…from women’s editor to news editor and then editor of niche glossy magazines. Greece was the magazine I launched, edited and loved – now closed, like so much of the British press. I’ve won a Society of Authors prize, was Women’s Writer for Wales, and have read and  performed some of my short stories at a local theatre- Burdall’s Yard, Bath. I live with my husband, David, a political journalist and we have a daughter,  adopted from care at seven years old. Favourite novel? John Fowles “The Magus”.

Mia / Kayla Eason /USA

Kayla Eason is a fiction writer, essayist, and film photographer. Her stories and essays are forthcoming or have recently appeared in DIAGRAM, The Rumpus, Salt Hill Journal, Critical Read, and The Real Story, among others. She holds an MFA in Fiction from San Francisco State University, where she taught as a lecturer.

Raised in the rural foothills of Northern California, her fiction has long explored idiosyncratic fringes–both social and geographic. Her work often features a surreal sense of place, the uncanniness of nature, undertones of horror, and mythology as a lens to accentuate and examine the mental health of her characters. In her non-fiction work, memory and sensorial associations are explored through visual aesthetics, psychology, biology, art, or art history.

In 2019 her novella, Mia, was a finalist for the Dzanc Fiction Prize, and in 2020, the book was published by Orson’s Publishing. Mia was described as “…rich, unsettling…both gritty and otherworldly…” (Caitlin Horrocks), “…incandescent…a daring exploration…” (Carolina de Robertis), and “…eerie and stylish…” (Fernando A. Flores).

Alongside writing, she is an avid film photographer. She lives in San Diego, CA.


The Museum of Our Realities / 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

An Eye for an Eye, a Tooth for a Tooth /João Cerqueira /Portugal

João Cerqueira has a PhD in History of Art from the University of Oporto. He is the author of eight books and published in eight countries.

The Tragedy of Fidel Castro won the USA Best Book Awards 2013, the Beverly Hills Book Awards 2014, the Global Ebook Awards 2014, was finalist for the Montaigne Medal 2014 (Eric Offer Awards) and for The Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards 2014 and was considered by Foreword Reviews the third best translation published in 2012 in the United States.

Jesus and Magdalene won gold medal in the 2020 Indie Reader Awards, the silver medal in the 2017 Global Ebook Awards, the bronze medal in the 2017 Reader’s Favorite Book Awards, the silver medal in the 2017 Feathered Quill Book Awards, the silver medal in the 2016 Hungry Monster Book Awards,  and the silver medal in the 2015 Latino Book Award. The short story A house in Europe won the 2015 Speakando European Literary Contest, received the bronze medal in the Ebook Me Up Short Story Competition 2015 and an honorable mention in the Glimmer Train July 2015 Very Short Fiction Award.

The short story The dictator and poetry was published in the 2016 Bombay Review Anthology.

Finisterre / Caroline Brothers /UK

Caroline Brothers is the author of two novels and a work of nonfiction about modern war photography. Her fiction is often concerned with lives caught up in the aftermath of historical events. Her first novel, Hinterland (Bloomsbury), builds on her ground-breaking work in journalism to chart the journey of two Afghan children on the backroads of Europe, and was awarded a McKitterick prize. Its stage adaptation, described by the New Yorker as ‘unforgettable in content and form’, is currently on international tour. The Memory Stones, set in Latin America and Europe, tells the story of the search for a missing child who was stolen during Argentina’s ‘dirty war’. Her new novel, Finisterre, examines the interaction between nature and human nature in a world under ecological stress.

 Born in Australia, Caroline trained as an historian before qualifying as a correspondent with Reuters, reporting from Europe and Latin America before joining the International New York Times in Paris. The British Council’s Shakespeare-Cervantes writer-in-residence in Madrid in 2016, she has been a literature fellow at Writers OMI in New York, Sangam House in India, Cove Park and Hawthornden Castle in Scotland, and the Bogliasco Foundation in Italy. She is now based in London.

In Transit / Ollie Randall /UK

Ollie Randall is a writer, cartoonist and historical researcher. Having grown up in London, he studied at the University of Oxford, first completing an undergraduate course in Ancient and Modern History and then a Master’s degree in Creative Writing. Since then, he has had a varied career as a freelancer. He was the researcher and editor of a nonfiction history book, William Simpson and the Crisis in Central Asia (Robert Salisbury, 2020), and is currently researching another project for the same author. Ollie’s own writings have been published in the Times Literary Supplement and elsewhere. In between, Ollie works as a cartoonist at weddings and other events, and as a tour manager on cultural tours and festivals.

The combination of historical research, writing and events work keeps Ollie’s life varied and endlessly stimulating. This in turn is a source of inspiration and creativity for his novel manuscripts. He is fascinated by complicated friendships, people’s coping strategies, and the overlap between the mundane and the bizarre. When writing, his mission is to find a perfect mixture of the dramatic, the hilarious and the profound.

Bridge over the Neretva / Django Wylie /Switzerland

I’m an English and Drama teacher, based in Switzerland. I hold an MA in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths and studied poetry at UC Berkeley. In 2017, I was the recipient of the Yeovil Literary Prize, and in 2019 I won the Indigo Dreams Firsts Competition. I had a prose manuscript shortlisted for the London Magazine First Novel Award and the Blue Pencil Agency Novel Award. My first collection of poetry, New and Selected Heartbreaks, was published in May of 2019.

The Accidental Time Traveller / Sylvia Bluck /UK

I was inspired to write this novel sitting around a campfire in a small 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?

To learn the novel writing craft (and to get the novel written), I studied on the two year Creative Writing Course with New Writing South, Brighton, UK and with the Novelry online course. As I’ve worked on this novel, I’ve had lots of brilliant help and feedback from fellow writers in Brighton and around the world. The novel has been long-listed for the Exeter, Flash 500 and Cinnamon first novel prizes; short-listed for the Blue Pencil Agency First Novel Award; and a finalist in the Page Turner Novel Awards and Eludia Novel Award.

In my day job, I work for the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (but not in a Time Travel Unit) and live in Brighton, with my partner and two almost fully-fledged children. We have a small wood in the countryside where I go to write.

From Now On / D.R. Hill /UK

D.R. Hill has written ten short stories and published several from his Collection, This is Exhibit B, which was shortlisted as one of three books for the Eyelands Awards in 2019. He has also published non-fiction works Under Scan (co-written with international artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer) and Voices of Culture (The Role of Culture in Promoting Refugee Inclusion) co-written as a commission from The European Union. He has written two novels – From Now On and A Pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

D.R. Hill plays include Peace in our Town, co-written with Barrie Keeffe as a commission from Cheltenham Literature Festival, The Tale of the Corn Woman and The TV Addict (Theatre Station Blyth), All Change (Everyman Theatre Cheltenham), Chaos and Too Blessed. He has also written a screenplay, The Original Few.

As the actor/director Rowland D. Hill, the writer has been Artistic Director of Theatre Station Blyth and Associate Director at the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham where he produced and directed, amongst other work The Official Tribute to Dennis Potter. He is the Founding Director of ArtReach.


Tears In My Bread /Maria Papageorgiou-Foroudi /Australia

Maria Papageorgiou-Foroudi is a lawyer who practices in community law. Published in Inscape (1997) and Antipodes Periodical, she has won prizes and commendations for poetry and short stories 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 first poetry collection “Tears in My Bread” was published in 2020 (Australian Scholarly Publishing).

Her latest book, “The Fading Garden”, published in 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. Love, cultural inheritance, family, betrayal, the environment, treatment of Australia’s indigenous people and death are viewed through a lens that is cynical as it is sympathetic.

Nigger for life / Neal Hall /USA

Neal Hall, M.D., is a trained medical-surgical eye physician and graduate of Cornell and Harvard Universities.  An internationally acclaimed poet, he has composed poetry and performed readings throughout the U. S. and internationally to include: Kenya, Indonesia, France, Jamaica, Morocco, Canada, Nepal, Italy, Ghana, Japan, India and Germany.

Hall is an award-winning author of eight books of poetry. His work has been translated into eight languages.

Hailed as the “Malcolm X of international poetry,” Hall both dissects and illuminates the forces undergirding inequality and injustice today. A poet of intellectual passion and artistic significance, he excavates below the surface pain of inequality and injustice to probe deep into those painful inhumanities. His poetry scalds you into waking up to the possibility that you may be one of those enabling spectators, that you may be guilty of appalling silence. Hall is regarded as one of the most significant literary voices of the century.

Cornel Westsaid of Hall “[he] is a warrior of the spirit, a warrior of the mind, an activist, a poet. I sense Hall’s hypersensitivity to suffering – Martin, Malcolm and Jesus all had this hypersensitivity. His poetry has the capacity to change ordinary people’s philosophy on social and racial issues.”

Perishable World / Author: Alicia Hokanson /USA

A native of Seattle, Washington, Alicia Hokanson grew up exploring the beaches, forests, and islands of Puget Sound, which inspired a deep attention to the natural world.

 Her first book, Mapping the Distance, was selected by Carolyn Kizer for the King County Arts Commission publication prize.  She has also published two chapbooks, Phosphorous and Insistent in the Skin, and her poems have appeared in a wide variety of journals and anthologies.  Her most recent collection, Perishable World, was published in summer of 2021.

 Upon completing her B.A. and M.A. in English at the University of Washington, Alicia pursued a career teaching in a variety of venues, from working with high-school students in South Australia to teaching grades 1-8 in a one-room schoolhouse on a remote island in Washington state.

She spent the last 27 years of her career teaching middle school English in Seattle,  and was named River of Words Poetry Teacher of the year in 2003 for her work nurturing young writers.

 She now devotes her time to writing, reading, and advocating for social and environmental justice.

Hummingbird From Heaven/ Keti Bozukova /Bulgaria

Keti Bozukova (Keti Stefanova Bozukova-Peeva) was born in Sliven on June 29, 1964. Graduated from the School of mathematics “Prof. Dr. Dimitar Tabakov in his hometown and higher education at the Faculty of Law of Sofia University “St. Climent Ohridski” Degree in law. He works on his specialty-as a prosecutor, an inspector at the Ministry of Justice and a lawyer.

The first and poetic experiments were published in the “Septemvriyche”-K (1978). Published poems and stories in magazines and newspapers in Bulgaria, and her works are published in Russia, Ukraine, Macedonia, Serbia, France and Great Britain. Member of the Union of Bulgarian writers. Awarded in competitions in Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia.

Keti Bozukova is the Chief Secretary of the Union of Jurists in Bulgaria and an active participant in the activity of the cultural house at the Union of Jurists in Bulgaria. She organized spring and autumn salons of arts, for the works of lawyers-poets, novelists, painters.     Keti Bozukova has published 19 poetic books and one in prose.

Scripted seeds and other poems /T M Raghuram/India

T. M. RAGHURAM, born in1954, is a practising psychiatrist and a professor of psychiatry in a medical college in Kerala, South India. He is well known as an Indo Anglian poet, essayist, translator, musician(flutist ) and pastel artist.

Besides English he writes and translates in Malayalam and Tamil and has published 16 books. His first anthology of poems A Handful of Dreams was shortlisted for the Commonwealth poetry prize for Debut authors in 1987. Scripted Seeds is his 5th collection of poems (Authorspress, New Delhi). His collection of historical fiction essays Malabar Musings(2020) published by Authorspress. He has received awards for his translation of prose and poetry in three languages. He currently lives in Manjeri, Kerala, India with his wife Navaneetham. The couple are blessed with two daughters and a son.


Transitory /Subhaga Crystal Bacon /USA – WITHDRAW

Subhaga Crystal Bacon the author of two volumes of poetry, Blue Hunger in 2020, from Methow Press, and Elegy with a Glass of Whisky, from BOA Editions in 2004. A Queer Elder, she lives, writes, and teaches on the east slope of the North Cascade Mountains in rural northcentral Washington State. She was a was a nominee for the 2021-2023 Washington State Poet Laureateship and is a teaching artist for Methow Arts Alliance. Subhaga is a graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. Poems from her manuscript appear or are forthcoming in The Bangalore Review, The Bombay Review, The Indianapolis Review, The Lavender Review, The Queer Southeast Asia Review, Rise Up Review, Queer Toronto Literary Magazine Gallery, The River Heron Review, and Sad Girls Lit Club. More of her work can be found on

Ensemble -(Refugee Voices, Images and Artists Installations)/ Joan Michelson /UK

Joan Michelson has published two full collections of poetry and a number of poetry chapbooks as well as short fiction, essays and critical commentary, ’Refugees,’ the manuscript  selected as an Eyelands‘s poetry finalist, furthers issues initially explored in her prize-winning book, ‘Landing Stage’, SPM publications, UK, 2017.  The focus is on lives affected by traumatic political events: the refugee plight, exile and its aftermath. For ‘Refugees’ she employs the close up for the present crises: Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia and other African countries and the long shot for Holocaust refugees and the trajectory of their lives, offering a correspondence from the past to the present and what lies ahead. ‘The Family Kitchen’, The Finishing Line Press, USA,  offers portraits from three generations of a family, ‘Bloomvale Home’, Original Plus Books, Wales, residents in a care home and ‘Toward the Heliopause’, Poetic Matrix, USA,  a journey through loss and recovery.

Poems have been published in the UK, USA, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Israel.  Many have won prizes and placed in competitions: the Hamish Canham Prize from the Poetry Society of England, finalist for the Manchester Metropolitan Portfolio Award, 2020 and writing selected for anthologies of new writing published by the British Council.  She served as Poet Laureate for three years for an area of London. Also she has received numerous fellowships for writing residencies including: USA, the MacDowell Colony, the Djerassi Foundation, OMI Writing, Sangham House, India and Valparaiso, Spain.

She is an American settled in the UK and has worked as an academic with a specialty in Holocaust Studies and Creative Writing. A question of particular concern that informs her writing is: How do we create art out of history? She currently teaches Creative Writing to medical students at Kings College, University of London.

Resistance /Colin Campbell Robinson /Scotland

Colin Campbell Robinson was born in Manchester in 1953 and emigrated with his family to Australia at the age of nine. After a less than dazzling academic career and years of factory work and other jobs, he became involved in community activism working with organisations such as the Tenants Union. In the 1990s he established a social research consultancy and became well known in Australia for his writing on social justice issues collaborating with a variety of non- government organisations to change the situation confronted by people experiencing homelessness, mental health problems, addiction and poverty, often all of the above.

Colin returned to Britain in 2003 and continued to do social research work most notably with The Passage, the largest day centre for homeless people in London. Since 2013 he has devoted himself full time to writing and photography. His work has been published in many journals around the world. Knives Forks Spoons Press published his books Blue Solitude in 2018 and Footnotes from History – the Debord Variations in 2021.

Colin currently lives on the Isle of Bute off the west coast of Scotland.


Let Us Look Elsewhere/ Mona Dash /UK

Mona Dash is the author of  A Roll of the Dice : a story of loss, love and genetics,  A Certain Way, Untamed Heart, and Dawn-drops.  Her work has been listed in leading competitions such as Novel London 20, SI Leeds Literary award, Fish, Bath, Bristol, Leicester Writes and Asian Writer. Her short story collection Let us look elsewhere is forthcoming from Dahlia Publishing in 2021. A graduate in Telecoms Engineering, she holds an MBA, and also a Masters in Creative Writing (with distinction) She works  in a global tech company and lives in London.

It’s Funny Until Someone Loses an Eye (Then It’s Really Funny) /Kurt Luchs / USA

Kurt Luchs ( has poems published in Plume Poetry Journal, The Sun Magazine, and London Grip. He won the 2022 Pushcart Prize, as well as the 2019 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. He has written humor for the New Yorker, the Onion and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. and he has also written comedy for television (Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher and The Late Late Show with Craig Kilbourn) and radio (American Comedy Network). His humor collection, It’s Funny Until Someone Loses an Eye (Then It’sReally Funny) (2017), and his poetry collection, Falling in the Direction of Up (2021), are both published by Sagging Meniscus Press. His poetry chapbook, One of These Things Is Not Like the Other (2019), is published by Finishing Line Press. He lives in Portage, Michigan.

Fugitives – different voices, different stories / E.C.Gardiner /UK

E.C.Gardiner has worked for various organisations in countries of continental Europe, and has held a senior academic post in an English university.  Under an adoptive name given in childhood has published and edited non-fiction books, together with essays and articles in books and journals.  His academic work was recognised in the English Association award of a Founding Fellowship in 2002. In addition to his collection of short stories (Fugitives, 2019) he is the author of two full-length novels: Shattered Mirror, Broken Selves (2021), and Follies, Fools, and Garlands (shortlisted best novel, Eyelands International Book Awards 2019). His poetry has been widely published, presented in numerous readings, broadcast on radio, and featured in numerous musical settings by composer Edward Lee. Further information and free access to much of his work, including studio-recordings of short stories from Fugitives, can be found on the author’s  website at:

Love Stories for Hectic People / Catherine McNamara /Italy

Catherine McNamara grew up in Sydney, ran away to Paris, and ended up in West Africa running a bar. Her collection Pelt and Other  Stories was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor Award and was semifinalist in the Hudson Prize, and her short stories have been Pushcart nominated, shortlisted and published in the UK, Europe, USA and Australia. Catherine lives in Italy. She is the Grand Prize winner of the category Published books/Short stories of Eyelands Book Awards 2018 with her book ‘’The cartography of others’’

Quaternity: Four Novellas from the Carpathians/ Maria Rybakova /Kazakhstan

Maria Rybakova was born in Moscow. She studied Greek and Latin in Russia, then in Germany, and subsequently in the USA. She is currently teaching literature at the Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan. Her first novel, Anna Grom and Her Ghost, was published in 1999. Several novels and short stories followed. Maria Rybakova is a recipient of literary awards in Russia. Her novels have been translated into German, Spanish, French and Romanian. Her book-length poem Gnedich about Nikolai Gnedich, the first Russian translator of the Iliad, appeared in 2015 from Glagoslav (translated by Elena Dimov). Maria Rybakova wrote “Quaternity: Four Novellas From the Carpathians” while on fellowship in Iasi (Romania) in 2020.

Broken In: A Novel in Stories / Jadi Campbell /Germany

Jadi Campbell is an American author who has lived in Europe since 1992. She’s past President of the Writers in Stuttgart, a job she lovingly described as ‘herding cats’.

Stuttgart’s New English American Theater (NEAT) commissioned her for the story to connect Gershwin songs and also for Hard Times in Sugar Town, a story to connect songs of the Depression. Her plays “Bank on It” and “Baby You Were Great” were performed in NEAT’s 2019 One Page Play Festival.

Her book Tsunami Cowboys was longlisted for the 2019 Screen Craft Cinematic Book Competition. Broken In: A Novel in Stories was a semifinalist for international Hidden River Arts 2020 Hawk Mountain Short Story Collection Award. The Trail Back Out was American Book Fest 2020 Best Book Award Finalist for Fiction Anthologies and honored as 2021 IAN Best Book of the Year Award Finalist (Short Story Collection) by the Independent Author Network. The title story The Trail Back Out was longlisted for the 2021 Screen Craft Cinematic Short Story Award.

She blogs at You can purchase her titles on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Jadi is incredibly honored by Eyeland’s distinction for Broken In: A Novel in Stories!


A General History of the Feminine Brain / Raluca Comanelea /USA

Rakiya/Ellis Shuman /Israel

Ellis Shuman is an American-born Israeli author, travel writer, and book reviewer. His writing has appeared in The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, The Oslo Times, and The Huffington Post. He is the author of The Virtual Kibbutz, Valley of Thracians, and The Burgas Affair. His short fiction has appeared in Isele Magazine, Vagabond, Literary Yard, The Write Launch, Adelaide Literary, and other literary publications. You can find him at  Twitter: @ellisshuman

Cursed Beauty /Valentina Tsoneva /USA

Valentina Tsoneva is a native Bulgarian. She lives and teaches composition and literature classes in the Sunshine State, Florida, which has two seasons: hot and hotter. She holds an MA from Bulgaria and MA from the USA. She published a poetry book Shelter in Bulgarian and a few other poems in English in the literary journals, Sand and River of Grass. In 2017, her poem “Causa Perduta” won second prize in the National League of American Pen Women, Tampa, FL. In 2021, her collection of short stories Cursed Beauty was the winner for the unpublished book at San Francisco Book Festival. She enjoys traveling, jogging, and taking care of her adorable Dutch Shepherd, Myla.

Slices of Cake: A Collection of Short Stories / Christina Hoag /USA

Christina Hoag won a prize for writing interesting stories when she was six years old and that’s what she’s been doing ever since. She is the author of YA novel “Girl on the Brink” and the noir crime novel “Skin of Tattoos,” (Onward Press) and her new novella “Law of the Jungle” (Better Than Starbucks Press). She is also the co-author of “Peace in the Hood: Working with Gang Members to End the Violence” (Turner Publishing). A former journalist for the Miami Herald and Associated Press, she reported from Latin America for nearly a decade for major media including Time, Business Week, Financial Times, and The New York Times. Her short stories and essays have been published in numerous literary journals and have won several awards. For more information,


Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops /Allison Hong Merrill /USA

Allison was born and raised in Taiwan and arrived in the U.S. at twenty-two as a university student. That’s when she realized her school English wasn’t much help when asking for directions on the street or opening a bank account. By recording each of the classes she took and reviewing the tape every night for a year, she eventually learned English well enough to earn an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. But please excuse her if she misuses verb tenses or mixes up genders in third-person pronouns when she speaks. It’s no secret––English is hard to learn.

Allison is an editor at Dialogue Journal. She writes in both Chinese and English, both fiction and creative nonfiction, which means she spends a lot of time looking up words on Her work has won both national and international awards, including National Championship in the Life Story Writing Competition in Taiwan and the Grand Prize in the MAST People of Earth writing contest. She’s the inaugural winner of Sandra Carpenter Prize for Creative Nonfiction, winner of the Segullah Journal writing contest, the Opossum flash contest, and many more. Visit her at to sign up for her monthly email.

Drudgeries for Feat, Identifying and Leveraging Opportunities in a Foreign Country/ Beatrice Hofmann /UK

M/S Beatrice Hofmann is a beauty and wellness therapist, she has practiced her profession for 13 years now. She is a serial entrepreneur and business owner of Nu-life professional-wellness, a company she started in 2010, which she unfortunately closed on the 31.03.2021 due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic. A move she says gave her the opportunity to pursue a career in Digital Marketing.

Born and raised in Uganda, Beatrice moved to Germany in 1999 and views German as her focal point in life. With this unique background complemented by extensive travel across the globe, she sees herself as a cosmopolitan.

Beatrice received the upcoming Entrepreneur Award 2015 of the AWE (African Women in Europe) in Geneva. She is also the co-founding commissioner of a Free University in the city of Oberhausen. She is an author and speaker; she co-authored the African immigrant’s ‘handbook’: “The perfect migrant”: How to Achieve a Successful life in Diaspora in 2018. Her autobiography “Drudgeries for feat “Identifying and leveraging opportunities in a foreign country was launched in December 2020. The book provides an account of the author’s life – that puts forward her story easily and spontaneously about various situations she went through in her native Uganda and Germany where she has now lived for 22 years.

The Book, “Neurosensivität”; Die ReiseinsIch, in which she has also Co-authored will be launched very soon. In addition, she is a public speaker and has led and contributed to public seminars including: “How Long Does One Remain a Migrant” Project Development for School and Government Institutions / Participant at Forum d ’Avignon

“Opportunity and Prosperity for All (for African Migrants and Entrepreneurs)” – Seminar developed and introduced at Advocate Europe, Citizens Lab and Social Impact Lab. Beatrice is also the co-founder and CEO of Sokoni links Ltd a platform which incepted during the lockdown in 2020 serving business in the East African region and now is about to launch its eLearning platform under the domain name eLearning Uganda.

Aside from her professional career, the author is a single mother to her daughter Sina. Her journey is a real-life testimony that hard work pays, it is proof that immigrants can build successful lives in foreign countries if they have purpose and direction.

Rude Talk in Athens: Ancient Rivals, the Birth of Comedy, and a Writer’s Journey through Greece/ Mark Haskell Smith /USA

Mark Haskell Smith is the author of six novels with one-word titles including Moist, Salty, and Blown; as well as the non-fiction books Rude Talk in Athens: Ancient Rivals, the Birth of Comedy, and a Writer’s Journey through Greece; Heart of Dankness: Underground Botanists, Outlaw Farmers, and the Race for the Cannabis Cup; and Naked at Lunch: A Reluctant Nudist’s Adventures in the Clothing-Optional World. He lives in Los Angeles.

* photo credit Martin Rusch

The Strathmore Stories /R.A.Lucas /Canada

R.A.Lucas was born in Montréal, Canada in the first half of the last century and began having poetry published in the early 1970s. His first collection, Rambling, was published in 1972. A career communicator, he has worked in radio, both on-air and in management as well as in television and high-end video production. In 2008 he wrote-directed and produced a feature length documentary about cycling through the Canadian Rockies. He is the founder and publisher of the website The Canadian Movie Database, online since 1998 for which he has researched and written more than 200 biographies of Canadian filmmakers. He first wrote short fiction for radio in the early 1970s, which includes a 39-chapter children’s story broadcast in Montreal. His short stories and poetry have been published in Canada, England, the United States, India, Australia and Norway. In late 2021 he began editing what will become his fifth book of poetry.

Malabar Musings / T M Raghuram /India 


Hiroshima Bomb Money / Terry Watada /Canada

Terry Watada’s “Hiroshima Bomb Money” is his fourth novel and is based on the true story of his Great Aunt Chiemi.  He is well–published in Canada with three novels, five poetry books and a short story collection.  “Hiroshima Bomb Money” has the support of the Toronto Arts Council with a writing grant.  As a result, he feels encouraged to seek a wider reach for his writing.  He has hopes that the Eyelands Book Awards will help accomplish his goal.

Yesteryear / Stephen G. Eoannou /USA

Stephen G. Eoannou is the author of the novels Yesteryear (SFWP 2023), Rook (Unsolicited Press 2022), and the short story collection Muscle Cars (SFWP 2015). He has been awarded an Honor Certificate from The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and won the Best Short Screenplay Award at the 36th Starz Denver Film Festival. Eoannou holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and an MA from Miami University. He lives and writes in his hometown of Buffalo, New York, the setting and inspiration for much of his work.

The Swimmer /David Tenenbaum /USA

David Tenenbaum is a novelist from Richmond, Virginia. He’s written five books including The Swimmer, which reached the finals of the Eyelands Book Awards, as well as The Lost Tide: Playing with Fire, recipient of the Kops-Fetherling Legacy Honorable Mention Prize. David works part time as a professor of writing when he’s not imagining people fighting Nazis or battling mega-tsunamis.

China China / Tong Ge /Canada

Born and raised in China, Tong Ge moved to Canada in 1988 and obtained her M. Sc. degree in Canada. Since 2012, she has published numerous poems and prose both in English and in Chinese in North America and Taiwan. Facing the challenges of English as her second language and fighting long-term disability, she has spent the last fifteen years writing the trilogy, China China. When not writing, she enjoys reading, live theatre, traveling, swimming, public speaking, and learning new things. She currently lives in Calgary, Canada, and is a financial planner by trade, an artist at heart.

A Girl Called Redemption/ Sophie Neville /UK

Sophie Neville began writing ‘A Girl Called Redemption’ on an Eyelands’ Three Rock Residency in Crête in 2019. An Anthropology graduate, she 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 such as ‘Eastenders’ and ‘Doctor Who’. She directed her first documentary for Channel 4 when driving from London to Johannesburg and wrote a number of her own programmes for BBC Education. After producing an ‘INSET’ series, she set up a ‘Blue Peter’ exploration of South Africa andworked 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 can now concentrate on bringing out novels set in Africa.


The Buried City – A Tale of Two Time Zones / Judith Brulo

Judy grew up in Shepshed, Leicestershire (UK). She studied at the Guildhall School of Music, London. After graduating, she worked as a professional violist and teacher.

Judy’s love of writing emerged through the need to create material for her Early Years music groups. Then, along came the real inspiration: grandchildren, Kaia and Taio, for whom she wrote stories on almost a weekly basis. She lived in Cambridge for many years, before moving to Cyprus for six years. She now lives in North West Warwickshire with her husband, Alex. Judy spends her time writing and presenting Reading-Music-Action sessions.

Sailing away to Nod/  Brenda M. Spalding /USA

Brenda M. Spalding is a prolific award-winning author. She is often called upon to speak at book clubs, conferences, and writers’ groups. She is a past president of the National League of American Pen Women- Sarasota, Florida Branch, a member of the Sarasota Authors Connection, Sarasota Fiction Writers, Florida Authors and Publishers, and a co-founding member and current president of ABC Books Inc. Ms. Spalding formed Braden River Consulting LLC in 2020 to help other authors on their creative journey.


Thread and Thrum /Jane Bower /UK

Jane Bower is from Yorkshire. Her love of the arts led her from general primary teaching to become a specialist practitioner with 4-11 year olds. When her post as Arts Adviser to Cambridgeshire primary schools was made redundant in 1993, she made a list of what she wanted to do: ‘Make art, teach, act, write’. Her freelance career led to work in 455 primary schools and 161 other UK venues, such as hospitals, museums and churches, leading hands-on creative and imaginative workshops and historical costumed drama days. Highlights included teaching in the UAE, India and Armenia.

A professional actress since 1999, Jane performs her own solo shows about remarkable individuals of the past. She wrote a number of practical books for teachers and was a writer of educational magazine articles for 25 years.

Jane retired from teaching just before the pandemic, but continues to work as a writer, speaker, actress, and as vocal coach to trainee church ministers. Her delights include singing choral music, staying in quirky or historic buildings, discovering new cuisine, exploring everyday lives of the past, ceramics, textiles, the art of monologue, and minute things, but her chief passion is words, written, spoken, sung or read.


Evolution / Zelda Conway /UK

Zelda Conway: I’m hoping that you’re concentrating on the handsome cat in this photo, rather than me. I’m hiding on purpose, to protect the identity of a much-loved family member on whom this story is based. It’s my story too, of course, and it’s written from the heart.

I live in the UK and have been writing for about five years now. I’ve always wanted to write, ever since I was a book-addicted child, but I was scared of the inevitable knocks. But writing is a necessity for me, and I have to go on. I’ve been very fortunate and my children’s books have been published in several countries. When not writing I tutor in English language, literature and English as a Foreign Language. I guess you could say that I just love English! I also love animals, chocolate, history and cheese. And English. Did I mention that I love English?

The Grinning Throat/ Kate Wiseman /UK

A Tooth Too Far /James Wright /UK

James Wright is an aspiring writer and the author of ‘A Tooth Too Far’. He works as a Children’s Doctor in a busy London hospital enjoying writing, surfing and walking his Springer Spaniel Albie in his free time. Having recently taken up writing, ‘A Tooth Too Far’ is his first foray into children’s literature. To the dismay of his partner Alice, who has to patiently sit through his bizarre story ideas, it will certainly not be his last. Having spent his childhood buried in the books of Roald Dahl, James acknowledges that influence, but his stories have their own life, with macabre twists and turns that keep the reader on the edge of their seat.

Griff, Luke and Ariadne in: The kingdom of Trung Trung Karmo/Judith Brulo / UK

1941 /Abigail Keoghan /Ireland

My name is Abigail Keoghan and I live in Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland. I am twelve years old and I have a younger sister who is seven years old. I got my inspiration for writing by my book-loving aunts both wishing to publish a book. I love to write. My first book that I wrote was called 1941. It was about a young fourteen year old girl who went on a mission to save her father. I entered it into a competition when I was ten. Sadly I didn’t win but I decided to enter another competition the Eyelands’s book awards competition with Kenya’s Education (originally called Education or not I must learn something). I just love to write and I wish to become an author or artist when I am older.


We welcome the finalists of Eyelands Book Awards 2021.

For the fourth consecutive year, we are delighted to announce the finalists and – as always – sorry that many well-written books could not be included in the shortlist. The number of finalists is defined according to the submissions in the specific category so, as we do every year, there are more finalists in the novels category while the children’s books and the unpublished poetry categories have less finalists. Congratulations to all, many thanks for sharing all the fine books and for your support for yet another year. We truly hope that there will be a live awards ceremony next spring in Athens. In the meantime, last year’s Grand Prize for unpublished books -Lessons from the Greeks by Gail Sidonie Sobat- has already been published by Strange Days Books in a bilingual edition. Also, we will soon release two more books translated in Greek; Exile Music by Jennifer Steil (Grand Prize for published books) and Lizardmaid by Robin Luce Martin (Three Rock Prize).

Final results on December 30, 2021. Judges for the final stage: Gail Sidonie Sobat (grand prize winner 2020) P.H.C. Marchesi (grand prize winner 2019), Andriana Minou and Gregory Papadoyiannis.


(Title of book, name of author and place of residence)


The Stroke Artist /Bevan Choate, MD


The Smoke is me, Burning / C A Blintzios


Honour’s Rest / Judith Crow


Childfree /Claire Sewell

New Zealand

The Landlord of Hummingbird House / Jane Harvey

UK; Channel Islands

Don’t think a single thought / Diana Cambridge


Mia / Kayla Eason



The Museum of Our Realities / Raluca Comanelea /USA

An Eye for an Eye, a Tooth for a Tooth /João Cerqueira


Finisterre / Caroline Brothers /UK

In Transit / Ollie Randall /UK

Bridge over the Neretva / Django Wylie /Switzerland

The Accidental Time Traveller / Sylvia Bluck /UK

From Now On / D.R. Hill



Tears In My Bread /Maria Papageorgiou-Foroudi


Nigger for life / Neal Hall /USA

Perishable World / Author: Alicia Hokanson /USA

Hummingbird From Heaven/ Keti Bozukova /Bulgaria

Scripted seeds and other poems /T M Raghuram /India


Transitory /Subhaga Crystal Bacon /USA

Ensemble -(Refugee Voices, Images and Artists Installations)/ Joan Michelson, 


Resistance /Colin Campbell Robinson /Scotland


Let Us Look Elsewhere / Mona Dash


It’s Funny Until Someone Loses an Eye (Then It’s Really Funny)

/ Kurt Luchs / USA

Fugitives – different voices, different stories / E.C.Gardiner /UK

Broken In: A Novel in Stories / Jadi Campbell /Germany

 Love Stories for Hectic People / Catherine McNamara /Italy

Quaternity: Four Novellas from the Carpathians / Maria Rybakova/



A General History of the Feminine Brain / Raluca Comanelea /USA

Rakiya / Ellis Shuman /Israel

Cursed Beauty / Valentina Tsoneva/USA

Slices of Cake: A Collection of Short Stories / Christina Hoag /USA


Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops /Allison Hong Merrill /USA

Drudegries for Feat, Identifying and Leveraging Opportunities in a Foreign Country / Beatrice Hofmann / UK

Rude Talk in Athens: Ancient Rivals, the Birth of Comedy, and a Writer’s Journey through Greece/ Mark Haskell Smith /USA

The Strathmore Stories /R.A.Lucas /Canada

Malabar Musings / T M Raghuram /India 


Hiroshima Bomb Money / Terry Watada /Canada

Yesteryear / Stephen G. Eoannou /USA

The Swimmer /David Tenenbaum/USA

China China / Tong Ge /Canada

A Girl Called Redemption / Sophie Neville /UK


The Buried City – A Tale of Two Time Zones / Judith Brulo/UK
Sailing away to Nod /  Brenda M. Spalding /USA

 Thread and Thrum /Jane Bower/UK


Evolution / Zelda Conway /UK

The Great Mountain / J.T. Berk /USA

The Grinning Throat/ Kate Wiseman /UK

A Tooth Too Far / James Wright /UK

Griff, Luke and Ariadne in: The kingdom of Trung Trung Karmo /Judith Brulo / UK

1941 /Abigail Keoghan /Ireland


Last chance to submit today to Eyelands Book Awards 2021 and win holidays in Athens or have your book translated in Greek and from Strange Days Books.

Ten more prizes, one for each category of every section, also win a special handmade ceramic designed especially for Eyelands Book Awards and a book from Strange Days books!

Certification document for every prize.

Entry fee: $30 (27 euros)

Early bird submissions: $ 22 (20 euros)

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