Southeast Missouri State University Press

Announcing the Winner and Finalists of the 2021 Nilsen Prize

We are pleased to announce the winner, along with the finalists and semi-finalists:


The Last Innocent Year: Stories by Kerry Jones

Kerry Jones was raised in Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, attended Mansfield University and Temple University, and received her MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University, where she now teaches. Her fiction has appeared in many literary journals, including Orchid, Night Train, The Rambler, Bryant Literary Review, Sycamore Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Seems, and most recently in SLAB.


Impossible Object: A Novel in Stories by Robyn Carter
All Hours by Bernard Grant
Contingent Contingencies by Leah McCormack
Forgottonia by Chad Simpson


Roan by Mathew Goldberg
The Kind of Music Not a Song by Tamar Jacobs
A Cabinet of Curiosity by Leanne Ogasawara
Dust Between Clouds: A Palestinian Story by Hadeel Salameh
How do you like these bad days? By Maggie Smith
How Do I Seem? By Joe Truscello
Whole by Derek Updegraff

Thank you all for submitting and trusting us with your work. This is never an easy decision, and there were so many wonderful manuscripts.