Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction

The Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction

The Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction was established in 2004 in memory of Liza Nelligan, a writer, editor, and friend of many in Colorado State University’s English Department, where she received her master’s degree in literature in 1992. By giving an award to the author of an outstanding short story each year, we hope to honor Nelligan’s life, her passion for writing, and her love of fiction.

The Nelligan Prize is offered annually. The winner receives a $2,000 honorarium and the story is published in the fall/winter issue of Colorado Review. All stories are considered for publication.

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Current Winner

This Year’s Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction Winner

With great pleasure, we announce that final judge T. Geronimo Johnson has selected Danny Thiemann’s “One Bad Night in San Jose, Costa Rica” as the winner of the 2021 Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction. His story will appear in the Fall/Winter 2021 issue of Colorado Review.

Danny Thiemann is the recipient of the 2020 Tobias Wolff Prize for Fiction from the Bellingham Review, an Award for New Writers from New York City's Table4 Foundation, and a Madalyn Lamont Award for Fiction from the American University in Cairo. His writing has appeared in the New Delta Review, the Bosque Review, Your Impossible Voice, the Beloit Fiction Journal, and Guernica Magazine. He works at Earthjustice and previously worked for the Programa de Campesinos/Farmworker Program at Oregon Law Center.

Submission Guidelines

General Guidelines for the 2021 Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction:

  1. $2,000 will be awarded for the winning short story, which will be published in the fall/winter 2021 issue of Colorado Review.
  2. This year’s final judge is T. Geronimo Johnson; friends and students (current & former) of the judge are not eligible to compete, nor are Colorado State University employees, students, or alumni.
  3. Entry fee is $15 per story; there is no limit on the number of entries you may submit.
  4. Stories must be previously unpublished.
  5. There are no theme restrictions, but stories must be at least 10 pages (or 2500 words) but no more than 50 pages (12,500 words).
  6. All manuscripts must be typed and double-spaced.
  7. Contest opens December 1, 2020.
  8. Deadline is the postmark of March 14, 2021 (note that we observe a five-day grace period for both paper and online submissions).
  9. Winner will be announced by mid-June 2021.
  10. All submissions will be considered for publication.
  11. You do not need to be a Colorado or US resident to enter. If you are, however, a foreign national working in the United States, please check the conditions of your visa status with regard to receiving payment (in the event that your manuscript is selected as the winner) from entities other than your sponsor. Colorado State University cannot issue honoraria to foreign nationals with B1/WB, B2/WT, H-1B, or F-1 visas. A J-1 visa holder with a sponsor other than CSU must have written authorization from the Responsible Officer (RO) at their sponsoring institution prior to the activity.