Writing Ukraine Prize 2023: Meet the judges

The aftermath of war can be very disturbing, so much that it triggers a lot of negative happenings, things that the world needs to hear and see. What better way to convey such a story than through writing.

WRITING UKRAINE PRIZE 2023 explores on the issues of forced migration, rough lifestyles experiences of war, refugees, poverty, hunger, disease, loss of belonging and death as caused by war and greed. This year 2022, soon after the fix of COVID 19, the world witnessed one of the deadliest wars between Russia and Ukraine. Its rivalry brought immense suffering to the people of warring republics and to the entire world. The contest seeks poems that explores these themes. 

Eligibility for Writing Ukraine Prize

  • Contest entry is free
  • International entries are welcome.
  • The contest only accepts poems.
Writing Ukraine Prize 2023
Source: Zabelin (iStock| Gettyimages.)

Submission Guidelines

  • Three poems of any length (no limited number of lines),
  • New and Original Poems ( not yet published in any form online or in print)
  • Only text is required for submissions( no illustrations, arts abstracts or photos)
  • All submissions are to be submitted in English for now(that will be reviewed in 2024)
  • All previously published entries will be rejected upon submission
  • All late entries will be dishonored
  • Send in your edited work
  • Font should be Garamond / Times Roman 12 font size.
  • Document should be saved in word with (Writers name and surname)
    –       City and Country name
    –       Including writer phone, email address and mail address
  • Send your Entries to chimurengaratsauka@gmail.com


  • Submissions deadline is 15th December 2022.
  • Announcement of judges 15th of October 2022
  • Contests longlist (30th of December 2022)
  • Contest Short list (15th of January 2023)
  • Finalists and Awards Galore (30th of January 2023)
  • Writing Ukraine Prize Book Launch, 25th of March 2023, International Poetry Day)
  • First Prize – 1000 (USD), Laureate status at Time of the Poet Republic
    plus publication in the global Anthology,
  • Second Prize 500 (USD) plus publication in the global Anthology
  • Third Prize  250(USD) plus publication in the global Anthology
  • Five Special Mentions 50 (USD) plus publication in the Global Anthology
  • Thirty(30) Judges Choices (to be included in the Writing Ukraine Global Anthology).

Good luck!


Jeffery Renard Allen

Born and raised in Chicago, Jeffery Renard Allen is the award-winning author of five books of fiction and poetry, including the celebrated novel Song of the Shank, which was a front-page review in both The New York Times Book Review and The San Francisco Chronicle. Winner of the CLMP Firecracker Award, the novel was also a Dublin LiteraryPrize nominee and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award.

Allen’s other accolades include The Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize for Fiction, The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, a grant in Innovative Literature from Creative Capital, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim fellowship, a residency at the Bellagio Center, and fellowships at The Center for Scholars and Writers, the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Studies, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Allen has sought to support emerging writers and literary culture on the African continentthrough the Pan African Literary Forum and the Jahazi Jazz and Literature Festival in Zanzibar. Now he has created Taint, an innovative online magazine that will put in work, including the staging of conferences and other events. The Taint Writer’s Workshop and Retreat will take place in Marrakesh in June 2022.

Also in 2022, Graywolf Press will publish Allen’s collection of stories Fat Time.

Allen makes his home in Johannesburg, where he is at work on several projects, including the memoir Mother Wit and Stanley Falls: Seven Beauties, a reimagining of historian George Washington Willams around his efforts to end slavery in the Congo.


Olga Stein

Olga Stein was born in Moscow, Russia. Her grandparents were Ukrainians of Jewish descent. She arrived in Canada as a child in 1975.

Stein holds a PhD in English (from York University), and is a university and college instructor. Stein teaches a variety of courses in humanities and social sciences, although her first loves are philosophy and literature. Since completing her PhD in the sociology of literature — specifically, on Canada’s Scotiabank-Giller Prize, the economics of cultural prestige, literary publishing, and contemporary Canadian fiction — she has returned to creative writing, including poetry, literary essays, and short stories. She is the non-fiction editor at WordCity Literary Magazine, a global online publication that features contributors from every continent. Stein is working on a book version of her ground-breaking thesis, The Scotiabank Giller Prize: How Canadian, and is currently completing a collection of literary essays, Reflections on the Current Moment, as well as her first poetry collection, Love Songs.

Stein had a lengthy career in both medical and literary magazine publishing. She helped found Ribosome Communications in the late 1980s, a medical publishing firm that published the Journal of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, and the Journal of Geriatrics and Aging. In 2001, Stein became the chief editor of Books in Canada, one of Canada’s oldest and most respected national book reviews. Over the course of eight years, Stein curated, edited, and produced more than 60 issues of the publication as its chief editor. She contributed hundreds of book reviews, editorials, and author interviews. She also organized and administered the annual Amazon-Books in Canada First Novel Award for seven years.

Stein is a graphic artist, with a large portfolio of logos, illustrations, and other art. She designed several magazines, as well as different iterations of Books in Canada. She did the art for many of the magazine’s covers. To this day, Stein suspects she may have missed her calling by not studying and devoting herself either to architecture or illustration.

Stein’s current research is as diverse as her writing. She teaches about love throughout the ages, and reads about what Plato, Ovid, Chaucer, and Shakespeare had to say about women, courtship, and marriage. She’s an avid reader of women’s writing, a supporter of dissidents everywhere, and a rebel at heart. Stein firmly believes in the importance of reaching out to and engaging non-academic audiences. She contributes critical essays, editorials, interviews and poems to Word City on a regular basis.

Jeff Streeby

Jeff Streeby, a Pushcart Prize nominee and a nominee for Sundress Press’ Best of the Net Anthology, holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry from New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire.  He is a frequently published mainstream poet whose work has appeared in literary journals in the US, the UK, Ireland, and Asia, including 
Contemporary Haibun Online, Haibun Today, Naugatuck River Review, Rattle, and Whiskey Island (see current publications under “Recently Published Work”). His haibun “El Paso: July” was selected by Robert Olen Butler for inclusion in The Best Small Fictions 2015 from Queen’s Ferry Press.

​He is a writing consultant for second-language academic writers working in English. He has over 30 years experience as a teacher of English language and literature at secondary and university levels. He has recently begun offering editing and consulting services to internet content creators.

Contact: ojal.associate.editor@gmail.com or at jeff.streeby@gmail.com

Since 2017, Jeff Streeby has been working with OJAL Arts Incorporated, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization registered in California and publishing as OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L) and its imprint Buttonhook Press. Streeby serves as Senior Associate Editor and is closely involved with both the journal and the press.

Jeff Streeby grew up in Sioux City, Iowa, an historic terminal market for western beef, where he worked for Waitt Cattle Company while he attended Morningside College. Later he worked in Florida and Minnesota as a groom and stableman for dressage and A-Circuit hunter-jumper trainers. He has been licensed on Thoroughbred race tracks of Nebraska and Montana as both a groom and assistant trainer. After several years of teaching in  El Paso, Texas, doing some daywork on ranches near Sierra Blanca, and boarding horses at his farm in New Mexico, Jeff and his family moved to Great Falls, Montana, where he taught English at Great Falls High School. He retired from public education in California where he taught English at Perris High School in Perris, California, and at Mt San Jacinto College in Menifee, California. He then spent three years teaching Business English in the Faculty of Arts at Assumption University of Thailand in Bangkok. 

Jeff’s works of cowboy poetry have been published in Western Horseman, Cowboy Gazette, Rope Burns and Countryline magazines as well as on several journals available on the Web.  In addition to his frequent publication in mainstream literary journals, his works have been included in the anthologies The Big Roundup, a project of Cowboypoetry.com, and in Cowboy Poetry: The Reunion, third in a series of definitive cowboy poetry anthologies published by Gibbs Smith.  You can read more of his poetry at http://www.cowboypoetry.com/jst.htm

His performances as a cowboy poet incorporate his expertise as an educator, his love of history and his passion for the English language. Jeff has also appeared in the Public Television (PBS) Series Cowboy Corral and in November 2013, on BYU Radio’s Appleseed program.       

Dr Sinyuy Geraldine

Cameroonian born Dr Sinyuy Geraldine trained as an English Language and Literature in English Teacher in the University of Yaoundé I in Cameroon. She earned her PhD in Commonwealth Literature from the said university in 2018 and currently teaches English Language and Literature in English at Government Bilingual High School, Down Town Bamenda. She is also a book review/contributing editor at WordCity Monthly online magazine and a co-editor/contributing author of the poetry anthology, Poetry in Times of Conflict (2020) and author of Music in the Wood: And Other Folktales (2020). Dr Sinyuy started writing poems in her teens and most of her poems and folktales were read and discussed on the North West Provincial Station of the Cameroon Radio and Television Cooperation Bamenda where she was often a guest writer/speaker for the programme: Literary Workshop (A Programme for Creative Writing and Literary Criticism). She Featured Storyteller on World Pulse Story Awards, May 2017; Winner of the British Council Essay Writing Competition, Yaoundé, 2007; Winner of Short Story Runner-Up Prize, Literary Workshop: CRTV Bamenda, 1998.

Some of her publications include, “Stripped” FemAsia: Asian Women’s Journal; “Invisble Barriers: Food Taboos in V. S. Naipaul and Samuel Selvon.” Tabous: Représentations, Functions et Impacts; “Migration related malnutrition among war-instigated refugee children in the northern part of Cameroon.” South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition; “Cultural Translocation in Three  Novels of V. S. Naipaul.” International Journal of English Language, Literature and Humanities. Vol. IV, Issue XII; “Journey without End: A Closer Look at V. S. Naipaul’s Fiction.” International Journal of English Language, Literature and Humanities. Vol. IV, Issue IV; “Which Other Way? Migration and Ways of Seeing in V. S. Naipaul.”  Migration, Culture and Transnational Identities: Critical Essays. Some of her poems are featured on WordCity JournalTime of the Poet RepublicAfrica Writers CaravanFor Creative Girls Magazine; WorldBeyondWaronline Series; and Fired Up Magazine. She is also a contributor for the international poetry anthology, Love Letters to Water which is yet to be released. Sinyuy is an advocate for sustainable development, does organic gardening and campaigns and trains local women to do same. She’s a volunteer at GEH orphanage Bamenda. She is currently working on her first poetry book and novel.

Cathleen Davies

Cathleen Davies is a writer, teacher, and researcher currently completing their degree at the University of East Anglia. Brought up in East Yorkshire, UK, they have taught and written in various countries, including China, Basque Country, and the UK .
Their debut collection of short stories Cheeky, Bloody Articles was published in August by 4Horsemen Publications. Their memoir And Marvel is due to be released in March 2023.
Their work has appeared in collections by Dostoyevsky Wannabes, Muswell Press, and Vagabonds, among many others.
All of their short-stories, articles and poetry can be found on their websitehere: https://cathleendavieswrit.wixsite.com/cathleendavies-com.
They also co-run Aloka, a online journal for non-native and multilingual English speakers.
They believe in peace, equality, and justice for all. 

Executive Curator of the Writing Ukraine Prize

Mbizo Chirasha

Founder of Writing Ukraine Prize, Publisher  at Time of the Poet Republic, Curator at WomaWords Literary Press, 2020 Poet in Residence of the Fictional Cafe, UNESCO-RILA Affiliate Artist (Glasgow
University School of Education). 2020 Free-Speech Fellow / Writers in Exile(PEN Germany and Foundation of Free-Speech). 2019 African Felllow for Ihraf.org. African Contributor to Bezine.com (USA). Monk Arts and Soul Magazine( UK). Author of A Letter to the President, Pilgrims of Zame. Co-Authored Whispering Woes of Ganges and Zambezi, Co-Edited Corpses of Unity, Second Name of the Earth is Peace, Street Voices (all African, German and English Anthology), Edited Voices of Africa: A Call for Freedom Anthology, a PanAfrican Ihraf based writivism Project. Mbizo Chirasha works as Festivals Live Literature Producer, Literary Arts Activism Diplomatie, Writivism Projects Curator, Visiting Editor at Large, African Writing Associate, Visiting Writer and Poet in Residence.

Art by Andrew Florides.


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