Yuri Shevelov Prize

The Yuri Shevelov Prize was founded in 2013. It is annually granted to Ukrainian writers for fictional and scientific essays published during the previous year. The Prize is named after Yuri Shevelov who established modern Ukrainian essayism, and praises contribution into the genre’s inherent values: freedom of thought and exquisite style.

Founders of the Prize:

– PEN Ukraine
– Kyiv Mohyla Business School
– Dukh i Litera Publishing House
– Judaica Center
– Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute

Terms and conditions

Candidates for the Prize can be nominated by Ukrainian and foreign cultural institutions, as well as research centers, creative associations and individuals.

Eligible works include literary or academic essays (non-fiction) by Ukrainian authors – a book or a collection – published in print within the calendar year. Note that essay is a genre of syncretic literary or a combination of literary and academic form representing views of an author.

Entries are accepted annually from August 15 to October 15.

Each work may enter the competition for the Prize only once.


The Prize jury consists – apart from representatives of the founding organizers – of writers, critics, academics, and three preceding winners of the Yuri Shevelov Prize.

Selection procedure

The winner of the Prize is selected in three stages:

1. The first stage results in formation of the long list out of submitted editions provided these works correspond with the technical requirements for the award. The long list is announced no later than November 1;
2. Within the second stage, judges vote for the shortlist, which is further announced a week prior to the awards ceremony, on December 10;
3. At the third stage, members of the jury by anonymous voting select the laureate of Prize, whose name is announced at the awards ceremony on December 17, on Yuri Shevelov’s birthday.

The Prize Laureate receives the Bronze Angel statuette, as well as financial reward and the laureate’s diploma. The nominees receive the nominees’ diplomas and the collection of ten volumes from the Dukh i Litera Publishing House.

Special honors

In 2020 within the frameworks of the Yuri Shevelov Prize we introduced two special honors.

The Jury’s Special Honor for contribution to development and promotion of Ukrainian essayism. It will be awarded to:

– Ukrainian authors for their essayistic works in general;
– foreign authors the works of which are translated into Ukrainian;
– Ukrainian authors writing in other languages;
– literary critics analyzing and promoting essayism;
– publishers and editors of periodicals actively publishing essayistic works.

UA: Radio Culture Special Honor for excellency and innovation in the genre of essay, as well as adaptation of the text to the radio format. The winning essayist in this nomination will be granted a radio version of the text with its broadcast live on UA: Radio Culture. The winner will be selected by the group of experts consisting of Radio’s editors, producers and journalists.

Yuri Shevelov Prize Laureates:

2013 – Taras Prokhasko (One and the Same) and Andriy Portnov (Stories for Domestic Use)
2014 – Kostiantyn Moskalets (Flashes)
2015 – Oleksandr Boichenko (More or Less)
2016 – Vakhtang Kebuladze (Tangles of Fate)
2017 – Andriy Lyubka (Saudade)
2018 – Volodymyr Yemolenko (Volatile Ideologies)
2019 – Diana Klochko (65 Ukrainian Masterpieces: Recognized and Unheard)
2020 – Taras Lyuty (Culture of Lure and Resistance)

The Jury’s Special Honors:

2019 – Volodymyr Panchenko for a notable contribution to Ukrainian essayism
2020 – Oksana Zabuzhko for a contribution to Ukrainian essayism and promotion of Yuri Shevelov’s heritage

UA: Radio Culture Special Honor:

2020 – Vasyl Makhno for “Along the Ocean on a Bicycle”

The 2020 Prize jury:

Оla Hnatiuk, Vice President of PEN Ukraine
Andriy Kurkov, President of PEN Ukraine
Oleksandr Savruk, Director of the Kyiv-Mohyla Business School
Oleh Kotsyuba, literary scholar, Manager of Publications at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute
Leonid Finberg, Editor-in-Chief of the Dukh i Litera Publishing House
Tamara Hundorova, literary critic, corresponding member of NASU (Institute of Literature)
Eleonora Solovei, literary scholar
Andriy Lyubka, writer, the 2017 Yuri Shevelov Prize Laureate
Volodymyr Yermolenko, writer, philosopher, journalist, the 2018 Yuri Shevelov Prize Laureate
Diana Klochko, art scholar, the 2019 Yuri Shevelov Prize Laureate
Tetyana Teren, journalist, Vice President of PEN Ukraine