OBJECTIVE The aim of the study was to establish an effective prognostic nomogram for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma after radical esophagectomy followed by adjuvant chemotherapy in those previously untreated patients. METHODS The clinicopathological data from 328 patients who underwent radical esophagectomy followed by adjuvant chemotherapy or not at the Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital between 2006 and 2010 were retrospectively studied. Nomograms which predicted survival of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma were established based on the Cox proportional hazards regression model. To determine its predictive accuracy and discriminatory capacity, the concordance index and calibration curve were calculated after bootstrapping in the internal validation. An external validation of 76 patients in 2011 was prospectively studied at the same institution. To verify the performance of the nomogram, the comparison between the nomogram and Tumor-Node-Metastasis staging system was conducted. RESULTS The 5-year overall survival was 43.1% in the primary cohort. Based on multivariate analyses, five independent prognostic variables including gender, tumor length, T stage, N stage and chemotherapy cycles were selected to build the nomograms to predict disease-free survival and overall survival. The concordance index of the nomogram to predict overall survival was 0.71 (95% confidence interval, 0.63-0.79), which was superior to the predictive power of Tumor-Node-Metastasis staging system (0.64) in the primary cohort. Meanwhile, the calibration curve showed good accuracy between predictive and actual overall survival. In the validation cohort, the concordance index (0.77) and calibration plot displayed favorable performances. The other nomogram to predict disease-free survival also performed well. CONCLUSIONS The prognostic nomogram provided individualized risk estimate of survival in patients after esophagectomy followed by adjuvant chemotherapy.