Student writers at ACM colleges with a story to tell have the opportunity to compete for a $1,000 prize in the Nick Adams Short Story Contest. The contest, now in its 39th year, was named for the young hero of many Hemingway stories. The prize was established by a gift from an anonymous donor.
A professional writer serves as final judge and selects the winning story. Alex Kotlowitz, the award-winning author of Never a City So Real and There Are No Children Here, was the final judge in 2010. Other prominent writers who have served as judges for the Nick Adams Contest have included Maya Angelou, Saul Bellow, Larry Heinemann, Bharati Mukherjee, Joyce Carol Oates, Audrey Niffenegger, John Updike, and Stuart Dybek.
“Hangmen” by St. Olaf College student Andrew Watt was the winner of the 2010 contest. Watt’s story is “a gripping tale,” Kotlowitz commented. “The prose is spare and vivid, giving the tale a sense of immediacy, urgency, really.”
Jennifer Easler, also a student at St. Olaf College, received an honorable mention for her story “Breaks.” Both stories, as well as winning and honorable mention stories from other years, are posted on the Nick Adams Short Story Contest webpage.
Only students at ACM colleges are eligible for the contest, and they can enter by submitting their stories to the English department at their college. Stories need not have been written especially for the competition, but they cannot have been previously published off-campus.
Each department will select the four best stories to send to the ACM office, and a small committee of faculty drawn from colleges throughout the consortium will select the finalists.
Entries for the 2011 contest must arrive at the ACM office, from the colleges’ English departments, no later than March 4, 2011. For more information about on-campus submission deadlines and contest guidelines, students should contact the chair of their college’s English department.