Peter Geye, a novelist and former editor of Western Michigan University’s literary journal, Third Coast, will serve as the final judge for this year’s Nick Adams Short Story Contest. Geye is the author of two novels, The Lighthouse Road (2012) and Safe from the Sea (2010), both of which are set on the shores of Lake Superior in northern Minnesota.
Now in its 41st year, ACM’s annual writing contest was established with funds from an anonymous donor to encourage the creative impulse of students at ACM colleges. A $1,000 prize is awarded for the winning story, which is selected from among a set of finalists by the final judge, who is a professional writer.
Geye’s debut novel, Safe from the Sea, won both the inaugural Indie Lit Award for Fiction and the Northeastern Minnesota Book Award for Fiction in 2010. Colleen Mondor, reviewing Safe from the Sea for Bookslut, wrote that it “is small in scope but substantial, on all levels, in its impact. It is a thing of beauty; a lesson in the ineffable power of story to take us out of ourselves and bring us to a place we never knew but recognize all the same.”
The New York Journal of Books noted that Geye “is a gifted storyteller…. He also excels in creating characters who are ordinary and exceptional at the same time – high praise for any author. The characters in Safe from the Sea are maturely-crafted.”
In a starred Booklist review, Bridget Thoreson says, The Lighthouse Road “brings the wilderness of northern Minnesota … to crackling, thundering life. Handled less skillfully, Geye’s emphasis on one primary trait in his characters – their intense longing for somewhere to belong and, at the same time, somewhere to be free – might come off as one-dimensional, but here the story and its people achieve remarkable emotional resonance.”
The Lighthouse Road by Peter Geye
Library Journal highly recommended The Lighthouse Road, remarking, “with spare realism, Geye puts a fresh spin on a familiar tale, rendering a powerful portrayal of family bonds in an era long past.”
Geye received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota, an MFA from the University of New Orleans, and a PhD from Western Michigan University, where he also taught creative writing. He lives in his hometown of Minneapolis with his wife and three young children. For more information, visit Peter Geye’s website.
Geye joins an illustrious group of writers who have served as final judge for the Nick Adams Contest over the years, including Audrey Niffenegger, Larry Heinemann, Sara Paretsky, Antonya Nelson, Maya Angelou, John Updike, and many more.
Students at ACM colleges are eligible for the contest and submit stories to their college’s English department. A small committee of ACM faculty selects six stories as finalists, which are forwarded to the final judge. The results of the 2013 contest will be announced in mid-March.