Above: Soren Eversoll won the 2022 Nick Adams Short Story Contest for the story “Jean-Pierre Melville is Dead.”
Final judge Steve Berry, historical preservation advocate and bestselling author of the Cotton Malone series, praised Eversoll’s use of structure and plot, adding that another quality made the story stick in his head. “It had resonance. A magic word. Something all writers strive for. It’s a tough concept to imagine and even harder to create, but the writer of this story accomplished both,” Berry said.
Eversoll, who is from St. Paul, Minnesota, is pursuing an English major and creative writing minor at Carleton College. “I began writing fiction myself around the fifth grade by making mystery stories I would then give to my friends and family,” explained Eversoll, a lifelong reader. In addition to short stories, he is passionate about film and would like to further explore screenwriting and playwriting.
“Before attending Carleton, I’d never had the chance to have my work minutely assessed in a classroom environment—this unique focus was invaluable in getting me to start writing again and working to make my stories as thoughtfully considered as possible,” noted Eversoll. “The chance to meet one-on-one with my professors was also incredibly helpful in forcing me to defend certain decisions and reexamine areas that weren’t as effective. I’m also thankful for their broader advice in pursuing a passion for writing and constantly asking myself why during the creative process.”
All five finalists were intriguing stories that tickled my imagination, made me think, and, above all, entertained.”
— Final Judge Steve Berry
Forty-two stories were entered in the 2022 Nick Adams Contest through the English departments at ACM colleges. Greg Smith, Professor of English at Carleton College, and Sequoia Nagamatsu, Associate Professor of English at St. Olaf College, served as initial readers for the contest, selecting five finalists from which Berry selected the winner.
The four other stories selected by the faculty judges were “My Treadmill is an Angel” by Léo Remke-Rochard from Beloit College, “No Shadows in the Extremities of Light” by Skye Gulledge from Carleton College, “Anixi” by Andriana Taratsas from Carleton College, and “Last Child” by Elizabeth George from Knox College.
Above, from left: Finalists Elizabeth George, Skye Gulledge, Léo Remke-Rochard, and Andriana Taratsas
“All five finalists were intriguing stories that tickled my imagination, made me think, and, above all, entertained,” said Berry.
“As we celebrate the milestone of the 50th Nick Adams Short Story Contest, the ACM congratulates winner Soren Eversoll and all of this year’s finalists. We hope this achievement is only one of many milestones to come in their writing careers. We also express our thanks to final judge Steve Berry and faculty judges Professors Nagamatsu and Smith, whose contributions helped make this year’s contest a success,” said Sonya Malunda, President of the ACM.
The Nick Adams Short Story Contest has been held annually since 1973 by the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, a consortium of 14 private liberal arts colleges. The competition awards a first prize of $1,000, established through a generous gift from an anonymous donor to encourage fiction writing at ACM colleges. The ACM consortial office is located in Chicago.