Nick Adams Short Story Contest

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Nick Adams writing

Each year, ACM sponsors the Nick Adams Short Story Contest to celebrate the creativity and talent of student writers at ACM colleges and to highlight the excellent creative writing programs across the consortium.

The contest, named for the young protagonist of many Hemingway stories, is open to students currently enrolled at ACM colleges and awards a first prize of $1,000 to the author of the winning story.

About the Contest

The Nick Adams Short Story Contest was established in 1973 with funds from an anonymous donor to encourage fiction writing at ACM colleges. The contest is open to students currently enrolled at ACM colleges. Students must submit their entries to the English department on their home campus. See the contest guidelines for more information. A prominent writer serves as the contest’s final judge each year and selects the winning story from among the finalists. In 2023, award-winning author and creative writing educator Lan Samantha Chang served as final judge for the contest. Other past final judges have included such literary luminaries as Joyce Carol Oates, Maya Angelou, John Updike, Audrey Niffenegger, Stuart Dybek, Anne Tyler, Saul Bellow, Scott Turow, and many more. See the complete list of final judges.


Contact Michael Vertovec at 312-561-5934 or

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