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Nick Adams Short Story Contest

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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Since the Nick Adams Short Story Contest began in 1973, our students have won more first place and finalist awards than those from any of the other colleges in the contest -- the 14 members of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest.

Named after a protagonist in several of Ernest Hemingway's stories, the competition involves three phases:

  • Students at each campus submit stories to their own faculty, who select a maximum of four entries.
  • Entries from all the campuses are judged by a panel of ACM faculty, who select finalists.
  • The finalists are then judged by a guest writer from outside the ACM, who selects first place winners and honorable mentions.

Judges have included Saul Bellow, Joyce Carol Oates, Maya Angelou, John Updike, Jane Smiley, Stuart Dybek and, in 2011, Binnie Kirshenbaum.

Below are charts of the cumulative totals for ACM member colleges and a year-by-year roster of our finalists and first prize winners. Read about the professional success of Nick Adams winners.

Knox undergraduate writers have received distinguished fellowships from top graduate writing programs, including the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, Stanford University, New York University, Brown University, and Indiana University. Our alumni have been winners of the American Book Award and Pulitzer Prize, as well as editors of Simon & Schuster, Doubleday, and various American university presses.

Nick Adams Short Story Competition 1973-2015

School First Prize Winners
Knox College 12 54
St. Olaf College 6 27
Macalester College 5 25
Beloit College 3 25
Colorado College 3 23
Lawrence University 3 15
Grinnell College 3 17
Carleton College 3 15
Lake Forest College 1 8
University of Chicago 1 8
Coe College 1 7
Cornell College 1 5
Monmouth College 1 3
Luther College 0 2
Ripon College 0 0


Knox College: Nick Adams Finalists and First Prize Winners

Year Student Story Title

Award: Finalist;
inner of First Prize

2015 Evelyn Coffin Proudly, Unburied W
2014 Alex Zimay Infinite W
2014 Kelly Clare What Remains, These F
2013 Julia Ohman The Mangroves F
2012 Kate Barrett Fishes and Loaves F
2012 Julia Ohman When the Leaving is Done F
2011 Adam Sirgany Andrew at Eid W
2011 Julia Ohman The Zoo F
2011 Sam Martone Luggage Lost F
2009 Sam Martone Hangman F
2009 Adam Soto A Collective Approach F
2008 Myra Thompson Recollection W
2007 Sarah Jane Wylder The Book of Indian Birds F
2007 Kate Schlachter Outside Johannesburg F
2005 JoAnna Novak Jane F
2005 Al Keefe The Mustelidae F
2005 Adam Krause Cobblestone F
2004 Maggie Queeney The Deaf Hear Like This F
2003 Schonali Rebello Coconuts F
2003 Ross Kelly Templeton Appeared Stoic W
2002 Eileen G’Sell What You Can't Have F
2002 David Karczynski Still Lives F
2001 Elaine Farrugia At Auction: Items Offered by
Hannah Elise Montgomery
2001 William Boast Debt F
2000 Shannon Latimer Second F
2000 Jen Tynes Our Hope F
1999 Kimberly M. Pokin Concessions F
1998 Leah Chamberlain Eleven year old, running F
1997 Karen Schluckebier Pigeons Blink F
1996 Aaron Cohn Chrystal's Room W
1995 Josh Stevens Looking for Swanny W
1995 Josh Stevens Keepin Em Out F
1993 Josh Stevens A Kiss on the Forehead F
1989 Tracey L. Mitchell The Life of Significant Soil F
1989 Stacey L. Johnson Masks F
1987 Paul Andrew E. Smith A Story Like Alice F
1987 John Sjaastad Hunting the Grey Owl F
1985 Patricia Bereck Hunger F
1984 Catherine T. Knisely She Was Leaving F
1983 Kim Hastings Rosehead W
1982 Sheila McIntosh Waiting for Michael W
1982 Gail Faulds Nichols Under the Ice F
1982 Dixie Seagraves Last Looks F
1981 Matt Devens Business F
1980 John Kowal Swing Shift F
1980 Anne Johnson Sonia Rose W
1978 Sue Rowe Housecleaning W
1978 Patricia Anglin The Rocking Horse F
1977 Robert Glinert Syndrome F
1975 William R. Darmer Pilgrims F
1975 John Hughes Running Away From Home F
1974 Nora LeBlanc Oratorio for Madame Bovary F
1974 Barbara Nuhn It’s All Over Now Except for the Beginning F
1973 Judith Woll Alleys: Summer, 1972 F
1973 John Hughes The Magazine Section F

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Printed on Thursday, April 25, 2024