The Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) sponsors the annual Nick Adams Short Story Contest, with a prize of $1,000 for the best story by a student at an ACM college (which includes Carleton). All students in good standing, including first year students, may participate in the contest.

The prize, named for the young hero of many Hemingway stories, was given by an anonymous donor to encourage young writers who are students at ACM colleges. The results of the competition will be announced in mid-March.

Natalie Marsh ’21 was the 2021 winner.

Catherine Johnson ’20 was the 2019 winner.

Claire Seymour ’20 was the 2018 winner.

Sarah Olson ’15 was the 2013 winner.

Deadline: Noon on Monday, January 24, 2022

Rules and Guidelines:

  1. Each entrant may submit up to two stories to the Carleton English Department. The stories need not have been written for the competition, but must not have been previously published off-campus or reached finalist status in this contest.
  2. Each manuscript is limited to 10,000 words.
  3. Each submission should have a cover sheet that includes the title of the story and word count, the author’s name, email address, phone number, and current address (campus or home). The cover sheet must be separate so the story can be judged anonymously.
  4. The title of the story (but not the author’s name) must also appear on the first page of the story itself.
  5. Stories should be emailed to the English department’s Administrative Assistant, Solvei RobertsonPlease attach stories as Microsoft Word documents, with the title of your story as the file name. Do not include your name in the file name of the document.
  6. Contestants will be notified if their stories will be submitted to the ACM Office in Chicago for further competition. The Carleton English Department can select as many as four stories to send to the ACM; a small committee of faculty from ACM colleges will select the semi-finalists. The winner will be chosen by a notable author outside the consortium. Past judges have included such writers as Saul Bellow, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike, Anne Tyler and Maya Angelou.