The Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) sponsors the annual Nick Adams Short Story Contest, which offers a prize of $1000 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 of ACM colleges. The results of the competition will be announced in mid-March, and the prize will be awarded to the winner who will be invited to the ACM Student Symposium in April.

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 27, 2020

Rules and Guidelines:

  1. Each entrant may submit up to two stories to the Carleton English Department. The stories need not have been written especially 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, along with the author’s name, email address, phone number, and current address (campus or home). When printed, 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 text of the story itself.
  5. Stories should be emailed to the English department’s Administrative Assistant, Meggan Clapp.  Please attach stories as Microsoft Word documents.* Contestants will be notified if their stories will be submitted to the ACM Office in Chicago for further competition.
  6. The Carleton English Department is authorized to select as many as four stories to send to the ACM office in Chicago; a small committee of faculty drawn from colleges throughout the consortium will then select the semi-finalists. The winner will be chosen by a professional writer. Past judges have included such writers as Saul Bellow, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike, Anne Tyler and Maya Angelou.

*NOTE: Stories should be Microsoft Word documents rather than PDFs in case we need to correct the cover page or page 1 of the story itself.