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2004 Contest

Mary Parker of Grinnell College Named 2004 Winner for Her Story "Entropy"

Press release April 28, 2004

Mary Parker, a sophomore at Grinnell College, has been named the winner of the 32nd annual ACM Nick Adams Short Story Contest. Ms. Parker's story, "Entropy," was selected from the 45 stories submitted by students from ACM colleges.

Professors Leslie Hankins of Cornell College and Jim Dawes of Macalester College served as initial faculty readers for the contest, selecting the six finalists from which the final judge made her choice.

Elizabeth Crane, a novelist and author of numerous short stories, served as the final judge for the contest this year, which carries with it a first prize of $1,000, made possible through a generous gift from an anonymous donor.

In commenting on Ms. Parker's story, Ms. Crane wrote:

I found "Entropy" to be extremely moving in its portrait of a relationship in the face of this crisis, with finely drawn characters and written in a fresh way with the scientific focus -- it can be difficult to write in second person successfully, but I feel this author has done a great job. My congratulations to the author.

Mary Parker is an English and French double major at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. Currently in her second year, Ms. Parker originally wrote this story during her senior year of high school for a creative writing class at the University of Arkansas.

After she graduates from Grinnell, Ms. Parker plans to go to graduate school and eventually to teach English, possibly abroad. She comments, "I can't remember a time when I wasn't interested in writing -- I composed my first 'poem' at the age of two or three and my parents recited it for years afterward." Ms. Parker would like to thank Erin Shirl, Martha McNair, and her family for their support.

  • Text of "Entropy" by Mary Parker. (Note: This story is reprinted with permission. Reproduction of this story without the express, written permission of the author is prohibited.) 

2004 Finalists

Peter Likarish, Grinnell College -- "Kitsune" (Honorable Mention)
Danika Leslie Sasha Maddocks, Macalester College -- "You're Breaking Up"
Mary Parker, Grinnell College -- "Entropy" (Winning Story)
Maggie Queeney, Knox College -- "The Deaf Hear Like This"
Laura Schechter, The College of the University of Chicago -- "The Dead Space"
Jennifer Walton-Wetzel, Macalester College -- "The Armors"