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2008 Contest

Myra Thompson named winner of 2008 ACM Nick Adams Short Story Contest

Press release April 18, 2008

Myra ThompsonMyra Thompson, a senior at Knox College, has been named the winner of the 36th annual ACM Nick Adams Short Story Contest. Ms. Thompson's story "Recollection" was selected from the 44 stories submitted by students from ACM colleges.

Stuart Dybek, acclaimed author of short story collections centered on life in Chicago and Distinguished Writer in Residence at Northwestern University, served as the final judge for the contest this year.

Professors Gregory Hewett of Carleton College and Charles Taliaferro of St. Olaf College served as initial faculty readers for the contest, selecting six finalists from which Mr. Dybek selected the winner and honorable mention.

The Nick Adams Contest carries with it a first prize of $1,000, made possible through a generous gift from an anonymous donor.

In commenting on Ms. Thompson's story, Mr. Dybek wrote:

"'Recollection' is a mature, deeply imagined, convincingly realized story. Its credibility comes not only from the writer's exemplary sense of detail about life in Russia, but also from an equally exemplary empathetic rendering of the lives of its characters -- their psychology, their ethnicity, their class, and their sense of mortality. The allied themes of aging and memory are powerfully conveyed."

Myra Thompson, a double major in Creative Writing and Russian at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, graduated in Spring 2008 and recently received a Fulbright grant to write short stories this year in Russia, the setting for "Recollection."

Although she began just over two years ago, Ms. Thompson has always wanted to write fiction, noting "I spent my childhood in the best apprenticeship I can imagine for a writer: reading, observing, and daydreaming." Ms. Thompson would like to thank her family for giving her "stories and patience," her professors for giving her "expectations and deadlines," and God for giving her "language and hope."

Text of Myra Thompson's "Recollection" (Note: This story is reprinted with permission. Reproduction of this story without the express, written permission of the author is prohibited.)

Honorable mention awarded to Iris G. Garcia

In addition to Ms. Thompson's winning story, an honorable mention was awarded to the story "Ten Occasions on Which Idalina Cried" by Iris G. Garcia of Coe College.

Mr. Dybek commented that

"The story's structure is ingenious. The tight chapters, charmingly anecdotal at first, manage by the story's conclusion to seem novelistic. This is a classic case of the whole being more than the sum of its parts. The ten 'occasions' of the story, convey both a family history and the ethos of growing up Hispanic. The writer's deep affection for the characters and the culture is compellingly rendered."

Ms. Garcia was also awarded an honorable mention in the Nick Adams Short Story Contest in 2006.

2008 Finalists

 Iris G. Garcia, Coe College -- "Ten Occasions on Which Idaline Cried" Honorable mention
Kristin Ginger, Carleton College -- "James"
Megan Metzger, Beloit College -- "The Pickle-Eater"
Katie Murchison, St. Olaf College -- "The Mountain of Enkai"
Vincent Poturica, Carleton College -- "bus journals"
Myra Thompson, Knox College -- "Recollection" Winning Story