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2005 Contest

Anne Guidry named winner of the 2005 ACM Nick Adams Short Story Contest

Press release May 27, 2005

Anne Guidry, a sophomore at Carleton College, has been named the winner of the 33rd annual ACM Nick Adams Short Story Contest. Ms. Guidry's story, "The Billie Holiday," was selected from the 40 stories submitted by students from ACM colleges.

Professors Anne Mamary of Monmouth College and Antonia Logue of the University of Chicago served as initial faculty readers for the contest, selecting nine finalists from which the final judge made her choice.

S.L. Wisenberg, author of numerous short stories and essays, 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. Guidry's story, Ms. Wisenberg wrote:

This story about a Mexican immigrant family portrays in detail the interior life of the young mother of the family, as well as the life of the community. We are privy to her uncertain grasp of English, her confusion about unfamiliar city streets, her success in learning to drive, and the family's struggle to make the U.S. their home. The story provides the texture of real life with rich details and carefully (but not self-consciously) created scenes. The title is based on the family's misunderstanding, and the author manages to convey this without making fun of the characters. Mostly, this story is a triumph of subtlety. The story could easily become melodramatic, but instead it lightly touches upon serious issues, ending with real feelings-sorrow, connection, and confusion-that the main character can't quite understand herself. It is written with surety and wonderful flow.

Anne Guidry is a recently declared English major -- with a focus on Comparative Literature, including French and Spanish -- at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. Currently in her second year, Ms. Guidry has not yet taken a creative writing class at Carleton, although she hopes to do so in the coming year. She attended two summer writing programs while still in high school, The Iowa Young Writers' Studio and The Sewanee Young Writers' Conference. Ms. Guidry comments, "I've been very lucky to meet and learn from some extremely inspirational writers, including, above all, my mom."

  • Text of "The Billie Holiday" by Anne Guidry. (Note: This story is reprinted with permission. Reproduction of this story without the express, written permission of the author is prohibited.)

In addition to Ms. Guidry's winning story, an honorable mention was awarded to three stories this year: "Apple Cheeks" by Nina Budabin McQuown of Beloit College, "Seed" by Katherine Standefer of Colorado College, and "Sylva" by Kelly Hebrank of Colorado College.

Of all nine finalists, Ms. Wisenberg noted, "The quality of the stories was amazing. I wouldn't have thought this was undergraduate work."

2005 Finalists

The nine finalists and their stories were:

Sarah Adair Frank, University of Chicago -- "Tarpaulin"
Anne Guidry, Carleton College -- "The Billie Holiday" (Winning Story)
Kelly Hebrank, Colorado College -- "Sylva" (Honorable Mention)
Al Keefe, Knox College -- "The Mustelidae"
Adam Krause, Knox College -- "Cobblestone"
Nina Budabin McQuown, Beloit College -- "Apple Cheeks" (Honorable Mention)
JoAnna Novak, Knox College -- "Jane"
Katherine Standefer, Colorado College -- "Seed" (Honorable Mention)
Rebecca Thornton, Lake Forest College -- "Words"