by Sophie Hilker ’20
Every year, since 1973, the Associated Colleges of the Midwest sponsors the Nick Adams Short Story Contest. The contest, named for the young protagonist of many Hemingway stories, was first launched thanks to the funding of an anonymous donor who wished to encourage fiction writing at ACM schools. As a participating college, Macalester selects up to four finalists annually to compete for the top prize of $1000. All finalists are judged independently by a nationally renowned, professional writer. Author and lawyer Scott Turrow served as the final judge for this year’s contest and awarded Macalester English’s own Bea Chihak ’20 Honorable Mention for her story Las Hermanas Grimm, and Ruby Elliott Zuckerman ’20 with first prize for her story scott disick sucks. This monumental win marks the first time in over a decade that a Macalester student has won the contest.
Department chair Andrea Kaston Tange spoke of both students and their stories during her End of the Year Award Announcements:
“Bea Chihak, whose other accomplishments include an internship for Cow Tipping Press and work in Disability Studies that one faculty member has described as “groundbreaking.” She hopes to continue working at the intersection of disability rights and the arts. Her honorable mention story, Las Hermanas Grimm pushes back against the gendered cliches that abound in traditional fairy tales. Its narrators are a pair of friends, whose reimagining of the story of Hansel and Gretel reminds readers that this is a tale of girls and their appetites, and offers pointed commentary on body image, friendship, and the power of the stories we write for ourselves.”
“Ruby Elliott Zuckerman, who has excelled both at academic and creative forms of writing, and has a dual degree in English and Studio Art. In addition to some impressive internships, she was most recently hired to work at the renowned Yiddish Book Center in New York this summer. Her ACM-winning story, scott disick sucks, moves back and forth between a narrator’s own story and the unfolding lives of the Kardashians on television, in ways that are alternately hilarious and deeply poignant.”
Congratulations on your well-deserved recognition, Bea and Ruby! Read more about what motivates these two writers and their Macalester English experience on the ACM Nick Adams Short Story Contest webpage.