Announcing the 2023 Hal Prize Winners

The Hal Prize is finishing another year of celebrating writing and photography, with the announcement below of the winning authors and photographers – some of those Door County residents.

You’ll find the top six photography winners in this issue. The winning entries will also be printed this month in the 8142 Review, as well as future issues of the Peninsula Pulse.

Hal Prize partner Peninsula School of Art is printing and exhibiting the winning photos. A reception will take place Dec. 8, 4-5 pm, at the Art School, 3900 County Road F in Fish Creek.

Local writers served as screening judges for the writing portion of the contest for a second year in a row: Thomas Davis and Marggie Moertl (fiction); Judy Ann Ritter, Judy DuCharme and Jan Wrede  (nonfiction); and Jami Hanreddy, Carrie Sherrill and Peter Sherrill (poetry).

Finalists were sent to an esteemed panel of judges – Toya Wolfe (fiction); Edward McPherson (nonfiction); Sean Hill (poetry); and Allen Morris, who viewed every photo submission before making his selections in the photography category. 

Without further ado, here are the winning entries – and congratulations to all.


First Place

“Newlyweds in Front of a Lilac Bush” by Victoria Lynn Smith

Second Place

“Rink Rat” by Kim Suhr

Third Place
“New Boy” by Victoria Lynn Smith

Honorable Mentions

“The Sand Witch” by Jim Kroepfl

“The Log” by Dan Lanzdorf


First Place
“Angelsong” by Dr. Shaun Melarvie

Second Place
“Grand Obsessions” by Nancy Jorgenson

Third Place

“The Pumpkin Open” by Martha Bonnie

Honorable Mentions

“Passing Remembrance” by Mark Desrochers
“The Neighbors Down the Road” by Patricia Williams


First Place

“The Daughter Laments” by Lisa Vihos

Second Place
“Second Best Bed” by Yvette Viets Flaten

Third Place

“Why Are Barns Red” by Kathryn Gahl

Honorable Mentions

“Keep This Coupon” by Thomas Toerpe

“Guadalajara, December 2019” by Karen Nystrom

“Latte with a Heart” by Linda Flaherty Haltmaier

“Mirror in Mirror” by JA Sauvageau

“The Scar: for my mother” by Jennifer Priest Mitchell


Best in Show

“$n@¢K/t!m£ (i said hi)” by Samantha Olschan

Analog Alt Process

First Place: “memory_detail” by Marc Bunag

Honorable Mention: “flutter” by Leena Meyers


First Place: “Merlin” by Martha Farwell

Honorable Mentions: “Deer at Anderson Pond” by Kirk Ryan; “Great Blue Heron” by William Shewchuk; and “Hostel Dog” by Mike Chiaverina. 

Digital Manipulation

First Place: “petroglyph unleashed” by Rena Zaid

Honorable Mentions: “I have been here before” by Rena Zaid; “Illusions of Nature 2” by Carol Straubel; and “Intertwined Flowers” by Mike Chiaverina. 

Landscape & Nature

First Place: “Lift” by Emily Roedl

Honorable Mentions: “Storm Coming” by Jeffery D. Nordholm; “Snow fence in a snow storm” by Thomas Jordan; and “Quiet Creek” by Rena Zaid. 


First Place: “Post-Swim” by Remy Carmichael

Honorable Mentions: “Self Portrait Rainy Day” by Jeffery D. Nordholm; “The Long Walk After Church” by Mike Chiaverina; and “Abundance” by Rena Zaid.

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