Hal Prize Submission Deadline Is Sept. 16

Meet our judges, and learn what they look for in short stories, nonfiction, poetry and photography

Now is the time to gather up your creative work because the Sept. 16 submission deadline for the 25th Hal Prize is almost upon us. We’re accepting submissions in poetry, fiction, nonfiction and photography, and the winning works will be published in the second issue of 8142 Review, released this year in November.

The Hal Prize is presented by the Peninsula Pulse, in collaboration with Write On, Door County and Peninsula School of Art.

A panel of prescreening judges who live in Door County and are skilled in their respective genres will review the submissions, and those that pass this initial screen will then be forwarded to our 2022 contest judges: Adrian Matejka, poetry; Angela Palm Hopkins, nonfiction; Joshua Philip Johnson, fiction; and Lars Topelmann, photography. 

Learn more about our judges below.

Submit to the Hal Prize

Deadline: Sept. 16
Categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Photography
Prizes: Publication and cash prizes

Adrian Matejka
Poetry Judge

Matejka is the author of six books, most recently a mixed-media book inspired by Funkadelic, Standing on the Verge & Maggot Brain, as well as a collection of poems, Somebody Else Sold the World. His poetry collection The Big Smoke was a finalist for the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize in poetry. Other honors include fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, Guggenheim Foundation, Lannan Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts and Rockefeller Foundation, plus a Simon Fellowship from United States Artists. Matejka is the Ruth Lilly Professor of Poetry at Indiana University-Bloomington and was Indiana’s poet laureate in 2018-19. In 2022, he was named the new editor of Poetry Magazine.

“All I’m interested in is poems that are well written and have a pronounced point of view and have something to say. I don’t want people to write poems like I write, but poems like they write. So it’s all about perspective and something that is well crafted. Doesn’t matter what it’s about, what style it’s in – all that matters is that it’s been done with care.”

Angela Palm Hopkins
Nonfiction Judge

Palm Hopkins is the author of Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere but Here, which was short-listed for the Vermont Book Award and the Indiana Author Award/Emerging Author Award, an Indie Next selection, winner of the 2014 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, a Kirkus Best Book of 2016 and a Powerful Memoir by Powerful Women selected by Oprah. She has taught at numerous creative-writing workshops and classes around the country.

“I really believe in going with your gut on what you think works and what weird thing are you doing that maybe, you know, isn’t exactly a formulaic approach to an essay, but that you feel really represents the point you’re trying to convey. I love the relationship between form and function. I’d really encourage people to think about that and how that’s working for them.”

Joshua Phillip Johnson
Fiction Judge

Johnson teaches English and creative writing at the University of Minnesota-Morris. His debut novel, The Forever Sea, came out in early 2021. The sequel, The Endless Song, is set to be released in January.

“What often catches me is a story that knows what it’s trying to do – there is kind of a whiff of intentionality. A writer who knows that voice is their strong suit. I think stories that lean into complexity and find something there. A story that doesn’t need to be tied up neatly with a bow – stories that are OK with ambiguity.”

Lars Topelmann
Photography Judge

Topelmann grew up in Ephraim, graduated from Gibraltar High School and studied photography in college, graduating from MATC in Milwaukee with an A.A.S. and later from Ohio University in Athens with a B.F.A. He’s worked in Chicago and Portland, Oregon, where he shot numerous award-winning campaigns for clients such as Nike, Adidas, Converse, Visa, Audi, Nissan and Ray Ban. After 27 years, he returned to Door County in 2018 with his wife, Monique. 

“Visual impact is number one. What am I looking at here? Does it make an impact? Then you go back and refine it in the second pass. Is it something I haven’t seen before? If it’s anything that’s common, it’s got to be a new look, or a more interesting composition.”