Tag: The Hal Prize

The Hal Prize is presented by the Peninsula Pulse, Door County’s independent source for news, arts, literature, and entertainment; and Write On, Door County, a nonprofit writing center and writers’ residency program.

The Hal Prize – originally the Hal Grutzmacher’s Writers Expose and Photography Jubilee – was established in 1998 by David Eliot and Tom McKenzie, co-founders of the Peninsula Pulse.

The contest was created to encourage and appreciate artistic expression through various literary forms and photography. The contest has showcased works from individuals of all ages and backgrounds – novice writers and photographers to professionals.

The Hal Prize offers prizes and publication in four categories: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and photography. Each year, judges of differing areas of expertise are chosen to read through the entries and select a first, second and third place, along with honorable mentions.

Starting in 2021, winners of the Hal Prize are printed in the new literary journal, 8142 Review.

Read more about past contests, judges and more below! Visit for announcements regarding the contest and sign up for the Hal Prize newsletter.

  • Meet the Hal Prize Winners: Dan Powers

    It’s here, hot off the press – Vol. 2 of the 8142 Review, just in time for the holidays. The Peninsula Pulse’s literary magazine contains the 37 best pieces of work out of the 686 submissions received for the 2022 Hal Prize in fiction, nonfiction, poetry and photography.  The artists are of all ages and […]

  • 2022 Hal Prize Winners Announced

    8142 Volume 2 Now Available After digging through 686 submissions of poetry, nonfiction, fiction and photography, a team of screeners and four esteemed judges have announced the winners of the 2022 Hal Prize.  These winners will be celebrated with the publication of the second volume of 8142 Review, now available for purchase at Dan […]

  • Hal Prize Draws Nearly 700 Entries

    What comes next? Thank you to everyone who submitted creative work to the 2022 Hal Prize! It was another successful year, with 686 total submissions. Now that submissions have closed, what happens next? A panel of prescreening judges who live in Door County and are skilled in their respective genres will review the submissions, and […]

  • Last Call for Hal Prize Submissions

    The Hal Prize is still accepting submissions in poetry, fiction, nonfiction and photography at The submission deadline is Sept. 16. Why submit your creative work to the Hal Prize? We’ll let some previous entrants tell you their reasons why. Below are some of the answers we received to our 2020-21 Hal Prize feedback-survey question, […]

  • Questions & Authors: Adrian Matejka, Hal Prize Poetry Judge

    Adrian Matejka grew up in Indianapolis and is the author of seven books, with a graphic novel coming out in 2023. His poetry collection The Big Smoke earned the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize in poetry. Among Matejka’s other honors are fellowships from the Academy […]

  • 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 […]

  • ‘8142 Review’ Now Available Locally

    The 8142 Review is a literary journal that contains the winning submissions to the annual Hal Prize: the Peninsula Pulse’s fiction, nonfiction, poetry and photography contest, held in partnership with Write On, Door County and Peninsula School of Art.  From 874 contest submissions, a panel of judges selected the top four works in each genre […]

  • Don’t Be a Writer Who Isn’t Read

    Test your development and gain experience by entering the Hal Prize There was a time in my life when I had no doubt what I would “be” when I grew up. I majored in English as an undergrad, went on for an M.F.A. in creative writing. I spent a good decade of my life mostly […]

  • A Visual Builder: Hal Prize photography judge Lars Topelmann

    You’ve probably seen Lars Topelmann’s photography. You might even have stopped to ponder his images for a while as you flipped through the pages of a magazine in the waiting room at your dentist’s office, or took a second glance at a billboard.  But you probably didn’t know his name, and you almost certainly didn’t […]

  • Questions & Authors: Joshua Phillip Johnson, 2022 Hal Prize Fiction Judge

    The following is an excerpt from a Door County Pulse podcast that has been condensed and edited for clarity. Listen to the full interview below. This year, Joshua Phillip Johnson will serve as the fiction judge for the Hal Prize contest. He teaches writing and literature courses at the University of Minnesota-Morris. His debut novel, […]

  • Hal Prize Judge Visits Door County June 24-25

    Joshua Phillip Johnson, fiction judge for the 2022 Hal Prize, will visit Door County for a weekend of events June 24-25. The author of The Forever Sea lives in Minnesota and teaches English and creative writing at a small university. Johnson’s first stop here will be a book signing June 24, 4-5 pm, at Novel […]

  • Questions & Authors: Angela Palm Hopkins, 2022 Hal Prize Nonfiction Judge

    Angela Palm Hopkins’ love of writing developed from her love of reading. This year she will serve as the nonfiction judge for the Hal Prize. Palm Hopkins was raised in the rural Midwest and earned a B.A. in English and a B.S. in criminal justice. Her book, Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere but Here, earned […]

  • 2022 Hal Prize Now Open

    Looking to set some writing goals for 2022? Then make the Hal Prize part of those goals!  The contest offers publication in 8142 Review, the Peninsula Pulse’s new literary periodical. First-place winners in all categories – poetry, fiction, nonfiction and photography – will receive $250 and a mug made by Clay Bay Pottery in Ellison Bay. Second […]

  • Hal Prize Winner Roger Barr Organizes Charity Reading

    Roger Barr – author and first place winner of the fiction category of the Hal Prize – continues a holiday writing tradition in St. Paul this December. For 24 years, Barr has been writing a new holiday short story about the fictional Batholomew family. The newest story, “Christmas, Like Normal” will be part of his […]

  • 2021 Hal Prize Winners Announced

    The Peninsula Pulse has announced the recipients of the 2021 Hal Prize for writing and photography. This year’s honorees were selected from the largest field of submissions in the contest’s 24-year history.  Of 874 submissions, 26 were selected as winners and honorable mentions for the 2021 Hal Prize. Those selections will be featured in a […]

  • Give the Gift of Creativity with the ‘8142 Review’

    A showcase of writing and photography is coming this Thanksgiving with the publication of the 8142 Review.  This new periodical is the home of the Hal Prize, the annual creative-writing and photography contest presented by the Peninsula Pulse and Write On, Door County. From 874 submissions, a panel of esteemed judges selected 26 works of […]

  • Support the Hal Prize Year-round

    Did you know that you can continue to support the Hal Prize year-round? It’s now part of the affiliate program on an online book retailer that supports independent bookstores. Bookshop supports indies in two ways: 10% of regular sales on are added to an earnings pool that’s divided evenly and distributed to independent […]

  • 2017 Hal Prize Winners

    Photography First Place: “Surf Sisters” by Laura Joeckel Judge’s comment: This terrific travel photograph succeeds on several levels: The nuns are captured in a non-instrusive manner and we see just enough of their facial expressions to give it life. The viewer knows that we’re in Italy by the writing on the boat. Great use of […]

  • 2021 Hal Prize Sets Submission Record

    Submissions to the 2021 Hal Prize closed Sept. 15. The annual creative writing and photography contest, now in its 23rd year, has continued to grow, and thanks to the support and enthusiasm of all entrants, the 2021 Hal Prize was a record-setting year. Submissions for 2021 totaled at 874 entries: 111 fiction, 74 nonfiction, 337 poetry […]

  • PODCAST: The 2021 Hal Prize Deadline is Coming up Fast

    Storytellers wanted! Want to get published in 25,000 copies of the Peninsula Pulse and in the inaugural 8142 Review, the new literary journal from the Peninsula Pulse and Write On, Door County?  The Hal Prize offers prizes for works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and photography. Work will be judged by a prestigious panel of writers […]