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.

  • Hal Prize Deadline is Sept. 15

    Last days to enter Door County’s premier writing and photography contest The deadline to submit writing and photography for the Hal Prize is coming fast. Writers, poets and photographers have until Sept. 15 to submit works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and photography to the 23rd edition of the prize, presented by the Peninsula Pulse and […]

  • The Accidental Poet: A Q&A with Hal Prize poetry judge Mark Wunderlich

    Though Mark Wunderlich calls the East Coast home, his poetry often conjures images of the Midwest he grew up in: the farms, the snow, the neighbors and the many other people and places that we who call it home are very familiar with. Within this setting, he tackles questions about life and death, the human […]

  • Mark the Date!: Sept. 15 is deadline for Hal Prize for writing and photography

    Do you have a story to tell?  Take your chance 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.  Now in its 23rd year, the Hal Prize offers prizes for works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry […]

  • Finding Your Own Fiction: Q&A with Hal Prize fiction judge Lan Samantha Chang

    Lan Samantha Chang knows a thing or two about fiction, about writing. This Appleton native has made her way from the halls of Yale, to New York City’s bustling publishing scene, to the hallowed classrooms of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she is currently the director. (If you aren’t familiar with the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, […]

  • Searching for a Meaningful Moment: A Q&A with 2021 Hal Prize Photography Judges Coburn and Tad Dukehart

    You’ve likely seen Tad Dukehart’s name in the pages of the Peninsula Pulse, most notably for his photos of fire calls and county events. But before he retired to Ephraim and began capturing the county’s history, he spent 40 years recording history in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. — from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have […]

  • A Steward of Truth: A Q&A with 2021 Hal Prize nonfiction judge Faith Adiele

    Faith Adiele turns truth into art – her truth, her stories. She tells of growing up American with Nordic and Nigerian heritage, traveling to Thailand and becoming its first Black Buddhist nun, dealing with a diagnosis of fibroids while pursuing her graduate degree in Iowa, and trekking across the mountains of Lesotho in South Africa […]

  • Hal Prize Announces Photography Judges

    The Hal Prize organizers are excited to welcome back Coburn Dukehart as a 2021 photography judge, but this year, her father, Tad Dukehart, will join her to create a father-daughter judging team. Coburn has spent almost 20 years pursuing the craft of photojournalism and multimedia storytelling. She’s the digital and multimedia director for the Wisconsin […]

  • 2021 Hal Prize Judges Announced

    The organizers of the Hal Prize are excited to announce the annual contest’s poetry, fiction and nonfiction judges. Mark Wunderlich will serve as the 2021 poetry judge. His first book, The Anchorage, was published in 1999 and earned the Lambda Literary Award. He has also received the Writers at Work Award, Jack Kerouac Prize and […]

  • Hal Prize Extends Submission Deadline

    Changes to the Hal Prize creative writing and photography contest are coming in 2021. Typically, entries must be submitted by May, and contest winners are announced in August. This year, submissions will be accepted until Sept. 15, and winners will be announced in November. Announcements of the judges and more will be coming for the […]

  • 2020 Hal Prize Recipients Receive Mug

    Instead of a certificate or trophy or high-five, first-place winners in the Hal Prize competition receive a beautiful mug that’s custom made by Clay Bay Pottery. This year’s design features birch trees on a blue background, with a 2020 Hal Prize banner. Submissions are now open for the 2021 Hal Prize contest. To submit entries, […]

  • 2020 Hal Prize Photography Winners

    Coburn Dukehart, Photography Unlike most of the recent Hal Prize judges, 2020 photography judge Coburn Dukehart has a history in Door County – a family history. One of her great-grandfathers began coming to Door County during the 1900s, and ever since, Ephraim has been her family’s spot – both as a place to vacation and […]

  • 2020 Hal Prize Poetry Winners

    2020 Poetry Judge Ed Bok Lee, Poetry “Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.”  Ed Bok Lee – the 2020 Hal Prize poetry judge – uses this quote by Novalis to explain why he started to write poetry.  Lee is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Mitochondrial Night. The son of North […]

  • 2020 Hal Prize Nonfiction Winners

    2020 Nonfiction Judge David McGlynn, Nonfiction David McGlynn is the author of three books: One Day You’ll Thank Me: Lessons from an Unexpected Fatherhood, A Door in the Ocean and a story collection, The End of the Straight and Narrow, which were all published by Counterpoint Press. A Door in the Ocean was reviewed on […]

  • 2020 Hal Prize Fiction Winners

    2020 Fiction Judge Jane Hamilton, Fiction Best-selling author Jane Hamilton lives, works and writes in an orchard farmhouse in Wisconsin. Her short stories have appeared in Harper’s magazine. Her first novel, The Book of Ruth, earned the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award for best first novel and was a selection of the Oprah Book Club. Her […]

  • Questions & Authors: Jane Hamilton

    If you’ve ever been caught up in a novel and read 100 pages without feeling like any time has passed, you know the power novels can have. Here, Jane Hamilton – the 2020 Hal Prize fiction judge and the internationally bestselling author of The Book of Ruth, A Map of the World and The Excellent […]

  • Questions & Authors: David McGlynn

    The line, “The houses we grow up in have ways of not only containing our childhoods but defining them: They’re the stages of our earliest, most primal memories, and from them we each derive our idiosyncratic conceptions of home” struck me the first time I read it. It’s from David McGlynn’s One Day You’ll Thank […]

  • Q&A with 2020 Hal Prize Judge Coburn Dukehart

    Unlike most of the recent Hal Prize judges, 2020 photography judge Coburn Dukehart has a history in Door County – a family history. One of her great-grandfathers began coming to Door County in the 1900s, and Ephraim has ever since been her family’s spot – both as a place to vacation and to retire. Dukehart’s path […]

  • Peninsula Publishing to Publish Literary Journal ‘8142 Review’

    In 1998, Tom McKenzie and David Eliot established The Hal Prize contest – originally called Hal Grutzmacher’s Writers Exposé and Photography Jubilee – to celebrate literary creativity. “Back in 1995, David Eliot and I envisioned the Peninsula Pulse as a mash-up of some of our favorite contemporary publications – The Village Voice, Chicago Reader, Interview, The Onion, […]

  • Announcing the 2020 Hal Prize Judges

    The judges of the Peninsula Pulse’s 2020 Hal Prize contest in poetry, prose and photography will be Coburn Dukehart, digital and multimedia director for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism; novelist Jane Hamilton; author and Lawrence University professor David McGlynn; and poet Ed Bok Lee. Conducted annually since 1998, the Hal Prize seeks to encourage […]

  • Pulse Cover v20i31 Hal Prize Cover lit issue

    2014 Hal Prize Winners

    Photography First Place: Photography by Sadie Weber Judge’s comments: What I liked about this image is exactly what I look for when photographing:  an interesting subject, strong composition and great light. This image has all three. The water line leads you into the photo and with the mountain range in the background produces a three-dimensional […]