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THE HAL PRIZE 201 PENINSULA PULSE  AUGUST 4–11/2017 • v23i31  DOORCOUNTYPULSE.COM

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About This Year’s Hal Prize It is difficult for me to believe that it has been 19 years since Tom McKenzie (who co-founded the Peninsula Pulse with Dave Eliot) walked into my bookstore to inform me that the Pulse was planning an annual literary contest named after my father. My father had died just a few months prior and, though I was surprised by Tom’s request, I knew how pleased (and embarrassed) my father would be with the honor. My dad was very fond of Tom and looked forward to the delivery of each issue of the Pulse, usually by Tom personally, where they would share thoughts on writing, literature and the current issue. Through the years, the growth of the contest moved through several changes, including a name change and the addition of photography and nonfiction as prize categories. One of the most significant steps forward was the addition of Write On, Door County as a collaborator. With this addition, many of the possibilities we had long imagined became possible. Their

generous donation of weeklong stays at the Write On retreat house in Juddville allowed us to attract nationally recognized authors to serve as judges for the contest. The same donation by Write On for contest winners in each of the writing categories allowed us to broaden our marketing efforts and attract entries from throughout the United States. This year’s contest brings two new steps in our continuing efforts to improve and grow The Hal Prize. Notably, Nicolet National Bank made a generous donation of support, which has allowed us to broaden the cash prizes we offer winning entries. In combination with other prizes provided by businesses – particularly the handcrafted pottery mugs created by Jeanne and Dave Aurelius of Clay Bay Pottery for each of the first place winners – we feel the contest is now attractive to all levels of experience. The other notable change this year was the poetry editors of the cream city review graciously agreeing to serve as final judges

for the poetry portion of the contest. Small magazines and presses are vital for writers, whether beginning or experienced. They provide the opportunity to be published, to reach an audience, and to demonstrate to publishers a track record of successful publication. We are fortunate to have a small journal of cream city’s caliber and reputation in our state. If you haven’t picked up an issue, I encourage you – whether you are a writer or a reader – to do so or even subscribe. They deserve your support. As a final note: with the publication of this year’s Hal Prize issue, next year’s contest begins! Writers and photographers, you are now formally notified: start working on your entries for the 2018 Hal Prize – the submission process remains the same and the website is ready to begin accepting your creative efforts (TheHalPrize.com).

Steve Grutzmacher

This annual issue honors a man whose passion for writing and teaching the craft of writing spanned his lifetime. While his specialty was the English Romantic period, particularly William Wordsworth, he also loved reading (and re-reading) James Bond novels. A widely published poet, he was also a regular columnist for the Door County Advocate when it was privately owned – he even convinced his editor to allow him to cover the Chicago Cubs, which afforded him several trips each season to Wrigley Field, where he became good friends with other sports writers from far larger newspapers. His greatest passion, however, was teaching writing. As an English professor at Carthage College (then in Carthage, Illinois), Knox College, and Parson College he influenced hundreds of undergraduate writers. Later, as vice president for academic affairs at the University of Tampa and dean of students at Beloit College, he continued to teach the freshman English courses, though these courses were not part of his job description. In Door County, he and his wife, Marge, opened Passtimes Books, where he enjoyed discussing literature with other avid readers. And he continued teaching writing, both at The Clearing and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Several of these students later brought him manuscripts which he helped edit into finished books. His encouragement and gentle, though pointed, criticism influenced innumerable students and community members. The Peninsula Pulse, along with Write On, Door County, look to continue in the same spirit by encouraging writers and photographers of all skill levels with The Hal Prize.

Profile for Door County Pulse

Peninsula Pulse - 2017 Hal Prize - August 4-11, 2017 v23i31  

Each fall, the Peninsula Pulse newspaper in Door County, Wisconsin invites people of all ages, backgrounds and artistic abilities to submit...

Peninsula Pulse - 2017 Hal Prize - August 4-11, 2017 v23i31  

Each fall, the Peninsula Pulse newspaper in Door County, Wisconsin invites people of all ages, backgrounds and artistic abilities to submit...