Peninsula Pulse Presents The Hal Prize

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

The 2021 Hal Prize is presented by the Peninsula Pulse and Write On, Door County. The prize offers publication to a readership of more than 18,000, cash awards for winners and a week stay at Write On, Door County. The Hal Prize is open to writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and to photographers throughout the United States.

About the Prize

The Hal Prize is held in the spirit of the late Hal Grutzmacher, a professor and Door County bookstore owner, by offering commentary and encouragement to promising writers and photographers.


Fiction: Lan Samantha Chang

Nonfiction: Faith Adiele

Poetry: Mark Wunderlich

Photography: Coburn and Tad Dukehart


The deadline for submission is September 15, 2021.

Contest Prizes

First Place: $250 + Hal Prize mug from Clay Bay Pottery

Second Place: $100

Third Place: $50

All winners will be published in Peninsula Publishing & Distribution's new literary magazine, 8142 Review.

Submission Guidelines

  • Please include with your submission(s) a cover letter, including the author or photographer's name, mailing address, phone number, and email. A 25 - 50 word biography for writers and a 25-50 word description of the photograph for photographers should be included. The entrant's name should not appear on submitted pieces. Works submitted to the Hal Prize for judging should not be submitted to any other publication until after the annual Hal Prize issue is published. We will notify winners on the day of publication.
  • There is no limit to the number of entries you may submit in each category. However, please include just one photo/nonfiction/fiction/poem per submission. Previously unpublished works only, please.
  • Fiction and nonfiction should be double spaced, in a simple 12 pt font, and not more than 4,000 words. Fiction and nonfiction submissions are preferred as Microsoft Word or .rtf files with only one story per submission. 
  • Poetry submissions are preferred as Microsoft Word or .rtf files with only one poem per submission. Poems should not exceed one page in length when typed in a standard 12pt font.
  • Photography submissions will be judged on their cover-worthiness and ability to reproduce on newsprint. Special consideration will be given to photos featuring people and places. Photo submissions are preferred as .jpg or .tiff files with only one photo per submission. Photos should be 300 dpi, and not exceed 5MB. 
  • There is a $10 submission fee for each fiction and nonfiction submission, and a $5 submission fee for each poem or photograph. 

Digital entries only. Mailed submissions will not be accepted. 

Anyone employed or paid for writing by the Peninsula Pulse or its sister publication Door County Living within the past 12 months is not eligible to enter. Members of the staff or the Board of Directors of Write On, Door County are also not eligible to enter.

Copyright to Winning Works

Copyright reverts to the photographer/poet/author upon publication in the Hal Prize issue. The Peninsula Pulse retains the right to use winning works in promotional materials for future contests. 

More Information

The Hal Prize is presented by the Peninsula Pulse, an independent, locally-owned newspaper covering news, arts, and entertainment in Door County, WI, in collaboration with Write On, Door County a non-profit organization promoting writing and reading to year-round and seasonal residents in the county. 

For questions please email