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 new publication, the 8142 Review, which is available for purchase here.

Roger Barr of St. Paul, Minnesota, won first place in the fiction category for his story, “Puzzle Pieces.” Fiction judge Lan Samantha Chang said, “This subtle and impressive piece meaningfully inhabits the complex territory of late life and terminal illness.”

Sharon Knight

Roger Barr

Steve Tomasko

George Harmon

George Harmon of Winnetka, Illinois, won first place in nonfiction for his story “the beast that ate words.” Nonfiction judge Faith Adiele said the story “is a breathless beast of an essay that reads like fiction.”

First place in poetry went to Steve Tomasko of Middleton, Wisconsin, for his poem “A Eulogy, of Sorts.” Poetry judge Mark Wunderlich said, “I admire the expansiveness of this poem, its open and conversational diction, and the emotional intelligence and acuity the poem embodies.”

Sharon Knight of Macomb, Illinois, earned first place in photography for her photo “Girl on the Train to London.” Photography judges Coburn Dukehart and Tad Dukehart noted, “This photo has all the elements of a striking portrait that draws the viewer into the composition and asks their eyes to linger as they absorb all the fine details of the scene.”