When we entered Kyle Nickel’s photo essay "Unlikely Haven" (Wabash Magazine Fall/Winter 2002) in the national competition to honor the best articles of the year in college and university magazines, we didn’t realize the Wabash senior would be up against a Pulitzer Prize winner and some of the most respected professional writers in the country, let alone that he’d be the only student entered in the competition, and that there was no separate category for student writers. It was literally Wabash vs. Notre Dame.
And the Little Giant took the day, winning a silver medal from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for his insightful, skillfully crafted account of his immersion in the lives of Wild Bill, Les, and the other patrons of Stoney’s Bar in Crawfordsville. The 23-year-old’s fellow winners included that Pulitzer Prize winner, a National Magazine Award winner, and writers for The New York Times, Washington Post, and Atlantic Monthly.
Kyle’s work earned WM our first national award and put us on the winner’s platform with magazines from Brown University, Penn State, Cornell, Stanford, Middlebury, Claremont, Harvard, Yale, and Portland University in the best article category.
Read more of Kyle’s work in this issue’s End Notes.