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Writing Contests


Winners receive awards of $500 to $100, publication in Wisconsin People & Ideas, and a reading at the Wisconsin Book Festival. First-place winners in both categories also receive a one-week writers’ residency at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts & Crafts in Mineral Point. The first-place fiction winner's story, as well as poems by the first- through third-place winners, will appear in the forthcoming Summer 2017 issue of Wisconsin People & Ideas (available July 15).

Fiction Winners


Fiction honorable mentions

  • “Invisible,” by Louis V Clark III – Omro
  • “Lessons,” by Elena Norcross – Appleton
  • “Guy AR,” by Nathan D Dotterweich – Appleton
  • “Garbage Goat,” by Jon Hakes – Appleton
  • “Wished,” by Katie Futrell – New Berlin


Poetry Winners


Poetry honorable mentions

  • “Old Dish,” by Sylvia Cavanaugh – Cedar Grove
  • “At the Abandoned Lumberjack Cemetery,” by Thomas J. Erickson – Whitefish Bay
  • “The Suitcase,” by Elisabeth Harrahy – Oconomowoc
  • “After You’re Struck By a Semi While Playing the Good Samaritan,” by Shoshauna Shy – Madison
  • “When the Great War,” by Dominic Holt – Monona
  • “On the Anniversary of Her Son’s Suicide,”  by Mary C. Rowin – Middleton
  • “My Mother’s Kitchen,” by Kathryn Gahl – Appleton
  •  “The First Time I Enter a Ladies Restroom with My Daughter,” by Annette Grunseth – Green Bay
  • “Daily Reminders,” by Paulette Laufer – Sturgeon Bay

Thanks to our 2017 lead contest judges Alex Bledsoe (fiction) and Melissa Range (poetry), as well as to preliminary contest judges CX Dillhunt and John Lehman. All contest judging is done blindly and the winning submissions are selected on criteria established by individual judges.

Fiction Submissions   Poetry Submissions

Visit our Fiction Contest page and Poetry Contest page for prize details and complete contest rules and submission guidelines. These contests are brought to you by the Wisconsin Academy with support from our contest sponsors below. We thank them for their support!

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Wisconsin Academy Administrative Offices and Steenbock Gallery
1922 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53726
Phone: 608-263-1692

James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
3rd Floor, Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608-265-2500