The 2024 Writing Contest is Closed! |
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The 2024 Writing Contest is Closed!



Our 2024 writing contests are closed for submissions. Sean Enfield will judge the fiction contest. Dorothy Chan will judge the poetry contest.  

2024 Fiction Contest Guidelines

2024 Poetry Contest Guidelines


Contest Deadline: MARCH 31, 2024

Entry fee: $10 Academy members / $15 non-members

Judges: Sean Enfield for fiction and Dorothy Chan for poetry


  • 1st-place winners receive a one-week artist residency at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts in Mineral Point.
  • Win cash prizes: $500 for 1st place, $250 for 2nd place, and $100  for 3rd place.
  • Read at the 2024 Wisconsin Book Festival.
  • 1st-3rd-place winners are published in print and online issues of Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine. 





Since 1994, Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine has sponsored the premiere annual fiction and poetry contests for Wisconsin writers. The contests are open to all Wisconsin residents and students age 18 and older. We encourage emerging and established writers to send in their best works of fiction and poetry for a chance to win up to $500 and other prizes along with publication in Wisconsin People & Ideas, a reading at the Wisconsin Book Festival in Madison, and a one-week residency at the lovely Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts in Mineral Point.

Congratulations to the
2023 Fiction and Poetry Contest Winners

Fiction Winners

1st Place

Matt Cashion
, La Crosse
“Music Appreciation for the Dead”

2nd Place

Susanna Daniel, Madison
“The Goddess of Illicit Choices”

3rd Place

Holly Hilliard
, Madison

Fiction Honorable Mentions
John Mulvihill, New Glarus, “Not Drowning, But Waving”

Poetry Winners

1st Place

Taylor Kirby
, Madison
“if I have an addiction to water, know it’s hereditary”

2nd Place

K.E. McCoy
, Madison
“Climate Passover”

3rd Place

Sheryl Slocum
, Milwaukee
“My Son Standing Near a Glass of Water”

Poetry Honorable Mentions
William Stobb, Onalaska, “Ache Index”
Emily Bowles, Appleton, “This is Not a Villanelle”
Adam Fell, Madison, “A Deterioration in Talks”
Steven Espada Dawson, Madison, “Mercury Goes Right Through You”
Marnie Dresser, Spring Green, “I Hate People Who Cut in Line But”
Kelly R. Samuels, La Crosse, “Ambiguous Loss”

Contest Support

Thanks to our 2023 contest judges Debra Monroe (fiction) and Nikki Wallschlaeger (poetry). All contest judging is done blindly and the winning submissions are selected through criteria established by individual judges. The 2023 contests were administered by Christopher Chambers, former editor of Wisconsin People & Ideas. Thanks also to the Wisconsin Academy donors, members, and the following contest sponsors for their support of Wisconsin writers:




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Wisconsin Academy Offices 
1922 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53726
Phone: 608.733.6633


James Watrous Gallery 
3rd Floor, Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608.733.6633 x25