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Writing Contests






Thank you to all the writers who entered the contest this year, and congratulations to the finalists. The overall quality of the submissions was exceptional this year and we enjoyed reading them. We expect to announce the winners in mid August. The winners and honorable mentions will be published in upcoming issues of Wisconsin People & Ideas.



“A Couple Months After My Father’s Death I Read About Songbirds Mysteriously Dying in Pennsylvania”
by Alecia Beymer, Madison

“Sun Black”
by Bruce Dethlefsen, Westfield

“Effigy Mound”
by John Freiburger, Fitchburg

“Of Genesis”
by Nicholas Gulig, Fort Atkinson

“Amor Fati”
by Nicholas Gulig, Fort Atkinson

“It is, It’s Not”
by Jim Landwehr, Waukesha

“Memorial Days”
by Claire Lewandowski, Madison

“Home in the Borderland”
by Curt Meine, Sauk City

by Jess L. Parker, Fitchburg

“Warm Socks”
by Alejandro Puig, Viola

“Rose Convictions”
by Georgia Ressmeyer, Sheboygan

“This is First Son / Second Son”
by Nick Sengstock, Madison

“Survival Skills for the Anthropocene”
by Lailah Dainin Shima, Madison

“Letter to My Mother in Winter”
by R. B. Simon, Madison

“Full Disclosure”
by Bruce Taylor, Chippewa Falls


"A Couple Months After My Father’s Death I Read About Songbirds Mysteriously Dying in Pennsylvania"
Alecia Beymer, Madison

"Sun Black"
Bruce Dethlefsen, Westfield

Heather Elliott, Madison

C. J. Enriquez, Madison

"Effigy Mound"
John Freiburger, Fitchburg

"Of Genesis"
Nicholas Gulig, Fort Atkinson

"Amor Fati"
Nicholas Gulig, Fort Atkinson

"Never Stopped"
Dominic W. Holt, Monona

"It is, It’s Not"
Jim Landwehr, Waukesha 

"Memorial Days"
Claire Lewandowski, Madison

"Home in the Borderland"
Curt Meine, Sauk City

Jess L. Parker, Fitchburg

"Warm Socks"
Alejandro Puig, Viola

"Rose Convictions"
Georgia Ressmeyer, Sheboygan

"Neutrino Abcedarian"
James P. Roberts, Madison

"Cinematic Masterpieces I’ll Never See"
Kimberly Sailor, Mount Horub

"This is First Son / Second Son"
Nick Sengstock, Madison

"Survival Skills for the Anthropecene"
Lailah Dainin Shima, Madison

"Letter to My Mother in Winter"
R. B. Simon, Madison

"Full Disclosure"
Bruce Taylor, Chippewa Falls

"The Listening of Horses"
Jeanie Tomasko, Middleton

"Reviewing the Footage, 1985"
Jo Scheder, Madison

"Shiny Lures"
Elizabeth Harrahy, Oconomowoc

"Namaste Little Oriole Girl"
Sandra J. Lindow, Menomonie



“Simeon and the Bad Kid”
by Margaret Benbow, Madison

“The Evolution of Marvin Skellig”
by Peg Cadigan, Thiensville

“Feldstein’s Dog”
by Gene James Gilbert, Baraboo                                                       

“Seasons of Love”
by Walker Guzowski, Milwaukee      

“Sadie in Love”
by Nancy Jesse, Madison

“Bread and Butter”
by Andrew McDonnell, Beaver Dam 

“In Rock Springs When the Angel Trumpets Sound”
by Tom Pamperin, Chippewa Falls

“No Other Dog”
by Jerry Peterson, Janesville                                                                          

“Snow Door”
by Janie Wilberg, Milwaukee

“Down in the Valley”
by Richie Zaborowske, Appleton


"Simeon and the Bad Kid"
by Margaret Benbow, Madison

"The Evolution of Marvin Skellig"
by Peg Cadigan, Thiensville 

"Blackberry Harvest"
by Yvette Viets Flaten, Eau Claire

"Oliebollen Destiny"
by Steve Fox, Hudson

"I Prefer You in Spanish"
by Steve Fox, Hudson

"Feldstein’s Dog"
by Gene James Gilbert, Baraboo 

"Seasons of Love"
by Walker Guzowski, Milwaukee

"Get a Grip"
by Holly Hilliard, Madison

"Sadie in Love"
by Nancy Jesse, Madison

"The Driftless"
by Gary Jones, Platteville 

"The Housekeeper"
by H. R. Larson, Omro

"Assisted Living"
by Karen Loeb, Eau Claire

"Bread and Butter"
by Andrew McDonnell, Beaver Dam 

"In Rock Springs When the Angel Trumpets Sound"
by Tom Pamperin, Chippewa Falls

"No Other Dog"
by Jerry Peterson, Janesville 

"Maginot Line"
by Victoria Lynn Smith, Superior 

"Running With the Gnomes"
by Thomas Stark, Madison

"Snow Door"
by Janie Wilberg, Milwaukee 

"Down in the Valley"
by Richie Zaborowske, Appleton

by Suzanne Zipperer, Manitowoc

2022 Fiction Contest Guidelines

2022 Poetry Contest Guidelines



Since 1994, Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine has provided annual awards for excellence in Wisconsin-based writing and poetry. Our fiction and poetry contests accept submissions from January 15 to March 15 and 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.

Thanks to our 2022 contest judges Amy Quan Barry (fiction) and Rebecca Dunham (poetry), as well as to additional preliminary contest screeners CX Dillhunt, Ryan Browne, and Claude Clayton Smith. All contest judging is done blindly and the winning submissions are selected through criteria established by individual judges. The contests are administered by Christopher Chambers, 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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