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The Wisconsin People & Ideas Fiction Contest

2021 Fiction Contest Judge Chris Fink


Entry fee: $15 members, $20 non-members

Entry deadline: March 15, 2021

Contest judge: Chris Fink

First-place winners in the Wisconsin People & Ideas Fiction Contest will receive a one-week artist residency at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts in Mineral Point. Winners will also receive $500 (first place), $250 (second place), and $100 (third place) and read their work at the 2021 Wisconsin Book Festival. First- through third-place winning stories will also be published in print and online issues of Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine.



  • Authors must reside in or attend school in Wisconsin and must be 18 or older.
  • Stories previously published in print are not eligible (online published stories are eligible).
  • Current Wisconsin Academy staff, board, and Foundation board members are not eligible.
  • If you have questions about eligibility, please contact editor Jason A. Smith.

You may submit more than one entry, but each story must be mailed or uploaded separately with its own cover letter (see Manuscript Requirements below) and entry fee or online confirmation number. 


Manuscript Requirements

Each manuscript must be typed, double-spaced, in standard 10- or 12-point type. Each page must include the title of the story as a header. All pages must be numbered with both an individual page number and the total number of pages (e.g., Stormy Night, page 1/15,).

2,000 to 5,000 words

The manuscript itself must be submitted without attribution in order to ensure judging can be done blindly. Do not include your name on the manuscript. The manuscript must be accompanied by a cover letter bearing the following: 

  • Story title
  • Author's name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • E-mail address
  • Story Word Count

Print or electronic submissions will be accepted. Print submissions must include three photocopies of each fiction submission. Electronic submissions and cover letter must all be included in a single PDF upload.


Electronic Submissions

Submit Online Here


Print Submissions

Submissions must be postmarked, delivered, or date stamped by 11:59 pm on March 15, 2021.

Entries postmarked or delivered after the deadline will not be considered and the entry fee will be retained to cover handling.

Keep a copy of your manuscript! Print manuscripts will be recycled, not returned.

Every contestant must be able to provide an electronic version of the story via e-mail if needed.

Entries may be mailed or hand-delivered to 

Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
1922 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53726


Contest winners will be announced in July of 2021.

All submissions are judged blindly and the selection of the winners is based solely on the criteria of the contest judge. The first-place winner will be published in the fall 2021 issue of Wisconsin People & Ideas; second- and third-place winners will be published in subsequent issues. Our contest judge for the 2021 fiction contest is Chris Fink, author of Add This to the List of Things That You Are.


Chris Fink is the author of two short story collections, Farmer’s Almanac: A Work of Fiction (2013) and Add This to the List of Things That You Are (2019). He is a professor of English and Environmental Studies at Beloit College and editor-in-chief of the Beloit Fiction Journal.

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


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: 608.733.6633 x25