The Wisconsin People & Ideas Fiction Contest |
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The Wisconsin People & Ideas Fiction Contest


Deadline: MARCH 31, 2024 - CLOSED

Entry fee: $10 Academy members / $15 non-members
Fiction Contest judge: Sean Enfield

  • 1st-place winners of 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 receive a prize of $500 for 1st place, $250 for 2nd place, and $100  for 3rd place.
  • All winners are invited to read their work at the 2024 Wisconsin Book Festival.
  • 1st-3rd-place winning poems will be published in print and online issues of Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine. 
  • Honorable mention stories selected by the lead judge will be published in subsequent issues of the magazine.


  • Authors must be age 18 or older and reside or attend school in Wisconsin.
  • All submissions must be original and previously unpublished work, whether online or in print.
  • Current Wisconsin Academy staff, board, and Foundation board members are not eligible. If you have questions about eligibility, please reach us at

Submission Guidelines

  • Cover page with: story title, word count, author's name, address, phone number, email address
  • Typed, double-spaced manuscript
  • 12-point clearly readable font. For example: Times New Roman, Garamond, etc.) 
  • 6,000 word maximum
  • 1” margins
  • Numbered pages
  • We prefer a header on each page with title of story
  • Please do not include your name on the manuscript pages.
  • Please only include one story per entry. You may submit multiple entries, and each additional entry requires paying a contest fee.

Print or electronic submissions will be accepted. 

Electronic Submissions

Electronic submissions (and judging) will be managed via AirTable. After registering, participants will receive a link to submit their manuscript.


Time to write for 2025!

Print Submissions

  • Print submissions must be postmarked, delivered, or date-stamped by 11:59 pm CT on the contest due date. Submissions postmarked or hand-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. If you are able, we encourage you to submit online rather than in print.
  • Every contestant must be able to provide an electronic version of their manuscript by email 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 by July 1, 2024.

The 1st-place winner will be published in the fall 2024 issue of Wisconsin People & Ideas; 2nd and 3rd-place winners will be published in subsequent issues. 

2024 Fiction Contest Judge

Sean Enfield is a writer and educator from Dallas, Texas. He is getting his PhD in English at UW-Milwaukee. His debut collection of essays, Holy American Burnout!, is forthcoming from Split/Lip Press in December 2023. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of Permafrost Magazine. Now, he serves as an Assistant Non Fiction Editor at His own work has been published in Reed MagazineHayden’s FerryWitness MagazineTerrain.orgTahoma Literary Review, and The Rumpus, among others, and he was the 2020 recipient of the Fourth Genre’s Steinberg Memorial Essay Prize. In 2013, his story, “Claudia Who Found the F,” was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered as a part of their 3 Minute Fiction contest judged by Karen Russell, and his manuscript, “Holy American Burnout!,” was named a finalist for Red Hen Press’ Ann Petry award by Maurice Carlos Ruffin. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @seanseanclan.

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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