At the Council for Wisconsin Writers (CWW), we support the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) Contest Code of Ethics for our contests.
CLMP Contest Code of Ethics
CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines—defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.
Since all our contests require prior publication (with the exception of the Student Essay Contest), CWW does not use blind judging. However our judges are chosen from a pool of qualified writers and teachers who reside outside the state of Wisconsin. Judges will be asked not to consider entries from relatives, friends, and entrants with whom they have personal or professional relationships. Entries disqualified on these grounds will not be returned to the entrants.
Contest Judges (2015 – 2016)
Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award, 2016 Judge: Indu Sundaresan
Indu Sundaresan is the author of five novels and a collection of short stories. The Twentieth Wife, The Feast of Roses, and Shadow Princess form the Taj trilogy and are set in 16th and 17th Century India. The Splendor of Silence is set in India in May of 1942. In the Convent of Little Flowers is a collection of short stories set in contemporary India. Her latest novel, The Mountain of Light, is based on the 186 carat Kohinoor diamond and is set in 19th Century India, and England.
The Twentieth Wife won the Washington State Book Award and Sundaresan is the recipient of the Light of India award for excellence in literature. Her work has been translated into 22 languages worldwide, and in the US, Sundaresan is published by imprints of Simon & Schuster.
The Twentieth Wife was recently aired as a 42 one hour long episode television series, titled Siyaasat, in India—it’s currently airing on Netflix in the UK, Australia, NZ, France and other countries.
Norbert Blei/August Derleth Nonfiction Book Award, 2016 Judge: Leila Levinson:
Leila Levinson is the author of Gated Grief: The Daughter of a GI Concentration Camp Liberator Discovers a Legacy of Trauma which was a finalist for the 2013 Texas Nonfiction Book Award and won the Story Circle Network’s May Sarton Award and the Military Writers Society’s President’s Award. She has written for the Washington Post, the Austin American Statesman, the Texas Observer, and War, Literature, and Art. The founder of the online community veteranschildren.com where veterans’children share their stories, she teaches at St. Edward’s University in Austin and leads writing workshops for veterans and their family members in central Texas.
Kay W. Levin Award for Short Nonfiction, Judge 2016: Cathryn J. Prince
Cathryn J. Prince is the author of several nonfiction books including American Daredevil: The Extraordinary Life of Richard Halliburton, the World’s First Celebrity Travel Writer, Death in the Baltic: The WWII Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff , for which she was awarded the Military Writers Society of America 2013 Founders Award and selected as a Military Book Club selection and Shot from the Sky: American POWs in Switzerland. Prince worked as a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor in Switzerland and in New York, where she reported on the United Nations. She holds an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University, a B.A. in international affairs from The George Washington University, and an M.A. in American studies from Fairfield University. She is a frequent contributor to the Christian Science Monitor and The Times of Israel.
Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award, 2016 Judge: Patricia Smith
Patricia Smith is the author of seven books of poetry, including Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets and finalist for the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America; Blood Dazzler, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Gotta Go Gotta Flow, a collaboration with award-winning Chicago photographer Michael Abramson. Her next book, Incendiary Art, will be published by Northwestern University Press in February 2017. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The Baffler, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Tin House and in Best American Poetry and Best American Essays. Her contribution to the crime fiction anthology Staten Island Noir won the Robert L. Fish Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the best debut story of the year and was featured in the anthology Best American Mystery Stories. She is has been a fellow at both Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, as well as a two-time Pushcart Prize winner and a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, the most successful poet in the competition’s history. Patricia is a professor at the College of Staten Island and in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College.
Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award, 2016 Judge: Tyehimba Jess
Tyehimba Jess is the author of two poetry collections, the 2004 National Poetry Series award-winning Leadbelly and Olio. He received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004-2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess won a 2000 –01 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry, the 2001 Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award, and a 2006 Whiting Fellowship. He exhibited his poetry at the 2011 TedX Nashville Conference. Jess is Poetry and Fiction Editor of African American Review and Associate Professor of English at College of Staten Island.
Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award, 2016 Judge: Angela Johnson
Angela Johnson is an award winning American children’s book and poetry author with over 40 books to her credit. She began her writing career in 1989 with the publication of a picture book called “Tell Me a Story, Mama” which won the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award in 1991. She has won three Coretta Scott King Awards, one each for her novels “The First Part Last (2004),” “Heaven(1999),” and “Toning the Sweep” (1994).”The First Part Last” was also the recipient of the Michael L Printz Award. “When I Am Old With You” was an Honor Book in 1990 and named an American Library Association Notable Book. “The Other Side, The Shorter Poems” was also selected as a Coretta Scott King Honor book in 1998. In recognition of her outstanding talent, Angela was named a 2003 MacArthur Fellow. Born in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1961, she grew up in Alabama and Ohio. She lives in Kent, Ohio.
Zona Gale Short Fiction Award, 2016 Judge: David James Poissant
David James Poissant is the author of The Heaven of Animals: Stories, longlisted for the PEN / Robert W. Bingham Prize, winner of the GLCA New Writers Award and a Florida Book Award, and a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize. Poissant’s stories and essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Chicago Tribune, Glimmer Train, The New York Times, One Story, Playboy, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. Visit him online at: www.davidjamespoissant.com
Contest Judges (2014 – 2015)
Zona Gale Award for Short Fiction
David James Poissant
David James Poissant is the author of The Heaven of Animals: Stories, longlisted for the PEN / Robert W. Bingham Prize, winner of the GLCA New Writers Award and a Florida Book Award, and a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize. Poissant’s stories and essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Chicago Tribune, Glimmer Train, The New York Times, One Story, Playboy, Ploughshares, and elsewhere.
Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award
Patricia Smith, Howell, NJ
Patricia Smith is the author of seven books of poetry, including Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the 2014 Rebekah Bobbitt Prize from the Library of Congress, the 2013 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets and the Phillis Wheatley Award; Savannah was also a finalist for both the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America and the Balcones Prize. Patricia also authored Blood Dazzler, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Teahouse of the Almighty, a National Poetry Series selection. Her most recent book is Gotta Go Gotta Flow, a collaboration with the late Chicago photographer Michael Abramson. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The New York Times, TriQuarterly, Tin House, The Washington Post, and in both Best American Poetry and Best American Essays. Her contribution to the crime fiction anthology Staten Island Noir, which she edited, won the Robert L. Fish Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the best debut story of the year and was chosen for Best American Mystery Stories. She is a 2014 Guggenheim fellow, a 2012 fellow at both MacDowell and Yaddo, a two-time Pushcart Prize winner, recipient of a Lannan fellowship and a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, the most successful poet in the competition’s history. Her next poetry collection will be released in 2016; she is also working a volume combining poetic monologues and a collaborative novel with her husband Bruce DeSilva, the Edgar-Award winning author of the Liam Mulligan crime novels. Patricia is a professor at the College of Staten Island and an instructor in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College.
Kay W. Levin Award for Short Nonfiction
Kerry Cohen, Portland, OR
Kerry Cohen is the author of nine books, including the memoirs Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity, Seeing Ezra: A Mother’s Story of Autism, Unconditional Love, and the Meaning of Normal, which was an Oregon Book Award Finalist, and the forthcoming Girl Trouble. Four of her books have been Oregon Book Award finalists, and her young adult novels have been YALSA picks. Her nonfiction has been featured in the New York Times Modern Love series, The Washington Post Outlook, Brevity, Psychology Today, and Portland Monthly. She teaches in the Red Earth low-residency MFA program and works as a psychotherapist in Portland, Oregon.
Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award
Jenn Crowell, Forest Grove, OR
Born and raised in rural Pennsylvania, Jenn Crowell found herself the subject of international media attention (including a New York Times photographer documenting her high school graduation) when she signed a two-book contract with Putnam in the spring of 1996, a few weeks shy of her eighteenth birthday. Her first novel, Necessary Madness, was released to wide critical acclaim the following year, with publicity tours of the US, UK, Italy, and Australia. Following her college graduation, Crowell published Letting the Body Lead in 2002. She then ventured into screenwriting, joining a select group of young independent filmmakers as a 2003 IFP Market Emerging Narrative nominee (for her screenplay adaptation of Necessary Madness) and a 2004 Berlin Film Festival Talent Campus Fellow. Jenn earned her MFA in 2011, fifteen years after signing that first contract. She now lives near Portland, Oregon. Her latest novel is Etched On Me (Washington Square Press, 2014).
Norbert Blei/August Derleth Nonfiction Book Award
Scott Korb, New York, NY
Scott Korb is the author and editor of several books, including Life in Year One: What the World Was Like in First-Century Palestine (Riverhead, 2010), Light Without Fire: The Making of America’s First Muslim College (Beacon, 2013), and Gesturing Toward Reality: David Foster Wallace and Philosophy (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014). His essays and criticism have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Lucky Peach, Lapham’s Quarterly, Tin House, and elsewhere. He teaches writing at New York University, the New School, and Pacific University’s low-residency MFA program.
Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award
Lee K. Abbott, Lincoln, NM
Lee K. Abbott is the author of seven collections of short stories, most recently All Things, All at Once: New & Selected Stories (Norton). His fiction has appeared in nearly one hundred periodicals, including Harper’s, The Atlantic, The Georgia Review, Epoch, The Southern Review, Tin House, and Boulevard. His work has been reprinted in The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Awards: The Prize Stories, The Best of the West series, and the Pushcart Prize series. Twice a winner of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, he has published essays and reviews in The New York Times Book Review, The Miami Herald, The Chicago Tribune, and The Los Angeles Times Book Review. He began his career at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He has been a visiting professor at Washington University in St. Louis, Rice University, the University of Michigan, and Colorado College. He is Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor in English, Emeritus, at The Ohio State University.
Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award
Jericho Brown, Decatur, GA
Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The Best American Poetry. His first book, Please, won the American Book Award, and his second book, The New Testament, won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and the Thom Gunn Award; it was named one of the best books of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. He is an associate professor in English and creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta.