Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters contest winners in both the fiction and poetry categories receive awards of $500 to $100, publication in Wisconsin People & Ideas , and a reading at the Wisconsin Book Festival. First-place winners in both categories also receive a one-week writers’ residency at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts in Mineral Point.
Here’s the Academy’s news release:
Send your best work to Wisconsin’s largest and longest-running writing contests. Contest winners in both the fiction and poetry categories receive awards of $500 to $100, publication in Wisconsin People & Ideas, and a reading at the Wisconsin Book Festival. First-place winners in both categories also receive a one-week writers’ residency at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts in Mineral Point. The first-place fiction winner’s story, as well as poems by the first- through third-place winners, appear in the Summer 2018 issue of Wisconsin People & Ideas (second- through third-place stories and honorable mention poems appear in subsequent issues).
Our 2018 contests will be judged by Victoria Houston (fiction) and Karla Huston (poetry), as well as to preliminary contest judges CX Dillhunt and John Lehman. All contest judging is done blindly and the winning submissions are selected on criteria established by individual judges.
Information about the Council for Wisconsin Writers writing contests is here. Entry deadline is Jan. 31, 2018.
COUNCIL FOR WISCONSIN WRITERS (CWW) OPENS 2017 WISCONSIN WRITERS CONTESTS
Work published by Wisconsin writers in 2017 is eligible in seven categories, including book-length fiction, nonfiction and poetry; short fiction and nonfiction; a set of five poems two of which must have been published in the contest year, and children’s literature.
First-place winners receive $500 and a one-week writer’s residency at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point, WI. Honorable mention recipients receive $50 and a one-week writer’s residency at the Painted Forest Study Center in Valton, WI.
Entries for this year’s Wisconsin Writers Awards must be postmarked no later than Jan. 31, 2018. Authors who enter must be current Wisconsin residents.
The entry fee is $25. Membership in CWW is not required, but members are entitled to one free entry. Out-of-state judges will make the selections. Awards will be presented at a banquet in May 2018. The Christopher Latham Sholes Award for 2017 will also be presented at the May banquet. That award, which includes a prize of $500, is named for Christopher Latham Sholes (1819–1890), a Wisconsinite who is credited with inventing the first practical typewriter, and honors an individual or organization for outstanding encouragement of Wisconsin writers.
CWW also sponsors an Essay Award for Young Writers (1,500 word maximum) for Wisconsin high school students; there is no entry fee. The award is $250 for the winning student. Members of the board will judge. Entries for the student essay contest must be postmarked no later than Jan. 31, 2018.
The Council for Wisconsin Writers joins the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts & Letters in congratulating Wisconsin People & Ideas contest winners and honorable mentions, including CWW board member Sylvia Cavanaugh and recent Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award honorable mention recipient Georgia Ressmeyer,
Sylvia’s “Old Dish” received an honorable mention in the poetry category. Georgia’s poem “Time Speeding Up” took third place in that category.
All winners and honorable mention recipients are listed here.
The Council for Wisconsin Writers’ mission — “to recognize and celebrate Wisconsin writers and to promote awareness of our state’s great literary heritage” — is highly and constantly gratifying. Recipients’ appreciation and gratitude makes it doubly so. Letters, such as two received recently from this year’s Major Achievement Award winner, Milwaukee historian John Gurda, and the Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award winner Catherine Jagoe highlight that.
With permission from John and Catherine, we are pleased to share their letters:
From John Gurda to Council for Wisconsin Writers President Geoff Gilpin:
I’ve already expressed my gratitude to (board member) Erik Richardson via email, but I thought I’d use this somewhat more formal channel to thank you and the CWW for this year’s Major Achievement Award. It’s obviously a career capstone, and one I find enormously satisfying. As I approach seventy, I’m amazed that I’ve been able to make a living as a Milwaukee historian for all these years–a job for which there were no posted openings. The CWW’s Achievement Award confirms my choice of careers and encourages me to keep moving into the future down the path of the past.
All the Best,
From Catherine Jagoe to Geoff Gilpin:
I would like to reiterate my heartfelt thanks to the Council for Wisconsin Writers for the Edna Meudt prize I was recently awarded for Bloodroot. I felt that I didn’t do justice at the award ceremony to the depth of my appreciation for the work that the Council does to celebrate and encourage Wisconsin writers. When Karla Huston called to tell me about the award I was so overcome, I actually wept.
This book was a very long time in the making — I had been revising and sending it to contests from almost ten years, and it had been a finalist or semi-finalist numerous times. The process of submitting a book manuscript is arduous and expensive and I had just about run out of hope. I decided I would send the manuscript to one last contest and then put it aside and move on. To my astonishment, it won that contest, the Settlement House American Poetry Prize.
Because the book explores my experience as a newcomer and foreigner, the nature of home and the process of uprooting and re-rooting in Wisconsin, it meant a very great deal to me that it won the CWW award. It allowed me to feel accepted in this community of writers instead of being a perpetual outsider. As another immigrant writer put it recently, it’s like getting a big hug from your adopted home.
The $500 and week’s residency will buy me some crucial time to start generating new work. So please thank all the board members again from me personally at your next meeting.
On behalf of Wisconsin writers, CWW again congratulates John and Catherine on their stellar work. More about these writers is at John’s website johngurda.com and Catherine’s website www.catherinejagoe.com.
More information about CWW, its annual contests and how to become a member is at wiswriters.org.
Next Tuesday, Jan. 31, is the deadline for Wisconsin writers to get their contest entries in the mail.