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


Deadline: MARCH 31, 2023

Entry fee: $10 Academy members / $15 non-members
Contest judge: Debra Monroe

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 receive $500 (first place), $250 (second place), and $100 (third place) and read their work at the 2023 Wisconsin Book Festival. First- through third-place winning stories will also be published in print and online issues of Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine. 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. 


Authors must be age 18 or older and reside in or attend school in Wisconsin. All submissions must be original and previously unpublished. You may submit more than one entry; each entry must include its own cover page and entry fee.

Current Wisconsin Academy staff, board, and Foundation board members are not eligible. If you have questions about eligibility, please contact editor Christopher Chambers.

Submission Guidelines

  • Cover page with: story title, word count, author's name, address, phone number, email address
  • Typed, double-spaced manuscript
  • 12-point serif typeface (Times New Roman, Garamond, etc.)
  • 1” margins
  • Numbered pages
  • Header on each page with title of story
  • 6,000 word maximum
  • Do not include your name on the manuscript pages.

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.

Register Now!

Print Submissions*

Print submissions must be postmarked, delivered, or date stamped by 11:59 pm on March 31, 2023 (extended two weeks!). 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 want to save paper, please consider an online submission.

*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 by July 1, 2023.

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 2023 issue of Wisconsin People & Ideas; second- and third-place winners will be published in subsequent issues. 

2023 Fiction Judge

Debra Monroe is the author of seven books and the editor of one anthology. Her first collection of stories, The Source of Trouble, was “a fierce debut” (Kirkus Reviews) that won the Flannery O’Connor Award. Her second collection A Wild, Cold State was widely reviewed and described by The Boston Globe as “fine and funky, marbled with warmth and romantic confusion but not a hint of sentimentality.” Her stories and essays have been published in dozens of literary journals. Her books have appeared on Best Ten lists in many venues, including The Barnes & Noble Review, Elle, Vanity Fair, and O, the Oprah Magazine. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, Longreads, Guernica, The American Scholar, and Salon. She lives in Austin, Texas, and teaches in the MFA Program and Honors College at Texas State University. She grew up in Spooner, Wisconsin, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from UW–Eau Claire

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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