Monthly Archives: April 2014

3 Professional Writers in Training Win Awards

Three Eau Claire 13-year-olds, all of whom say they plan to pursue professional writing careers, have won prestigious awards.

Details about South Middle School students Jenna Fiore, Jocelyn Lam and Dominic Yates, who took top honors in the prose and poetry categories of  the 2014 international English honor scoiety Sigma Tau Delta Writing Contest, are in this Leader Telegram story:  Three South Middle School students win prestigious state writing awards

Details about Council for Wisconsin Writers contest winners and honorable mentions and CWW’s annual Awards Banquet — celebrating 50 years this year with keynote speaker and Major Achievements award winner John Nichols — are at

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CWW Board Members on WORT

Council for Wisconsin Writers President Geoff Gilpin and Board Member Marilyn Taylor talked up CWW last Thursday on WORT’s “Radio Literacy” program. To have a listen, go to, and scroll down to Thursday, Radio Literacy.

For more about CWW, please go to, and for information about and to make reservations for the CWW Awards Banquet on May 10 at the Wisconsin Club, please go to

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CWW President speaks on WORT Radio Tomorrow

Posted on Facebook by CWW president Geoff Gilpin:

“If you’d like some cheap entertainment tomorrow evening, I’ll be a guest on the Radio Literature program on WORT in Madison. I’ll be talking about the upcoming Wisconsin Writers Awards and the 50th anniversary of the Council for Wisconsin Writers. Madison listeners can tune to 89.9 FM at 7:30 CDT. I believe the show will also be available for streaming at”

For details about this year’s CWW contest award recipients and the May 10 Awards Banquet, including registration form, please go to



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Wisconsin Magazine Fiction Winners

 Passing along good news!
 Congratulations to the Winners of the
Wisconsin People & Ideas 2014 Fiction Contest

  • 1st place: “The Walk to Makino” by Karen Loeb – Eau Claire
  • 2nd place: “Snowglobe Policy” by Jennifer Spilburg Sauer – Madison
  • 3rd place: “Luck” by Marilyn Shapiro Leys – Prairie du Chien

Winners of the Wisconsin People & Ideas 2014 Fiction Contest receive cash awards of $500 (first place), $250 (second place), and $100 (third place). The first-place author also receives a one-week artist residency at Shake Rag School for Arts and Crafts in Mineral Point, and all three award-winning authors will read their stories at the 2014 Wisconsin Book Festival in Madison this October.

Our honorable mention stories and authors for 2014:

  • “Swimming to Saba” by Shaun Melarvie – Sturgeon Bay
  • “John and Loretta, Circa 1967” by Mary Rodriguez – McFarland
  • “Night and Day” by Tom Stark – Madison
  • “Guardians” by Sandy Walejkos – Belleville
  • “Creatures of the Air” by Tim Walsh – Madison 
Wisconsin People & Ideas is an independent print and online magazine that showcases fiction and poetry from new and established Wisconsin writers, highlights new works from our visual artists and photographers, and keeps readers informed about the science behind the issues that impact our way of life here in Wisconsin. We are the quarterly magazine of the nonprofit, Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters.
For more information, visit

This year the fiction contest lead judge is author Susanna Daniel (right), author of Sea Creatures and other novels. The 2014 contest was coordinated by Jason A. Smith, editor, Wisconsin People & Ideas, who also acted along with Aaron Fai as preliminary judges. The contest received 69 submissions from across the state of Wisconsin. All judging was done blindly and ranking was done solely on the merit of individual stories in the opinion of our judges.

Thank you to everyone who submitted stories to the 2014 fiction contest. Your participation is what makes this fiction contest one of the best showcases for Wisconsin writers. Look for the first- through third-place short stores to appear in forthcoming issues of Wisconsin People & Ideas, beginning with the spring issue in May 2014. Congratulations to all our winners and honorable mention writers and keep on writing!

Wisconsin People & Ideas thanks lead and preliminary judges for volunteering their time and efforts to the 2014 contest, and extends a special thanks to 2014 contest sponsors Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts in Mineral Point for donating a weeklong artist residency for the first-place winner and the Wisconsin Book Festival for hosting our contest winners’ reading. More information on the contest, prizes, and sponsors and be found at

Wisconsin People & Ideas  l  1922 University Avenue  l  Madison, WI  53726  l  608.263.1692
Questions and manuscript submissions to: 

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Pulitzer Finalist, But No Cigar

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Mark Johnson was a finalist in the Pulitzer awards for feature writing for his work on the relationships medical students form their fellow students and cadavers in their gross anatomy classes. But inexplicably, according to Pulitzer observers, neither Johnson nor either of the two other finalists in that category won the gold.

Here’s a brief mention in a story about this year’s Pulitzer winners: 2014 PULITZER WINNERS IN JOURNALISM AND ARTS.

While some Pulitzer watchers took the selection committee to task for not explaining the reason no winner emerged, in Sandra Oshiro’s article, Pulitzer board’s no-award in feature writing goes unexplained, on the Poynter Institute’s website at, Pulitzer Prizes administrator Sig Gissler says, “It takes a majority of the 17 voting board members to declare a winner. With three nominations, clearly no single finalist drew the nine votes required to walk away with the prize. The lack of a recipient also suggests that none of finalists blew away the judges. Yet each of the nominations represented substantial work.”

That seems to explain it pretty clearly, so far as I’m concerned.

Take a look at CWW’s contest winners and honorable mentions at, and plan to attend the annual awards banquet on May 10 at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee. Details and reservation form are at

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CWW Award-Winning Book Reviewed in L.A. Times

Darktown Follies, Amaud Jamaul Johnson’s second book of poems and winner of this year’s Council for Wisconsin Writrs Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award, shares billing with noted Michigan poet Robert Hayden’s Collected Poems in a Los Angeles Times review headlined Second Acts: A Second Look at Second Books of Poetry

Johnson will be honored at CWW’s Awards Banquet and celebration of the Council’s 50th year, Saturday, May 10, at the Wisconsin Club, 900 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee. Reception is at 11 a.m., lunch served at 11:30 with awards presented at 12:30 p.m. Major Achievements honoree John Nichols will be featured as keynote speaker.

More details and reservation form are on CWW’s website at

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Former Poet Laureate to Read in Fort Atkinson

Marilyn Taylor, who served as Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2009 and 2010, and Milwaukee Poet Laureate for 2004 and 2005 invites all who might be in the mood to “cruise over” to Fort Atkinson’s Dwight Foster Public Library for its “Third Thursday” reading on the 17th, at 6:30, where she will be the featured reader (20 or 25 minutes). The library is located at 209 Merchants Avenue in Fort Atkinson. Marilyn’s reading will be followed by an open mic, so all are invited to also bring along a poem to share.

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