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Poet Laureate Position

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Judges For Jade Ring 2014

Memoir/Reminisce Jerry Apps

Jerry Apps, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of more than 30 books, many of them on rural history and country life. His nonfiction books include: Living a Country Year, Every Farm Tells a Story, When Chores Were Done, Humor from the Country, Country Ways and Country Days, One-Room Schools, Cheese, Breweries of Wisconsin, Ringlingville USA (History of Ringling Brothers circus), Old Farm: A History, Barns of Wisconsin, Horse Drawn Days: A Century of Farming With Horses, and Campfires and Loon Calls. His children's books include: Stormy, Eat Rutabagas, Tents, Tigers and the Ringling Brothers, and Casper Jaggi: Master Swiss Cheese Maker. He has an audio book, The Back Porch and Other Stories. Jerry has published four novels, The Travels of Increase Joseph, In a Pickle: A Family Farm Story, Blue Shadows Farm and Cranberry Red. Jerry is a former publications editor for UW-Extension, an acquisitions editor for the McGraw-Hill Book Company, and editor of a national professional journal.

Jerry has won awards for his writing from the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Library Association (the 2007 Notable Authors Award), American Library Association, Foreword Magazine, Midwest Independent Publishers Association, Robert E. Gard Foundation, The Wisconsin Council for Writers (the 2007 Major Achievement Award), Upper Midwest Booksellers, and Barnes and Noble Bookstores, among others. In 2010 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.  Check for more information.

Essay – Rodney Schroeter, WWA Press Manager

Rodney Schroeter spent seven years as a Science teacher, twenty five as a computer programmer / analyst, and now works as a freelance writer, newspaper page composer, reporter, editor, art dealer, and eBay seller. He is the writer of Human Interest Stuff  and the editor / designer of Wisconsin Harvest Vol II, both published by the WWA Press. For the WWA, Rodney serves as brochure and forms designer, Newsletter editor, archivist, Forum administrator, and manager of the WWA Press.

Fiction, adult short – Susan Baganz, acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group

Susan M. Baganz chases after three children and is a native of Wisconsin. She is an Acquisitions Editor with Prism Book Group specializing in bringing great romance novels and novellas to publication. Susan writes adventurous historical and contemporary romances. She has been published with OakTara Press and Splickety Magazine. Her contemporary romance, Pesto and Potholes is due to be released in Spring 2015 with Prism Book Group. Her favorite pastimes are lazy ones: snuggling with her dog while reading a good book, or sitting with a friend chatting over a cup of spiced chai latte.

Fiction, children/youth – Barbara A. Joosse

Barbara A. Joosse, international best-selling author of nearly 50 books, including Mama, Do You Love Me, Snow Day, and Dog Parade,among others, and now, writes the lyrics for The Happy Racers, kiddie rock band. She lives in an old house, enjoys spending time with her grandchildren. published nearly 50 books for children.

Five Writers complete 2014 Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp

WEST BEND, Wis. – Five writers from Wisconsin and Illinois, successfully completed the 2014 Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp, a six-day residency writing workshop led by published novelists, book editors, and literary agents.
This unique experience provides hands-on advice and one-on-one guidance for writers in any genre developing or polishing a book-length works-in-progress. The NIP Bookcamp is co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Writers Association and the Chicago Writers Association. It was held at the Cedar Valley Center & Spa northwest of West Bend. Wis. on May 18-24.
The first Bookcamp graduates and their works-in-progress: Jo DeMars, Waukesha, Wis., a fantasy quest for middle school children; Jonnie Guernsey, Cudahy, Wis., a literary novel about a middle-aged woman who meets and helps a young homeless artist; Renee James, Wheeling, Ill.; the sequel to her published murder mystery set in Chicago; Jack Kruse, West Bend, Wis.; an historical romance set during the epic World War II battle of Kursk; Keith Schroeder, Menasha, Wis.; a science fiction thriller.
“I just want to say the camp was a great experience and I feel privileged to have been part of it,” James said. “My almost week with all of you will certainly be the highlight of my year and I look forward to next year’s event with great anticipation.”
Kruse was equally pleased with the advice and instruction he received at the 2014 NIP Bookcamp. “I learned more about writing in those six days than I have learned in a long time. It was a great deal of fun, and I would love to do it again.”
Led by instructional staff members New York mystery writer SJ Rozan, Milwaukee editor and author Philip Martin, and West Bend novelist Lisa Lickel, the Bookcamp included writing technique classes, group critique sessions, one-on-one meetings with staff and visiting literary agents, an afternoon discussion on publishing, as well as personal writing time. Assisting with the Bookcamp were guests Dawn Frederick and Jenny Goloboy from Red Sofa Literary, St. Paul, Minn.; novelist and TV journalist John DeDakis, Washington, D.C., and Cherie Burbach, Milwaukee,freelance author, columnist, and poet.
“The responses we are getting from our first Bookcamp class are gratifying,” Director Dave Rank, West Bend, said. “Speaking for our staff, we felt all five works-in-progress we helped work on have great potential for future publication.”
Planning has begun for the 2015 NIP Bookcamp, Rank said, and early registration has opened. For more information, contact Director Dave Rank,, or go to the Bookcamp’s website,, or Facebook page,
Cedar Valley Center & Spa is located at 5349 Highway D in northwest Washington County. The N-I-P Bookcamp receives additional support from Creative Co-Sponsor Diana Schramer, Write Way copyediting LLC.

WWA Fall Conference Registration Now Open

 Please see the Fall Conference page for more details here.  

WWA 2014 Spring Contests Results

Florence Lindemann Humor Contest

First Place: Jim Guhl, "Camp Wiz"

Second Place: Joel Habush. "Cover Me With Apples"

First Chapter Fiction Contest

First Place: Ralph Ehlinger, "The Pines of Los Indios"

Second Place: Ralph Ehlinger, "Scandal’s Advocate"

Announcing WWA Spring Contest 2014 Judges

First Chapter Judge:

Rodney Schroeter, WWA Press Manager

Schroeter is a former teacher and computer programmer and analyst, who currently works as a freelance writer and proofreader. He also serves at the WWA Historian and forum coordinator.

Florence Lindemann Humor Contest Judge:

Cherie Burbach

Burbach is’s relationship writer. A professional blogger and poet, Burbach has also written for, and will make a special appearance on the Novel In Progress Book Camp’s publishing panel in May.

The Spring Contest deadline has been extended through April 29, 2014.

Submissions for the Fall Jade Ring Contest are now open throughAugust 1, 2014. Check the Contests page for guidelines.

We’ll see you May 3 in LaCrosse for the Author Showcase and Contest Awards.

WWA Spring Contests Open Longer

You now have until April 29th to enter-both online and via snail mail.

New Contests - New Easier Fee Schedule - Easier One-Stop Rules and One-Stop Cover Sheet

Current high school students enter for free.

Go To:

The online entry form is now open.

We will work with you if you have questions. E-mail

Nimrod Literary Awards

Nimrod International Journal has opened its 36th Nimrod Literary Awards offering $2,000 first place prizes and publication in two categories: the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry and the Katherine Ann Porter Prize for Fiction. The deadline to enter is April 30th. See the link for more information here.

New Issue of Creative Wisconsin Released

You can find the new issue here.  For past issues and more information on Creative Wisconsin please follow the Creative Wisconsin link on the sidebar.

Wisconsin Writers Association's Spring Authors Showcase 2014

When: Friday & Saturday, May 2-3
(The Authors Showcase will be held all day SaturdayFriday afternoon will be devoted to WWA business and evening roundtable readings. There also will be an awards luncheon announcing the winners of the WWA’s spring writing contests.)
Where: Days Inn Conference Center, French Island, La Crosse, Wis.
What: Day-long showcase for authors where they can meet the public, promote their work, and sell their own books. Participating authors also can participate in our planned series of public readings, Q&As, and mini-workshops during the day.
Who: Any author with a published novel, nonfiction work, any genre, although we ask all works sold be appropriate for a general audience.
Cost: $20 to reserve table space. All book sales remain with the authors. We ask each author to donate 1 book to the WWA, which we will include in our fundraising raffle prizes during the showcase.
Author Registration: Registration form is here.
Questions? Contact Dave Rank, WWA president, pres(at)

CWW Contests Accepting Entries Until Jan. 31st

The Council for Wisconsin Writers, celebrating its 50th anniversary, invites Wisconsin writers who have published work in 2013 to enter its contests for book-length fiction, nonfiction and poetry; short fiction and nonfiction; a set of five poems; and children’s literature. (Outdoor writing may now be submitted to the long or short non-fiction category).

First-place winners will receive $500 and a week-long writers’ residency at Shake Rag Alley Center for Arts and Crafts in Mineral Point.
The Council contests open November 1, 2013 and will close January 31, 2014 (postmark deadline).  Authors who enter must be current Wisconsin residents. The entry fee is $20. Membership in CWW is not required. Out-of-state judges will make the selections. Awards will be presented in a banquet at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee in May 2014.

CWW also sponsors an Essay Award for Young Writers (1500 word maximum) for Wisconsin high school students; there is no entry fee, and the award is $250 this year for the winning student and $250 for the student’s high school library. Members of the board will judge. Postmark deadline for the student essay contest is also January 31, 2014.

Awards have been retitled this year to honor Wisconsin authors Zona Gale, Edna Meudt, Norbert Blei, and Edna Ferber, in addition to awards previously named for Lorine Niedecker, August Derleth, Betty Ren Wright, and Arthur Tofte.

Specific guidelines, entry forms, judge bios, and important additional information for each award category are available on the awards section of the website, .

New Website For The Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp

Hooray! We have a new website for the Novel-in-Progress Bookcamp! Check it out & let us know what you think. It's our new home on the net.

The Bookcamp is sponsored by the Wisconsin Writers Association and the Chicago Writers Association, with assistance from our Creative Co-Sponsor Diana Schramer, book editor. Members of the WWA and the CWA receive automatic discounts to enroll.

We're building toward a great Bookcamp in May. Be sure to reserve your spot if you want to work with the outstanding professional staff, including illustrious detective novelist Reed Farrel Coleman. It's an investment in your literary future....  See More

Self Publishing Basics: A Wisconsin Book Festival Event

Self publishing need not be a solitary pursuit. Join a team of librarians and local published authors for an information- packed workshop that will introduce you to the basics of self publishing online and prepare you for the road ahead. 

Saturday, Dec 14, 1-3 pm at Madison Central Library

Click here to read more and sign up!

Fall Conference In The News

The Wisconsin Rapids Tribune has an story about the fall conference. Read it here.

Wisconsin Writers Association elects Board of Directors and Officers

Three new directors were elected to the Board of Directors by the 
membership of the Wisconsin Writers Association during the WWA’s The Writer’s Life 
Conference Sept. 27-29, 2013.
Joining the Board are Adam Binash, poet from La Crosse; Nancy Jesse, author and writing 
instructor from Madison; and Jackie Granger, author from West Bend. They were elected to 
Re-elected to their second three-year terms on the Board were Nancy Rafal, poet from Baileys Harbor; and Jan Jenson, novelist from Gordon.
They were elected during the WWA’s Annual Membership Session held Saturday, Sept. 28, 
conducted as part of the association’s fall conference at the Hotel Mead & Conference Center in Sunday, Sept. 29, the 14 directors on the board elected their officers for 2013-2014: President, David Rank, journalist and author from West Bend; Vice President, Jan Jenson, novelist from Gordon; Treasurer, Keith Schroeder, re-election, author from Menasha.
Rank, who had been WWA Vice President the past four years, replaced poet LaMoine 
MacLaughlin of Amery, as President. McLaughlin continues as a director. Also continuing as 
directors are Sally Bair, writer from Washburn; Mary Jacobsen, writer from Webster; Karin 
Schmidt, writer from Eagle River; Susan Engebrecht, writer from Wausau; Greg Peck, journalist and author from Janesville; and Robert LeHew, outdoor writer from Crivitz.
The WWA Spring Conference will be held in the La Crosse area May 2-3, 2014 with the next Fall Conference scheduled for Oct. 3-5, 2014 at the Hotel Mead & Conference Center.
Founded in 1948, The Wisconsin Writers Association is a nonprofit volunteer service 
organization that promotes the literary community of Wisconsin through its conferences, writing contests, Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp, and other programs.

Jade Ring Result Announcement 

Congratulations to everyone who entered this year’s Jade Ring contest. We had over 200 entries for the six categories. The places were announced and awards given out at the special Jade Ring Banquet held at the Mead Hotel and Conference on Saturday night, September 28 during our WWA Fall Conference. Thank you to our judges: Marilyn Taylor, former poet laureate of Wisconsin, and Jenny Post and Terri Sorenson of Orange Hat Publishing, Milwaukee. Watch for the opening and explanation of the Spring Contests soon. We invite you to visit and use the WWA forums for critique and feedback of your entries prior to submission for future contests. The forums can be accessed from the main page of our WWA website at


First -  Dorothy Loftus, Tick Tock

Second– Susan Engebrecht, A Promise

Third - Diana Schramer, Final Moments

HM1 – Greg Peck, Fondness for a Firemen’s Festival

Nonfiction Essay:

First - Gail Grenier, Be Here Now

Second – Greg Peck, Tired Twig Gives Up Symbolic Tire

Third – Brenda Axt, Forget the F-word

HM1 – Dawn Proctor, The Island Bridegroom

HM2 – Mary Jacobsen, Let’s Go Metric

Adult Fiction:

First - Bill Bright, To Tirich Mir

Second – Jonnie Guernsey, Public Access

Third – Caye Bartel, The Storm

Fiction for Young People:

First - Lisa Lickel, The Saxon Boy

Second – Jim Guhl, Catfish and Elephants

Third – Idella Anacker, Tommy Joins the Band

Free Verse Poetry:

First - John Leighton, Your First Bear

Second– Stella Lauter, Peter Piper

Third – John Leighton, Following Old Tracks

HM1 – Angie Flanagan, The Old Italian Woman

HM2 – Paula Schultz, We Meet With the Estate Planner

Formal Poetry:

First - Nancy Jesse, (Pantoum) The Nature of Memory

Second – Suzy Wedeward, Speaking of Ice

Third – John Leighton, A Look Back

HM1 – Mollye Barrett, To a 1904 Barn

HM2 – Paula Schultz, (Pentatina) For the Five Senses

Jade Ring Judges and Partnership with Orange Hat Publishing

We are pleased to announce our Jade Ring judges and our special partnership with Orange Hat Publishing! Shannon Ishizaki, the owner of Orange Hat Publishing, has been exceptionally gracious during our talks to develop this partnership and I can see why her company is earning such a great reputation. Please take a moment to visit their website and see the wide variety of works they publish:


Fiction Judge, Jenny Post:


Jenny Post graduated from the University of California at San Diego with a degree in Writing. Her favorites are poetry and different genres of fiction. She moved with her family to Wisconsin from California seven years ago, and enjoys the beauty of the area that inspires her to write. Jenny is currently an editor of novels, short stories, and children's books for Orange Hat Publishing here in the Milwaukee area of Wisconsin.

Nonfiction Judge, Terri Sorenson:

Terri Sorenson is a former Milwaukee business owner for 12 years. She is a happily married mother of 3 young children and actively teaches first and second grade girls in a local community group. Terri currently works as an Author Relations Specialist for Orange Hat Publishing. She is the first point of contact for potential authors and the first person to provide writers with to-the-point feedback. She is open and honest about her opinions with hopes to improve the quality of writing prior to publication. 

Time is Running Out

You could win cash, a ring, recognition but only if you enter the Jade Ring Contest by August 1st! 

We are thrilled to announce that Marilyn Taylor has agreed to judge your poetry this year! Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and secure your spot on this talented poet's desk. In addition, we are nearing the end of our search within the publishing industry or even an agent! Keep checking the website for further updates.

Marilyn L. Taylor, former Poet Laureate of the state of Wisconsin (2009 and 2010) and of the city of Milwaukee (2004 and 2005), is the author of six collections of poetry. Her award-winning poems and essays have appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Poetry, The American Scholar, Able Muse, Measure, Ted Kooser's " American Life in Poetry" column, and the recent Random House anthology titled Villanelles. Marilyn also served for five years as Contributing Editor and regular poetry columnist of The Writer magazine. She is currently a member of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission and the Council for Wisconsin Writers Board of Directors. She has recently moved from Milwaukee to Madison, where she continues to write and teach. Visit her website for more!

We look forward to reading your submissions!

Author's Hour

The 2013 Wisconsin Association of Environmental Education (WAEE) Annual Conference will be hosting an Author’s Hour on Thursday, August 8, 2013.

Who May Participate: Any author from our region who writes about nature, uses nature as inspiration, or in some way connects us with the natural world.

When: Thursday, August 8, 2013 from 1:00-2:00 PM

Where: The Cartwright Center at UW-LaCrosse, LaCrosse WI

Why: To connect authors with educators who have the same passion for the natural world that you do

Fee: Free. Our goal is to connect authors and educators


WAEE will provide a table for each author to set up a small exhibit that showcases his or her writings. Authors will be able to sell and sign their books, etc. on their own. Authors (or their publishers) will be responsible for handling and delivery of books. WAEE does not request any portion of the profits.

WAEE will publicize the authors who join us for Author’s Hour on our website and in the conference program.


Other Opportunities for Authors:

Exhibit in the Exhibit Hall during the conference. Visit the Annual Conference Exhibits page for more details


To register for Author’s Hour, please visit the conference website


For any additional questions, please contact Susan Schuller at

Chicago Writers Association joins in support of N-I-P Bookcamp

The Chicago Writers Association haspartnered with the Wisconsin Writers Association in supporting the 2014 Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp, sponsored by the WWA.

The 550-member CWA will co-sponsor the N-I-P Bookcamp, providing marketing support in the Chicago area. In return, the CWA’s members can enroll with the Bookcamp using the same association discounts as WWA members. That’s a $90 savings off the full registration price.

Providing expert advice and guidance to writers working on a manuscript, the 2014 Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp will be held May 18-24 at Cedar Valley Center & Spa, which is 35 miles northwest of Milwaukee and about a two-hour drive north of Chicago.

The Bookcamp will be staffed by award-winning mystery novelist and college writing instructor Reed Farrel Coleman, thriller writer and Hollywood screenwriter James Strauss, author, editor and book doctor Philip Martin, and the agents of Red Sofa Literary, as well as additional guest speakers and a panel of published authors who will address the rapidly changing publishing industry.

CWA President Randy Richardson said the CWA sees the Bookcamp as a valuable resource for his organization’s members who are working on a manuscript:

“Looking to jump-start the manuscript that growing mold in your desk drawer? Trying to put the finishing touches on the next Great American Novel? The Chicago Writers Association has partnered with the Wisconsin Writers Association’s 2014 Novel-in-Progress Bookcamp to help you reach your writing goals.

“Top-notch instructors in this intense 6-day workshop/retreat will guide you on how to turn that unfinished manuscript into the book you want it to be.  Don’t put off that dream any longer.  Reserve your spot now at the 2014 Novel-in-Progress Bookcamp!”

For more information on the Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp, sponsored by the Wisconsin Writers Association and co-sponsored by the Chicago Writers Association, go to the website or visit the Bookcamp’s Facebook page,

Or contact Bookcamp Director Dave Rank at, 262-717-5154.

The CWA website is

Jade Ring New Deadline!

New Contest Submission Periods:

We are pleased to announce our new contest deadlines. After careful consideration and examining our calendar, we've expanded the submission window as follows:

Spring Contests                          Jade Ring Contests
Opens November 1st                    Opens March 15th
Closes March 15th                       Closes August 1st

We've also created a wonderful area for members to critique and polish their writing in our forums. (See left menu.) We look forward to seeing your entries! If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Lickel at


How's Your Book Coming Along?

Plans for the WWA’s rescheduled 2014 Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp, May 18-24, have advanced rapidly, and we have several good news announcements to share with you.
  • We are honored to announce that novelist and screenwriter James Strauss has agreed to join our Bookcamp staff for 2014. He joins award-winning mystery writer Reed Farrel Coleman, and book editor and writing instructor Philip Martin as our core instructional team for the entire six-days of the Bookcamp. Many of you know Jim from his well-received appearance at the WWA Spring & Lakefly Literary Conference earlier this month in Oshkosh. You know Jim is a straight-shooter eager to share his knowledge on writing, publishing, and the Hollywood entertainment industry. Jim’s written five espionage thrillers and has started a prehistory adventure series called Mastodon with the first volume already scheduled to be turned into a film. He writes for several Hollywood production companies and is currently a technical director for a film now in production. He is a great addition to our staff.
  • We’ve just learned that Bookcamp staffer Reed Farrel Coleman won a 2013 Audie for his novel Gun Church from the Audio Publishers Association. Congratulations, Reed.
  • More Bookcamp staff additions will be forthcoming.
  • Those of you who want to sign up for Bookcamp’s unique combination of writing instruction and professional advice on your work-in-progress, there is no better time than now to begin the registration process. Until July 15, our enrollment fees are as low as they ever will be through our Early Express Registration. July 16, prices go up. A $100 refundable deposit will lock you in to the express price. In addition, we offer a trio of low-priced registration options for commuters, friends enrolling together for a double room, and couples where one enrolls in the Bookcamp while the other enjoys the services of Cedar Valley Center & Spa and the many activities available in and around Washington County in southeast Wisconsin.
  • To help insure the success of the 2014 N-I-P Bookcamp, we’ve started a pair of fundraising efforts to kickstart this project. We have now raised more than $1,500 through the Bookcamp Seed Fund campaign. This is money that will be repaid after the completion of the 2014 Bookcamp in May. Secondly, we’ve created a Creative Co-Sponsorship Program where individuals or businesses offering writing-related services or products can contribute to the Bookcamp while receiving promotional recognition through the Bookcamp’s online and print marketing efforts and at the Bookcamp itself May 18-24, 2014.

For more information on the Bookcamp, registration, the Seed Fund campaign, and the Creative Co-Sponsorship Program, contact me, Dave Rank, WWA vice president & Bookcamp director, at or 262-334-8790.  Or check out our website,, or our Facebook page through the link on this WWA website.

Read seeking book submissions for review

If you're a Wisconsin writer or you are writing about a Wisconsin subject, the founders of Read would enjoy hearing from you. The mayor and trustee of Read are devoted to supporting authors, literacy and bookstores in Wisconsin. Tracy Kathryn, M.A.-English, and Trustee Annette, a journalist, will provide fair critiques, honesty, and your book will be rated using an exclusive cheese wedge rating system. 
Please see the Read Website for details, and please contact the Read Village administrators via their Facebook page at ReadVillage

New Opportunity

WWA Members to Write about Wisconsin Writers

Lisa Lickel, editor of Creative Wisconsin magazine, is accepting submissions for articles about Wisconsin writers. For guidelines, a list of some awesome authors to write about, and information about how you can see your writing in print, visit the Creative Wisconsin page here: Creative Wisconsin

WWA Charter Clubs Expand

Since its inception in 2009, the WWA Charter Club Partnership Program has blossomed to 14 clubs statewide, the fastest growing segment of WWA membership. Charter Club members enjoy substantial savings from the program.

Any local writing club, critique group, or gathering of five or more people, including online groups, interested in the writing craft can enroll as a Charter Club in the WWA. Charter Club Members receive discounted membership dues and conference registration fees in exchange for participating as a group. See theWWA Charter Club Partnership Program page for complete details.

Robert E. Gard Book Available Online

The e-book, The Robert E. Gard Reader, just published, features the writing and key ideas of Robert E. Gard, all told in a very autobiographical and evocative way. It contains the story from Grassroots Theater about how WWA began, even including the Creed of WWA. There's also the text of a talk he gave, "Notes for Writers Who Are Desperately Moved to Write," which may well have been given at a WWA conference. WWA president, LaMoine MacLaughlin, wrote the foreword to the e-book. Click on the following link to enjoy it. It is free online.

© 2013 Wisconsin Writers Association, Inc. - All righrts reserved
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