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The 2023 contest closes on June 3. Submit now!

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Why I enter contests

Contests were the foundation for my career as a published author and scriptwriter. I found contest deadlines AND then wrote like a fiend AND joined writers’ groups for support and education. After years of being a writing instructor, coach, and published author, I’m still entering contests. Why? Beyond that deadline energy contests bring, there’s a bigger reason to enter—INSPIRATION.

I’m inspired to learn something new through the experience of scrambling to enter a contest and revise, revise, revise by a deadline. In the past couple of years I entered two poetry contests, though I’m not a poet. I didn’t win but I came away refreshed with new skills that also introduced me to a different culture’s history with poetry.

I hope you feel INSPIRED about growing your writing skills and enter the WWA contest.

~ Christine DeSmet, guest judge, WWA contest fiction category


  • Contest is open to anyone writing in English, age 18 or older.
  • Only original submissions which have not been published in print, digital, or online (including blogs or social media) will be considered.
  • Simultaneous submissions are allowed, applicants MUST email to withdraw your submission if it is accepted elsewhere.
  • Jade Ring Contest Administrators and Wisconsin Writers Association Board Members are not eligible to submit.
  • Jade Ring Contest Administrators reserve the right to close any category that does not meet the minimum level of submissions, in which case entry fees will be refunded.
  • Questions about eligibility, please contact

Submission Guidelines:*

  • The Jade Ring Contest accepts online submissions and payments only. Mailed submissions will be discarded without being read.
    • Member fee: $20
    • Non-member fee: $30
  • One entry per category per person. Submission deadline: June 2, 2023, 11:59pm CST
  • All entries must be formatted as double spaced (with the exception of poetry, which may be single spaced), 12 PT font, 1 inch margins, paginated, and in a common serif font such as Times New Roman.
  • Entries must be submitted as a Word document. PDF files and other file types such as Pages and Google Docs will not be accepted. WWA uses Duosuma for a submission platform and entrants will be required to create an account to submit.
    • Word count for Fiction and Non-Fiction: 2000 words
    • Poetry: One poem per page, up to three poems per entry
  • Entries must be text only. Please do not insert clip art, drawings, icons or any graphics within the document.
  • The Jade Ring Contest is judged blind. Author name should NOT appear on the submission, either on the manuscript or on the file name.
  • Title and Word Count must be placed at the top of the first page.
  • Please name your files as follows: Title +category (e.g.; TaleofTwoCities_fiction.doc) or Title+category+critique, if you are purchasing a paid critique option (e.g.; TaleofTwoCities_fiction_critique.doc). Please take care to ensure your file names are properly formatted.

*Entries that fail to follow submission guidelines will be disqualified.

Publication Rights:

  • WWA reserves the right to publish winning entries on its website. First-place winners are expected to submit a brief biography and head shot for use in promotion of the Jade Ring Writing Contest.
  • WWA reserves the right for Jade Ring Writing Contest administrators to copy edit winning entries prior to publication on its website, in the Creative Wisconsin Anthology, and other partner publications.

Special note: Please add to your contact list to ensure timely emails that do not disappear into spam or junk folders.


  • First Place (in each category) - Jade Ring + $250, writing retreat at Shake Rag Alley, publication in Creative Wisconsin Anthology.
  • Second Place (in each category) - $200 cash, publication in the Creative Wisconsin Anthology.
  • Third Place (in each category) - $150 cash, publication in the Creative Wisconsin Anthology.
  • Honorable Mention (three in each category) - one year membership (or renewal) to WWA, publication in Creative Wisconsin Anthology

Thank You To Our Judges

Christine DeSmet - Fiction

Christine is a writer, writing coach, and an award-winning author and scriptwriter. For many years she helmed the Writers’ Institute and the Write-by- the-Lake Writer’s Retreat as well as online writing courses at University of Wisconsin-Madison where she was a Distinguished Faculty Associate of writing. She writes the Fudge Shop Mystery series and the Mischief in Moonstone novella series.

She is a member of Blackbird Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Writers Guild of America East, Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, and Wisconsin Writers Association. Christine shares writer education and news posts regularly on Facebook.

David McGlynn - Non-fiction

David is the author of three books, The End of the Straight and Narrow, A Door in the Ocean, and One Day You’ll Thank Me. He’s a frequent contributor to Men’s Health and Swimmer magazines, and his recent work appears in The American Scholar, Narrative, River Teeth, The New York Times and elsewhere. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin and teaches at Lawrence University.

Angela Trudell Vasquez - Poetry

Angie is the current city of Madison Poet Laureate (2020-2024) and the first Latina to hold the position. Angie received her MFA in poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts in 2017. Recently, her poems have appeared in The Slow Down, Yellow Medicine Review, Poem-a-Day, About Place Journal and in several anthologies.

In 2018 she was a finalist for the New Women’s Voices series and her collection, In Light, Always Light, was published by Finishing Line Press in May 2019. Finishing Line Press also published her fourth collection of poetry, My People Redux, in January 2022. In the summer of 2021 she became a Macondo Fellow or a Macondista. She is the current chair of the Wisconsin  Poet Laureate Commission.

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