Log in

Log in

Submissions closed June 1, 2024.

Winners and placers will be announced during the WWA Fall Conference in October.

In honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Jade Ring Contest we’re strolling back to an elegant moment in time when winners were announced at the Annual Fall Conference Jade Ring Banquet. This year, judging will be provided by:

  • Christina Marrocco - Fiction
  • Maggie Ginsberg - Non-fiction
  • Max Garland - Poetry
  • Jerry Apps - What Wisconsin Means to Me

Besides glory, cash, and a Jade Ring, the four first-place winners will also receive a one-week residency at Write On, Door County


  • 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), have not used any kind of artificial intelligence in content development or creation, have not previously placed in the Jade Ring contest, will be considered. Send your best work, proofread, short, complete, standalone pieces in the category.
  • Simultaneous submissions to other contests or for publication are allowed; however, applicants MUST email to withdraw your submission if it is accepted or wins/places in a contest elsewhere before August 1, 2024. No refunds.
  • Jade Ring Contest Administrators reserve the right to close any category that does not meet the minimum level of 40 submissions, in which case entry fees will be refunded.
  • Questions about eligibility, please contact

Submission Guidelines:*

  • The Jade Ring Contest opens for submissions on March 1, 2024, 12:01 a.m. Central Time and closes on June 1, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time.
  • The Jade Ring Contest accepts online submissions and payments only. WWA uses Duosuma for a submission platform and entrants will be required to create an account to submit.
    • Member fee: $20
    • Non-member fee: $30
    • Optional additional fee for paid critique by the judge (except the special category “What Wisconsin Means to Me”): $20
  • Submission deadline: June 1, 2024, 11:59pm Central Time.
  • All entries must be formatted as double spaced (with the exception of poetry, which may be single spaced and specially formatted if needed), 1 inch margins, paginated, and in 12 PT Times New Roman font.
  • Entries must be submitted as a Word document. PDF files and other file types such as Pages and Google Docs will not be accepted.
    • Word count limit for Fiction and Nonfiction: No more than 2,000 words total for each entry.
    • Poetry: up to three poems per entry, each poem must fit on a single separate page.
    • Special category for our 75th Jade Ring competition: “What Wisconsin Means to Me.” This is an OPEN category – any type of text—essay, poetry, fiction, article—up to 1,500 words is acceptable **Please note there will be NO PAID FEEDBACK for this category**
  • Entries must be text only. No art or graphics allowed.
  • Excessive cursing, sexually or violence-explicit, or hate speech, is not allowed.
  • 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 for fiction/nonfiction must be placed at the top of  first page. Title(s) of Poetry must appear at the top of each page for each poem.
  • Please name your files you will upload as follows: Title(underline)category (e.g.; TaleofTwoCities_fiction.doc) or Title_category_critique, if you are purchasing a paid critique option (e.g.; TaleofTwoCities_fiction_critique.doc); for poetry, as many titles as submitted, complete title of first poem, and, as applicable, the first word (after The) of the title of the second and third poems, like so: MerryWives_Rain_Pretty_poetry.doc, or Merrywives_Rain_Pretty_poetry_critique.doc). 
  • Please take care to ensure your file names are properly formatted. Questions to

*Entries that fail to follow submission guidelines will be disqualified, no refund.

Publication Rights:

  • WWA reserves one-time rights to publish winning entries in Creative Wisconsin Magazine. All winners and placers are expected to submit a brief biography for use in promotion of the Jade Ring Writing Contest. If you do not wish your piece to be published, do not enter the contest.
  • WWA reserves the right for Jade Ring Writing Contest administrators to copy edit winning entries prior to publication in Creative Wisconsin Magazine, and other partner publications.
  • A Jade Ring gala to celebrate winning and placing entries will be held at the annual Fall Conference. You may wish to participate and may read from your entry.

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

Winning and Placing entrants will be notified of a win/place, by August 15, 2024, with paid critiques returned on or shortly thereafter. The honorees will be named and awards given out at the Jade Ring 75th Anniversary Banquet on Friday, October 25 at the WWA Annual Fall Conference in La Crosse.


  • First Place (in each category) - Jade Ring + $250 cash, and publication in Creative Wisconsin Magazine. Winners receive also receive a one-week residency at Write On, Door County in 2025, to be scheduled. Write On offers a comfortable 3-bedroom residence, writing center with library, a 59-acre campus featuring 1.5 miles of groomed hiking trails, plus all that surrounding Door County has to offer: nature, state parks, beaches, and a thriving artist community. The residency does not include travel or meal expenses.
  • Second Place (in each category) - $200 cash, publication in Creative Wisconsin Magazine.
  • Third Place (in each category) - $150 cash, publication in Creative Wisconsin Magazine.
  • Honorable Mention (up to three in each category, per judge’s prerogative) - one year membership (or renewal) to WWA, publication in Creative Wisconsin Magazine.

Meet the Judges

Jerry Apps, author and UW emeritus instructor

Jerry was born and raised on a Wisconsin farm and is the author of 10 novels and 40 nonfiction books, many of them on rural history and country life, his novels,  In a Pickle, Blue Shadows Farm, and Settlers Valley.  His nonfiction books include,  Every Farm Tells a Story, When the White Pine Was King, Rural Wit and Wisdom, and Ringlingville USA (History of Ringling Brothers circus). His children's books include StormyEat RutabagasThe Wild Roak, and Letters From Hillside Farm. Jerry is a former publications editor for UW-Extension, a part time acquisitions editor for the McGraw-Hill Book Company, and editor of a national professional journal. He has won numerous awards from the Wisconsin Historical Society and the Wisconsin Library Association, Midwest Independent Publishers Association, Robert E. Gard Foundation, and The Wisconsin Council for Writers, among others. He has done seven hour-long TV documentaries with PBS Wisconsin—each  based on one or more of his books. He is a Fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.  In 2016, Jerry won the White Cedar Outstanding Teaching Award from The Clearing, where he taught writing workshops for 30 years.

Max Garland, former Wisconsin poet laureate (2013-14) and UW emeritus instructor

Max is the author of The Word We Used for It, winner of the 2017-18 Brittingham Poetry Prize. His poems, essays, stories, and interviews have appeared in many journals, anthologies, and newspapers, and his poetry has been regularly featured on Wisconsin Public Radio. Garland is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and a former Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. Born and raised in western Kentucky, Garland worked for nearly a decade as a rural letter carrier on the route where he was born, where his parents and grandparents lived, and the route his grandfather once delivered, an experience that laid the foundation for his first book of poems, The Postal Confessions. He is also a songwriter and musician, a member of the band Eggplant Heroes, and has written librettos for several large choral music performances. His latest book is Into the Good World Again (Holy Cow! Press; Spring 2023.

Photo by Paulius Musteikis

Maggie Ginsberg, author and senior editor at Madison Magazine

Maggie has published hundreds of articles throughout her career, earning numerous honors from the City Regional Magazine Association, the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Milwaukee Press Club. Maggie’s debut novel, Still True, was published by the University of Wisconsin Press in September 2022 and won the 2023 WLA Literary Award for Fiction. It was also the honorable mention selection for the 2022 Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award, a finalist for the Chicago Writer’s Association’s 2023 Book of the Year, a 2023 Midwest Book Awards silver medal winner in the Literary/Contemporary/Historical Fiction category, and one of three finalists for the Women’s Fiction Writer’s Association’s STAR Award for Outstanding Debut.

Christina Marrocco, author, editor, and college instructor

Christina works in multiple genres including Literary Fiction, Short Story, Creative Nonfiction, and an assortment of poetic modes. She often sets her work in Illinois and the Driftless Region of Wisconsin, having a foot in each state all of her life. Her debut novel, Addio, Love Monster, won Best New Indie Fiction, 2022, Chicago Writers Association. She has a second novel forthcoming with a UK press, and is working on two book length pieces of Creative Nonfiction. Her poetry appears in many journals, including Silverbirch Press, Ovunque Siamo, Red Fern Review, House Mountain Review, and the Laurel Review. She teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition at Elgin Community College, Elgin Illinois, and is the new Prose Editor for Ovunque Siamo. 

Wisconsin Writers Association

Copyright © 2022. All rights reserved.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software