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Congratulations to the winners
of the 2020 Jade Ring Writing Contest!

Nearly 240 entries were received overall. Jenna Kowalesi, Camilia Cenek, and Yvette Viets Flaten won in categories of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, respectively. They will each receive an esteemed Jade Ring and $100 cash.

Congratulations to all of the 2020 Jade Ring Contest winners!


First Place: Puppy Day by J. Mackenzie
Second Place: Goat Milk by Steve Fox
Third Place: Cold Comfort by Doug Lewandowski
Honorable Mention: The Bee Servant by Joy Ribar
Honorable Mention: Going for a Ride by Jo DeMars
Honorable Mention: Letters to Love by Brea Behn


First Place: After Midnight by Camilia Cenek
Second Place: Draft Day Prize by Ed Sarna
Third Place: Cornfields Everywhere by Nan Bogue
Honorable Mention: Once Haunted, Now Resolved by Julia Gimbel
Honorable Mention: Fighting by Cliffe Connor
Honorable Mention: Girl Walked Into a Bar by Mel Miskimen


First Place: He Runs His Fingers by Yvette Viets Flaten
Second Place: WordNapped by Jim Landewehr
Third Place: But I Try by Jackie Langetieg
Honorable Mention: A Place Past Cold by Sara Sarna
Honorable Mention: The Box/Treasure Box by Debra McKenny
Honorable Mention: Uncertain Spring by Mike Orlock

Student Winners: Fiction

 First Place: A Crime Against Innocents by Savanna Kortis
Second Place: The Scandal that Scarred Chicago by Hudson King
Third Place: Hundreds of Feet by Brad Proell

Student Winners: Non-Fiction

First Place: (Untitled) by Elizabeth Olshanski
Second Place: What One Discovers in the Dark by Emma Burkland
Third Place: I Learned  by Kenna Koller

All finalists will be honored at a virtual event this fall. Watch for details!

The Jade Ring Contest will open again in spring of 2021.

WWA wishes to thank its judges who provided paid critique services to contest entrants.


The Jade Ring contest fiction category is open to short story, flash, novel excerpt, romance, mystery, humor, science fiction, fantasy, etc. Limit: 2,000 words.

r.r. campbell
Fiction Contest Judge

r.r. campbell is an author, writing coach, and the founder of the Writescast Network, a podcast collective that's been helping creatives worldwide become more confident in themselves and in their craft since 2016. He is also an instructor for the University of Wisconsin's Continuing Education programs, and his novels and short fiction have reached thousands across the globe. For more visit rrcampbellwrites.com 


The Jade Ring contest nonfiction category is open to articles, essay, nostalgia, memoir, humor, self-help, etc. Limit: 2,000 words.

B.J. Hollars
Nonfiction Contest Judge

B.J. Hollars is the author of several books, most recently Midwestern Strange: Hunting Monsters, Martians and the Weird in Flyover Country, The Road South: Personal Stories of the Freedom Riders,  Flock Together: A Love Affair With Extinct Birds, and From the Mouths of Dogs: What Our Pets Teach Us About Life, Death, and Being Human.  Hollars is the recipient of the Truman Capote Prize for Literary Nonfiction, the Anne B. and James B. McMillan Prize, the Council of Wisconsin Writers' Blei-Derleth Award, and the Society of Midland Authors Award.  He is the founder and executive director of the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild and an associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He lives a simple existence with his wife, their children, and their dog.  For more visit bjhollars.com


The Jade Ring contest poetry category is open to any style or theme. Limit: Up to three poems per entry. No poem may be longer than one page. Pages may be single or double spaced.

Dasha Kelly Hamilton
Poetry Contest Judge

Dasha Kelly Hamilton is a writer, performance artist and creative change agent.  Through responsive and respectful intentionality, Dasha leverages the creative process to facilitate critical dialogues around human and social wellness.  Dasha delivers her engagement sessions to campuses, classrooms, correctional institutions, association conferences, social service agencies, municipal departments and team retreats.

Her nonprofit, Still Waters Collective, has curated poetry programming and spoken word events in the region for almost 20 years. The work has been impacting more than 13,000 youth, provided professional development to more than 100 young people, and created platforms for thousands of voices to be honored and heard.

Dasha has written for national, regional and local magazines; produced three collections of poetry; recorded four spoken word CDs; and published two novels. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University and has taught writing courses at Mount Mary University, Alverno College and UW-Milwaukee. Dasha served as an Arts Envoy for the U.S. Embassy to teach, perform and facilitate community building initiatives in Botswana and the island of Mauritius.  A former Artist of the Year for the City of Milwaukee, Dasha was recently named the city’s 11th Poet Laureate. For more visit dashakellly.com 



Puppy Day by J. Mackenzie 

J. Mackenzie, has published short pieces in local papers, magazines, and an anthology, The Talking Stick. She fights writer’s block on her blog, jmackenziewrites.wordpress.com. She has also recently concluded her tenure as the program chair for Lake Superior Writers in her hometown of Duluth, MN. In her free time she strolls the pristine shores of Lake Superior with her adventurous miniature Australia shepherd, on the lookout for agates, a local semi-precious stone.


After Midnight by Camilia Cenek

Camilia Cenek is a writer and editor. She earned her degrees in English Literature from UW Madison (BA) and Marquette University (MA) and has a passion for words, reading, meaning. She attended the Write by the Lake retreat at UW-Madison last year and afterward joined a local writers' circle; these experiences gave her the confidence to share her story. She lives in Brodhead, WI with her husband and three daughters.


His Fingers by Yvette Viets Flaten

Yvette Viets Flaten writes both fiction and poetry. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish (1974) and a Master of Arts in History (1982) from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Her award-winning poetry (Muse Prize, Jade Ring, Triad) has appeared widely in numerous journals, including the Wisconsin Academy Review, Rag Mag, Midwest Review, Free Verse, Red Cedar Review, and Barstow and Grand.  She loves to try new recipes, collect new words, and, with her husband Daniel, travel new roads, both near and far.

Read full press release announcing Jade Ring winners here



  • Thu, February 04, 2021 7:00 PM


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