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Jade Ring 2021 Open

Mon, March 01, 2021 10:32 AM | Anonymous

Anyone Can Enter the Jade Ring Writing Contest

But Can Anyone Find the Jade Ring? 

Nonprofit organization offers cash prizes, publication, critiques and an added challenge

Milwaukee, Wis., March 1, 2021 – The Wisconsin Writers Association is pleased to announce the annual Jade Ring Contest is open for submissions with three accomplished judges who will select first-, second-, and third-place winners, with three honorable mentions. Erin Celello, Laurie Scheer, and Margaret Rozga will judge in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, respectively.  

“The Jade Ring Writing Contest has a long and storied history in Wisconsin. Our judges this year are once again a stellar group of accomplished authors from around the state who share the craft of their genres with aspiring authors,” said Barry Wightman, WWA President. “It’s a great time to be competitive – enter the contest and get a critique on your work from our judges for not much money. It’s a great deal.”

Contest winners can earn the coveted jade ring, cash prizes and publication, bolstering their author platform. All Jade Ring Contest finalists and honorable mentions will be published in WWA’s annual Creative Wisconsin Anthologyand receive a complimentary copy of the journal. Contest entrants have the option to request critique feedback by judges for a nominal fee. Read Jade Ring Writing Contest entry details and submit online using this link:

“It’s exciting to be kicking off this year’s writing competition with a statewide challenge – to find the original jade ring that James L. Kraft designed in 1950,” said Wightman. “We invite everyone throughout the state to help us find the jade ring so we can restore history to the state’s oldest writing competition.”

In Search of the Jade Ring

The WWA’s first writing contest began in 1949 when over 1,000 entries in short stories, poems, and plays were submitted. The “jade ring” became the prize in 1950 when James L. Kraft suggested the idea to WWA members he met by happenstance while stopping for lunch near one of his homes in northern Wisconsin. Kraftwood is a sprawling estate that Kraft had built along the edge of Lake Mashkinosiew, 20 miles from his manufacturing plant in Antigo. The 76-year-old founder of Kraft Foods had passions other than pasteurizing cheese. Kraft was an amateur jewelry maker, and it was his suggestion to the WWA members he overheard planning the first-annual writing contest at the diner that serendipitous day, that they allow him to design and donate custom made jade rings for the contest prizes.

Kraft passed away two years later, leaving behind one of the world’s largest food manufacturing companies and a unique and legendary prize for what has become the state’s oldest writing contest. Somewhere along the line, the original jade ring designs were lost when the jeweler either was destroyed or went out of business. The jade ring has undergone at least two transformations since Kraft’s original design went missing. 

To honor the legacy of the Kraft’s jade ring design, the WWA is in search of an original ring, allowing the organization to restore the writing contest prize for what it was meant to be. 

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About Wisconsin Writers Association

Founded in 1948, the Wisconsin Writers Association is a creative community dedicated to the support of writers and authors. WWA sponsors and hosts year-round conferences and events throughout Wisconsin, offering discounts and exclusive resources, sharing experiences and knowledge as it encourages  members in their art. Visit

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