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Serving all writers since 1948

what you need to know for January 2020 Wisconsin Writers Association

Hey {Contact_First_Name},

Here are
10 things we thought were worth sharing this month with you!

  1. A Note from WWA President Barry Wightman.
  2. WWA Next Board Meeting January 8, 10:30 conference call
  3. WWA Conferences, Retreats, Writing Events 
  4. Member Book Reviews
  5. WWA Affiliates 
  6. WWA Friends Announcements 
  7. Housekeeping - Things to Know
  8. Jade Ring Contest is gearing up
  9. See new contests this month and visit the WWA website for many new contests and opportunities...check out all of this month's Contests!
  10. Keep up with WWA Every Day! Follow Us on Facebook! Learn where to network with other WI Writers on WWA's Meetup Page!

Editors Note: The WWA NewsBrief is about member accomplishments, writing events, and contests. It is delivered on the 25th of each month by email. I welcome your comments, suggestions, ideas, and yes, complaints.  Please send news bits for the February 2020 to me by January 20th to Barb Messick.  Thank you.


Website Refresh

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website! Have you
noticed? Check it out at: wiwrite.org


Keep Up With Us


WWA Website


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WWA Website News:  Send all requests for website changes, corrections, routine updates, and questions associated with the WWA website to Board Operations Chair, Kymberley Pekrul,

Share your pride in WWA membership and promote the organization at the same time!   
Download badges to include in your email signature and other areas where you want to tell the world about your associations. Visit the WWA website to download your badge

Facebook: Follow the WWA Facebook Page  https://www.facebook.com/WIWrite/ – Post your exciting writing news! Stay up with the pulse of what’s trending in today’s shifting marketplace. Network  with other members. Explore, learn, discover, connect, and keep up with authors.

Paid a visit to the  WWA website, yet?  You'll find tons of great information for writers. Check out the "Helpful Articles for Writers" page for a valuable list of  resources from industry experts. 


A Note from WWA President Barry Wightman: December 20, 2019

It’s that time of year – you’re overloaded, stuff is happening everywhere with everybody all the time. I get it. I’ll get to the point.

It’s always #GivingTuesday at WWA. Chip in a few bucks! Support Wisconsin writers wherever they are - help us deliver more workshops and craft development events around the state! It’s very easy. Just click here

Speaking of workshops, writers in the western suburbs and exurbs of Milwaukee – you’ll definitely want to save the afternoon of Sunday February 9 in downtown Hartland. We’ll have award-winning author Sara Dahmen deliver her marvelous Book to Film workshop. Very cool stuff. And we’ll have author/teacher Joanne Nelson…a cozy afternoon of craft and writerly stuff. More soon.

That’s it!  Have a wonderful holiday season…and keep on writing.


News from the Board

New Board Member: The WWA Board of Directors invite you to join them in welcoming the newest member of the board, Judy Adrian. Judy has a PhD in adult learning and a BA and MA in English. She retired from Madison's Edgewood College and is excited to taught at Madison's Edgewood College for 25 years and is excited to spend time with her passion, writing. We are excited to work with her to advance the mission of the WWA. Welcome aboard, Judy!

Board Members Needed:  WWA, a registered 501 (c) 3, is managed by a Board of Directors and needs board member volunteers.  Board members focus on policy and long-range planning to fulfill our mission of supporting Wisconsin writers in achieving their individual writing goals. Visit the Board of Directors page for links to WWA Board Members. LEARN MORE or contact Barry Wightman.

Not ready for the board, consider volunteeringCheck out the opportunities

  Next WWA Board call or meetings:  conference call - Wednesday, January 8, 2020, 10:30 am. – WWA members are welcome to call in to the meeting as observers. For details, contact Kymberley Pekrul


WWA forges relationships to help us better serve our membership, improve our organization's performance, and engage our professional networks.

Novel-in-Progress Book Camp and Writing Retreat

The WWA is proud to sponsor the seventh annual Novel-In-Progress Book Camp & Writing Retreat, two six-day, residential programs focused on the craft of long-form writing, publishing, and networking among new friends (writers all.) It will be held Sunday evening, May 17 through Saturday morning, May 23, 2020, the week before Memorial Day. The event is hosted by member Dave Rank.

The Book Camp is a hands-on workshop led by published novelists, editors, and literary agents, providing craft classes, one-on-one consultations for your Work-In-Progress, group critiques of your writing, and presentations on writing and publishing. A roster of writers are already lining up to attend, so reserve your spot  by contacting director Dave as soon as possible.


Why join WWA? Here's another exciting reason...this members-only benefit! 

WWA is pleased to announce a special WWA member perk for our published authors. Our volunteer book review program is underway. Currently, a small group of reviewers is available to provide reviews. These reviews will be posted on our WiWrite.org website, as well as various online sites as our reviewers are able. These reviews can be found on the News tab of the website, as well as in the Member forum under the Member Community tab.

We are looking for more reviewers as well as reviews. Email Lisa for more information. To submit a request for reviews, please see below.

Books of most genres may be submitted. Books of any publication date are acceptable. Self-published material that has been edited by a third party is acceptable. Send submissions to Lisa Lickel, Book Review Coordinator. For details on submitting your book for review, visit the WWA website.

We invite you to enjoy our first book reviews Watch for more to come. 

Beyond Birkie Fever     Author: Walter Rhein 

Reviewed by: Bill Mathis

A humorous and inspiring story of one man’s challenges with his love affair of cross-country (X-C) skiing and how it expanded his small world of growing up in Northern Wisconsin. With a mother who loved to X-C ski, a grandfather who hosted international
X-C ski competitors in his home and told crazy stories about driving on black ice, did author Walter Rhein even have a chance at not liking X-C skiing? Growing up in tiny Cable, Wisconsin, which hosts the annual American Birkebeiner with thousands of national and international competitors and known as the “Birkie,” Rhein took his time, but did acquire the taste in his teen years. Then he was hooked.

In Beyond Birkie Fever, Rhein writes with great skill and insight how he came to catch Birkie Fever, the intense efforts to practice, get in shape, gather skills—sometimes through learning the hard way—and to gradually get better.

Visit the WWA website for the entire review - Member Forum, Book Reviews     Buy the Book Here 

Go, Gwen, Go     Authors: Nancy Jorgensen        and Elizabeth Jorgensen 
Biography       Reviewed by: Walter Rhein
An Intimate Glimpse Into the Olympic Journey

Go, Gwen, Go follows the career of Olympic gold medalist and dominant world class triathlete Gwen Jorgensen. There are a lot of books about the Olympic journey out there and they generally fall into two categories. There are the books written by the athletes themselves which tend to be a bit overly technical, and then there are the books written by professional writers that tend to be too distant from the athletes and the sport. Go, Gwen, Go fits somewhere in between those extremes as it is written by Gwen's sister Elizabeth and her mother Nancy who are gifted writers with the access and confidence that is only available to family.

Truly great books manage to capture something that makes the final result more than the sum of the parts. Go, Gwen, Go does a great job of detailing Jorgensen's remarkable string of victories. But what I most appreciated about this book was the kind relationships and support group that exists within the family unit.

Visit the WWA website for the entire review - Member Forum, Book Reviews      Buy the Book Here   

The 2020 Jade Ring Contest Opens this Spring

Finalists in the four categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Humor and Poetry will receive the following:

  • First place winners receive a Jade Ring or cash prize and may be considered for publication in the Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine
  • Second and Third place finalists receive a cash award
  • All honorable mentions receive a certificate

Contest rules and deadline to follow soon. Please check back for details.

All winners’ entries will be published in the Creative Wisconsin Anthology and will be recognized at the annual Jade Ring award ceremony in the fall (date & location TBD). Each winner will receive a complimentary copy of Creative Wisconsin Anthology containing their award-winning piece. 

Special thanks are extended to the 2019 Jade Ring Contest judges:

Poetry – Max Garland, Professor Emeritus at UW-Eau Claire, recently served as Writer-in-Residence for the city of Eau Claire. His latest book is The Word We Used for It was winner of the 2017-18 Brittingham Poetry Prize. Max is the former Poet Laureate of Wisconsin.

Fiction – Judy Bridges is “The Boss” in the Wisconsin writing community. She founded Redbird Writing Studio in Milwaukee in 1993 and included much of her writing wisdom in her good-natured guide to the craft, Shut Up & Write!

Nonfiction – Jim Landwehr has five books, The Portland House, Dirty Shirt, Written Life, Reciting From Memory, and On a Road. He is poet laureate for the Village of Wales, Wis.

Humor – Mel Miskimen is an award-winning writer and Moth storyteller. Her book, Sit. Stay. Heal, was a selection on WPR’s Chapter A Day. Modern Dog Magazine called it a must read.

Congratulations to the 2019 Jade Ring contest winners. 

1st in Fiction:  Pamela J.A. Fullerton, Going to the Dickens, an engaging, carefully crafted story about an elderly woman who faces a life-and-death problem in her own special way.

1st  in Humor:   Janice Wilberg, Crop Tending, a story about a rookie gardener with big time master gardener dreams.

1st   in Nonfiction: Julia Gimbel, My Miss New Orleans, a strong, engaging and complete story about launching a child into the world of higher education.

1st in Poetry: Kayla Knaack, Bathtub Baptism, a poem that tells a story, the emotion progressing in a surprising, yet convincing way from stanza to stanza.

You can read all the entries winners and honorable mentions in the Creative Wisconsin Anthology 

Writing Quote of the Month:

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs."   ~ Steven King

Member News:  Got News? Send your member news by the 20th of each month for inclusion in the upcoming month’s WWA NewsBrief issue. Send to Barb Messick. 

WWA Affiliate Announcements:  WWA develops long-lasting partnerships between complementary organizations and businesses where a mutually beneficial relationship serves each organization's interests. WWA will consider proposals to work together or on events and projects but does not guarantee acceptance.

UW Continuing Studies Writing Program

  WWA is A Proud Sponsor of  UW's Writers Institute

March 26-29, 2020

Registration to the 31st annual Writers Institute is now open! This annual event features a host of learning opportunities for every genre, for beginner and advanced writers, those looking to improve their craft or those ready to publish. Take a master class, schedule to pitch to agents, network and enjoy the company of other writers. Register before February 25th and save $40. Bring a friend who is new to the institute and you each save another $35 (hurry! this offer is only available until January 6th.) Learn more here.

Madison Continuing Studies offers  additional Writing Classesin person and online,  manuscript critiques, writing retreats, and workshops. Prices and times vary. Check here for details.

Announcements from our WWA Friends:
WWA provides a monthly listing of non-sponsored, non-affiliate opportunities for its membership community. WWA shares this information solely as a service to its members.

Subscribe to Masters Review

 Find contests and other writing opportunities. Masters Review offers a quality platform for emerging writers.  Click here for details

Red Oak Writing offers programs for writers of all levels of ability and experience: Registration is open for Roundtable Critique Groups (online and in person), Craft & Publishing Workshops, and Youth Creative Writing Camps. 

Opportunities and Events:

Do you know of an event? Send event news by the 20th of each month for inclusion in the upcoming month’s WWA NewsBrief issue. Send to Barb. 

Do you live in southeast Wisconsin? The Kenosha Writers Guild meets at the beautiful Carthage College on the shores of Lake Michigan. See videos of members and their success and upcoming events at Kenosha Writers Guild.

Ever wondered where you can find writing opportunities, writing tools, and inspiration online? Wonder no more. The Write Life has compiled a list of the 2019 One Hundred Best Writing Websites. Join an online community of writers here.

Monthly Poetry Readings First Tuesday of each month at Suzy's Steakhouse in Portage WI; 6:00 - 8:00 pm. The group extends an invitation to Wisconsin Writers to attend or to request an opportunity to be a Featured Poet. The goal for each month is to have one male and one female Featured Poet and time for Open Mic. Contact June Paul atjunegpaul@gmail.com to learn about current openings.

Writers Groups  Writing is a solitary endeavor, but we can learn so much from fellow writers, sharing our works, listening to others share theirs improves our writing. Do you know of writers groups in your area that welcome new members? Share them with us, send your information to Barb.  Let's work together!|

Online Freelance Writing Opportunities

Check out these sites: 
Upwork offers both short- and long-term projects, hourly or pay-per-project. 
Freelancer allows you to compete with other freelancers in contests to prove your skills. It’s a great way to find your niche and attract clients. 
Guru lets you showcase your past work experience and has a daily job-matching feature so you won't miss out on opportunities.
Freelance Writing Gigs: As the name implies, this site is specific to writers, editors, bloggers and others in the industry. 
FiverrA site for creative types, including writers. Name your service and price and businesses in need of content can contact you. Helps you build a platform and reputation.

Networking Opportunities:

Did you know that WWA is On Meetup? Yep, we’ve been on Meetup since November 2018. What’s Meetup you ask? It’s a new way for Wisconsin Writers to connect with writing groups and events around the state! Connect through Meetup with other writers you know from all over Wisconsin, learn about writing-related events that happen everywhere! WWA now has 210 Meetup members!  Meetup is a great member benefit coordinated by board member Adrienne Hulburt who regularly adds new conferences, events, and interesting writer events and anything else that gets thrown her way onto the WWA Meetup events calendar. Follow the link below to join WWA’s, Meetup Page!https://www.meetup.com/WisconsinWritersAssociation/

Publication Opportunities:

The Masters Review/New Voices – The Masters Review New Voices category is open year-round to any new or emerging author who has not published a work of fiction or narrative nonfiction of novel length. Authors with short story collections are free to submit. They accept simultaneous and multiple submissions but ask that you inform them immediately if your story is accepted elsewhere. They pay New Voices authors $0.10/word up to $200 and do not charge submission fees but are highly selective. To read previously published stories, or to submit a piece of fiction or narrative nonfiction up to 7000 words, please see the New Voices page of their website.


Contests Listings WANTED! – Do you know of a contest that may be of interest to WWA Members? Submit contest details with deadlines to Barb.  Also be sure to visit the WWA website for more Contests & Oppoortunities

Winning Writers Contest Database:  Looking for a contest? Free and fee-based opportunities. Check here. 

Next Generation Indie Book Awards:  Accepting entries for books published in 2018, 2019, 2020 with a copyright date. Over 70 categories and prizes. Deadline February 14, 2020.  Learn More 

From Freedom with Writing: 

   10 Calls for Short Stories Learn More

   Get Paid to Write about Movies See More

Reading Works is sponsoring a Short Short Story Writing Contest, challenging  writers to write a short story using no more than 30 words. Entrants can choose from five topics: sushi, pianos, caterpillars, Huck Finn's mother or breakfast. There are six cash prizes. Deadline is January 10, 2020. Submission fee is $5 per story. 

Reading Works is an adult literacy nonprofit located in Albuquerque, Not only great fun. it also supports the cause of literacy.  Learn More

K. Margaret Grossman Fiction Awards: $10 ENTRY FEE. Deadline January 15, 2020. First Prize $1,000. Second Prize $300. Third Prize $200. Send unpublished stories, 10,000 words max. All subjects and styles welcome. Click Here

Join the group that supports you throughout Wisconsin!

Become a member here!

You write. Wisconsin writes!
WWA Monthly NewsBrief

NewsBrief Editor Barbara Messick

Please send NewsBrief bits to:  bjm.writer@gmail.com



Copyright © 2019 Wisconsin Writers Association, All rights reserved.

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2020 WWA NewsBrief Submission Deadline Calendar:

To help WWA Members and our Partner Groups & Organizations schedule submissions for inclusion in the WWA NewsBrief, we’ve put together a handy Issue/Deadline Reference (see below) for the upcoming year. Feel free to print and keep the reference in a convenient place to schedule your news submissions.

Please note that the November and December NewsBrief is combined into one issue. Also, the January NewsBrief has an earlier December submission deadline to allow for timely distribution to members before Christmas week each year.

  • February 2020 - Deadline Monday, January 20, 2020
  • March  2020 - Deadline Thursday, February 20, 2020
  • May 2020- Deadline Saturday, April 20, 2019
  • April 2020 - Deadline Friday, March 20, 2020
  • May 2020 - Deadline Monday, April 20, 2020
  • June 2020 - Deadline Wednesday, May 20, 2020
  • July 2020 - Deadline Saturday, June 20, 2020
  • August 2020 - Deadline Monday, July 20, 2020
  • September 2020 - Deadline Thursday, August 20, 2020
  • October 2020 - Deadline Sunday, September 20, 2020
  • November-December 2020 - Deadline Tuesday, September 20, 2020
  • January 2021 - Deadline Sunday, August,December 13, 2020