The Wisconsin Writers Award Winners Were Just Announced

Eight writers across the state have been declared winners of the Wisconsin Writers Awards for work published in 2016.

Among the winners is Whitefish Bay resident Carolyn Kott Washburn, for the Milwaukee Magazine story “A Natural Ken” that she penned for our July, 2016 issue. The story, which chronicles Ken Leinbach’s quiet, yet inspiring role in the rise of the Urban Ecology Center, won this year’s Kay W. Levin Short Nonfiction Award.

Each of the eight winners receives a $500 cash prize, along with a weeklong writing residency at Shake Rag Alley. Honorable mentions also recognized will be awarded $50, plus a residency at Painted Forest in Valton, WI.

The Council for Wisconsin Writers, which began in 1964, exists to bring recognition to exceptional new work produced by Wisconsin writers. The organization also seeks to make public the rich history of the state’s literary heritage.

A panel of out-of-state judges selected this year’s winners. Next month, winners will be celebrated at the CWW’s Awards Banquet, hosted by the Wisconsin club, on Saturday, May 13 at 11 a.m. Banquet tickets are available for reservation until Tuesday, May 9.

Winners List
  • Kay W. Levin Short Nonfiction Award:
    Winner: Carolyn Kott Washburne, Whitefish Bay; “A Natural Ken,” Milwaukee Magazine
    Honorable Mention: Pattie See, Chippewa Falls; “Diary of a Bone Marrow Donor” 1966: A Journal of Creative Nonfiction

  • Nobert Blei/August Derleth Nonfiction Book Award:
    Winner: Paula Dáil, Spring Green; Mother Nature’s Daughters: 21st Century Women Farmers, McFarland
    Honorable Mention: James Lodi Braving It: A Father, A Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey Into the Alaskan Wild, Crown, Penguin Random House

  • Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award:
    Winner: Patricia Skalka, Sturgeon Bay; Death in Cold Water, University of Wisconsin Press
    Honorable Mention: Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden, Death on a Starry Night, University of    Wisconsin Press

  • Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award:
    Winner: Catherine Jagoe, Madison; Bloodroot, Settlement House Books
    Honorable Mention: Jon Loomis, Eau Claire; The Mansions of Happiness, Oberlin College Press

  • Zona Gale Award for Short Fiction:
    Winner: Liz Wyckoff, Madison; “Like This, Like That,” Copper Nickel 
    Honorable Mention: Jeff Esterholm, Superior, “Flaming Chevy Lodestar,” RE:AL Regarding Arts & Letters

  • Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award:
    Winner: Rachel Davidson Leigh, Madison; Hold, Interlude Press/Duet Books
    Honorable Mention: Dean Robbins, Madison; Two Friends, Orchard Books/Scholastic

  • Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award:
    Winner: David Southward, Milwaukee; five individual poems
    Honorable Mention: Georgia Ressmeyer, Sheboygan