Council for Wisconsin Writers
Press Release

2016 Wisconsin Writers Awards Announced by Council for Wisconsin Writers

Awards will be presented at the Council's annual banquet to be held this year on May 13 in Milwaukee.

By - Mar 27th, 2017 08:50 am

Eight Wisconsin writers have been named winners of the Wisconsin Writers Awards for work published in 2016. The Council will award each winner $500 and a weeklong writing residency at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point. Honorable mentions will receive $50 and a residency at Painted Forest, Valton, WI. Awards will be presented at the Council’s annual banquet to be held this year on May 13 in Milwaukee.

The Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award goes to Patricia Skalka, Sturgeon Bay, for Death in Cold WaterUniversity of Wisconsin Press. Honorable mention is awarded to Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden for Death on a Starry Night, University of Wisconsin Press.

Paula Dáil, Spring Green, is the winner of the Norbert Blei/August Derleth Nonfiction Book Award for Mother Nature’s Daughters: 21st Century Women Farmers, McFarland, while James Campbell, Lodi, receives an honorable mention award for Braving It: A Father, A Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey Into the Alaskan WildCrown, Penguin Random House.

Catherine Jagoe, Madison, is the winner of the Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award for the book Bloodroot, Settlement House Books. Honorable mention goes to Jon Loomis, Eau Claire, for The Mansions of Happiness, Oberlin College Press.

Rachel Davidson Leigh, Madison, is winner of the Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award for Hold, Interlude Press/Duet Books. Dean Robbins, Madison, receives honorable mention for Two Friends, Orchard Books/Scholastic.

Liz Wyckoff, Madison, is the winner of the Zona Gale Award for Short Fiction for “Like This, Like That,” Copper Nickel. Jeff Esterholm, Superior, is the recipient of an honorable mention for “Flaming Chevy Lodestar,” RE:AL Regarding Arts & Letters.

Carolyn Kott Washburne, Whitefish Bay, is the winner of the Kay W. Levin Short Nonfiction Award for “A Natural Ken,” Milwaukee Magazine. Patti See, Chippewa Falls, receives honorable mention for “Diary of a Bone Marrow Donor” 1966: A Journal of Creative Nonfiction.

The Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award for five individual poems goes to David Southward, Milwaukee. Honorable mention goes to Georgia Ressmeyer, Sheboygan.

Contest winners and honorable mentions were selected by out-of-state judges.

The Council for Wisconsin Writers’ Major Achievement award honors a Wisconsin writer for work that deserves special recognition for literary merit without regard to genre or category. The winner is chosen by the CWW Board of Directors. This year’s Major Achievement award will be presented to John Gurda, Milwaukee.

The public is invited to celebrate our state’s fine writers at the CWW’s Awards Banquet at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee. Banquet tickets must be reserved by Tuesday, May 9.

More information about the winners, judges, banquet registration, and the Council for Wisconsin Writers can be found at its website,

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