Writing Contests

2023 writing contests categories, rules, and submission details are below!



  • Maximum 75 lines
  • Any form, genre, or style


  • Maximum 3,000 words
  • Fiction genre

(18 and younger)

  • Maximum 2,000 words
  • Fiction genre
  • Open to 18 years old and younger


  • Maximum 2,500 words
  • Non-fiction genre


  • Wisconsin resident OR
  • Wisconsin student OR
  • Registered participant of 2023 Lakefly Writers Conference

*Members of the Lakefly Conference Planning Committee are NOT eligible to enter


  • Prizes include: 1st place: $100; 2nd place: $75; 3rd place: $50 cash
  • Winners will be announced at the 2023 Lakefly Writers Conference, May 5-6 in Oshkosh.
  • Winners will receive their prize and certificate in the mail shortly after the conference.
  • A PDF of the winning entries will be available on the Lakefly website after the conference.

Submitting your manuscript:

  • Contest submissions will be accepted January 15, 2023 through March 3, 2023.
  • Entries must be original and unpublished; Electronically or self-published works are ineligible.
  • There is no entry fee.
  • Limit one entry per author per category.
  • Entrants should include a biography written in third person, maximum 100 words. If entering the Short Story Contest for 18 and younger please include your age and grade level.
  • Submissions will not be returned.
  • Format: Double spaced; Times New Roman, or Courier; 12 point font
  • Cover page: name, mailing address, phone number, e-mail address, submission title, word or line count, category
  • At the top of each subsequent page: title and page number
    (Example: The Dark Night, page 1 of 3)

Please do not include identifying information, such as your name, on any page other than the cover page.

Electronic Submissions:

  • Send to: LakeflyContests@gmail.com
  • Attach your submission as a PDF file
  • Entries must be time stamped by midnight, March 3, 2023

Mailed submissions:

  • Mail to:
    Lakefly Writing Contests
    c/o Oshkosh Public Library
    106 Washington Avenue
    Oshkosh, WI 54901
  • Entries must be postmarked by midnight, March 3, 2023

Send questions to LakeflyContests@gmail.com, or call the Oshkosh Public Library at 920-236-5203 and ask for Ruth

    Enjoy reading past winning entries:

2022 Lakefly Writing Contest Winners Booklet
2021 Lakefly Writing Contest Winners Booklet
2020 Lakefly Writing Contest Winners Booklet
2019 Lakefly Writing Contest Winners Booklet
2018 Lakefly Writing Contest Winners Booklet