Writing Contests

Announcing our 2020 contest categories – Entry submission will be open January 6 through March 13, 2020

Find our 2019 contest winners here: 2019 Writing Contests Winner Booklet

2020 Lakefly Writing Contests are supported in part by a grant from the
Oshkosh Area Community Foundation and the Wisconsin Arts Board



  • Maximum 750 words
  • Any genre
  • No theme


  • Maximum 3,000 words
  • Theme: True Love


  • Maximum 75 lines
  • Any form or style, free verse to formal or anything in-between
  • No theme


  • Open to 18 years old and younger
  • Maximum 1,500 words
  • Any genre
  • No theme


  • Wisconsin resident OR
  • Wisconsin student OR
  • Registered participant of 2020 Lakefly Writers Conference

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


  • Winners will be notified by April 17, 2020.
  • Prizes include: 1st place: $100; 2nd place: $75; 3rd place: $50 cash
  • Winners must be able to attend our awards ceremony to be eligible to win.
  • The awards ceremony is part of the Lakefly Writers Conference, held at the Oshkosh Convention Center (2 N Main St, Oshkosh, WI, 54901- Free parking available). The ceremony portion of the conference is free and open to the public: Saturday, May 9, 2020.

Submitting your manuscript:

  • Contest submissions will be accepted starting January 6, 2020.
  • Entries must be original and unpublished; Electronically or self-published works are ineligible.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 Teen Short Story Contest 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
  • Subsequent pages: title and page number at the top of each page (Example: The Dark Night, page 1 of 3)
  • Please put your name or other identifying information on the cover page ONLY.

Electronic Submissions:

  • Send to: LakeflyContests@gmail.com
  • Attach your submission as a .pdf file.
  • Entries must be time stamped by midnight, March 13, 2020.

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 13, 2020.

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