Writing Contests

COVID-19 Response
The health and safety of community members is our number one priority. For that reason, though the writing contests are still moving forward, winners will be notified by mail instead of being required to attend an awards ceremony. Once we verify the addresses of the winners, checks and certificates will be mailed.

Save the dates: Our next conference will be May 7-8, 2021 at the Oshkosh Convention Center.

Stay safe and healthy, and keep on writing!

2020 entry submission is now closed. Thank you for your entries!

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  • Entries must be original and unpublished; Electronically or self-published works are ineligible.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