• 15 Wisconsin Writing Resources

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing Resources     Comments No comments

    WIThe penultimate state in our alphabetical series on State Writing Resources is my home state of Wisconsin. (Go ahead, get your Cheesehead jokes out of the way now.) Wisconsin — the Badger State, America’s Dairyland — in 1848 became the 30th state. Ninety years later, my dad was born in a tiny map-dot of a couple of thousand people called Richland Center. Seventy or so years after that, his son moved to New York City, the most populous area in the country, and he lives in a house where the only other person on his floor hails from … Richland Center, Wisconsin. There’s your small-world anecdote for the day.

    But we’re here to talk about writing! Some featured names in Wisconsin writing include: Ellen Raskin, author of The Westing Game, one of my favorite books as a child growing up in Raskin’s and my hometown of Milwaukee; Glenway Wescott, whose slim novel Pilgrim Hawk is an excellent read, and whose Apartment in Athens I think will be even better, if I ever get the chance to tackle it; Laura Ingalls Wilder, no introduction necessary; Thornton Wilder (Our Town); and Liberace! Born in West Allis, WI.

    Presented in no particular order, here are 15 Wisconsin writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you are in America’s Dairyland or are planning a move there, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at.

    1. Milwaukee Writers Workshop

    Milwaukee’s best option for critiques and writing education in both creative and professional writing.

    2. Cream City Review

    A nonprofit literary magazine published semi-annually in association with the English Department of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Poetry, fiction and more.

    3. Woodland Pattern

    A nonprofit bookstore with over 25,000 small-press titles. The space also holds an art gallery which offers exhibitions, artist talks, readings, experimental films, concerts and writing workshops for adults and children.

    4. Wisconsin Book Festival

    A free five-day program of public events that takes place every fall in downtown Madison. It is the state’s largest literary festival, drawing thousands of attendees annually.

    5. Wisconsin Writers Association

    Hosts conferences, contests and meetings around the state.

    6. Lakefly Literary Conference

    A two-day conference offering featured writers, breakout sessions, contests and more. Held annually in Oshkosh.

    7. Summer Solstice Retreat

    Morning and afternoon workshops at a lakeside retreat, with an emphasis on yoga and freeing your creativity.

    8. Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets

    An organization of people who are interested in poetry, who write poetry, and/or who are willing to work to make Wisconsin poetry-conscious and conscious of its own poets.

    9. Abraxas Press

    Publishes contemporary poetry, with a special emphasis on the lyric mode, as well as poetry in translation, essays, criticism and reviews of small press poetry books.

    10. Tuesdays With Story

    A writers group in Madison, including novelists, mystery writers, poets, children’s writers and more, of all age groups and experience levels.

    11. Writers’ Institute

    An annual writers’ conference under the auspices of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies program.

    12. REUTS Publications

    An independent publisher of YA/NA fiction and host of Project REUTSway, an annual challenge to write a story per week in the month of November.

    13. Franklin Public Library Writers’ Night

    A monthly meeting the first Thursday of every month for local published and aspiring writers to gather and share their works, get constructive criticism, and commiserate on the joys and sorrows of being a writer.

    14. Oshkosh Area Writers Club

    Meets twice/month to share in the common interest of creative writing; inspire and motivate members to write; and provide a supportive forum for constructive feedback.

    15. Council for Wisconsin Writers

    A unique community of writers, poets, and educators dedicated to the recognition of outstanding work by Wisconsin writers, and to promoting public awareness of Wisconsin writing. CWW’s activities offer literary professionals from around the state an opportunity to meet, mingle, and work together in pursuit of common goals.

    WI FlagHelp us add to this list of Wisconsin writing goodness, Badger Staters! Do you run a local writing group or a lit journal we should be aware of? Feel free to share info and links in the comments section below.

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