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Writing Contests & Opportunities

Open to writers working in ekphrasis: writing inspired by visual art.

Write On, Door County is pleased to offer the Dick Scuglik Memorial Residency and Scholarship to a poet or other writer with demonstrated ability and interest in ekphrastic writing. The residency is awarded annually in mid-June.

The selected writer will be paired with a Door County visual artist. The artist and writer will share work with each other. Each will create new work in response to other's work prior to the start of the residency. During the residency, both writer and artist will participate in a public event at which the new work is shared, along with a conversation about the creative process. For 2024, the visual artist will be painter Cheryl Stidwell Parker. 

While ekphrastic writing is most common in poetry, Write On welcomes applications from all genres, provided the work sample submitted fits the classification of ekphrasis.

A scholarship fund is available to assist the writer with travel expenses related to the residency. A small stipend and a grocery allowance are also included in the award.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The contest is open to both published and unpublished writers.
  • Writers must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Writers may be currently enrolled in a graduate writing program.
  • Writers must have demonstrated ability and interest in ekphrasis.

Submission Requirements

  • Submit 10-15 pages of a work sample that demonstrates your ekphrastic writing. Excerpts of longer works are acceptable.
  • Include a statement of interest in ekphrastic writing, at least one paragraph but no more than three paragraphs.
  • Include a list of publications, if any, highlighting published exphrastic writing.
  • Include a one-paragraph biographical statement.

DEADLINE: January 20, 2023

ENTRY FEE: $40.00

To apply for the program, please click here.

A selection committee organized by Write On, Door County nominates a qualified individual to serve as the Door County Poet Laureate. The Door County Board of Supervisors approves the nomination. The appointment of Poet Laureate is two years.

The purpose of the Poet Laureate appointment is to raise the county consciousness to a greater level of appreciation for the reading and writing of poetry and to serve as a literary ambassador to the community. Among the duties of the Poet Laureate are:

  • to encourage and support local poets;
  • to build a greater audience for poetry through readings and other events;
  • to work with community agencies, schools, libraries, senior citizen groups, service clubs, or church societies on readings, workshops, or other events utilizing the talents of area poets or poetry groups.;
  • to utilize the media to promote poetry;
  • to occasionally compose a commemorative poem for a special Door County occasion if requested by the chair of a Door County governmental unit (and if mutually agreed upon);
  • to bring his/her individual talents and strengths to build a personal agenda which will carry out the mission;
  • to keep a log or notebook of activities accomplished and publicity about such activities during the term of appointment.

The selection committee ideally consists of the current and at least one past Door County Poet Laureate, a representative of Write On, a county English teacher, a librarian, and an individual representing the community. The committee considers the following criteria when nominating an individual for the post:

  • ability to carry out the duties of the position;
  • quality of poetry and publication history;
  • contributions to the Door County poetry community;
  • recognition locally, regionally, and beyond in the poetry community;
  • worthiness of the honor of the position of Door County Poet Laureate. | 920.868.1457

Write On, Door County curates and maintains the Poetry Trail at Newport State Park. Up to 16 poems are displayed on 10 permanent stanchions along the Rowleys Bay and Monarch trails. Available year-round, exhibits change quarterly. The works of local writers, Wisconsin poets, and others are displayed. Contributors include school children, published poets, and the poets laureate of Door County and Wisconsin.

The Poetry Trail can be accessed via the Welcome Center parking lot. The trail wanders through a wooded area and out into open land. The ten stanchions along the path allow people an opportunity to experience poetry within the beauty of nature. The trail began in 2010 as a joint project of local poetry groups and the Newport Wilderness Society. Since 2016, the trail has become a program of Write On. Poetry exhibits are scheduled to change quarterly. Newport State Park is located on County NP, east of Highway 42, near Gills Rock. A state park vehicle sticker is required for admission.

Currently on exhibit through January are poems by Write On's new Executive Director Albert DeGenova.

If you would like to volunteer to assist with the Poetry Trail, please contact Jerod Santek by emailing or by calling 920.868.1457.

The Door County Published Author Collective (DCPAC) is a networking group for published authors who live in or have significant ties to Door County. The group meets virtually the second Monday of the month, 10 - 11:30 am.

To be considered for the DCPAC, participants must have at least one book published (traditional or self-published); be a current or former Door County resident or have significant ties to the county; be a current member of Write On; be willing to actively promote DCPAC, its members and goals.

Members should have a willingness to network and participate in group meetings and event when possible. Among the DCPAC events is the Door County Author and Book Fair, held the first Saturday in October.

DCPAC members as of June 2022 are:

Angela Bier is a former pediatrician, mother, Wisconsinite from birth, and an accomplished amateur genealogist.  She brings these sensibilities to her writing, which can be found most recently in Evening Street Review and An Accidental Archivist, her genealogical mystery memoir published in July of 2022.  She also blogs at, which also includes links to her genealogical endeavors.  She is a student of All Writers Workplace & Workshop and lives between Franklin and Gills Rock, Wisconsin.

Sally Collins is the author of Door County Animals, a board book for infants and toddlers celebrating Door County’s wildlife and landscapes. Her next book, Door County 1-2-3, will be released in 2023. For over a decade, Collins has written regularly about Door County’s thriving arts and entertainment scene for the Peninsula Pulse newspaper and Door County Living magazine, first as Sally Slattery. She is a librarian at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Sturgeon Bay. Learn more at

Ethel Davis

Tom Davis

Anne Emerson

A former academic scientist and biochemistry professor, Holly Phandeuf Erskine is the author of Herbs Demystified: A Scientist Explains How Herbs Really Work. Along with her husband, Holly created and produced The Emissary Movie, a full-length, Door County-based science fiction comedy. The screenplay served as a template for her first novel. Holly co-leads an online writers' critique group.

Corey Geiger is a sixth generation Wisconsin dairy farm boy whose first experiences in Door County date back to picking cherries with his family in between morning and evening milking. Corey and his wife Krista Knigge now own a residence between Ephraim and Sister Bay. Founded in 1885 by the father of Wisconsin’s dairy industry, Governor W.D. Hoard, Corey serves as the sixth lead editor for Wisconsin’s legendary Hoard’s Dairyman magazine now published in English, Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish. Corey’s first book, On A Wisconsin Family Farm, was named a 2022 Finalist in the Midwest Region Non Fiction Category in the 16th National Indie Excellence Awards.

Annette Langlois Grunseth is the author of the books Becoming Trans-Parent: One Family's Journey of Gender Transition (Finishing Line Press, 2017) and Combat and Campus: Writing Through War (Elm Grove Press). She has published widely in journals and anthologies such as Wisconsin People and Ideas, Midwest Prairie Review, Dispatches Magazine (Military Writers Society of America), Portage Magazine, and The Poetry Box. She is a member of the Door County Poets Collective and Belles Lettres Writing Group.

Ann Heyse spent every summer of her life in Door County, so there was nowhere else to consider as a permanent home when she retired from high school English teaching.  Soon after her move to Door County in 2015, she became active in the literary community by writing Good Morning, Door County and Good Night, Door County, two children’s picture books. In 2020, she published Drink In Sweet Rain, a collection of poetry. She began Sand Beach Press, small publishing company which has published twelve books for Door County authors. She is on the board of Write On, Door County and loves interacting with writers.

Carol Hoffman

Sue Jarosh spent summers growing up and working in Door County. In 1984, she and her husband, Joe, returned to raise their two sons in Jacksonport and opened a gift shop. She retired in 2015, after 31 years in business. She began a children's historical fiction lighthouse series which includes Door County's Eagle Bluff Lighthouse MouseBaileys Harbor Range Lights RascalEagle Bluff Lighthouse Hero, and Camden and the Cana Island Cat, which will be released in May of 2022. She is also the author of Madelyn's Magical Door County Balloon, which highlights places of interest for children and families who visit Door County.

Ann Linquist is the author of two fantasy novels, Rites of Glory and The Old Powers, both available on Amazon.  In October 2022 Linquist will publish her Beginning Writers Workbook on Amazon, an updated version of the online creative writing course she taught for many years. She continues to teach two online writing classes through including Effective Business Writing and Writing Essentials, each six weeks long. Ann has reached over 85,000 students worldwide with her online writing courses.

Barbara Loeb is a physician who practiced Internal Medicine for over 30 years and later served as a Chief Medical Officer within hospitals, health plans and physician networks. When the pandemic hit, she found great energy and grounding through practicing mindfulness and writing poetry. How to Save a Life: Healing Power of Poetry is her first published collection. It was written primarily in Door County 2020-2021 during those difficult months. The poems are accompanied by artwork of the author’s late mother, Judy “Salsa” Loeb. Dr. Loeb's intention is to invite readers to connect with their own form of creative expression which can be so healing.

Virginia Jones Maher has an MA degree in Art History, 1994, from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. In 2002 she affiliated with the Peninsula School of Art where she has served on the faculty, the Board of Directors and as curator of the Madeline Tourtelot Archives and Study Center. Virginia is the author of Selected Artists of Door County, Picturing the Past: The Ephraim Heritage Foundation Art
Collection, Beauty in Simplicity-American Arts and Crafts Pottery, and many articles on art and architecture. Her latest book, The Forest, explores the wonder and delights of a Door Forest with text and
photographs of geologic features, tree species, wildlife, flowers, fungi, moss, lichens and much more.

Marggie Hatala Moertl visited Door County often while growing up in Southeast Wisconsin, moving here in 2013 to enjoy the area's natural beauty and the peacefulness that it creates. Marggie is the author of two books, Sally: A Memoir (2014) and Life as a Prayer (2019). Marggie is devoted to leading the reader towards contemplation of their lives while gaining comfort with their own mortality. Marggie's many years of working with people facing serious illness has provided a background for her work. She also leads writing workshops and is a frequent speaker on this topic. Please visit Marggie's webpage to learn more about Marggie's deeply spiritual work.

Jamie Palmer

Erika Nelson is a mental health counselor and author. She recent released Brave Love 365: Daily Inspiration, Validation, and Support for Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse and Toxic Relationships and the accompanying Brave Love Journal. Nelson grew up near Sister Bay and continues to cherish all that Door County has to offer. She serves as secretary of the DCPAC and writes blogs that can be found on her website.

Dan Powers’ first encounter with Door County was at age fifteen when he worked at the Washington Island Fish Store on the NWside of Chicago where he grew up. By the late 1960s he was visiting Northern Door on a regular basis and in the mid-1990s moved here permanently as a K-12 educator. His debut novel, How Long A Shadow (Outskirt Press,2020), explores his Chicago roots and history through a Door County retired teacher who is forced to struggle with the question: Is genealogy destiny?

Judy Ann Ritter is a nonfiction author who lives in Sturgeon Bay. Her first book, Following My Path -- Striving for Justice and Social Change, details the life of her activist sister-in-law who was diagnosed with ALS in her thirties. Her second book, A Year Aboard Sankaty, chronicles her trip through America's Great Loop on a 36-foot sailboat.

Charlie Schudson

J.B. Sensenbrenner has an MBA and is a graduate of Marquette University. He divides his time between New Orleans and Wisconsin. He is an avid traveler, outdoorsman and environmentalist. His published works include Cracked Sidewalks: A New Orleans Mystery, Dogging It in New Orleans, (non-fiction about his first year living in New Orleans), The Love of Hunting (non-fiction about a family’s passion for the great outdoors), The Love of Hunting Log (A Sightings and Stories Journal). He’s been a long time story contributor to many periodicals including the Appleton Post Crescent, Badger Sportsman, Corporate Report, Deer & Deer Hunting, Whitetails Unlimited and Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.

Patricia Stierna has an MS in Education from the University of Minnesota and taught special education for 36 years. After retiring in 2007, she began working seriously on her writing. She has published two books, Getting Beyond Abuse and Codependency to Achieve a Lasting Relationship and Visions from Two Continents. She divides her time between Sturgeon Bay and Victoria, Australia.

Jan Wrede is the author of Outspoken: The Olly Neal Story (Butler Center Books, 2020), about the powerful Arkansas civil rights leader. Other books include Attracting Birds in the Texas Hill Country: A Guide to Land Stewardship and Trees, Shrubs, and Vines fo the Texas Hill Country: A Field Guide.

Phyllis Zatlin (b. Green Bay 1938) has translated and edited numerous plays. In Door County, she’s written books about local history and friendships with writers abroad. Inspired by the Rogue and Isadoora Theatres and a playwrights’ group, she writes plays and has edited an anthology of microtheatre by Wisconsin and Spanish authors.


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