• Mike S.

Contest Prize Winners Selected

Updated: Sep 30, 2020

Steve Polansky, the judge for our 2020 short fiction contest, and Margaret "Peggy" Rozga, our poetry contest judge, have made their selections for the annual prizes of The Mill's writing contests.

For the short fiction prize, Dr. Polansky has determined the following rankings:

  • Winner of the Christopher Kunz Memorial Prize for Short Fiction ($200) -- Sarah Venaccio, for "Empty Tank"

  • Finalist -- H.R. Larson, for "Cemetery Flowers"

  • Honorable Mention -- Thom Singleton, for "The Storm"

For the poetry prize, Dr. Rozga has selected the following:

  • Winner of the Janet Dee Wullner-Faiss Memorial Prize for Poetry ($200) -- Bobbie Lovell, for her sonnet "Single Mothers"

  • Finalist -- Annette Grunseth, for "On Behalf of a Grateful Nation . . ."

  • Honorable Mention -- Kathryn Gahl, for "With Other Mothers"

We congratulate the winners and placers of our contest and thank all of the writers who participated. It has been a gratifying experience for us to receive numerous entries. We now know, if we didn't before, that the Fox Cities' writing community thrives and flourishes.

About Our Judges

Dr. Polansky has degrees from Wesleyan (BA), Hollins (MFA), and Princeton (PhD). He's taught at several universities in the Midwest and at Princeton. He has published widely. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Glimmer Train, Best American Stories, New England Review, and Minnesota Monthly. A collection of stories, Dating Miss Universe, won the Sandstone Prize for Fiction and the 2000 Minnesota Book Award. His novel The Bradbury Report was published in 2010 by Weinstein Books. Together with Karla Huston, Dr. Polansky co-founded The Mill: A Place for Writers and is the Chairperson of its Board of Directors.

Dr. Rozga is the current Poet Laureate of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin - Waukesha Professor of English Emerita. She earned her BA at Alverno College and an MA and PhD in English at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Her poetry has an on-going concern with social justice issues. She's published Two Hundred Nights and One Day (Benu Press 2009), which was awarded a bronze medal in poetry in the 2009 Independent Publishers Book Awards and named an outstanding achievement in poetry for 2009 by the Wisconsin Library Association. Dr. Rozga is also the author of Though I Haven’t Been to Baghdad (Benu Press 2012), and Justice Freedom Herbs (Word Tech Press). Her most recent book is Pestiferous Questions: A Life in Poems.

Celebrate with Us

The Mill's annual celebration of the best in local fiction and poetry is Sunday, October 11th, at 4:30 p.m. It's one of the first events of this year's virtual Fox Cities Book Festival. The Mill has recognized the work of Fox Valley-based authors since 2013. Prize winners and placers will read from their work at the event. We invite you to attend.

The ceremony this year will be conducted by the Book Festival via a Zoom webinar. Register to attend here:


See you there!

*This link is for those who are simply watching the event. It is not for participants in the Zoom webinar, which include the eight people listed above (includes the two judges). The Festival will be emailing participants an email with a separate link.

(Edits made on 9/30/2020)

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