Hands typing on a laptop. Text overlayed on image reads Write on the money annual writing contest submissions are due friday, march 6

Write on the Money

Mid-State’s Annual Student Writing Contest

Are you a Mid-State student who enjoys writing or has a strong example of a research paper or essay that you’ve already written? Submit your writing to compete for a $100 gift card and a chance to showcase your work!

This contest provides two categories for submission (Research Paper and Essay). Students can compete in one or both—the winner of each category will receive a $100 gift card from the location of their choice, donated by the 
Student Leadership Board.

Students are encouraged to submit existing writing that qualifies and adheres to the submission categories and guidelines, or write a new paper or essay just for the contest.

Winners will be invited to (but not required to attend) an awards ceremony and give an optional public reading of their work.

Qualifications for Entry

  • You must be currently enrolled as a student at Mid-State Technical College for the spring 2020 semester.
  • You may enter one paper per category.
  • Your paper must be original, unpublished nonfiction (no fiction or poetry).

Submission Categories

  • Research Paper: On any topic. Up to 2,500 words, double spaced, in APA style.
  • Essay: A descriptive, definition, narrative, personal, persuasive, opinion, comparison, classification/division, process analysis, or cause and effect essay. Up to 2,000 words, double spaced, in APA style.

How to Enter

Competing students will upload their writing submissions to Blackboard by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 6, 2020:

  1. Log onto Blackboard and choose the Self-Enroll Courses tab on the top of the screen.
  2. Choose the Special Events folder and choose Enroll in the drop-down menu.

Contest Timeline

  • Friday, March 6, 4:00 p.m. – Deadline for submission (contest entries due to Blackboard).
  • Friday, April 10, 4:00 p.m. – Contest winners notified.
  • Wednesday, May 6, 6:00 p.m. – Awards ceremony and public reading on the Stevens Point campus (CER). Winners will be invited, but not required, to attend. Includes an optional public reading of their work.


This year’s contest will be judged by acclaimed Wisconsin authors Judy Dodge Cummings and Krista Eastman.

Judy Dodge Cummings – Research Paper Judge
Judy Dodge Cummings is a former high school history teacher and author of 24 nonfiction books for children and teens. Her narrative nonfiction includes six titles in the Mayhem & Mystery series published by Nomad Press. Judy also writes active nonfiction, books that both narrate past events and engage readers in problem solving and historical inquiry. Her recent titles in this sub-genre include The Underground Railroad: Navigate the Journey from Slavery to Freedom and Immigration Nation: The American Identity in the Twentieth-first Century. Judy’s first novel, When the Earth Dragon Trembled, will be released in September of 2020. The book is historical fiction about a Chinese American boy struggling to survive during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.

Krista Eastman – Essay Judge
Krista Eastman is the author of The Painted Forest, which Poets & Writers named one of the best literary nonfiction debuts of 2019. Her essays have been named notable in Best American Essays and published in The Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, and Witness, among others. She was born and raised in the Driftless hills of Wisconsin. After living in Senegal, France, Antarctica, and the eastern US, she returned to Wisconsin where she now lives with her husband and young son. She’s working on a new book called Pionier.

Judging Criteria

  • Research category – Originality of ideas, clear expression of ideas, unified and cohesive structure, logically supported thesis, credibility of sources, synthesis of source material, and correct APA format.
  • Essay category – Originality of ideas, clear expression of ideas, unified and cohesive structure, well-supported thesis, and unique voice.

Submission guidelines

See the Writing Contest course in Blackboard for full details about the submission categories and guidelines, formatting requirements, etc.


See the Writing Contest course in Blackboard for more for detailed submission guidelines. If you still have questions, contact Jill Quinn, communication instructor, by phone at 715.422.5416 or email.