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 $100 gift and a chance to showcase your work!

There are two categories for submission in this contest (Research Paper and Essay). Students can compete in one or both—the winner of each category will receive a $100 gift cards from the location of your 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 optional public reading of their work.

Who can enter

The contest is open to current Mid-State students. Each student may submit one entry per category. Entries must be work generated for a class at Mid-State.

How to enter

Competing students will upload their writing submissions to Blackboard by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 8, 2019:

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

Submission categories

  • Research Paper: 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, with up to 2,000 words, double spaced.

Contest timeline:

  • Friday, March 8, 2019, 4:00 p.m. – Contest entries due to Blackboard.
  • Friday, April 12, 2019, 4:00 p.m. – Contest winners notified.
  • Monday, April 29, 2019, 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 renowned Wisconsin authors Jerry Apps and David McGlynn.

  • Jerry Apps – Jerry Apps is author of more than 35 books, many of them on rural history and country life. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was named a Fellow by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters in 2012. Jerry’s writing has been recognized by such organizations as the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Wisconsin Library Association, the American Library Association, and the Midwest Independent Publishing Association. In 2007, he received the Major Achievement Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers.
  • David McGlynn – David McGlynn is the author of One Day You’ll Thank Me: Lessons from an Unexpected Fatherhood, published by Counterpoint Press in 2018. He’s also the author of the memoir, A Door in the Ocean, and the story collection, The End of the Straight and Narrow. His writing has appeared in The New York Times; The Best American Sports Writing; O, The Oprah Magazine; Men’s Health; Real Simple; Parents; and many other publications. He teaches at Lawrence University in Wisconsin.

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.