2016 Festival of Books, 2016 Festival of Books News

2016 Essay Contest Sponsored by Century Fence



WAUKESHA – The Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books is an annual community celebration of literacy and the arts, where local and national authors and readers of all ages come together to enjoy presentations, performances, creativity and conversation. This year’s Festival is held November 4-5 at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha.

Each year an annual essay contest extends the educational reach of the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books to younger readers. Sponsored by Century Fence, the essay contest is open to all middle and high school students in Waukesha County.

Students will submit an original essay based on the theme listed below. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be chosen from both the middle school and high school categories.


1st place – $250

2nd place – $175

3rd place – $75

Official presentation of the awards will be made at the Southeast WI Festival of Books during the Cabaret & Essay Contest Awards Celebration at 11:30am on Saturday, November 5, 2016.  Winners must be able to appear at the Cabaret & Essay Contest Awards Celebration to accept their awards.  In addition, first place winners must be available to read their essays.

Theme:   Roots and Branches

This year’s Festival of Books theme is “Roots and Branches.” In the essay, identify an author or book and detail how it established “roots” within you and caused you to “branch” out into a world of self-discovery.

Contest Guidelines

  1. Contest entries should be thoughtful, well written essays of 600-750 words on the assigned topic for high school students and up to 400-500 words for middle school students.  Entries should be single spaced and may be typed or legibly hand written.
  2. Submissions must be of unpublished original work.  An essay that has won a contest elsewhere will not be accepted.
  3. Entries should reflect the original words and ideas of the writer. Quotations from an outside source or author must give be credit to that source by citing the author, publication, title and date.  Plagiarism will be considered cause for elimination.
  4. To be eligible, each entry must be accompanied by the official Festival Contest Entry Form. The form must be filled out completely and signed both by the student and a parent or guardian.   By completing and signing the entry form, a student certifies that it his or her own work.  Please submit only one essay. Multiple entries will not be considered.
  5. All entries must be received by October 3, 2016. Entries should be mailed as follows:Festival Essays

Attn:  Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books Coordinator
UW-Waukesha Foundation, Inc.
1500 N. University Dr.
Waukesha, WI  53188

Contact the UW-Waukesha Foundation at 262-446-3328 or sewibookfest@uwc.edu or check the sewibookfest.com  for more information or for an official entry form to accompany the essay.

All events are held at UW-Waukesha,1500 N. University Drive, Waukesha, WI 53188.

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