The Literary Award Committee's duties pertain to adult authors and illustrators exclusively. The Committee selects the recipient of the WLA Literary Award; provides additions to the list of Notable Wisconsin Authors/Illustrators and the biographical information which accompanies them; and annually selects a maximum of ten books to receive Outstanding Achievement recognition.

Criteria for the WLA Literary Award and the Outstanding Achievement include:

  1. Publication in the year preceding the year of presentation;
  2. Recognition of a single work, not for the body of an author’s/illustrator’s work; and
  3. The work must be written or illustrated by a person who was born in Wisconsin, is currently living in Wisconsin, or who lived in Wisconsin for a significant length of time (For example, earning a degree in Wisconsin; spending part of each year in Wisconsin for multiple years; or retiring to Wisconsin. In general, at least two years is often enough to be considered “significant.”)

How to Submit a Nomination

The WLA Literary Awards Committee accepts nominations of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry written for adult audiences. Nominations for works of children's and young adult literature should be directed to the Children's Book Awards Committee.

2023 nominations for the awards may be sent electronically to [email protected] or to the current chair, Nell Fleming, at [email protected]. Nominations should include:

  • The title and author of the nominated work
  • The year of publication
  • The author's connection to Wisconsin
In many cases, committee members are able to borrow a nominated title from their local library. However, if the book is not widely available (e.g., poetry chapbooks, independently published works), a physical copy should be mailed to the current chair (email [email protected] for instructions).  Submissions for the current award year (2024, for works published in 2023) must be received by March 31, 2024, to be considered. Submissions for the future award year (2025, for works published in 2024) are accepted on a rolling basis.


Chair: Nell Fleming, Museum Curator & Archivist, Wisconsin School for the Deaf Library

Kaushalya Iyengar 
Amy Manion
Maryssa Paulsen 
Kristen Laufenberg
Pam Cipkowski
Elizabeth Gabriel
David Kranz
Julie Kinney
Liz Ringstrom
Sara Swanson