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Midwest Prairie Review

"Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language."
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac: With Other Essays on Conservation from Round River

At a glance

What: A Madison-based regional publication, now in its third year

Who: We welcome submissions from writers from Wisconsin and the surrounding states, and all writers who have some tie to and admire this part of the world.

When: The 2015 book will debut in March at the Writers' Institute.

Questions? Contact Laurie Scheer, Managing Editor, lscheer@dcs.wisc.edu

"Sundown at Washington's Crossing"
©2014 Steve Smith

An anthology of our own

Since the early twentieth century, writers across our great nation have created, written for, and enjoyed a tide of regionalist publications such as Texas’ Southwest Review, Ann Arbor, Michigan’s Midwestern Gothic, San Francisco based ZYZZYVA, and Maine’s Hawk & Handsaw to name just a few. The writing community in Madison, Wisconsin and surrounding areas should have one such regional anthology to display and celebrate the great talent of our Midwestern-based writers.

And so, the Midwest Prairie Review has been born.

Being a Wisconsin-born (Milwaukee) writer who chose to leave her tribe and return (surprisingly) to Wisconsin nearly 25 years later, it is clear to me now that there is a unique voice that exists and permeates this beautiful magical college town known as Madison, Wisconsin and its surroundings. Having the opportunity to work within UW-Madison Continuing Studies Writing Department, I have seen first-hand the talent of our local writers—and the admiration from those who attend our conferences from surrounding states and habitats and throughout the rest of the Nation. There’s a glow that comes over people’s faces when they arrive in Mad City. In workshops and classrooms during our annual events there is always at least one writer who proclaims “I love Madison, I always love being here!” or “I’m moving here next year.” There’s something about this place that brings out their creative consciousness. It is, quite literally, a literary hotbed. There have been so many creative individuals who have emerged from these environs, from writer-environmentalists Aldo Leopold and John Muir to Frank Lloyd Wright and Georgia O’Keefe—two artists who artfully incorporate the land within their work, to heartland playwrights Thorton Wilder and Larry Shue and “solid stock” authors Edna Ferber and Jane Hamilton—and all of the others in between with origins and ties to these Midwest prairies found in Wisconsin. We will welcome all writers from Wisconsin and the surrounding states and all writers who have some tie to and admire this part of the world also.

This regional publication will provide an arena for all of our writers to share their voices—voices that emerge from the geography, from the land of this place. The way landscape ignites imagination and sustains the human spirit from the local farms to the wilderness preserves and to the university campus and the numerous rivers and lakes. Personal stories and ideas that explore why their ancestors chose this land to why their children may or may not remain here for their lives—all of these voices need to be heard and they will be within the Midwest Prairie Review.

Consider this your call.

The third issue of Midwest Prairie Review will premiere at the 26th Annual Writers’ Institute, March 27-29, 2015. It will be available for purchase for $5.

Meet the managing editor

Laurie Scheer is former vice president of programming for WE: Women’s Entertainment. She has worked for ABC, Viacom, Showtime, and AMC-Cablevision. Having years of development experience within the hallowed halls of networks, studios, and production companies, Laurie knows how to analyze manuscripts and scripts as they enter the competitive media marketplace. Email»  608‑265‑3972


The Editorial Board of the Midwest Prairie Review Journal wishes to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of the UW-Madison Continuing Studies Division including Jeff Russell, Narra Cox-Smith, Roberta Wang, Barry Orton, and Sarah Marty for their continued, never-ending support for this journal, and the Writing Department at UW-Madison Continuing Studies.  Special thanks to Christina Finét for her outstanding design.  She provides wonderment and grace to every page.

We encourage all of our writers within the UW-Madison Continuing Studies writing community to keep writing forward.  There will be many more issues of the Midwest Prairie Review and we’ll need quality work such as yours for these pages.

Founder: UW-Madison Continuing Studies Writing Department
Co-Editors: Christine DeSmet, Laurie Scheer, Laura Kahl, Angela Rydell
Editorial Board: Christine DeSmet, Laurie Scheer, Laura Kahl, Angela Rydell
Managing Editor: Laurie Scheer
Design: Christina Finét

The Midwest Prairie Review is a literary magazine published annually by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies Writing Department.

Copyright 2015 Midwest Prairie Review, UW-Madison Continuing Studies Writing Department