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Writing contest aimed at promoting healthy water

Contest seeks stories of positive futures for water, people

Writing contest aimed at promoting healthy water

MADISON, Wis. - A writing contest called "Our Waters, Our Future" is aimed at challenging Wisconsin residents to "imagine what a resilient and desirable future for water and people in the state's south-central region could look like."

The University of Wisconsin Water Sustainability and Climate project has teamed up with the UW-Madison Center for Limnology, Madison Magazine, local nonprofit Sustain Dane and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters to hold the contest.

"Our stories are just four among the many stories we could tell about our region's future," said Stephen Carpenter, a principal investigator on the WSC project and director of the Center for Limnology. "This contest is an effort to encourage all of us to think about the future we want to live into and how we could get there."

The short story contest launched Tuesday at the Badger Bioneers conference in Madison. The submission deadline is Feb. 1. The winning story will be published in Madison Magazine. Stories should be scientifically plausible and reflect a solutions-oriented vision of the future for the Yahara Watershed and/or the affiliated counties of Dane, Rock and Columbia. Anyone 18 years and older who lives or attends school in Wisconsin is eligible.

"It's a privilege for Madison Magazine to be part of this project designed to think creatively and critically about the future of our region," editor Karen Lincoln Michel said. "The Yahara lakes are an integral part of our community, and they hold deep meaning for us at the magazine."

Michel said that in 2004, then-Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk signed a countywide ordinance that restricted unnecessary sale and application of phosphorus containing fertilizer, and Falk signed it in honor of the late Brian Howell, a former editor of Madison Magazine. Howell was an advocate of the lakes and pushed for limits on phosphorus.

"This writing contest not only helps us carry on that strong connection that Brian had to the lakes, but also allows us to be the first to publish the literary work of a futuristic writer."

The winner will be announced at a World Water Day event in March hosted by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. Madison Magazine will publish the winning story in its June 2016 issue. Sustain Dane will provide awards from local businesses to top finalists.

More information here:  https://wsc.limnology.wisc.edu/writing-contest

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