December Meeting Minutes 2015

Hello Everyone,

Today we held our December meeting. Our January meeting will be held on Sunday, January 17, 2016, at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN from 12:30 to 3 PM.

Dawn, Sharon, Ryan, Jerry, Marlys, Erin, Carol, Angie, Mary, Lina.

Talking Stick 25 call for submissions is now out! Deadline 3-1-16.
Nelson Algren Literary Awards $3500 Short Story Prize Deadline 1-31-16 submission guidelines.
Fergus Falls area contest with deadline of 2-26-16. Writers are invited to submit poetry, creative nonfiction or short fiction to be considered for inclusion in a mini-anthology featuring works that highlight the unique history and character of the Fergus Falls environs. For more information, email
League of MN Poets Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12 divisions—27th Annual Manningham Poetry Competition. For more information, email Peter Stein at
League of MN Poets national poetry convention. Natalie Goldberg is keynote speaker. Win your way to NFSPS Convention June 9-June 13, 2016 in Chaska MN. Deadline for contest 1-5-16. For more information, email Peter Stein at

Check out a program called Scrivener. It is a regular word program but has some helpful things for writers—note cards to move scenes around, templates, a writer’s bible to keep all info on a project in one place, etc. Scrivener also has the ability to export documents for specific markets.
Robert Daun (son-in-law of Lois Greiman) plans a podcast of a variety of short stories within the public domain or donated content. Once the podcast gains momentum, he plans to expand to a children’s podcast. Here’s a chance for you to get public expression of your work. We don’t know about Robert’s talent for storytelling, but he claims to tell them well. Jerry has corresponded with him, and as a result, Robert purchased Broken Hart and will consider the stories therein for his podcast. No money is involved, but the author will be credited. Ideal podcast length is 20 to 40 minutes. Give it a thought; you can reach Robert at
Ryan uses something called a Beat Sheet to plan out a novel. Here are the main steps he uses. He lists all these things: He discovers who his main characters will be, like a character inventory. He decides what drives them, motivates them, etc. Then he thinks about the settings. He decides what the overarching goals are for each character, what will drive the story. He creates a plot map, listing all the major plot points. He asks himself how the characters will go about achieving their goals and chooses inciting incidents and a climax. He then weaves the various character goals together. Listing all these as he goes, he comes up with his written beat sheet that will guide him through his writing. Then he fleshes out the details, adds the five senses and dialogue. If you want more of the details, I have a longer detailed email from him describing this and I bet he would allow me to share it.

We had a great time critiquing each other’s writing. Hope to see you all next time!