May 14 2018


The Talking Stick 27 Book Release Party and Jackpine Writers’ Bloc Writers’ Workshop will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018. Smokey Hills Resort is located on Highway 34 approximately 9 miles west of Park Rapids, MN (or 1 mile west of Osage, MN), on the north side of the highway. The address is 53014 State Highway 34, Osage, MN 56570.

Writers usually work in solitude; please join us for a whole day of learning, listening, writing, and reading with other writers. There is a fee for the workshop and lunch but the Book Party is free to all who are interested in writing. If you have work in Talking Stick 27, you may also pick up your one free contributor’s copy of the book. Additional books will be available for sale.

WORKSHOP 9 AM to 12:00 Noon: We offer a workshop with Sharon Chmielarz. YOU MUST PREREGISTER FOR THIS WORKSHOP. (See information on workshop flyer.) This all-genre workshop is entitled: Put More Zip in Your Writing: Torque it!

Cost for the workshop is $45. (This includes lunch at noon after the workshop. You will receive a coupon for the lunch.)

12:00: Catered lunch at Smokey Hills Resort. JWB will pay for your lunch if you are attending the workshop. Smokey Hills does NOT serve meals but they do provide lodging. See below.     

BOOK RELEASE PARTY 1 PM (approximately): If you have work in Talking Stick 27, you may pick up your one free contributor’s copy of the book. Additional copies of the book will be available for sale.

Program with readings, introduction of winners of Talking Stick 27 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction and Humor. All writers published in Talking Stick 27 are invited to read.

Some local and/or member writers may be on hand to sell their own books.

4:00 PM (approximately):  After the readings, please check in with your fellow writers. Some of us may decide to go have dinner somewhere together or maybe visit in one of the rented cabins for further good writers’ conversation.

Smokey Hills Resort does NOT serve meals. They DO have lodging. If you are interested in a one or two room cabin for either Friday or Saturday night (or both!) call 218-573-3497 to make a reservation. Enjoy a real Northwoods experience. Visit their website to view the various cabins at

Writers attending this event will receive a discounted rate for either Friday or Saturday night.

One-room cabin $129.00. They will discount 15% off that price per night.

Two-room cabin $179.00. They will discount 15% off that price per night.

Multi-family suites $299.00. They will discount 15% off that price per night.

(Please note: later this year, Smokey Hills Resort will change its name to The Branch and their new website will be

For more information, call Sharon at 218-732-3782 or email         

—Please RSVP # of attendees to—


PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS ART LEAP WEEKEND IN PARK RAPIDS. Maps will be available online at and or at the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.


Great American Storyteller event is Saturday Sept. 22, 2018

at 7 P.M. at Calvary Lutheran Church in Park Rapids, MN.

May 14 2018

All-genre workshop with Sharon Chmielarz


All-genre workshop with Sharon Chmielarz

Date and Time: Saturday, September 22, 2018, from 9 A.M. to 12 Noon.

Location: Smokey Hills Resort, located 9 miles west of Park Rapids, MN (1 mile west of Osage, MN).

Address: 53014 State Highway 34, Osage, MN 56570

Cost of Workshop and Catered Lunch: $45. (You will receive a coupon for the lunch.)


Course Description: Whether you write prose or poetry, you want the words to “bounce off the walls,” as Maya Angelou once said. You want to capture your listeners’ and/or readers’ attention and keep it. You want your writing to move; your timings, sure-footed; your sentences and/or lines, eye catchers. Meditations? They can be muted but not leaden.

Our workshop will have a 4-step approach to strengthen your skills–introductory remarks; use of examples/ handouts; writing to prompts; and feed back, paying special attention to your writing’s strengths (we build on strengths). 

Sharon Chmielarz has had eleven books of poetry published. Her most recent book (2017), little eternities, received the silver medallion from the Independent Book Publishers Award in poetry. The Widow’s House was a finalist for the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and is listed in Kirkus Review’s the 100 Best Books of 2016. Her other 2015 book, Visibility: Ten Miles, a Prairie Memoir in Photography and Poetry, was a finalist for the Midwest Book Awards. Her The Other Mozart, a biography of Mozart’s sister in poetry, was made into an opera. She has had many other awards and publications. A more complete bio will be available at the workshop.

Prose or Fiction Publications:

In anthologies–Essays on writing in Women on Poetry, Educators as Writers, A View from the Loft.

Travel Memoir in The Talking of Hands, An Inn near Kyoto, The House on Via Gombito.

Picture books:  The Pied Piper of Hamelin, End of Winter, Down at Angels.


The Talking Stick 27 Book Release Party and this Jackpine Writers’ Bloc Writers’ Workshop will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at Smokey Hills Resort, 53014 State Highway 34, Osage, MN 56570. See more info on book party flyer.

The workshop will run from 9 A.M. to 12 Noon. The Workshop includes catered lunch at noon. The Book Release Party will start at 1 P.M. and run till approximately 4 P.M. There is no charge to attend the Book Release Party. Lunch at noon will be on your own if you are just attending the Book Release Party. A restaurant is NOT available at Smokey Hills. Dinner/supper after the Book Release Party will be on your own—perhaps some of us can arrange to meet in Park Rapids.


YOU MUST PREREGISTER FOR THE WORKSHOP. Please email Sharon Harris at to sign up. Phone 218-732-3782 if questions. Be sure to include your name and mailing address, phone number, and email address. Make your $45 check out to Jackpine Writers’ Bloc and mail it to: Sharon Harris, 13320 149th Ave, Menahga, MN 56464.


We will limit this workshop to the first 30 participants and then put names on a waiting list.

Dec 26 2017

TALKING STICK VOLUME 27 Submission guidelines!



Wanted:  SHORT Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction.

THE TALKING STICK is a locally published and nationally recognized publication.


  1. Writers must be from Minnesota or have some connection to this area. ALL ENTRIES MUST BE VERY SHORT. Focus on short forms, cutting all unnecessary words. Create an elegant moment that hints of a longer, more complex story. Think of these as compressed creations.


  1. DEADLINE: March 1, 2018. This year we will again offer monetary prizes in each of the 3 categories. Writers may submit for more than one category. Our Editorial Board will select the poetry and prose to be published in TS27. A published Minnesota author will judge for the monetary prizes from the selected submissions, with authors’ names removed. Writers will be invited to our Book Release Party in September (tentative date is September 22, 2018). We are not yet sure of the location. PLEASE READ SUBMISSION GUIDELINES COMPLETELY.


  1. Prizes are $200 for first place and $100 for second place in each of the three categories. Works are to be UNPUBLISHED. This must NOT be on your Website or on a Blog. We want new writings, unseen by the public. No simultaneous submissions, please. Submit manuscripts with name, address, and email address in upper right corner of each page. THIS MUST BE THE WAY YOU WANT YOUR NAME IN THE BOOK. Clearly mark the genre for which you are submitting: POETRY, CREATIVE NONFICTION or FICTION. We would prefer that you do NOT start out your written piece with “inspirational” or “referenced” quotes from other literary works because of possible copyright issues, etc. We accept no political or religious rants and no children’s writings.


  1. 4. This year, we will have a special separate $50 prize for humor. We will choose this from any of the 3 genres.


  • POETRY – Limit TWO poems per writer, either a Prose Poem no longer than ½ page or a poem with line breaks but no longer than 35 LINES total (and this must include counting the blank lines), typed single-spaced. No word count necessary. See other requirements under #3 above.
  • CREATIVE NON-FICTION – Limit TWO entries of 500 words or less each, typed single-spaced. Number the pages and include word count at end. See other requirements under #3 above.
  • FICTION – Limit TWO short stories of 750 words or less each, typed single-spaced. Number the pages and include word count at end. See other requirements under #3 above.


  1. Send only ONE copy of each submission along with SHORT bio (50 word limit). If you have a pen name, you MUST stress in a cover letter what your real name is (for the contract and mailing) and the name you want on the submission in the book, in the table of contents, and back of book MUST BE THE WAY YOU HAVE IT ON THE PAGE(S) OF SUBMITTED WORK. Also, tell us what name you want in press releases. If you do not do this, we cannot promise that we will catch the different name. PLEASE SEND ALL OF YOUR WORK AT THE SAME TIME.


  1. 6. Send ONE SASE** so we can send an acceptance letter and contract to you. All contracts are to be signed and returned, but in the event a contract is not returned, submission implies permission to publish. FORMAL NOTIFICATION is required if you wish to withdraw your submission or if it is published elsewhere during this time period. After May 1, 2018, submissions cannot be withdrawn. SUBMISSIONS WILL NOT BE RETURNED. Decision of the editorial board and judges is final. Editors and editorial board of the JWB and JWB board members are eligible for publication in TS27, but not for the monetary prizes in this contest.


  1. Send hard copy to: Sharon Harris, TS SUBMISSIONS, 13320 149th Ave, Menahga, MN 56464. Send ALL your submissions for ALL categories in ONE 9×12 ENVELOPE—do not fold or staple sheets. Submission guidelines are also on our website: We are accepting submissions in electronic format again this year. Check the website for details at We will NOT accept submissions in the body of an email—only with our electronic form, either pdf or Word document. Do NOT send docx files—we cannot guarantee format to be correct. A SASE is not required but would be greatly appreciated.


  1. Contributors who have one or more pieces selected for publication in TS27 will receive ONE free copy of TS27. Your copy may be picked up at our Book Release Party in September 2018. Any books not picked up will be mailed later—we appreciate receiving $3.00 for postage. JWB requires first publication rights only.




Oct 02 2017

TS26 book release party!

Hello Everyone,

Thanks so much to all of you who attended our Short Shorts workshop with Marge Barrett and our book release party for Talking Stick Volume 26, Fine Lines. Both events were held at Blueberry Pines Golf Club between Menahga and Park Rapids. We had a great day with authors arriving from far and wide. We even had one person from Tennessee.

We started the day with the three hour workshop with Marge. She taught us how to shorten our writing, how to make an emotional impact in very few words. Nouns and verbs are so important. Cut the adjectives and adverbs. A Short Short might end abruptly with a punch. Everyone got to practice writing short pieces during the workshop.

Then, after lunch, the book party began. We announced the winners and honorable mention of each genre and asked them to come up and read. If the winners were not present, either Marge or one of our JWB members read the story or poem. After that, we asked anyone else in the book to come up and read. We spent a lovely afternoon listening to stories and poems. Some were very funny; some were very sad; most touched our hearts deeply.

After the book party, many of us moved into the bar area to sit back and relax and converse. We had a great day full of good conversation, greeting old friends and making new ones. We all agree that the book and the release party are a huge amount of work—but well worth it.

Thanks to all who submitted to our book and all who attended today. Thanks to all who donated to our group. We hope to keep on publishing the Talking Stick books!