Aug 02 2021

No book party this year!

Hello Everyone, we had been hoping that we could have a book release party this year. We hated missing the one last year due to COVID.
Now we keep hearing about a possible resurgence of COVID this fall. And it seems like the Delta variant is spreading rapidly. Because of this uncertainty, we feel it is best if we do NOT have a book party again this year. We are all very sorry about this but we hope to come back better than ever in 2022.
Talking Stick 30 is well on its way to production. We hope to be able to mail the books out in September and they should be available for sale on Amazon around that time.
We also hope to be able to do a virtual workshop again this year—perhaps in October or November. We will have more information later about this.
Again, sorry to have no book party this year. We do hope to have a presence at the Hackensack Book and Art Festival in Hackensack in August. Our group is alive and well and anxious to get back to normal.
Jun 23 2021

Northwoods Art & Book Festival 2021


Northwoods Arts Council is looking forward to your return in addition to welcoming some new authors to our event. I have attached NAC’s new logo and well as a blurb about our event.

Mark your calendars! On August 14th the Northwoods Art & Book Festival is returning!

9 AM-3PM is back for it’s 26th annual year! See what’s its all about on 3rd Street and Lake Ave in Hackensack, MN

Join authors for book selling and signing in United Congregational Church (UCC). Two featured author presentations include: 11:00 Am Elisa Korenne “Unfolding Foundation: Finding Inspiration and Renewal Where We Are.”

1:00 PM Julie Jo Larson “Why Not?” Writing a Travel Book During a Pandemic.

Artists, vendors, food and children’s art tent all add to the festival atmosphere.

Northwoods Art & Book Festival 2021

Sep 30 2020

Go Deeper writers’ workshop with Candace Simar.

We held our writers’ workshop on Saturday, September 19, 2020, from 10 AM to 12 Noon Central. This was our first-ever online writers’ workshop using Zoom. Though we were new to this, the session went smoothly. We had 26 attendees. Writers could ask questions using the Chat feature. Candace spoke about setting the scene, character development, point of view, and story arc. She said: “Don’t ask if your writing is good enough; just ask how to improve what you’re writing right now. No one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.”

Throughout the session, Candace gave the attendees writing prompts to work with. She also referred to lines from our current Talking Stick 29 book that demonstrated what she was teaching. She showed us how some of our writers were “going deeper” correctly. Candace gave away 5 door prizes (copies of her books) to the attendees.

Afterwards, Candace sent out handouts to the attendees for additional reading.

Candace—Jackpine Writers Bloc thanks you for all the time and effort that you put into making this workshop a success! You brought us many good writing prompts, suggestions, and ideas for going deeper in our writing. It was such a nice touch that you took the time to go through TS29 and find certain lines to highlight what you were teaching.

Also we thank all of you who attended the workshop. We are sorry that we could not have our regular book release party this year but we are glad we were able to bring you the workshop. We all hope next year will be more normal. We appreciate all of you!

May 08 2019

Talking Stick 28 Book Release Party following Workshop with Angela Foster

(and Writers’ Workshop see below for more information on the workshop)

Saturday, September 21, 2019 at Smokey Hills Resort (renamed The Branch) in Osage MN 56570

The Talking Stick 28 Book Release Party and Writers’ Workshop will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019. 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 meal but the Book Party is free to all who are interested in writing. If you have work in Talking Stick 28, 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 Angela Foster. YOU MUST PREREGISTER FOR THIS WORKSHOP. (See information on workshop flyer.) This all-genre workshop is entitled: Revision in Ten Steps.

Cost for the workshop is $55. (This includes lunch at noon after the workshop. You will receive a coupon for the lunch.)

12:00: Catered lunch at Smokey Hills Resort (The Branch). JWB will pay for your lunch if you have the above-mentioned coupon with the workshop. Smokey Hills does serve meals and they do provide lodging. See below.

BOOK RELEASE PARTY 1 PM (approximately): If you have work in Talking Stick 28, 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 28 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction and Humor. All writers published in Talking Stick 28 are invited to read.

Some local and/or member writers and judges 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 have dinner together in the restaurant or maybe hang out in one of the rented cabins for further good writers’ conversation.

Smokey Hills Resort serves meals at The Cookhouse. They also have lodging. If you are interested in a one or two room cabin for either Friday or Saturday night (or both!), visit their website to view the various cabins at Enjoy a real Northwoods experience. You must call to make reservations. Call 218-573-3497. Rooms have been blocked off. Writers attending this event will receive a discounted rate for either Friday or Saturday night.

One room cabin $129.00, discounted price = $109.65 per night

Two room cabin $179.00, discounted price = $152.15 per night

Multi family suites $299.00, discounted price = $254.15 per night

(Please note: Smokey Hills Resort is in the process of changing its name to The Branch but their new website is still under construction.)

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

 —Please RSVP # of attendees for book party to—

(PLEASE NOTE: ART LEAP WEEKEND IN PARK RAPIDS is Sept 28 & 29. Great American Storyteller event is Saturday Sept. 28, 2019, at Calvary Lutheran Church in Park Rapids MN.)

REVISION in Ten Steps

All-genre workshop with Angela Foster

Date and Time: Saturday, September 21, 2019, from 9 A.M. to 12 Noon.

Location: Smokey Hills Resort (the Branch), 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 Lunch: $55. (You will receive a coupon for the lunch.)

Course Description:

During this class, we’ll delve into the process of revision with ten practical steps that writers of all genres can use to improve their prose or poetry. The three-hour workshop will touch on beginnings and endings, dialogue, description, imagery, and story arc.

Angela Foster is a poet and memoirist who teaches creative writing at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Angela received a 2017 Loft Literary Center Excellence in Teaching Award, a 2017 Minnesota State Arts Grant, and a writing residency at The New York Mills. Other awards and recognition include a hand-carved chair and the title “Bard” from the Cambria Eisteddfod competition in New Ulm, MN, a performance by the Petaluma Readers Theatre in California of her memoir piece, Brat, and the selection of a haiku written by Angela for “Poetry on the Sidewalk” at the Pine City library. Angela holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Nonfiction from Pine Manor College in Boston, MA. She served as co-editor of County Lines: 87 Minnesota Counties, 130 Minnesota Poets, published by Loon Feather Press (2008) and co-authored Farm Girls with her sister, Candace Simar, released by RiverPlace Press in 2013.

The Talking Stick 28 Book Release Party and this Writers’ Workshop will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019, at Smokey Hills Resort, 53014 State Highway 34, Osage, MN 56570.

The workshop will run from 9 A.M. to 12 Noon. The Workshop includes 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. There is a restaurant available at Smokey Hills. Dinner/supper after the Book Release Party will be on your own.

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 $55 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 35 participants and then put names on a waiting list.

Click on images/flyers for printable (and savable) PDF files)