Jun 18 2018

June Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone, We had our June meeting today.

PRESENT: Ryan, Mike, Dawn, Sharon, Jan, Janice, Niomi, Mary.

TALKING STICK 27: Our annual anthology for 2018 is progressing nicely. We have the first proofs in hand and are busy reading.
Be sure to get signed up for our workshop and the TS27 Book Release party on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.

MISCELLANEOUS: Mike won the Humor prize again at MIPA this year—this time with his second book Down at the Dock that JWB published. Congrats, Mike!

Tarah recently revised the Jackpine Writers’ Bloc website. Check out the new look at www.jackpinewriters.com.

Niomi and Mike reported on the recent PRLAAC meetings and the Great American Story. PRLAAC always has lots of events planned. The Great American Story and other events will be held on the same weekend as our workshop and Book Release Party since that is Art Leap weekend.

BOOK EVENTS: This Saturday, June 23, Mike will be in Dorset selling his books from 10 to 4 at Dorset Books. Sharon and Niomi will also be there with the Talking Stick books.

The Taste of Dorset is a fun event in Dorset held the first Sunday in August. Mike will be there selling books again.

Ryan is still working on a possible writers’ retreat at his resort near Akeley, MN. This would be a 4 night and 5 day total immersion fiction workshop. He is planning this for May 2019. We will have more info on that as we get closer.

Several people read pieces they have been working on. The rest of us critiqued. Thanks to all who attended and we hope to see you again next time!

May 22 2018

May Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone,

Today we held our May meeting. Our next meeting will be on June 17, 2018.

PRESENT: Sharon, Ryan, Mary, Erin, Marlys, Dawn, Jan.

TALKING STICK 27: We are progressing on the book. We will soon be ordering our next proof. We have sent out Book Release Party flyers and Workshop flyers to all the writers published in TS27. We will soon send it out to our whole email list. The date is September 22, 2018 and the location is Smokey Hills Resort, Osage, MN. Get signed up!

MISC: Niomi went to the May PRLAAC meeting. She will report on that and the Great American Storyteller competition at our June meeting.

MIPA: Mike won the humor category at MIPA with Down at the Dock. Congrats, Mike! Good job! He said to thank everyone for all their help on the stories that he brings to the meetings for critique.

FUTURE EVENTS: Ryan spoke about a writers’ retreat that he is working on for May of 2019. This would take place at his resort near Akeley, MN. He is hoping to get this worked out so all meals and lodging would be included in the workshop cost. The instructor he is talking with now would do a 5 day immersion workshop, with all attendees working on fiction. Ryan is hoping to get a grant. When we get more details, we will send out emails to see who might be interested.

Perhaps this can develop into the annual writers’ retreat somewhat like we used to have at Jerry’s place. We had those for 6 years and we miss them! Our instructor there was Marge Barrett. Here are the topics we covered over the years:

  1. Short Shorts
  2. Telling the Story
  3. The Sense of Place
  4. Voice
  5. Beginnings and Endings
  6. Dialogue

Quite a few writers read things today that they have been working on and we had our usual lively discussion. Hope to see you next time!

Apr 18 2018

April Writer’s Meeting

Today we held our April meeting of Jackpine Writers’ Bloc.

PRESENT: Sharon, Ryan, Mike, Marlys, Erin, Jan, Mary, Tenlee.

TALKING STICK 27: Tarah is starting on the layout. Sharon is sending out the acceptance letters. Sharon has called almost all the winners, the first and second place writers. Now Sharon will start working on the flyers for the workshop and the book release party. This will take place on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.

MISCELLANEOUS: Mike’s book Down at the Dock is a finalist for Humor in MIPA (Midwest Independent Publishers’ Association. Congrats, Mike!

Ryan mentioned the Red River Event Center in Akeley is available for events. It used to be the Akeley VFW. That might be an option for us and we will have to go have a look at it. Vacationaire is another option.

We were told there is a Twin Cities Literary Calendar telling of art events, readings, etc. Google Twin Cities Literary Calendar to find it.

COMING EVENTS: Next time we hope to hear about the next PRLAAC meeting. No one was able to go to the April meeting. Niomi and Mike have been trying to cover the meetings.

We hope to hear about the Great American Storyteller event also.

It is funny that last month with great weather, we only had 3 at the meeting. This month, seven hardy souls braved the snow and wind and slippery roads to attend.

We had an excellent meeting with lots of good readings. Hope to see you next time!

Mar 21 2018

March Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone,


Sharon H, Lina, Jan.

Clearly this was the oh-my-gosh-spring-is-almost-here-and-I-didn’t-get-nearly-enough-done-this-winter time of year. Many people were not able to attend the meeting today; two of our writers are having health issues and others had other commitments. We hope to see you all happy and well at our next meeting. We had a very small group today but we still had a good meeting. We had good readings (mainly poetry!) and good critiquing and good conversation.


We are busy reading the submissions. We do have the place for the book release party. It will be at Smokey Hills Resort west of Osage on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. The workshop will be from 9 to 12 followed by lunch for the workshop attendees. Then at 1 PM, the book release party will start and writers who had their poems or stories published in TS27 may read their published items. We will soon be working on flyers for the workshop and the book release party.


Sharon H recently completed an online writing class at the Loft. These classes are great! She got a few new writings to submit to Talking Stick this year.


If anyone knows of a writing group in the Sauk Rapids area, please let me know. A poet who often is published in Talking Stick emailed that she is moving there soon.


Next time, we hope to hear more about the Great American Storyteller event and recent PRLAAC meetings.

Will Weaver is putting on a free workshop as part of Farm by the Lake Storytelling Series in Bagley. This is Sunday March 25, 2018, from 3 to 6 PM at the Bagley Public Library Meeting Room. More info, email farmbythelake.anderson@gmail.com.

MN Northwoods Writers Conference June 18-24, 2018 at Bemidji State University. www.northwoodswriters.org.

Second Annual Rosemount Writers Festival and Book Fair, Saturday, March 24 from 9 AM to 5 PM. Stei0010@gmail.com or 651-423-2569 to register.

Five 3-day retreats at a lodge called Cirenaica in Fall Creek, Wisconsin in June, July, August 2018. Contact B. J. Hollars at chippewavalleywritersguild@gmail.com for more info.

Hope to see you all next time. Maybe spring will really be here!