Nov 18 2018

November Writer’s Meeting

Hi Everyone, today we held our November meeting.


Jan, Dawn, Sharon, Ryan, Marlys, Pete, Lina, Toni.


We have begun sending out invitations for the May 2019 writers’ retreat that Ryan is planning at his resort. We have two signed up. We have one that says she can’t afford it this year. We have at least one more interested. We know we are way early, but we will keep sending reminders. We need six more.


We will put out our call for submissions sometime in December. The Board of Directors will vote. We will probably stay with our shorter submissions and we will keep the humor prize again. That added a lot of fun to the book release party. Check the JWB website at now and then through December. The deadline will be March 1.


We are close to being finished with Jan’s friend’s book. We are also working on Richard’s next poetry book. Sharon is working on her fourth poetry book. Mike will have his third book of short stories to us around the first of the year.

Suggested excellent book: Stephen King, On Writing.


Dawn attended a Storyteller’s Slam in Bemidji. There were seven writers who got up and either told or read their stories. It was called “Finding Your Voice” and had cash prizes. Sometime before the event, they had had a professional storyteller put on a workshop.


May 10-14, 2019 The Writer-Warrior Workshop at Crow Wing Crest Lodge in Akeley MN. This is a five-day, four-night immersive workshop. The instructor is Kim Kessler. Contact for more information.

March 22-23, 2019, Third Annual Rosemount Writers Festival in Rosemount, MN. or


We always say, “Show, don’t tell.” Another good phrase: “Don’t draw the conclusion—show the evidence.”

We handed out some prompts. Go to the website for Poets & Writers to find good prompts.

We took turns reading things we are working on and the others critiqued. It was a good meeting. Hope to see you next time!

Oct 22 2018

October Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone, Today we held our October meeting.

PRESENT: Ryan, Marlys, Jan, Deb, Dawn, Sharon, Pete.

TALKING STICK: This year’s book party was light on attendance but we have had 20 or more emails from writers who wanted to attend or planned to attend and then had a date conflict. We got all the rest of the books mailed out and we are receiving donations and more book orders. We’ve also gotten emails stating how much people enjoyed the workshop and readings this year. We added a prize for humor this year and we think it was a great addition.

With Ryan’s help, we also looked at the Red River Event Center in Akeley, MN. It is a very nice space but we would have to pay to have them close the whole place down for the day for us and we decided to stick with Smokey Hills for next year. We have the date of September 21, 2019 reserved for the next book party. Next year, we will know to have them heat the room up first for us, if it is a cold fall. Next year, we will know to just set up tables enough for 30 to 40 people and just use extra chairs for the book party.

WRITING EVENTS: Mike and Niomi were not present so we had no PRLAAC meeting reports.

Ryan told us a little more about his retreat for May 2019. We are almost ready to put this out on the website and email writers to start getting people signed up for this event.

Marlys went to a poetry reading recently called Verse Like Water with poet Mary Szybist. This is the visiting poet program at Central Lakes College in Brainerd, MN.

Dawn saw some of the MN Book Awards winners at the Library in Bemidji, MN.

ONLINE CLASSES: Sharon loves online poetry classes at the Loft. She has no time to do any of them right now, but the other day she had the urge to write something and she started searching for prompts online. Below are some good places to find prompts. Sharon does her best writing when she has an assignment. With no class available at the moment, she took some of the prompts and “assigned” herself to write something. It worked!

WRITING PROMPTS: Go to Poets & Writers at

to find writing prompts for fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction.

Search prompts challenge to find many more writing prompts.

Deb suggested which is a worldwide chat with a section for writers. She found some good prompts there:

  1. Write a poem in diary form. At the end of the day, think about your day as a poem.
  2. Pick a letter of the alphabet. Choose a topic that starts with that letter. Then write a poem about it. The whole poem CANNOT have that letter in it anywhere but the title. Try to do it with all 26 letters. This was quite a challenge!

We took turns reading and critiquing each other’s work. Hope to see you next time!

Sep 18 2018

September Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone, Today we held our September 15, 2018 meeting.

PRESENT: Ryan, Sharon, Marlys, Niomi.

TALKING STICK 27Our workshop and book release party will be held this coming Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018 at Smokey Hills Resort west of Osage, MN. The workshop is from 9 to 12, followed by lunch for the workshop attendees. Then from 1 to 4 approximately will be the book release party. There is now a restaurant there, so we hope that a bunch of us writers will have supper there after our event and visit for a while. We hope plenty of people will be staying at Smokey Hills on Friday or Saturday night. Smokey Hills is being renamed The Branch.

OTHER LOCATIONS: In case we can’t afford Smokey Hills for next year, we do need to think about other locations. We need to check out the Red River Event Center in Akeley. Ryan will let us know about that.

RETREAT: Ryan is working on details for a writers’ retreat at Crow Wing Crest Resort near Akeley MN, scheduled for May 2019. We will have a flyer and will first mention this at the book release party. We worked out more details today.

COMING EVENTS: Ryan is teaching a class called the Art and Craft of Fiction Writers. This will be held Monday evenings from 6 to 8 PM, from Sept. 24 through Nov. 12 at the Century Middle School. District 309 Park Rapids Community Education at the PR Middle School. 218-237-6600.

10-27-18 Writers Conference & Book Fair.

Interested in hearing your written word on the radio? Contact

Art Leap is this coming weekend. Go to and click on events. Then you can download a map and list of events for the weekend.

The Great American Story event will be held Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018 from 7 to 9 PM at Calvary Lutheran Church. This can be attended after you attend our Talking Stick 27 book release party at Smokey Hills!

Rare poetry stroll to be held at Green Island in Wadena. The writings of a Norwegian prose poet will be displayed outdoors over a ¼ mile walking course at Green Island in Wadena from 9-15-18 through 9-30-18. The location is the north edge of the city of Wadena just off from Highway 71 on its way to Park Rapids and Itasca.

PLACES TO SUBMIT Bonnie West is judging this prize this year. 2018 short story contest now open. 7 prizes. Deadline Nov. 30, 2018.

MISCELLANEOUS: Programs to try: One Note and Evernote. These programs can put your work in folders.

Remember that April is poetry month and you can challenge yourself to write a poem every day.

We had a quick meeting today. One person brought a poem she was working on and we happily praised and critiqued it. Then we got to work on things for the book release party.

Hope to see you at the book party and hope to see you at the next meeting!

Aug 20 2018

August Writer’s Meeting

Today we held our August meeting.


PRESENT: Mike, Ryan, Sharon, Judy, Mary.


TALKING STICK 27: We have our TS27 books in boxes, ready to go to the book release party.


BOOK RELEASE PARTY: Only about a month away now—our workshop and book party on Sept. 22 are getting close. The workshop is full but we would put names on a waiting list. We will be in the bigger room at Smokey Hills (now renamed The Branch). Email for more information or to sign up to attend one or the other or both events.


PAST BOOK EVENTS: The Hackensack Book and Art Festival last weekend went well. It wasn’t as hot as it sometimes is. There were more vendors than last year and it was very crowded at times in the church where all the book sellers were. A good day. It’s always fun to see other booksellers that we know—and it is so wonderful that people still buy books even with the electronic options now. Thanks, Sue Ready for all your work.


FUTURE BOOK EVENTS: Ryan will be teaching a community ed class in Park Rapids called the Art and Craft of Fiction Writing. This will start Sept. 24, 2018, and will be held once a week for 8 weeks from 6 to 8 PM. People will have to sign up through community ed in PR.

Write Better—Faster. Check out this class with R. L. Syme. These are classes on writing and finding your strengths. Ryan is taking some of these classes.

Writing contest deadline for Brainerd Writers Alliance has been extended to August 31, 2018. Contact Maggie Fuller at or visit website at  

Brainerd Writers Alliance 2018 Writers Conference & Book Fair on Oct. 27, 2018 with Erin Hart.

Bonnie West and her book Boyfriends, August 25, 2018, at Sage on Laurel in Brainerd from 11 AM to 12:30 PM.

Farm by the Lake, 5th annual festival. Music, arts, food, family fun. Sunday Aug. 26, 12 noon to 6 PM.


MISCELLANEOUS: Check out The Rainy Year by Harold Fenske.


Several of us read things we had been working on and the rest of us critiqued. Welcome, Judy. Hope to see you all next time!