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Archive for the ‘Writers’ Meetings’ Category

April Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone,

Today we held our April meeting. Our next meeting will be on Sunday, May 18, 2014 at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN from 12:30 to 3 PM.

PRESENT: Marlys, Sharon, Jerry, Jan, Deb, Niomi

TALKING STICK 23: This week we will be mailing the final letters to all the writers on their submissions. Now we will be focusing on the layout and the editing.

PAST EVENTS: Sharon was honored to be asked to be included in the live 2 hour radio show called the Beat Café a few weeks ago. Will Weaver was there and Doris Stengel, Michael Forbes, Mike Finley and other poets. It was a show with music and poetry and a great event. This will be archived at some point on the KAXE radio station website. www.kaxe.org.

Camp Nanowrimo for the month of April is almost over. Deb will also be doing this for the month of July. And the month of November is the regular NANOWRIMO where you write 50,000 words in 30 days. For Camp Nanowrimo, the whole group sets a goal of perhaps 400,000 words for one month—depending on how large the group is. For questions on this and other Nanowrimo events, contact Deb at cordria@hotmail.com.

Deb has also organized a young writers group in Pine River after school. This is for 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. Good for you, Deb.

COMING EVENTS: April 29, Billy Collins in Brainerd, Central Lakes College, Chalberg Theater, poetry reading at noon, followed by book signing/meet and greet, workshop for writers around 1:30. Questions: Jeff Johnson 320-260-4959 or jjohnson@clcmn.edu.

June 22-28, Northwoods Writers’ Conference in Bemidji

August 23, Hackensack Book Arts Festival

September 13, morning workshop with Marsh Muirhead for all genres, afternoon is our Book Release Party for Talking Stick 13 at Blueberry Pines. Contact sharrick1@wcta.net for more information.

September 26-28, Jane Hirshfield event in Bemidji. Contact Marsh Muirhead for more information at mgmuirhead@midco.net.

Oct. 4, Lake Region Writers Network annual event.

Today, after listening and critiquing each other’s work, we spent time doing two writing prompts for 5 minutes each. This is something we hope to do regularly. Great fun!

Hope to see you next time!

March Writers’ Meeting

Today we held our March meeting. The next meeting will be on Sunday, April 20, 2014, at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN from 12:30 to 3 PM.

PRESENT: Sharon, Deb, Sonja, Marlys, Jerry

TALKING STICK 23: We have received many submissions for TS23. Our Editorial Board members have started to read the submissions and a meeting date is set.

WRITERS EVENTS: Bloomington 2014 Writers Festival and Book Fair. Bloomington Center for the Arts, Bloomington MN. Saturday March 22, 2014, 9:30 to 5 PM. More information: 952-563-8575 or www.btacmn.org.

Funded by a MN State Arts Board grant, awarded in collaboration with the Crossing Arts Alliance, Verse Like Water (at Central Lakes College in Brainerd) will host appearances by Billy Collins (April 29), Robert Hass (Oct. 29) and Tracy K.Smith (Nov. 21). Here’s an article about the program http://www.twincities.com/entertainment/ci_25241575/teacher-lures-slate-illustrious-poets-read-at-small  and an excerpt with upcoming readings. They are usually over the noon hour during the week and are often followed by discussion or workshop.

www.CampNanowrimo.org. Email cordria@hotmail.com for more information or to join her group. This is the fourth year of the Camp NaNoWriMo retreat! Camp isn’t just an off-season alternative to National Novel Writing Month, it’s much more than that: writers choose their own projects—from novel sequels to scripts to pop-up books—and find cabin communities (and often new friends) to support them. We call it a retreat because you can write anything here, plus see what you’re capable of when you have the time and space to create. There are flexible word-count goals (10,000 to 999,999) and the ability to add your own project genre. Full project-defining power to select your genre and category. The writing starts on April 1.

Northwoods Writers Conference—Sunday, June 22, 2014 through Saturday, June 28, 2014. http://northwoodswriters.org.


  • Coming event in Wadena at An Open Book. This is a poetry event with 4 types of poetry: free verse, rhymed, shaped, and illustrated. More information on that soon.
  •  Spring Writing Contest at the Loft. Deadline March 27, 2014. Go to www.loft.org for more information.
  • Lake Region Review deadline June 1, 2014. Go to http://lakeregionwriters.net/submission-guidelines. See other places to submit on their website.
  • Common Good Books has a contest ending April 15, 2014. Go to: www.commongoodbooks.com for more details.

JERRY’S READINGS: See Jerry’s website for his upcoming readings. www.jerrymevissen.com.

WRITERS’ TIP: As you write, it is so much more effective to say something directly instead of saying it through the writer’s eyes or ears. Such as, “You ran across the room,” instead of “I watched you as you ran across the room.” Don’t force the reader to go through the person in the poem to see or hear something.

PROMPTS: We want to start bringing writing prompts and then using them in each meeting, writing for 5 or 10 minutes. We always love exercises in writing classes and workshops so we know we will benefit from doing them at the end of our monthly meetings.

We took turns reading things we have been working on and the rest of us critiqued. A very enjoyable meeting. Hope to see you next time!

February Writers’ Meeting

Today we held our February meeting. Our next meeting will be on March 16, 2014, at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN from 12:30 to 3 PM.

PRESENT: Jerry, Jan, Sharon, Deb, Mike, Marlys, Sonja, Lina, Betty

TALKING STICK 23: Our deadline is fast approaching. March 1, 2014. Go to www.jackpinewriters.com for full details and electronic submission form.

OTHER PLACES TO SUBMIT: Call for submissions for Lake Region Review No. 4. Deadline June 1, 2014. Go to https://lakeregionwriters.net for further information.

Call for submissions for Spring Writing Contest at the Loft. Submit your poem featuring a photograph. Deadline March 27, 2014. Go to www.loft@loft.org under contests for more information.

Call for submissions for love poems to Common Good Books’ poetry contest. Deadline April 15, 2014. Go to www.commongoodbooks.com for more information.



  • March 22, 2014 Bloomington Art Fair in Bloomington
  • June 2014 MN Northwoods Conference in Bemidji

Speaking of the Past–a free lecture series from the Wadena County Historical Society. This starts off with our own Jerry Mevissen reading from his new book Good Shepherd on Friday, March 7, 2014, at 8 PM at Harvest Thyme Bistro in Wadena, MN. For more information, go to www.WadenaCountyHistory.org.

March 5, Wednesday, a one hour poetry reading in Brainerd at the Chalborg Theater at Central Lakes College at Noon with Charles Simic.

For more information on Jerry Mevissen’s scheduled readings and events, go to his website http://jerrymevissen.com/.

Go to the Loft www.loft@loft.org for information on online classes and other classes. They recently had a free Saturday class on Poems of Grief and Healing that was great. Sharon is still enjoying her current online class with LouAnn Muhm at the Loft.

MISCELLANEOUS: Today’s writing tip: make sure your modifiers don’t dilute your nouns!

Then we all read things that we have been working on and critiqued each other’s work. A great meeting–one of those where none of us wanted to stop talking and go home. Hope to see you next time!

January Writers’ Meeting

Today we held our January meeting. The next meeting will be on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014 from 12:30 to 3 PM at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN.

PRESENT: Mike, Jan, Elisa, Sonja, Sharon, Jerry

TALKING STICK 23: Our call for submissions is out now and we are receiving submissions. Deadline is March 1, 2014. Our electronic submission form is up on our website www.jackpinewriters.com. You can also send your submissions in by regular mail–address is at the end of this email. Please read and follow the submission guidelines on the website. Be sure to get yours in!

 Talking Stick 22 is now for sale in Book World in Bemidji as well as on Amazon.com. Sharon also has some in stock that can be purchased from her at her email below.

JERRY MEVISSEN NEW BOOK: Jerry is having a book release party for his book of short stories, Good Shepherd. The book party will be held this coming Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, at Blueberry Pines Golf Club (located between Park Rapids and Menahga on Highway 71) from 1 to 3 PM. Join Jerry for readings from his book. This book consists of 12 short stories about the 12 residents of an assisted living home called Good Shepherd. The book is for sale on Amazon.com as well as on Jerry’s website www.jerrymevissen.com. Take a look! Jerry has two other published books: Nimrod Chronicles and Broken Hart. There will also be a book release party in the Twin Cities area late in February 2014.

Other scheduled readings:

  • Tuesday Feb. 4 at 1 o’clock, Jerry has a radio interview in Bemidji at KBXE with Heidi Holtan.
  • Saturday Feb. 8, 5-7 PM History Museum in Perham.
  • Thursday Feb. 20, Jerry’s home, by invitation only, Todd Wadena group.
  • Wed. Feb. 26, 6-9 PM The Loft in MPLS, the southern Book Release Party.
  • Dates to be determined for events at Wadena Depot, Staples, perhaps Bemidji.

 WRITING EVENTS: The MN Northwoods Writers’ Conference will be held in Bemidji in late June 2014 again. For more details, go to: http://northwoodswriters.org/the-conference/schedule/.

Bloomington 2014 Writers Festival and Book Fair on Saturday March 22, from 9:30 AM to 5 PM. An inspiring day of with Writers, Publishers, Editors and Readers. For more information, contact Kate Pettit at lpettit@gowebway.com or 952-835-5227.

WRITING CLASSES:  For classes at the Loft, go to www.loft.org and click on Classes. Sharon will be starting a new online poetry class with LouAnn Muhm next week. The Loft has great classes. A sample of what is coming up at the Loft: Saturday, Feb. 15 from 10 AM to 12:30 PM, a free class on The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing. Saturday, Feb. 22 from 10 AM to 4 PM, the Winter Poem: Inside and Out. $105.    

CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS: Go to http://lakeregionwriters.net/call-for-manuscripts/ for current places to submit your writing.

MISC: Mike got a story published in the Star Tribune about his cabin. This ran last Friday in the Outdoors Weekend section. Here is the link. http://www.startribune.com/sports/outdoors/240617621.html

Elisa recently put on some artistic/creativity events in local towns. They included creativity exercises and then discussion of social media and using it to promote your work.

Elisa has music videos which will soon be on Prairie Public TV. The first of the music videos/mini-documentaries, made from Elisa’s original historical song portraits, is premiering on Jan. 27, 2014. This one is about Dorothy Moulter, Minnesota’s Root Beer Lady. For more information: http://www2.prairiepublic.org/television/local-productions?post=34660

It was mentioned that perhaps someday the JWB and Lake Region Writers could do something up in our area somewhat like the Bloomington Art Fair. Perhaps also the Brainerd Writers Alliance. We will discuss this more in the future.

We are working on Niomi’s book. Several other JWB members have expressed interest in putting together a book.

Several of the writers read what they have been working on and the rest of us critiqued. We had a fun and inspiring meeting today. Hope to see you next time!

December Writers’ Meeting

Today we held our December meeting. The next meeting will be held on January 19, 2014 at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN from 12:30 to 3 PM.

PRESENT: Niomi, Deb, Jerry, Marlys, Sharon, Jan.

TALKING STICK: We will be sending out the Call for Submissions for the next Talking Stick soon.

MISCELLANEOUS: Jerry is progressing nicely on his Good Shepherd book. We had proof copies to look at today. He is planning some parties, library tours, readings.
Niomi is also progressing on her book. We hope to get a proof by mid January.
Deb is considering teaching an online writing class. She is waiting on results from her proposal.
Sharon has just signed up for her second online writing class through the Loft. She recommends them highly!

COMING EVENTS: Bloomington 2014 Writers Festival and Book Fair will be held on Saturday, March 22, 2014, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Bloomington Center for the Arts, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington MN. For more information, please contact Kate Pettit at lpettit@gowebway.com or 952-835-5227.

Several writers read things that they are working on. Great stuff! The rest of us critiqued. We all enjoyed the meeting.

Happy holidays to all. Hope to see you next time!