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Archive for the ‘Writers’ Meetings’ Category

July Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone,
Today we held our July meeting. The next meeting will be on Sunday, August 18, 2013 at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN from 12:30 to 3 PM.

PRESENT: Mike, Marion, Jerry, Marlys, Sharon, Penny.

TALKING STICK 22: We have ordered the proof for TS22. It will arrive Monday and we will then order our big batch of books. Lots of people helped with reading this year’s book because Sharon was behind schedule. Thank you!

TS22 BOOK RELEASE PARTY AND WORKSHOP: The planned date for these two events is Sept. 21, 2013. We are going to verify this date one more time with Blueberry Pines. Then the flyers will be sent out for these two events–SOON! Sorry for the delay on getting these out.

WRITERS’ EVENTS: Last week was the week-long Writers’ Conference in Bemidji. Marlys attended the poetry class all week and enjoyed it immensely. Sharon went to the reading by Ron Carlson Monday evening with Marlys. Will Weaver was there to introduce Ron and we also saw Marsh Muirhead of Bemidji. The reading was so enjoyable. Ron Carlson is such an entertaining speaker. He read two or three of his poems and a short story. He has many books out, including The Signal and Ron Carlson Writes a Story. He also teaches writing classes and he now has a poetry book out.
Nimrod 4 was another successful event at Jerry’s farm with Marge as the instructor. Good food, good instruction, good people, good writing. Jerry plans to do a memorial book again as he did last year, with Tarah’s assistance. He is waiting for the final submissions of pictures and writings from the attendees.
Jerry plans to attend the next PRLAAC event at Armory Square in Park Rapids. It is on August 5th.
Penny will be attending the Madeline School of the Arts in September. The instructor will be Mary Carol Moore.

WRITING TIPS: Marlys shared a few of the ideas she learned in poetry classes this week. 1. Cutting up your poems is a good exercise. Move around the lines and the stanzas to see if it works better for you. 2. Twining two poems together to create a new poem can also be a good exercise. 3. Take one line of one of your already-written poems. Use that line to create a totally new poem. 4. Have the first reader for your poem or story (such as a friend or spouse) tell you not whether they liked it or not, but have them tell you what stands out. This will tell you if you need to make it more clear so they understand your objective. 5. Try this website: www.howapoemhappens.blogspot.com.

MISCELLANEOUS: Jerry would love to get more Loft instructors up in this area. We could sponsor a workshop and line up students if they would provide the instructor.

Many of our writers brought things they were working on and the rest of us gave helpful comments and suggestions. Hope to see you next time!

June Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone,
The next meeting will be held on Sunday, July 21, 2013 from 12:30 to 3PM at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN.

PRESENT: Niomi, Mike, Jerry, Anna, Deb, Marlys, Cindy, Sharon.

TALKING STICK 22: Sharon is a bit behind on the proofing so Jerry and Niomi are helping, along with Tarah and Marilyn. Sharon is getting back at it now. Tarah has done a nice job on the cover.


Coming up: Spoken Word Soiree Friday, June 21, 2013 from 4:30 to 6:30 PM at the Bemidji Community Art Center, 426 Bemidji Ave N, in Bemidji, one block north of Paul and Babe. Open to the public.

To celebrate area writers, BLBF authors and to welcome Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen. Joyce Sutphen will be putting on a workshop on Saturday at 10:30 on June 22 at the Library and a reading at 5:30 on June 22 at Headwaters School. Free event but pre-registration is required for the workshop.

Bemidji Library Book Festival with author events 3 times a day begins on Monday June 17. Call the Bemidji Public Library or visit their website for more information.

Don’t forget the MN Northwoods Writers Conference in Bemidji from July 14-19, 2013. writersconference@bemidjistate.edu.

Whistling Shade, due July 15, 2013
The Minnesota Review, due August 1, 2013

Many of the writers who attended today brought things to read. We got to hear some excellent work and the writers received helpful comments. We are so pleased to have such a good group of writers.
Hope to see you next time!

May Writers’ Meeting

The May meeting was held at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids. The next meeting will be held on Sunday, June 16, 2013, from 12:30-3:00pm at the Bella Caffee in Park Rapids.

PRESENT: Marian, Niomi, Lorelei, Deb, Jerry, Marlys, Kathy, Anna

We missed Sharon today due to the loss of her mother.  The group expresses condolences to Sharon, Tarah, and Marilyn.

TALKING STICK 22: The manuscript is being proofed and corrected.  The cover art selected is by Terry Young and looks good.
LouAnn Muhm is working with Sharon on the workshop flyer for the Book Release Party on Sept. 21 at Blueberry Pines.  LouAnn will be teaching the morning workshop.
A Region 2 grant was approved and funds received. This will cover most of our costs for the book and the book release party.

WRITING EVENTS: Marian attended the Palm Beach Poetry Festival.  She stated she spoke with Billy Collins while there.

COMING EVENTS: Nimrod Literary Festival 4 is scheduled for June 28 through June 30.  Marge Barrett will present a workshop on creating a voice in writing.  Jerry said the participant list is full at this time and we have a waiting list. We will soon be sending out some information from Marge, directions, info for people who want to share rides, etc. Those who have not paid yet could send their checks made out to JWB and mail to Sharon at address below.
Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference 2013 is July 14-19 at Bemidji State University.  Visit the website www.bemidjistate.edu/writersconference for details.  There are scholarship applications available at this site.
Lake Region Writers is accepting submissions until June 1 for their third anthology.  Visit their website www.lakeregionwriters.net for details.

MISCELLANEOUS: Those who brought work to be critiqued received excellent suggestions for their pieces.  The group has an honest and open critique method that encourages writers and offers recommendations that the writer may choose to utilize.   In this environment, we all learn ways to improve our writing.

Hope to see you all next time.

April Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone,
The next meeting will be held on Sunday, May 19, 2013, at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids Mn from 12:30 to 3PM.

LuAnne, Niomi, Mike, Jerry, Scott, Sonja, Elisa, Sharon, Deb, Betty.

TALKING STICK 22:   We had 164 submitters with 334 submissions. We selected 87 poems, 29 creative nonfiction and 25 fiction from 100 authors for TS22. The layout is mostly done by Tarah and Sharon is starting to proof. We have sent out most of the acceptance letters and the rest should go out this next week. Tarah got the art she wanted for the cover and will be working on that.

WRITING EVENTS: Jerry attended a reading at the Loft by Nona Kennedy Carlson from her book Boom. Also Heid Erdrich and Kate Hibbard read. He really enjoyed the event.
Sonja enjoyed the Writers’ Boot Camp in Brainerd recently with Angela Foster and Candace Simar.


  • Garden Party at New York Mills Cultural Center on this coming Thursday, 4-25-13, at 6PM. This is a silent and live auction. Go to www.kulcher.org for details.
  • Flower and Garden Show at the Armory in Park Rapids this coming weekend. Friday April 26 from 6 PM to 7:30 PM is a welcome reception for vendors. Saturday April 27, they are open to the public from 10 AM to 5 PM. Sunday April 28, they are open to the public from 11 AM to 4 PM.
    We don’t know for sure what all is involved for this Flower and Garden show–but anything with art and flowers is a welcome sight this time of year!
  • Camp Nanowrimo–Deb is now involved with this. It involves 5 or 6 writers in a chat room and writing together. We will send out information on this as soon as we get it.
  • June 1 is the deadline for Lake Region Writers. Send in your work!
  • Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference 2013. This takes place in Bemidji July 14 – July 19. It is a week long event that you can attend–for application requirements, go to www.bemidjistate.edu/writersconference or email writersconference@bemidjistate.edu or call 218-755-2068. Visiting writers include: Ron Carlson (Sharon loves his work!), Camile Dungy, Geoffrey Brock, Danielle Evans, Joni Tevis, Jericho Brown. There are evening readings and events planned also.

NEWS AND IDEAS: Scott suggested: Check out www.selfpubbookcovers.com. Here is a place to buy a book cover for your book. Any graphic design, you can submit art work, you can make changes, make wrap-around, customize one of a kind. Once you buy it, no one else can.
Elisa suggested: Check out Danny Iny’s How to Create a Loyal Audience. Also check out Guy Kawakaki’s book Author Publisher Entrepreneur. I’ll send out more info on these when I receive it.
Jerry is now the President of the board for New York Mills Cultural Center. We hope we will be able to plan some events with our group and theirs–like readings.
Jerry suggested: If you are stuck on your current writing project, you could write Glimmers. These are short scenes, just glimpses of something. Create characters, dialogue, the setting, as much as you want. Keep them. These are useful to pull out later when you need something in a longer piece.
Sonja told us that she “decapitates” her poems. When she starts to edit them, she removes the first part and gets right into the heart of the poem.
Sonja suggested that Sharon could write up a list of things that “turns off” our editorial board on submissions. If writers would like to see this, you could let Sharon know at the email address below. We would be glad to work on something like that.

MISCELLANEOUS: We had more people than usual at the meeting–we were afraid we would run out of time. It was great to see all of you! And you can always tell when we have had a great meeting–no one wants to stop talking and leave! When the meeting was done, all of a sudden we had about 4 mini conversations going, all of us excited and enthused and still wanting to share ideas.
When we began our meeting, there were a few drops of rain in the air. When we went outside, we found that we had been plunged back into winter. We saw the largest, wettest snowflakes that any of us had seen in years! It was an amazing snowfall that lasted for quite a while. Grudgingly, we had to admit it was quite beautiful.

Hope to see you next time!

March Writers’ Meeting

Today we held our March meeting of the JWB. The next meeting will be held on Sunday, March 21, 2013, at Bella Caffe from 12:30 to 3PM at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN.

Sharon, Jerry, Deb, Betty

We had over 160 submitters this time with a total of 327 writings. We are reading them now. Tarah is working on artwork for the cover.

Coming up, check on this: Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Conference at the Loft on April 27-28, 2013.
Red Bridge Film Festival will be in April in Park Rapids. We don’t have much information on this yet.
Don’t forget the Great American Think Off at New York Mills Cultural Center. The deadline for submissions to the Great American Think-off approaches.  This years topic is “Which is more ethical: sticking to your principles or being willing to compromise?”  How relevant is that?   Write an essay of 750 words and win one of four $500 prizes.  That’s sixty-six cents a word, better than the New Yorker.  See think-off.com for details.  Deadline is April 1. Still time to submit. No reading fee.

There is a neat description of the short story written by Benjamin Percy in Esquire magazine.
A short story is a red-faced sprint. A short story is a one-night stand you’ll remember years later in the shower or on a two-lane country highway. A short story is a precisely cut diamond. A short story is a glimpse — like the flash and buzz of a hummingbird — that stills your breath with its beauty. A short story, because it is short, can forgivably push boundaries, take risks. A short story attends to language in a gymnastic way that would exhaust any reader past 20 pages. A short story is impressionistic. A short story is a shot of whiskey, a snort of cocaine, a hand on a hot stove. A short story demands strenuous attention, supplying only the most essential components of character and narrative, asking the reader to infer the rest. A short story can be perfect — a novel cannot.

We took turns reading things we were working on and the others critiqued. Hope to see you next time!