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!

Jul 17 2018

July Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone, today we held our July meeting.


Ryan, Deb, Jan, Dawn, Sharon.


We are pretty much done with Talking Stick 27 and will probably order our books this coming week.


Be sure to get signed up for the book party and workshop. We still have room for a few more in the workshop. Remember we will be in a new location this year, at Smokey Hills Resort near Osage MN. (They are changing their name to the Branch at some point.) Sharon Chmielarz will be putting on the all-genre workshop. The date is Saturday Sept. 22, 2018. Email to sign up. Flyers will be emailed again.


     Ryan recommended Write Better Faster with R. L. Syme. Go to for more information. This is an online course. You will leave the class with a set of strategies and tactics that will help you do your best work, be your most productive, and accomplish your writing goals.

     23rd Annual Northwoods Art & Book Festival on Saturday, August 11, 2018 from 9 am to 3 pm at Hackensack MN.

     Legends on Lomond concert series in Bagley MN. 1-218-694-2084.

     Country Faire for artists, authors, music, activities, food. Saturday Sept. 15, 2018 from 10 to 4 in Rosemount MN. Questions? Sue Stein 651-423-2569

     Writers Conference & Book Fair Oct. 27, 2018 from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. Location to be announced.

     Jerry Mevissen with his newest book Animal Life. Brainerd Writers Alliance, July 28, 2018 11 am to 12:30 pm at Sage on Laurel, 606 Laurel St, Brainerd MN.

     Taste of Dorset in Dorset MN. There will be a few booksellers at this event. Sunday, 8-5-18 from 11 to 3.


Several of us brought things to read that we were working on. The rest of us critiqued. Then we took turns reading some of our work from TS27.

See you next time!

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

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!