Jan 22 2018

January Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone, Today we held our January meeting.

PRESENT: Ryan, Mike, Tenlee, Dawn, Mary, Sharon.

TALKING STICK 27: At the end of December, we sent out our call for submissions for TS27. Submissions are coming in—be sure to get yours in before the March 1, 2018 deadline. We are doing shorter writings again and we would like to see some humorous items. We will have one prize for best humor, no matter the genre.

BOOK RELEASE PARTY: We are planning our book party for Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, but so far we don’t have a definite location yet. That weekend is also Art Leap, which is fine. We just now found out that is also the day for the Great American Storyteller event in Park Rapids.

CURRENT BOOKS: Tarah and Sharon have ordered the last proof for Louise Bottrell’s memoir. It should be completed very soon.

MISCELLANEOUS: Sharon has signed up for another online class at the Loft. This one is called The Writer’s Muse: Explorations in Creativity. The instructor is Jacquelin Cangro. This is more geared toward fiction, essays, memoirs, and narrative nonfiction but Sharon was told that this will also work for poetry. Sharon loves these classes and tries to take one every winter for inspiration.

 Ryan is tentatively planning a writers’ retreat in May 2019 at his resort near Akeley MN. He is starting to look at grants now.

 Ryan recommends this book: Word by Word by Kory Stamper. This is a memoir for the dictionary. Ryan also showed us the AlphaSmart Neo2, This looks like a keyboard with a small screen attached. It allows you to type and save your work (with some formatting) but you are not distracted by being on your computer with the Internet so accessible.

 PRLAAC meetings—Niomi and Mike have taken turns attending these meetings. They are amazed at all the art events taking place in or near Park Rapids. People are still hoping that the Armory will eventually be turned into an Arts Center. There are some audience development events coming up. They discussed having an Arts section in the Park Rapids Enterprise now and then. The Great American Storyteller event will be held on Sept. 22, 2018. The website to find out info on this event is on their website www.thegreatamericanstory.org.

WRITING TIP: When you write a story, do a long version and also a short version.

WRITING EVENTS: Storytellers at the Bagley Public Library presented by Farm by the Lake. 218-694-2084 farmbythelake.anderson@gmail.com

Springboard for the Arts, winter/spring 2018 workshops in Fergus Falls. 6 classes from Jan 27 to May 26http://tiny.cc/WoA2018.

Women of Words meets on the third Tuesday of the month from 11 AM to 12:30 PM at the Tuscan Center, 3333 W Division StSt Cloud 56301. Cost $15 for lunch. Email Ann Aubitz ann@fuzionprint.com or call 952-465-2623.

Women’s Fiction Writers Association, published authors wanted as judges. Email Rising Star Judges’ Coordinator, Melissa Naatz at m.naatzwriter@gmail.com for info or to volunteer. I know nothing about this group but it sounds interesting.

Writing Close to Home with Will Weaver. Feb 16 from 12 to 3:30 at Park Rapids Public Library. Register with Region 2 Arts Council at 218-751-5447 or alice@r2arts.org.

Fourth Saturdays, 10:30 AM to Noon at Sage on Laurel, 606 Laurel StBrainerd MN. Presented by Brainerd Writers Alliance. Starts Feb 24, 2018. contact maggief56@gmail.com.

2nd Annual Rosemount Writers Festival and Book Fair, Saturday March 24, 2018, 9 AM to 5 PM. Registration is now open. Choose from workshops in four different publishing tracks. https://www.rosemountwritersfestival.com/events–workshops.

Stei0010@gmail.com phone 651-423-2569.

We took turns reading and critiquing and had great conversations. Hope to see you all next time!

Dec 19 2017

December Writers’ Meeting

HI Everyone, Today we held our December 2017 meeting.

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

TALKING STICK 27: We will be sending out the Call for Submissions for Talking Stick 27 soon.

READINGS AND BOOK EVENTS: Mike did a reading at Books& Beer, a brewery. He has done several of these and they are a lot of fun. He did a craft fair in November where he sold 85 books at one event!

Lina mentioned that the Second Annual Invitational Poetry Submissions would be held the third weekend in April. More info on that later.

Elisa is doing well selling her book.

Erin did a poetry reading in Bemidji recently. It was well attended. Her workshops are popular.

Lina has a poetry book out. She recently got first place in the Brainerd Writers Alliance for poetry. Check out the McGrath series of Poets Across Minnesota in February 2018 as she will be a part of that.

REGION 2: Sharon was hoping to get an email back from Region 2. We were told that they might have funds for putting on a workshop in Park Rapids. Sharon never got an email back. She will try contacting someone else there.

MISCELLANEOUS: Tarah and Sharon have finished Doug’s book Wanderlust. Now they are working on Louise’s book Down the Hill One More Time.

The Book World stores have closed. The whole chain is closing. The Park Rapids store kept great track of books on consignment. They closed very early in December. The Bemidji store is staying open longer—till into January. We were told that the Baxter/Brainerd store will stay open longer yet.

Ryan mentioned that he believes that technology (screens) harms your attention span. He is writing in long hand and finds he has better focus. Ryan also mentioned that when you use the word “as,” it makes you try to think about two parts of the sentence simultaneously. But we read sequentially so often it is better to change “as” to “and.”

Ryan told us of a game called Gloom that involves story telling.

Several writers read things they have been working on and the rest of us critiqued. We had some great writings today! Hope to see you all next time.

Nov 27 2017

November Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone, Today we held our November meeting.

PRESENT: Sharon, Ryan, Jan, Niomi, Deb.

TALKING STICK BOOKS: We recently had a board meeting and started talking about the next book. We’ll be getting out the call for submissions in December. We’d like to go with shorts again and we will probably have special consideration and an extra prize for humor. The tentative date is September 22, 2018. We aren’t sure about the location yet but we will be investigating different options.

BOOKS: Sharon and Tarah are almost done with Doug’s book and they have already started on Louise’s memoir.

PRLAAC: At the November meeting that Niomi attended, she said they talked about the American Story Teller event in September. They are not sure that it will be continued but if it is, Niomi said she would assist.

Niomi learned that Region 2 has funds for workshops and they are interested in maybe doing one in PR. The funds came from donations for Betty Rossi who died last summer. (Betty was connected with Loonfeather Press and she was an advocate for writers in outstate MN but we don’t think she ever attended our meetings.) We discussed maybe doing a small workshop in April or May 2018—perhaps a morning workshop with a lunch. This could be at a smaller location like Red Bridge Inn, for example. We will continue to think about a possible instructor, subject, and location.

Sharon will contact Laura at Region 2 with questions about the funds. And Ryan is still very interested in having a writers’ retreat at his resort in May 2019 and will be seeking a grant for that.

MISCELLANEOUS NEWS: The Book World stores are closing. This seems like such a shame! We will miss them. They are beautiful stores and they sold our books and Mike’s and Jerry’s.

Deb is doing NaNoWriMo, the National November writing month competition, and using the opportunity to write another draft on a novel she has been working on.

As we were doing our reading today, one of our members said that there is a new age range for readers: ages 18-22 are called new adults.

We had a short meeting today as few people brought things to read. However, we had a lively discussion as always and critiqued each other’s work. Hope to see you next time!

Oct 18 2017

October Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone, thanks for attending the October meeting.


Sharon, Dawn, Jan, Marlys, Mike, Erin, Tenlee, Niomi, Crystal, Mary. Welcome Crystal and Tenlee.


Jan’s book is all done. We are working on Doug’s book now, a memoir of his life’s travels and we are close to done. Next is Louise’s memoir. In December, we will send out a call for submissions for Talking Stick 27.


Thanks to Ryan and Tarah and everyone else who helped, the Reading Room is now done. We gave away the furniture and the books. If we can ever find a permanent home for it, we can set it up again somewhere but it was a whole lot of work moving that heavy furniture twice every year. We did appreciate the nice comments we got on it and we know people enjoyed it.


Dawn told us about her storyteller events at Farm by the Lake in Bagley MN. She will have 2 in January, 2 in February, and 2 in March. She has some top-notch storytellers lined up. There will be a free 3-hour writing workshop on March 25.

Mike has more reading and book sales events coming up for his new book Down at the Dock and his earlier award winning book Firewood Happens.

Nov 18—Norwood Young America Community Ed Craft Fair

Nov 25—Book World, Park Rapids from 11-2

Dec 2—Book World, Bemidji from 11-2

Dec 10—Utepils Brewery, 225 Thomas Ave, MPLS from 1-6

Erin is teaching poetry workshops the first Thursday of the month in the conference room at Lueken’s south in Bemidji MN from 10-1. The cost is $60 ($10/meeting). Please email Erin if you are interested emarsh1974@gmail.com. She will send the information on the book they are using for the current class and the current assignment.

First City Read events in Bemidji:

Our Place in History, Nov. 11, Anthony Swann featured at the Beltrami County History 2 PM.

Our Physical Selves, Dec. 13, Erin Marsh featured at Anytime Fitness, Wednesday evening at 7 PM.

Each of those events is followed by a short open mic (2-3 minutes max per person). To sign up for either event’s open mic, contact Marsh Muirhead at mgmuirhead@midco.net.


Niomi attended the October meeting. She and Mike will take turns attending when they can. We are always very impressed with all their energy and their ideas for the Arts in our area. Niomi spoke of the Great American storyteller program that has been put on for the last two years. They need more storytellers and more people to help.


We need to be thinking about what books to send in this year.

We took turns reading and critiquing the readers. It was a very good meeting. We hope to see you all next time.