Aug 21 2017

August Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone, Today we held our August meeting.

PRESENT: Ryan, Mike, Dawn, Sharon, Marlys, Erin.

TALKING STICK 26: The book is done and they have been delivered.

MISCELLANEOUS: We are working on Jan’s book and also Doug’s book.

RECENT BOOK EVENTS: We recently sold books at the Northwoods Arts Council Book & Art Festival in Hackensack. There was a good crowd and it was fun to see Marge Barrett and Faith Sullivan and many others that we knew. Faith gave a good talk on writing—pushing through, writing memoir, publication, and things that influenced her writing.

Some of our members set up the Reading Room at the Hubbard County Museum again this year, for the month of August. Thanks to you guys! They set up the furniture and the books again. We need to start thinking about who will be able to help close it up at the end of August—and if we need to do it on exactly August 31 or if we can wait till that weekend.

Mike attended Taste of Dorset and had good luck selling books there. We’ll have to try to attend that next year.

COMING BOOK EVENTS: Don’t forget the end of summer 4th annual Festival at Farm by the Lake at 17797 366th St, Bagley MN. It will be held on Sunday, August 27, from 12 noon to 6 PM. There will be live music, food, arts/crafts, authors and book signings and classic car display. 218-694-2084.

Mike will be selling books at the Little Falls Craft Festival in Little Falls MN. Sept 9, from 8 to 6, and Sept 10 from 9 to 4. Mary Bednarek 320-632-5155 or for more information.

PLACES TO SUBMIT: You can still submit to Brainerd Writers Alliance until August for details.


The Miracle Morning for Writers by Hal Elrod.

One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers by Gail Sher.

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.

Several of our writers read things that they had been working on and the rest of us critiqued. We had lots of good conversation and good ideas.

Hope to see you next time!

Jul 17 2017

July Writers’ Meeting

Hello Everyone, Today we held our July meeting.

PRESENT:  Sharon, Niomi, Deb, Ryan, Dawn, Jan, Mike, Jerry.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Fellow writer Louise Bottrell (1936-2017) died recently. She had many items published in the Talking Stick books over the years. She was a member of at least two different writing groups, one in Duluth and one in Walker. She has two items published in this year’s Talking Stick book and we are dedicating this volume to her. Her friend (and our JWB member) Niomi read some of her work at her funeral and donated money to JWB in her name.

TALKING STICK 26: We are progressing nicely on TS26. The editing is mostly done. We showed the group our first proof.

OTHER BOOKS:  We are also doing a poetry book for Jan and we are lined up to do a book for Jerry’s friend Doug.

There was a book launch today in Wadena for Elisa Korenne’s book 100 Miles to Nowhere and for Lina Belar’s poetry book Rural Score. Too bad it was the same day as our meeting as some of us would have liked to attend.

Don’t forget—our Mike Lein won the Humor Award from the Midwest Book awards with his book published by JWB: Firewood Happens. His second book, Down at the Dock, is now available at many local stores plus Amazon.

BOOK EVENTS OR PLACES TO SUBMIT: We were invited by Dorset Books to join their author event on Saturday, June 24. Mike attended to sell his books. Niomi, Tarah, and Sharon sold the Talking Stick books as well as their own books. We have really enjoyed working with Joan at Dorset Books. They have a beautiful store. We had a good day even with a little rain as we were under a canopy.

Brainerd Writers Alliance call for submissions is now open. Deadline 8-30-17. Visit their website: for more details. Fall festival and book fair 10-28-17.

Hackensack Annual Art and Book Festival, Saturday 8-12-17, from 9 to 3—always a fun event. We will be there selling books, along with Mike Lein. Special presentation by Faith Sullivan.

Candace Simar and Angela Foster will teach a class on 8-3-17 in Brainerd. Call Angela 612-242-8911. This is on writing Scene.

Farm by the Lake has a free concert series for most of the Sundays this summer as well as an annual festival on 8-27-17with authors, book signings, arts and crafts, classic car display. On 8-13-17 there is an inspirational event and music.

First City Poetry reads—in Bemidji, a series of events with featured poets.

MISCELLANEOUS: Mike attended the July PRLAAC meeting in Park Rapids and reported on it. There are many events planned for the near future in PR. Mike mentioned the Wild Rice Festival and a musical with Northern Lights Opera. We do hope to keep sending someone to their meetings and keep up on what is going on in PR that we can be a part of. Niomi will attend in August.

We will check into joining MIPA again for this year in case there are any books we publish that we might want to enter. We will see if any of us want to be judges again.

The Hubbard County museum would like us to set up our Reading Room for the month of August. We will check on this and try to get some people lined up to get this done. Sharon will call Megan at the museum. Jerry will pick up the remaining books from last year’s MIPA event to add to the Reading Room.

The Bookends events in Wadena on the Second Saturdays are still going on with Jerry overseeing the events. This will continue through November of 2017. In August, we will have Peter Geye. In September, we will have Charles Baxter. November is Pete Hautman. We aren’t sure about October yet. These take place at 11 AM at the café.

Most of us have been too busy to write anything! Dawn read something that she wrote back in college. Jerry read an intro to his collection of stories Animal Life that he hopes to start working on again. The rest of us read some things from the TS26 proof book.

It was a good meeting and it was good to see everyone. A couple of us had a brief discussion regarding perhaps starting up the annual writers’ retreats again. Hope to see you next time!

Jun 19 2017

June Writer’s Meeting

Hi Everyone, Today we held our monthly meeting.


Ryan, Jan, Dawn, Sharon, Marlys, Erin, Mary.


We are progressing nicely on this year’s book. Sharon is working on the editing/proofing. Tarah has the layout done and is working on the cover.


Be sure to get signed up for the September 16, 2017 workshop Short Shorts with Marge Barrett and Talking Stick 26 book release party. The workshop is almost full. For details, email and I’ll send you the info.

Saturday, June 24, 2017: join us at Dorset Books in Dorset MN for an author event. It starts at 11 AM. We will have Talking Stick books for sale there, TS25 and previous books. Mike Lein and Niomi Phillips also plan to be there with their books.

June 19-25, 2017 in Bemidji, Northwoods Writers week-long event with many authors and classes. Tracy K Smith, the new Poet Laureate, will be doing a reading on Wednesday evening at 7:30. More info on the evening reading series, go to:

Dawn has her concert series at Farm by the Lake in Bagley MN every Sunday mostly all summer except July 2. More info, email:

August 27, 2017, Author Festival at Farm by the Lake. Email:


Firewood Happens is selling nicely for Mike. As we mentioned last time, that book won the MIPA award in the humor category. Congrats, Mike! His new book Down at the Dock is available now. These books of cabin stories have been very popular.


Ryan is still working with his developmental editor on his novel. More info, look up Lisa Cron, Wired for Story.

We had a lively discussion about self publishing and that it can be very good for writers but we are sad at how poor the editing often is. Those who self publish still need a good editor! We all decided it should be a matter of pride to only publish something that is correct, not something poorly done.

We mentioned that with many people texting and emailing with no one paying any attention to mistakes in them, it is probably a sad thing that correct spelling and punctuation will keep on disappearing. How very sad. We hope there will be a time when that turns around and becomes important again.

Some of the writers brought things to read and the rest of us critiqued. A lot of excellent writing today. We had a good group and a good meeting and hated to stop talking! Hope to see you all next time.




May 22 2017

May Writers’s Meeting

Hi Everyone, Today we held out May meeting of the Jackpine Writers’ Bloc.

PRESENT: Sharon, Dawn, Mike, Ryan, Niomi, Jan, Mary, Scott.

TALKING STICK 26: All the submitters have now been notified. The layout and editing are started. We will be sending out flyers shortly regarding the Book Release Party and workshop. These will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, at Blueberry Pines Golf Club. Marge Barrett will be the instructor of the morning workshop.

MIKE’S BOOKS: Mike’s first book Firewood Happens won first place in the Humor category for Midwest Independent Publishers Association. Hooray, Mike! His book was published by Jackpine Writers’ Bloc, Inc. We have put more information on our JWB website as well as the JWB Facebook page. We will be sending more info out shortly by email.

Mike’s second book Down at the Dock will be out soon. This book is also published by Jackpine Writers’ Bloc, Inc.

MISCELLANEOUS: Sharon and Dawn attended Bookends in May, the Second Saturday event at the Uptown Café in Wadena. William Kent Krueger was the speaker. They had a huge crowd and filled the room to overflowing. Jerry Mevissen was there as the MC.

Dawn announced her concert series for this summer at Farm by the Lake near Bagley MN. For more information, contact her at: Concerts are held on Sundays at 4 PM. On August 27, there is an end of the season festival with entertainers and arts and crafts.

Don’t forget the Northwoods Writers’ Conference in Bemidji MN from June 19-25, 2017.

Many of our writers read things they were working on. The rest of us critiqued. We had a lively discussion today and it was one of those days where we just hated to quit talking and leave. Hope to see you all next time!