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 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


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.

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!