Mar 20 2016

March Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone,

Today we held our March meeting. The next meeting will be held on April 17, 2015, from 12:30 to 3 PM at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN.


Mike, Ryan, Scott, Donna, Jill, Jill, Jerry, Sue, Joan, Barb, Dawn, Sharon, Marlys.


     We are progressing on the book. The Editorial Board meeting was yesterday so we have chosen the submissions to be published in the book. We had over 100 more writings than last year so this was a big job.

     Over the next week or two, we will get the acceptance or rejection letters sent out.

     We will have a flyer out soon for both the book release party and the workshop with Faith Sullivan.


     Jerry will be taking a class on memoirs at the Loft on Saturday April 16, 2016, with Kate St. Vincent Vogt.

     Sharon has enjoyed several of the online poetry classes at the Loft. They are expensive but they really work for her. You get lots to print out and read and there are chats if you want them. Or you can just do the assignments. There are many great poem prompts.

     PRLAAC The Great American Story program is progressing. The deadline for entries is April 15, 2016. Limited to 50 entries. The program is September 24, 2016. The stories are meant to be read aloud.

     For the month of August, we will have a room at the Museum in Park Rapids with books and furniture. This will be to help celebrate our 25th book this year.

     Tuesday, April 5, 2016. Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning presents Eric Bergeson with A Treasury of Old Souls. This will be from 1 to 2:30at Armory Square in Park Rapids MN. The program is free. The book is about the lives of older members of Eric’s hometown.

     April 6-8, 2016 at the University of ND in Grand Forks. This is the 47th annual UND Writers Conference. This year’s focus is The Art of Science. No charge but a gift is requested to support the conference ($50 or more is suggested). For more information, the schedule of events, and list and bios of guest writers, see


     Deb has had her baby. She is now editing Jerry’s next book which she plans to be done with by the end of March.

     We are nearing completion on Mike’s book. The next proof books will come next week.

     Scott showed us his Cloud Book and highly recommended it. This is a smaller lighter tablet/laptop that is used for writing. He has Right Monkey, Focus Writer, and Novelize programs on the device. If anyone is interested, we can get Scott to write up his information and get it in the next meeting minutes. It sounded like a great device.

Many attendees read things that they are working on and the rest of us critiqued. Hope to see you next time!

Feb 22 2016

February Writers’ Meeting

Today we held our February meeting. Our next meeting will be on Sunday, March 20, 2016, from 12:30 to 3 PM at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids, MN.

PRESENT: Ryan, Susan, Ploy, Jan, Marlys, Jerry, Mary, Dawn, Sharon.

PLACES TO PUBLISH:      The deadline for submissions for Talking Stick 25 is March 1, 2016. Get your submissions in! Send either by regular mail or by the electronic submission on our website. Submission guidelines are also on the website. We are also allowing extra submissions this year.

Writers conference at Bemidji State University June 20-26, 2016. or 218-755-2068.

Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, Milkweed Editions, deadline March 1, 2016. 612-332-3192.

WRITING EVENTS:  2nd Annual Writer’s Weekend in Lansboro, MN. April 22-24, 2016 with Candace Simar. Cost $100. 4 sessions. Register by April 1, $50 deposit. Space is limited. Contact Anna V’s Bed & Breakfast in Lanesboro. 507-467-2686.

Tentative plans for our book release party: Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, at The Patio near Hubbard MN. We are working on a workshop by Faith Sullivan. More details out in March. Save the date!

Jerry is working on an event at the Museum in Park Rapids MN. During the month of August, we can have a room there to display our Talking Stick books. During the first week, we plan to have an open house. Jerry is setting the room up like a reading room with lots of books.

Jerry is also working on the Great American Story event. There will be a program for the winners on Sept. 24, 2016, at the Armory. This is on Art Leap weekend.

Elisa Korenne, singer/songwriter, has an event on March 13 at the Robertson theater in the Wadena Deer Creek Middle/High School. Her signature work features original songs and stories about people whose significance was perhaps overlooked at the time. This performance will focus on MN women. Elisa has many performances in March and April in the surrounding area.

Jerry has put on 6 annual writers’ retreats at his ranch near Nimrod. He will NOT be putting one on this year. He is taking at least a one year hiatus. We will revisit this next year. We always loved Jerry’s special events.

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS: In a future meeting, we will perhaps have a Bemidji Publisher attend and tell us about his company.

Today we had a special guest. She is the guest writer at the retreat in New York Mills. Ploy is living in San Francisco and is fromThailand. We enjoyed listening to the story she read. Ploy is working on a book of short stories while at the retreat in New York Mills.

MISCELLANEOUS JACKPINE ITEMS: We wanted to mention that we greatly appreciate the interest and support of many MN writers. Over the last few meetings, we have had many new writers. At times, we had so many that it was beginning to get unwieldy and difficult for our core members to get time to read. We did want to mention and give everyone a heads-up—we may eventually have to divide into two separate meetings if we continue to frequently have a large number of writers. Again, we appreciate everyone’s interest and support, but we may have to do this so that everyone will have enough time to read. Our Board is going to be discussing this in the near future. There are several ways of splitting into two separate meetings and we are not sure what might work best: by genre (we don’t like this idea), date of joining the group, level of writing skills, whether very beginner or advanced, whether published or not, etc. There are various ideas and we will let everyone know when the Board comes to a decision and if we feel we need to put this in place.

Many writers read from their work and received helpful critique. A good productive meeting today!

Jan 19 2016

January Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone, Here are the minutes for today’s meeting. The next meeting will be on Sunday, February 21, 2016, at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN from 12:30 to 3 PM.


Sharon, Mary, Jan, Marlys, Erin, Angie, Donna, Ryan, Jerry, Mike, Doug, Rachel. Welcome, Donna and Rachel and Doug.


We are receiving submissions for TS25. Be sure to get yours sent in. Deadline is March 1. Information is on our Keep in mind our book release party and workshop, tentatively planned for Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. We may have a new location this year.


Sharon discussed the Brule concert she attended recently at Northern Lights Casino in Walker MN. It was fabulous. Excellent music and amazing Native American dancers. Sharon showed everyone a book called Hidden Heritage written by Barbara Marshak. This book tells the rather amazing story of Paul LaRoche, the founder of Brule. He was raised by white parents and knew he was adopted but it wasn’t until his adoptive parents died that he found papers and learned that he was Native American. He found his family in South Dakota on the Brule Reservation and later changed his last name to LaRoche. He was already a musician and then he combined his own music with Native American Music. Great story, great music.

Jerry put on a men’s writers’ weekend at his house this weekend. Four attended and spent the weekend writing.

Jerry is also working on the Park Rapids museum anniversary. We have the month of August to promote our books there.


Jerry is still working on his Great American Story event with PRLAAC at the Armory for the fourth weekend in September of 2016, probably on Saturday, Sept. 24.


One writer suggested that you check out freedomwithwriting. This is a good place to look for places to submit, workshops to go to, etc.

Check out this poet: Jericho Browne.

We spent some time with writers reading to us what they have been working on and then the rest of us critiqued. An excellent meeting with high attendance on such a cold day!

Dec 23 2015

December Writers Meeting

Hello Everyone,

Today we held our December meeting. Our January meeting will be held on Sunday, January 17, 2016, at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN from 12:30 to 3 PM.

Dawn, Sharon, Ryan, Jerry, Marlys, Erin, Carol, Angie, Mary, Lina.

Talking Stick 25 call for submissions is now out! Deadline 3-1-16.
Nelson Algren Literary Awards $3500 Short Story Prize Deadline 1-31-16 submission guidelines.
Fergus Falls area contest with deadline of 2-26-16. Writers are invited to submit poetry, creative nonfiction or short fiction to be considered for inclusion in a mini-anthology featuring works that highlight the unique history and character of the Fergus Falls environs. For more information, email
League of MN Poets Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12 divisions—27th Annual Manningham Poetry Competition. For more information, email Peter Stein at
League of MN Poets national poetry convention. Natalie Goldberg is keynote speaker. Win your way to NFSPS Convention June 9-June 13, 2016 in Chaska MN. Deadline for contest 1-5-16. For more information, email Peter Stein at

Check out a program called Scrivener. It is a regular word program but has some helpful things for writers—note cards to move scenes around, templates, a writer’s bible to keep all info on a project in one place, etc. Scrivener also has the ability to export documents for specific markets.
Robert Daun (son-in-law of Lois Greiman) plans a podcast of a variety of short stories within the public domain or donated content. Once the podcast gains momentum, he plans to expand to a children’s podcast. Here’s a chance for you to get public expression of your work. We don’t know about Robert’s talent for storytelling, but he claims to tell them well. Jerry has corresponded with him, and as a result, Robert purchased Broken Hart and will consider the stories therein for his podcast. No money is involved, but the author will be credited. Ideal podcast length is 20 to 40 minutes. Give it a thought; you can reach Robert at
Ryan uses something called a Beat Sheet to plan out a novel. Here are the main steps he uses. He lists all these things: He discovers who his main characters will be, like a character inventory. He decides what drives them, motivates them, etc. Then he thinks about the settings. He decides what the overarching goals are for each character, what will drive the story. He creates a plot map, listing all the major plot points. He asks himself how the characters will go about achieving their goals and chooses inciting incidents and a climax. He then weaves the various character goals together. Listing all these as he goes, he comes up with his written beat sheet that will guide him through his writing. Then he fleshes out the details, adds the five senses and dialogue. If you want more of the details, I have a longer detailed email from him describing this and I bet he would allow me to share it.

We had a great time critiquing each other’s writing. Hope to see you all next time!