August Meeting Minutes 2020

Hello Everyone,

Today we held our August meeting. We will not have a September meeting since it would be on the same weekend as our writers’ workshop with Candace Simar. (More info below.)


Mike, Jan, Sharon, Dawn, Niomi, Mary.


The books are here. We will be mailing them out to all the writers in the book starting this week. We will be mailing ALL of them this year since we are not having a book release party so it will take a little longer than usual. We will then have them on our JWB website with a link to Amazon where they are for sale. That is the best place for people to buy them. We will have a few on hand for locals. We may have them for sale at Book World in Park Rapids later on.


     We are having our virtual Zoom workshop called Go Deeper with Candace Simar on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, from 10 AM to 12 noon. If you wish to attend, email Sharon at There is more information on our website Cost is $30.

     This morning Sharon and Ryan tested the Zoom workshop connections and verified how things will work. We will test again on Sunday August 30, 2020 at 1:30. We hope to have quite a few people log on that day so we can test with more people. Since we have never done this before, we want to learn as much about it ahead of time as we can.


Since the NAC was not able to have their Book and Art Festival in Hackensack this year, they are promoting their writers and their books on their website, one per week. Talking Stick 29 will be promoted during the week of Sept. 21, 2020.


Niomi was not able to attend the August meeting but she did get the minutes from them. LuAnn Hurd-Lof had asked for a write-up about the JWB and our 2020 book for Art Beat, the supplement to the Park Rapids paper. This will be in the paper around Labor Day. Niomi prepared that and sent it in.


     We are surprised that there have not been more virtual writers’ workshops. We hope there will be more.

     Mike did a virtual talk using Google Hangouts for the Chanhassen writers’ group. The talk lasted two hours and he told the 15 listeners about how he got started writing for magazines and eventually got to his very popular books of cabin life in Minnesota. Mike is now working on his fourth book of cabin stories.

     Be sure to check out the online writing classes at the Loft in Minneapolis. Sharon loves the poetry classes and just finished one called Night Writing. The Loft has many excellent classes, all of them online at this point.


     We have a new book store in Park Rapids. The old Book World is no longer in business but they will use that name for a while. The owners are local and also own Ben Franklin and an antique toy store, both in Park Rapids.

     Our last two volumes of Talking Stick are for sale there, along with Mike Lein’s three books and one of Sharon H’s poetry books. The store wants to get more local authors. They also plan to have used books.

We had a great time critiquing each other’s work. Some of us have been taking classes and hope to do more. We are looking forward to the writer’s workshop on Sept. 19 with Candace Simar. Hope to see you there!

July Meeting Minutes 2020

Hello Everyone, today we held our July meeting.

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


We have final proofs coming next week. Then we’ll order books. We’ll be able to order less than usual because we won’t have a book release party. That will save us some money but we will have to mail out books to all the writers, not just the ones who didn’t come to our usual book party. Writers have been generous about sending us their $3 for postage—and some wonderful folks have sent $6 so they can pay for another writer’s postage. Aren’t writers just great people?


Candace Simar will be putting on a virtual workshop for us using Zoom. Ryan will be assisting with that. This is being planned for Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020 from 10 AM to 12 noon. We will have flyers going out later this week for that so people can start signing up.


The Book and Art Festival in August was also cancelled. The Northwoods Arts Council is planning to help promote all the writers and their books on their website. We hope to get our Talking Stick 29 mailed out in August so we can promote the book in September.


Niomi attended the July meeting and reported that Art Leap is scheduled for Sept. 26 and 27. We thought perhaps we could ask one of those places to sell our books. As we already knew, some of the other events have been cancelled, such as the Storyteller event. Niomi said she will also attend the August Heartland Arts meeting. That one will be held in a park.


     Erin and Marlys both attended some of the Northwoods Writers Conference events in Bemidji. That was also virtual this year. They said it worked just fine and seemed successful. Writers were allowed to comment and it was all engaging. They said that some of the speakers now have their videos archived on the Northwoods Writers Conference website.

     Mike will be doing a Google Hangouts event himself for a Chanhassen group. This will be on how to get started in writing for magazines.

     Mike was a finalist for humor with his third book Crooked Lake Chronicles. Instead of a live event, they had a video of the recorded event online.

     Dawn attended a virtual poetry class with LouAnn Muhm, both her Short Shorts I and II.

     Sharon is still enjoying her Loft Class, Night Writer, Poems from the Darkness with Sarah Ann Winn.


     Audubon’s Sparrow, A Biography in Poems by Juditha Dowd.

     Woman in Closet with Flashlight during Quarantine, a hilarious UTube video.

We had a good day. Many of us read things we have been working on and the rest of us critiqued. Hope to see you all next time.

June Meeting Minutes 2020

Hello Everyone,

Today we held our June meeting, back at Bella Caffe. Five of us sat at 5 different tables, all with our masks on. It was good to be back together again!


Sharon, Mike, Jan, Niomi, Mary.


We have some proofs back and we are busy proofing. We want to hurry up and get the book done. We have not made an official announcement yet, but we are probably going to have to cancel the book party. If we do that, then we would like to get the books here in August and mail them out to all the writers. Then if we do some advertising or promoting after that, the writers in the book would already have their copies.


This has also been cancelled. Sue Ready has offered to do some book promoting on the Northwoods Arts Council website and her blog. We hope to do that in September.


We are still contemplating having an electronic workshop using Zoom. We will have more information on that later but we would probably do it on Sept. 19, 2020. We will be collecting information on how an interactive electronic workshop would work and if it is feasible for us.


The PRLAAC meeting for June was cancelled.

Mike will be attending the virtual MIPA event soon and will let us know how that goes.

We hope that someone will attend the Northwoods Writers Conference and let us know how that goes. This will also be all online this year.

Sharon signed up for another Loft writing class. This one is called Night Writer—Poems from the darkness with Sarah Ann Winn.

Mike sold books at the Authors and Artists Boardwalk Event in Dorset on 6-20-20.

Mike says a great book store is Drury Lane in Grand Marais.

Niomi is still working on her novel.

Mike is working on his next collection of short stories.

Sharon is working on poetry book #5.


Dreyer’s English—excellent book on punctuation

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

It was so good to see everyone and to talk books and writing and words! We have found that we are all hungry for conversations like this. Many of us read things that we have been working on and the rest critiqued. Hope to see you all next time—at Bella Caffe again!

May Meeting Minutes 2020

Hello Everyone, Today we held our May meeting of JWB. This was our second virtual meeting.

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

TALKING STICK 29: We have chosen the cover and subtitle. This book will be dedicated to Luke Anderson, a fellow writer who died earlier this year. We are busy reading and proofing. We are hoping to publish as normal.

At this point, we are just not sure if we will be able to hold our annual workshop and book release party like normal. We are trying to contact Smoky Hills (The Branch) to get some information on them. Of course, things change daily, so we just don’t know yet if we will be able to have a gathering of a group of people or not.

Maybe our workshop could be done as a webinar online? We will be looking into that. If we think we might want to try that, we will do some experimenting ahead of time.

WRITING EVENTS: The Book and Art Festival in Hackensack in August has been cancelled for this year.

Most writing events are going online now. The Loft has all their events online now.

Mike says his book reading events have been cancelled but he does hope to get more books into book stores.

Dawn reminded us of the 6 word stories through Midway Journals. Go to their website for more information Then you mail your postcards with 6 word stories or artwork to Midway Journal, PO Box 425882, Cambridge Massachusetts 02142. This goes till 6-30-20.

MISCELLANEOUS: Mike told us that his third book, Crooked Lake Chronicles, has been chosen as a finalist for the humor category by Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MIPA). There will be a virtual announcement of the winners on 6-27-20.

Dawn has been taking a class with LouAnn Muhm online. This class is on writing the short poem.

Mike intended to attend the virtual meeting of PRLAAC. He was not able to attend but he did get the minutes and told us about them. Nemeth Art gallery hopes to open July 1, 2020. The Great American Story and a Blank Canvas event have been cancelled. The Opera has been canceled. We did    send in some information on our group for Art Beat.

A good book for writers: The Hodges Harbrace Handbook, 18th Edition.

Several writers brought things to read and the rest of us critiqued. It was a good day! Hope to see you all next time.