January Meeting Minutes 2021

Hello Everyone,

Today we held our January meeting.


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


We have been receiving submissions. Please get them sent in. The deadline is March 1. We are accepting slightly longer stories this year.


     We recently finished Richard Sederstrom’s seventh poetry book titled Icarus Rising.

     We will soon be starting on Mike’s next book of short stories, Cabin Fever.


     There are more some good virtual workshops available. Sharon took one with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg recently called Write in the New Year. This was a two hour Zoom class.

     Marlys is taking an 8 week course with Candace Simar called Pen to Paper.

     Mary has signed up for A Year of Writing called Discovering Your Authentic Self through dailyom.com.

     Here are some websites to check for writing classes or writing contests:







     Also, for some local events, check out www.wadenacountyhistory.org/.


     Mike reported that PRLAAC has been having Zoom meetings. They are making plans for art events for 2021.

     Something to check out from Ryan: Brian Sanderson Podcast and YouTube: Writing Excuses | Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart.


BYU Brandon Sanderson lectures


     We took turns reading things we are working on and others critiqued. It was so good to see each other again in person!

     It is so easy to get sad and discouraged in this crazy world of ours with the pandemic and people out of work and now the problems at the capitol.

     It is easy to think that everything is going wrong and there is nothing we can do about it. We are just so happy that we can get together like this and talk writing and grammar and punctuation. We really enjoy each other’s company. We might be at separate tables and we have to talk and laugh through our masks, but we are happy to be able to do it! We hope others are able to find ways to stay safe but still have meaningful connections with friends.

Hope to see you all next time!

December Meeting Minutes 2020

Hello Everyone, today we held our virtual December meeting via Zoom. It’s not quite as good as meeting in person, but it was still pretty great. How nice to see each other without masks.

PRESENT: Sharon, Ryan, Lina, Mike, Marlys, Mary, Niomi, Dawn.

TALKING STICK: We recently sent out the Call for Submissions for TS30. We already received one set of submissions! Everyone needs to start thinking about what you want to send in. The deadline is March 1, 2021.

MISCELLANEOUS: We are almost finished with Richard’s next poetry book. Mike is working on his next book of stories that he will have ready for us to work on by mid-January. Sharon also has another poetry book in progress.

Mike is selling books at Book World in Park Rapids. He also has a magazine article recently published in Fur, Fish & Game.

The Loft always has good online writers’ classes.

Lina mentioned that they will be having a “Poems of Hope and Reassurance” call for submissions. She will send us information on that.

PRLAAC has had some virtual meetings but we haven’t always been able to attend them. We like to see what they are doing and planning.

Several of our writers participated in NaNoWriMo in November this year.

Ryan introduced us to a couple of Palindrome poems he had found. He read them to us—that’s a fascinating poetry form!


Save the Cat by Blake Snyder, a book on screenwriting.

Save the Cat: Writes a Novel, by Jessica Brody.

November Meeting Minutes 2020

Hello Everyone,

Today we held our November meeting.


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


We are starting to look at the Call for Submissions for the next Talking Stick. Because this is the thirtieth volume, we wanted to do something a little different this time. We will be accepting slightly longer fiction and creative nonfiction pieces. We like to have this out by at least the end of December. Still no idea, of course, if we can have a book release party in 2021 or not. We hope we can.


     Marlys is doing NANOWRIMO. This is always a fun challenge.

     Erin has been doing some online writing classes.

     Mike has been selling his books at Book World.

     Mike will get us some news about the PRLAAC meetings. They are doing virtual meetings now.

     Mike is working on his next book of stories.

     Northwoods writers’ conference has been having online readings.

     Sharon is really feeling the need for an online poetry class but has no time right now.

     Ryan described his writing process to us. He is using a stream of consciousness method. He told us about Brain.FM. This is a form of music that helps you focus while writing. It helps you get into the zone.


Lately we have been sending out a list of words each month. If our writers want to try it, they can use this as a writing prompt and write a poem or very short story using it. This has been a fun challenge and it brings up some word combinations that are very surprising—things a writer would not have thought of otherwise. Sharon and Mary tried it this time.

We are grateful when we can meet in person and listen to each other read—even with masks. We are just so happy to see each other and have a good discussion—about anything. Earlier this year, when Bella Caffe was closed for a couple months, we had two virtual meetings. If we have to do that again, we will, but it is sure nice to see each other in person.

We decided that we can certainly understand how people can suffer from COVID Fatigue. This has been a long year with struggling with the pandemic. We feel like we were so careful at first, before it even spread to our area, and now that it is all around us, everyone is just so tired of staying home, being cautious, wiping and cleaning, wearing masks and gloves, steering clear of other people. We are afraid that we still have a long way to go. Thank goodness we are writers and if we have to stay home, we can still write!

Hope to see you all next time. We may skip the December meeting as it is close to Xmas but we will consider having it if enough people are interested in attending.

October Meeting Minutes 2020

Hello Everyone,

We held our October meeting on October 18, 2020. (Sorry for getting these out late. My internet has been down Friday evening through most of Tuesday, today.)


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


Sharon had some TS29 books with her. We realized that in a couple of months, we will be sending out the call for submissions for TS30. How can time go so fast? We would like to do something a little bit special for this thirtieth book—if anyone has any ideas, let us know. One thing is that we will be asking for fiction and nonfiction with slightly longer word counts. We think some writers will like that. We hope that next year we can have a book release party again, but at this point, who knows?


Our virtual workshop “Writing Deeper” with Candace Simar went very well. We thank Candace for the work she put into the workshop and we thank Ryan for his help on the technical end of things. Candace had received lots of good comments. We discussed that we really liked the way that she used lines from TS29 to demonstrate ways of writing deeper. We also liked the way that she had door prizes and gave away some of her books. We also liked the way she gave writing prompts through out the workshop. They were all involving a friend of hers that she described but every prompt suggested writing about another aspect of her. It was a very special workshop.


Because this event had to be cancelled this year too, Sue Ready went to a lot of work on her blog. All summer long, she dedicated one week each to the various writers who usually come to the Book and Art Festival. Her blog told about our group one week in September and encouraged folks to buy books. This was such a good help to booksellers and we thank Sue for all her work.


We didn’t have any PRLAAC news or news of Art Leap. We hope to have some next month.

We mentioned NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, and several writers thought they might try it this year. This is in November and you can look up the suggested rules on the internet. We mentioned that stream of consciousness writing like that is very productive. Just write and write and do not stop to edit yourself.

Ryan uses Strength Finder. This is something that figures out, for you personally, how you should do your writing—whether outlining first or not.

Someone mentioned “ing” words. Many of us use them a lot. We decided that if used as adjectives, they are very effective.

Several writers brought things they were working on and the rest of us critiqued with helpful comments and suggestions. As usual, we had great conversations and lots of laughter. We find that we really miss each other when we can’t get together. We had the virtual workshop in September, but we hadn’t been able to get together since August. Even with masks on and sitting apart, it is so good to see each other and talk about writing!

Hope to see you all next time!