April Meeting Minutes 2021

Hello Everyone, today we held our April 18, 2021, JWB meeting.

PRESENT: Ryan, Mike, Mary, Deb, Marlys, Jan, Dawn, Sharon.


Decisions have been made on our submissions. We are now waiting for the final decisions from our judges for the first and second places in each genre. We had 160 writers who submitted this year. It seemed like we had a few more stories than usual, perhaps because we allowed a slightly longer word count this year.

We still can’t plan for a book release party this fall. If we do have something, it might have to be October instead of September. We hope we can at least have an online virtual workshop again this year.


PRLAAC—Mike read us some items from the meeting minutes. The PRLAAC group hopes to do some things this year, such as concerts, murals, Lifelong Learning, etc. The Armory is now open for small events. Blank Canvas will have a show in August. The library is going to have some events for writers on screen plays. PRLAAC is dropping the story telling event, at least for this  year.

Coming up in June—Northwoods Writers Conference in Bemidji, held virtually again this year. VIRTUAL 2021 MNWC June 21 – 26. https://www.northwoodswriters.org/

The League of Minnesota Poets presents: Unmute! A Spring Poetry Conference. April 23-25, 2021. Reconnect to poets and poetry via this online conference! Supporting the Conference: In recognition of the challenges presented by COVID, this conference will be supported through a pay-as-you-are-able model. https://www.mnpoets.org/

 One of our writers told us about the NYC Midnight Short Story competition. They give you different prompts and you have a certain number of days to write a story. You can progress through different rounds. There are other categories also, such as an exactly 100 word micro-fiction story.


Mary attended the UND 52nd annual Writers Conference. It was virtual this year. It had 3 full days of speakers and readings. Mary has attended this many times and always enjoys it.

All of these sound like good ones to attend. Being in person for these events was always great, but now with the virtual events, many of us can perhaps attend when we weren’t able to before.


We were fascinated when Ryan introduced us to the Palindrome poem form a few months ago. He is now working on writing one. We can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

We are so enjoying our word prompt assignments each month. We send out a list of 5 to 9 words and encourage anyone, if they wish, to write a poem or short story to bring to the next meeting. If you don’t wish to, then you just bring whatever you are currently working on, like usual. It is amazing the variations that we see from these word lists. It has started some of us writing again after a dry spell. This has been great fun. There are good books that can help with this: 1200 Creative Writing Prompts by Melissa Donovan, 31 Days of Poetry Prompts by Jim Russo.

We took turns reading what we have been working on lately. Our writings always inspire helpful suggestions and good conversation. Hope to see you all next time!

March Meeting Minutes 2021

Today we held our March 2021 meeting.


Sharon, Ryan, Kim, Mike, Jan, Deb, Mary.


     We had our usual March 1 deadline. We are reading the submissions now. It seemed like we received more stories than usual, maybe because of the longer word length this time. We received work from 160 writers.

     We still can’t plan for a book release party or workshop this year. Maybe we could just have an online workshop again this year. And if we can have a book release party, we have no idea where we would have it. We need to keep thinking about these things and see how much longer COVID lingers on. We will work on our book like normal and see how things look later in the year.


     We are working on Mike’s fourth book Cabin Fever and nearing completion. He wants a different font this time and some other changes so this book looks different than his first three. He is now working on his fifth book.

     Mike attended the PRLAAC meeting for March. The armory is available for small events. Northern Lights Opera will have an event this year. They will not be doing the Great American Story.

     We took turns reading things we are working on. The word lists that we send out each month are still popular so we will continue to send them out as prompts.

     We had a great day of conversation and working on our writing. So good to see Deb and Kim again! We hope Niomi will be back again soon also.

     Hope to see you all next time!

February Meeting Minutes 2021

Hello Everyone,

Today we held our February meeting.


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


We are receiving submissions. Be sure to get yours in! We can’t plan for a book party or a workshop at this time. We don’t know what things will be like this fall. We will have to wait a while and see how things go. We might end up just having to do a Zoom workshop again.


We are working on Mike’s next book of cabin stories and making good progress.

PRLAAC—Mike attended the February meeting. There was some talk about the Great American Story, that they thought our group should take it on as they want to stop it. We will have more discussions about it with other members, but the timing is completely wrong for us and it really is not something we are very interested in. It is drama and speech and doesn’t really fit with our group of writers.


     MN Northwoods Writers Conference will be held virtually again this year. https://www.northwoodswriters.org.

     Stuart Horowitz has a good website for writers—


     Blue Cottage Agency and Crossing Arts Alliance will be having a class- Amplify Your Work: A PR Primer


     Also Sol Stein has a good book on writing. If you are an Audible member, you can listen for free right now.

     Check out Margie Lawson for good classes. https://www.margielawson.com/lawson-writers-academy

     Book: Chuck Palahniuk Consider This. Moments in my writing life after which everything was different. This is part memoir and part writing advice.

Every attendee today brought something to read that they were working on. We had some great writing today! It is so absolutely wonderful and a lift to our spirits when we can see each other in person, even with the masks. This was one of those times when no one wanted to stop visiting and go home. And the weather is warmer—what a heat wave we are having. Hope to see you all next time!

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!