October Meeting Minutes 2019

Hello Everyone, Today we held our October 20, 2019 meeting.

PRESENT: Sharon, Ryan, Mike, Niomi.

TALKING STICK: Our workshop and book party are behind us now. Tentatively we are looking at Sept. 19, 2020 for our event next year. We love Smokey Hills but it is very expensive.

We need to at least check around and see what some less costly options would be. Maybe Blueberry will be rebuilt by then.

We don’t want to keep moving around. It seems like we lose people that way. We have had great attendance for our workshops but we’d like to see more attendees for the book party.

PRLAAC: Niomi attended the October meeting and brought us some news. Art Leap was a great success this year. They want to keep on doing the Great American Story. They have mentioned making some changes and we think that might bring them more submissions.

WRITERS EVENTS: Niomi attended Hostfest in Minot ND several weeks ago. This is the 40th year for this event which includes books and crafts, especially with Scandinavian ties. This event has a huge following.

League of MN Poets Oct 25-27, 2019 Fall Poetry Conference. www.Mnpoets.com.

Rosemount Writers Festival and Book Fair, Saturday March 21, 2020. Contact Sue Stein at stei0010@gmail.com.

Writers Alliance Conference and Book Fair October 26, 2018. https://brainerdwriters.com/writing-contest-and-book-fair.

Fall 2019 Nonfiction Writers Conference on Nov. 7-8, 2019. Conducted online. Cheryl@authoritypublishing.com.

Check out Aesthetica Magazine at www.aestheticamagazine.com as a place to submit.

Check out Frontier Poetry at contact@frontierpoetry.com as a place to submit.

Sharon is taking another online poetry class. She enjoyed a class with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg at the Loft. She found a class with her on the Transformative Language Arts Network. It is called Truth to Power: Poetry for Our Times with Poets Laureate. Should be a great class.

Ryan will be attending BOUCHER-CON in Dallas TX in a few days. This is a murder/mystery/thriller/suspense writers’ event.

We took turns reading what we are working on and the rest of us critiqued. We had a great discussion regarding the first few pages of your novel—how to start out. Hope to see you all next time!

Talking Stick 28 Book Release Party and Angela Foster Workshop

Hello Everyone,

Thanks to all of you who attended our TS28 Book Release Party on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. We held the event at beautiful Smokey Hills Resort (The Branch) near Osage, MN. We were expecting a stormy day with rain and clouds. It did start out that way and we got drenched getting our books into the event center at 7:30 in the morning. Later in the day, however, we actually saw the sun and then we could really see and appreciate the colorful leaves. Smokey Hills Resort is a beautiful location.

We started the day with a workshop on Revision with Angela Foster. We had over 30 attendees and received handouts and instruction with great tips and ideas for revising our work. Following this, the workshop attendees had an excellent catered lunch with wild rice soup and sandwiches.

The book release party began at 1 PM. We had some general announcements and then began introducing the first and second place winners. Our three judges this year were: Kevin Zepper for poetry, Mike Lein for creative nonfiction and humor, Bonnie West for fiction. Kevin and Bonnie were not able to attend so Sharon announced those winners and handed out checks. If the winners were not present to read, we generally read the submissions. Mike Lein spoke about the judging process. The names of the authors are removed before the top few are sent to the judge to choose the winners for the prize money. Mike asked his first and second place winners in creative nonfiction to come up and accept their checks and read. Then he announced the winner of Humor and read that piece, which happened to be a poem. Sharon and Mike also each read another honorable mention Humor piece.

Sharon and Tarah read their Editor’s Choice poems. Niomi Phillips spoke for a few minutes about Marion Holtey. Marion is one of our long-time Jackpine Writers members. She died in 2018 and we miss her and her poetry. We dedicated this volume of Talking Stick to Marion.

Then Sharon read through the rest of the Honorable Mention poems and stories and asked whoever was present to come up and read. Following that, we opened it up to all others in TS28 who wanted to come up and read their published submission.

Marsh Muirhead and Mike Lein and Niomi Phillips and Sharon Harris all had their own books for sale. Also for sale were our previous volumes of Talking Stick. We will be mailing out one copy of TS28 to all persons published in the book who were not able to attend the book party.

Following the book party, 13 of us drove to Park Rapids to the Good Life Café to continue the day and continue our discussions. We had a good meal and some laughs and more good conversation.

There is something so inspiring about spending a day in the presence of many other writers. There is such good energy there that sticks with you and maybe follows you home. Listening to other writers reading their work shows us new ways of combining words, new ways of describing things, maybe gives us new ideas for new writings of our own. It is such a good feeling to spend a day like we did.

Thank you all for submitting, helping with the book, or participating in the workshop and/or book party. Thanks to those who donated and bought books. Everyone contributed to what turned out to be an excellent day.

September Meeting Minutes 2019

Hello Everyone,


Sharon, Dawn, Ryan, Jan, Mary, Niomi.


     Our workshop will be from 9 to 12 on Saturday morning, Sept. 21, 2019. Angela Foster is the instructor and the class is Revision in Ten Steps. Then there will be a catered lunch for the workshop attendees. There is NO restaurant open this year at Smokey Hills. At 1 PM, we will start the book release party. It generally lasts till 3 or 4.

     We will have rectangular tables this year which should be better than the round ones. Mike and Ryan and Marlys will come early at 8 AM. It should be 70 or 75 degrees this year, much better than last year.

     We have 34 for the workshop and it sounds like lots of people will be coming to the book party.

     Sharon H will go out to Smokey Hills Friday evening to meet with Angela and the owners to go over details.

     Niomi will help Sharon H to put together the folders for the workshop.


     No one was able to go to the last PRLAAC meeting. As far as we know, the Great American Story event is still on.

     Ryan will be attending BoucherCon in Dallas Tex on Oct. 30 through Nov. 3. This has to do with murder/mystery/thriller/ suspense writing.

     Sinclair Lewis 2019 Writers’ Conference. Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, at the First Lutheran Church in Sauk Centre, MN. Cost is $75. Jim Umhoefer at 320-429-0825.

     MN Voices: a gathering of Authors at the Park Rapids Library on Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 3:30 to 5:30. Marcie Rendon, Mai Neng Moua, Nora Murphy, Art Coulson.

     2019 Lakes Area Writers Alliance (formerly Brainerd Writers Alliance) has their conference and book fair on Oct. 26, 2019.




Several of us read things we were working on and the rest of us critiqued. Hope to see you next time and also at the book party!

August Meeting Minutes 2019

Hello Everyone, It was good to see everyone, especially since we had to skip the July meeting. We do want to have the regular September meeting the weekend before the book party and workshop.

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

TALKING STICK 28: The books are ordered and should be here next week. We are working on plans for the Workshop with Angela Foster on Saturday Sept. 21 from 9 to noon. We wanted around 30 people. We have 35 already. Looks like we’ll have lots of people attending.

BOOK EVENTS: The Hackensack Book and Art Festival was successful. Mike sold lots of books. Sharon, Tarah, Niomi, and Dawn all helped sell Talking Stick books. Niomi and Sharon each sold a few of their books also.

Remember there should be one more Second Saturday event at the Museum in Park Rapids before the end of the summer. Niomi did readings at one of them. The Second Saturday events in Wadena will continue on. They should be listed on our Facebook page.

Check out the Poetry Post Card Fest by Paul Nelson. Dawn is doing this. You pay a small fee and get a list of names. You write one poem a day on a postcard and mail it to the first name on the list. She got some back, fun to read, fun to do.

This Wednesday, August 22, 2019, The Song Poet will do a reading at the Nemeth Art Center (the museum) in Park Rapids. Sorry—don’t know the time.

Several of our writers attended some of the evening events at the Northwoods Writers Conference in Bemidji in June and enjoyed them immensely.

MISCELLANEOUS: We will have to wait till next month to get more information from the PRLAAC meeting regarding the Great American Story. We suggested they should have a little tutorial on the website to explain how to record your story.

Erin will be traveling to New Mexico to do a workshop and readings in about 3 weeks.

BOOKS TO CHECK OUT: New Poets of Native Nations edited by Heid E. Erdrich.

Then we spent some time reading things we are working on. The rest of us critiqued. Hope to see you all next time!