January Meeting Minutes 2023

Hello Everyone,


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


We recently sent out our call for submissions for Talking Stick 32. We will have our regular genres: poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. We are adding another genre: creative twist. We have two word lists that writers can choose to use to create poems or stories. People seem to like this idea and have been commenting on it. One person asked if I could also send her the monthly words.


We are now done with Mike’s hunting book and Mike just received them. Mike treated us with snacks for today’s meeting. Thanks, Mike!

A reminder that the Cookhouse (at Jack Pines Resort where we had our Book Release Party) is open Thursday through Saturday 1-8 PM and Sunday Brunch 9-2 PM. Let’s go when we have a chance.


None of us were able to attend this month’s PRLAAC meeting. We want to get back into the habit of attending those as soon as we can.

Pencil to Paper is an online workshop with Candace Simar. This runs from 1-19-23 to 2-9-23.

Dawn is attending an interesting set of meetings for scientists and writers. They meet once a month by Zoom or in person and take field trips.

Go to UNDwritersconference.org for information on the University of North Dakota conference Wed.-Fri. March 23-25. It can be online or in person. Mary recommends this; she attends every year.

Everyone had something to read that they had been working on. Since we skipped our December meeting, it was just great to see everyone. It was one of those meetings where we all wanted to stay longer and keep on visiting! Hope to see you all next time.

November Meeting Minutes 2022

Hello Everyone, Today we held our November meeting.

PRESENT: Sharon, Mike, Jan, Niomi, Dawn, Erin


In December, we will be sending out our call for submissions for Talking Stick 32. We need to do more work on our List with a Twist idea. We have discussed doing a fourth genre with its own prize. Writers can either submit for the regular genres and/or submit a poem or short story using the word lists. We could probably have two lists to choose from. We will work on this before the next meeting.


     Sharon and Tarah are working on Mike’s fifth book, this one on hunting. We just got back our second proof.

     Sharon is taking an online poetry class taught by LouAnn Muhm. This is a 10-week course using the Poetry Home Repair Manual by Ted Kooser.

     Erin has been using Two Sylvias Press for a new writing prompt each day.

     Mike has a lot of book-selling and reading events coming up in the next few months.

     No one was able to attend the last PRLAAC meeting. They have changed the meeting date and it hasn’t been working for any of our members.

     Dawn attended a workshop with Brian Malloy through Witness Writers.

We spent time reading things we have been working on. Then others critiqued. Two of us used the word list for this month. We do enjoy those word lists. We hope to see you all next time!

October Meeting Minutes 2022

Hello Everyone, today we held our October meeting.

PRESENT: Ryan, Jan, Erin, Marlys, Dawn, Sharon

TALKING STICK INFO: Last month we had our Candace Simar workshop and Talking Stick 31 book release party. We had good attendance, good food, sold books, and received donations. The day went very well. It was so nice to see our writer friends again after two years of not being able to have book parties because of COVID. Thanks to Candace for a great workshop.

OTHER BOOKS: Sharon and Tarah are working on Mike’s next book. Richard wants to do another poetry book. Niomi is working on her novel. Sharon hopes to do a fourth poetry book.

MISCELLANEOUS: Sharon is taking a 10-week online poetry class with LouAnn Muhm, using Ted Kooser’s book Poetry Home Repair Manual.

Last week Marlys attended Lake Superior Writers Book Club where Candace Simar was a presenter. Ryan attended and sold his books at the Deep Valley Book Festival in Mankato on October 1 and also the Twin Cities Book Festival on Oct 15.

The League of MN Poets has an event coming up on Nov 4-6 at Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria.

There is a poetry slam Thursday, October 20, 2022 in Bemidji. 6:30 to 9 PM. Watermark Art Center. Email

lgrunzke@watermarkartcenter.org for more information.

Try Text to Speech in Word to have the computer read your work back to you. Not sure if this is available on older Word programs but it can be a helpful tool.

We did not have anyone present to report on the PRLAAC meeting this month. We hope to next month.

We spent some time reading things we are working on and others critiqued. We had fun again with the list of words that we send out each month. We are sad winter is arriving but perhaps we will have more time to write! Hope to see you all next time.

Workshop and book party TS31 Sept 17 2022

Hello Everyone, we are finally all catching our breath after the wonderful day we had on Saturday Sept. 17, 2022. We had not had an in-person book release party since 2019 and we had really missed seeing all of you writers.


Check out the gorgeous Jack Pines Resort

It was a beautiful late summer day in north central Minnesota. Jack Pines Resort (formerly Smoky Hills Resort) west of Park Rapids was the location for our event. This is a beautiful resort with lovely cabins, many trees, and little babbling waterfalls throughout the grounds. Several of our writers were able to stay overnight at the resort and enjoyed it immensely.

We began our day by driving in through thick fog, some of us nearly hitting deer on the way. Our local JWB members arrived early to get all our books hauled in, check the sound system, and make sure everything was ready to go. We had over 20 attendees for the workshop called Scene, the Building Block of Story. Candace Simar was the instructor and, as usual, put on an excellent workshop with several handouts and time to practice some writing. The workshop lasted from 9 AM to 12 Noon.

Then from 12 to 1 PM, we had an excellent lunch of soup and sandwich, catered by Jack Pines Resort. Our writers took some time to buy books and visit with each other. Besides our Talking Stick books, we had several other booksellers: Mike Lein, Ryan Neely, Erin Marsh, Niomi Phillips, Marsh Muirhead, Candace Simar, Sharon Chmielarz. We also had Emily Enger from Bemidji who brought information on her Book Marketing business.

At 1 PM, we began the book release party for Talking Stick 31. Sharon Harris spoke for a few minutes regarding the group’s history, how our books are produced each year, etc. Sharon Chmielarz, this year’s poetry judge, spoke and introduced the first and second place winners of the poetry submissions. The winners came up to read their poems and to accept their checks. Then the honorable mention poets were mentioned.

Following this, Mike Lein came up to introduce the creative nonfiction winners and honorable mention and hand out the prizes. He also told everyone about his books for sale and he told us about something we are thinking of doing for the next Talking Stick book. We are going to add one more genre and have two lists of words that writers could use to write a poem or short story.

Then Ryan Neely came up to introduce the fiction winners and honorable mention and hand out prizes and also to tell us about his books for sale. Then Ryan asked all the other writers in the book to take turns coming up to read their submissions if they wished. Sharon Chmielarz finished the readings with one of her hilarious poems.

Following this, Sharon Harris came up again to thank everyone for attending, thank Jack Pines Resort, thank writers for their donations, thank all the work of the JWB people for working on the book and for helping during the event, etc. Then the meeting ended and 18 of us drove to Park Rapids to have supper at the Good Life. We spent more time visiting and talking about words and writing and enjoying each other’s company. We all hated to say goodbye and head for home but we took with us such good energy from spending the day with a group of writers.

What a splendid day. It was foggy and overcast to start with and later the sun came out. Thanks again to all of you and thanks for your interest in our Talking Stick books. You will see the next call for submissions in December 2022. Hope to hear from you!