June Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone, We had our June meeting today.

PRESENT: Ryan, Mike, Dawn, Sharon, Jan, Janice, Niomi, Mary.

TALKING STICK 27: Our annual anthology for 2018 is progressing nicely. We have the first proofs in hand and are busy reading.
Be sure to get signed up for our workshop and the TS27 Book Release party on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.

MISCELLANEOUS: Mike won the Humor prize again at MIPA this year—this time with his second book Down at the Dock that JWB published. Congrats, Mike!

Tarah recently revised the Jackpine Writers’ Bloc website. Check out the new look at www.jackpinewriters.com.

Niomi and Mike reported on the recent PRLAAC meetings and the Great American Story. PRLAAC always has lots of events planned. The Great American Story and other events will be held on the same weekend as our workshop and Book Release Party since that is Art Leap weekend.

BOOK EVENTS: This Saturday, June 23, Mike will be in Dorset selling his books from 10 to 4 at Dorset Books. Sharon and Niomi will also be there with the Talking Stick books.

The Taste of Dorset is a fun event in Dorset held the first Sunday in August. Mike will be there selling books again.

Ryan is still working on a possible writers’ retreat at his resort near Akeley, MN. This would be a 4 night and 5 day total immersion fiction workshop. He is planning this for May 2019. We will have more info on that as we get closer.

Several people read pieces they have been working on. The rest of us critiqued. Thanks to all who attended and we hope to see you again next time!

May Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone,

Today we held our May meeting. Our next meeting will be on June 17, 2018.

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

TALKING STICK 27: We are progressing on the book. We will soon be ordering our next proof. We have sent out Book Release Party flyers and Workshop flyers to all the writers published in TS27. We will soon send it out to our whole email list. The date is September 22, 2018 and the location is Smokey Hills Resort, Osage, MN. Get signed up!

MISC: Niomi went to the May PRLAAC meeting. She will report on that and the Great American Storyteller competition at our June meeting.

MIPA: Mike won the humor category at MIPA with Down at the Dock. Congrats, Mike! Good job! He said to thank everyone for all their help on the stories that he brings to the meetings for critique.

FUTURE EVENTS: Ryan spoke about a writers’ retreat that he is working on for May of 2019. This would take place at his resort near Akeley, MN. He is hoping to get this worked out so all meals and lodging would be included in the workshop cost. The instructor he is talking with now would do a 5 day immersion workshop, with all attendees working on fiction. Ryan is hoping to get a grant. When we get more details, we will send out emails to see who might be interested.

Perhaps this can develop into the annual writers’ retreat somewhat like we used to have at Jerry’s place. We had those for 6 years and we miss them! Our instructor there was Marge Barrett. Here are the topics we covered over the years:

  1. Short Shorts
  2. Telling the Story
  3. The Sense of Place
  4. Voice
  5. Beginnings and Endings
  6. Dialogue

Quite a few writers read things today that they have been working on and we had our usual lively discussion. Hope to see you next time!


The Talking Stick 27 Book Release Party and Jackpine Writers’ Bloc Writers’ Workshop will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018. Smokey Hills Resort is located on Highway 34 approximately 9 miles west of Park Rapids, MN (or 1 mile west of Osage, MN), on the north side of the highway. The address is 53014 State Highway 34, Osage, MN 56570.

Writers usually work in solitude; please join us for a whole day of learning, listening, writing, and reading with other writers. There is a fee for the workshop and lunch but the Book Party is free to all who are interested in writing. If you have work in Talking Stick 27, you may also pick up your one free contributor’s copy of the book. Additional books will be available for sale.

WORKSHOP 9 AM to 12:00 Noon: We offer a workshop with Sharon Chmielarz. YOU MUST PREREGISTER FOR THIS WORKSHOP. (See information on workshop flyer.) This all-genre workshop is entitled: Put More Zip in Your Writing: Torque it!

Cost for the workshop is $45. (This includes lunch at noon after the workshop. You will receive a coupon for the lunch.)

12:00: Catered lunch at Smokey Hills Resort. JWB will pay for your lunch if you are attending the workshop. Smokey Hills does NOT serve meals but they do provide lodging. See below.     

BOOK RELEASE PARTY 1 PM (approximately): If you have work in Talking Stick 27, you may pick up your one free contributor’s copy of the book. Additional copies of the book will be available for sale.

Program with readings, introduction of winners of Talking Stick 27 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction and Humor. All writers published in Talking Stick 27 are invited to read.

Some local and/or member writers may be on hand to sell their own books.

4:00 PM (approximately):  After the readings, please check in with your fellow writers. Some of us may decide to go have dinner somewhere together or maybe visit in one of the rented cabins for further good writers’ conversation.

Smokey Hills Resort does NOT serve meals. They DO have lodging. If you are interested in a one or two room cabin for either Friday or Saturday night (or both!) call 218-573-3497 to make a reservation. Enjoy a real Northwoods experience. Visit their website to view the various cabins at www.smokeyhills.com.

Writers attending this event will receive a discounted rate for either Friday or Saturday night.

One-room cabin $129.00. They will discount 15% off that price per night.

Two-room cabin $179.00. They will discount 15% off that price per night.

Multi-family suites $299.00. They will discount 15% off that price per night.

(Please note: later this year, Smokey Hills Resort will change its name to The Branch and their new website will be www.thebranch.camp.)

For more information, call Sharon at 218-732-3782 or email sharrick1@wcta.net.         

—Please RSVP # of attendees to sharrick1@wcta.net—


PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS ART LEAP WEEKEND IN PARK RAPIDS. Maps will be available online at www.parkrapids.com and www.prlaac.org or at the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.

MORE INFO ON ART EVENTS: luann47@gmail.com

Great American Storyteller event is Saturday Sept. 22, 2018

at 7 P.M. at Calvary Lutheran Church in Park Rapids, MN.

All-genre workshop with Sharon Chmielarz


All-genre workshop with Sharon Chmielarz

Date and Time: Saturday, September 22, 2018, from 9 A.M. to 12 Noon.

Location: Smokey Hills Resort, located 9 miles west of Park Rapids, MN (1 mile west of Osage, MN).

Address: 53014 State Highway 34, Osage, MN 56570

Cost of Workshop and Catered Lunch: $45. (You will receive a coupon for the lunch.)


Course Description: Whether you write prose or poetry, you want the words to “bounce off the walls,” as Maya Angelou once said. You want to capture your listeners’ and/or readers’ attention and keep it. You want your writing to move; your timings, sure-footed; your sentences and/or lines, eye catchers. Meditations? They can be muted but not leaden.

Our workshop will have a 4-step approach to strengthen your skills–introductory remarks; use of examples/ handouts; writing to prompts; and feed back, paying special attention to your writing’s strengths (we build on strengths). 

Sharon Chmielarz has had eleven books of poetry published. Her most recent book (2017), little eternities, received the silver medallion from the Independent Book Publishers Award in poetry. The Widow’s House was a finalist for the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and is listed in Kirkus Review’s the 100 Best Books of 2016. Her other 2015 book, Visibility: Ten Miles, a Prairie Memoir in Photography and Poetry, was a finalist for the Midwest Book Awards. Her The Other Mozart, a biography of Mozart’s sister in poetry, was made into an opera. She has had many other awards and publications. A more complete bio will be available at the workshop.

Prose or Fiction Publications:

In anthologies–Essays on writing in Women on Poetry, Educators as Writers, A View from the Loft.

Travel Memoir in The Talking of Hands, An Inn near Kyoto, The House on Via Gombito.

Picture books:  The Pied Piper of Hamelin, End of Winter, Down at Angels.


The Talking Stick 27 Book Release Party and this Jackpine Writers’ Bloc Writers’ Workshop will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at Smokey Hills Resort, 53014 State Highway 34, Osage, MN 56570. See more info on book party flyer.

The workshop will run from 9 A.M. to 12 Noon. The Workshop includes catered lunch at noon. The Book Release Party will start at 1 P.M. and run till approximately 4 P.M. There is no charge to attend the Book Release Party. Lunch at noon will be on your own if you are just attending the Book Release Party. A restaurant is NOT available at Smokey Hills. Dinner/supper after the Book Release Party will be on your own—perhaps some of us can arrange to meet in Park Rapids.


YOU MUST PREREGISTER FOR THE WORKSHOP. Please email Sharon Harris at sharrick1@wcta.net to sign up. Phone 218-732-3782 if questions. Be sure to include your name and mailing address, phone number, and email address. Make your $45 check out to Jackpine Writers’ Bloc and mail it to: Sharon Harris, 13320 149th Ave, Menahga, MN 56464.


We will limit this workshop to the first 30 participants and then put names on a waiting list.