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March Writers’ Meeting

Today we held our March meeting of the JWB. The next meeting will be held on Sunday, March 21, 2013, at Bella Caffe from 12:30 to 3PM at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN.

Sharon, Jerry, Deb, Betty

We had over 160 submitters this time with a total of 327 writings. We are reading them now. Tarah is working on artwork for the cover.

Coming up, check on this: Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Conference at the Loft on April 27-28, 2013.
Red Bridge Film Festival will be in April in Park Rapids. We don’t have much information on this yet.
Don’t forget the Great American Think Off at New York Mills Cultural Center. The deadline for submissions to the Great American Think-off approaches.  This years topic is “Which is more ethical: sticking to your principles or being willing to compromise?”  How relevant is that?   Write an essay of 750 words and win one of four $500 prizes.  That’s sixty-six cents a word, better than the New Yorker.  See think-off.com for details.  Deadline is April 1. Still time to submit. No reading fee.

There is a neat description of the short story written by Benjamin Percy in Esquire magazine.
A short story is a red-faced sprint. A short story is a one-night stand you’ll remember years later in the shower or on a two-lane country highway. A short story is a precisely cut diamond. A short story is a glimpse — like the flash and buzz of a hummingbird — that stills your breath with its beauty. A short story, because it is short, can forgivably push boundaries, take risks. A short story attends to language in a gymnastic way that would exhaust any reader past 20 pages. A short story is impressionistic. A short story is a shot of whiskey, a snort of cocaine, a hand on a hot stove. A short story demands strenuous attention, supplying only the most essential components of character and narrative, asking the reader to infer the rest. A short story can be perfect — a novel cannot.

We took turns reading things we were working on and the others critiqued. Hope to see you next time!

November Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone,

Our next meeting will be on December 16, 2012 from 12:30 to 3PM at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN.

PRESENT: Jerry, Elisa, Niomi, LuAnne, Sharon

TALKING STICK: We recently had a board meeting to start discussing our next book, TS22. We have the date scheduled for our next book release party, Sept. 21, 2013, again at Blueberry Pines. We are starting to gather information on various instructors for a workshop that morning. We are also contacting MN writers for our celebrity judges. Tarah is looking at artwork for the next cover.

NANOWRIMO: We hope Nanowrimo is going well for everyone involved. We were hoping to see Deb for an update–we hope we will have some information on that by the December meeting. Elisa is doing the November Novel this time. Some of the rest of us had done it in the past and enjoyed it a great deal.

WRITING EVENTS: Niomi reported on the Alison McGhee event at the library recently. She really enjoyed it and wished more people had attended. She spent some time talking with Alison about her writing process. Alison said something like this when asked how she is able to write as an 11 year old: I am all the ages I ever was. We are all the people we ever were. The Loft in MPLS is sponsoring a Crime Mystery Thriller Conference April 28 and 29, 2013. www.loft.org for more information.

LOCAL EVENTS: PRLAAC  (Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts council) is continuing their work to transform the old Armory building in to the Armory Square Center for the Arts. There will be room for: the performing arts, home of the Northern Light Opera Company, concerts, community events and programs, home for the Nemeth Arts Center, classrooms for arts education, offices for arts-related organizations, room for conferences, trade shows, private parties, healthy living activities and more. We are hoping that perhaps someday we can hold Book Release parties there and have various classrooms with several workshops offered at one time.

MISCELLANEOUS: Our own Niomi won first place for creative nonfiction for “Thirteenth Summer” at the Brainerd Writers Alliance Fall Festival held Oct. 27. She also got honorable mention for her poetry, “Remembering Hawaii.”
Our own Jerry served as judge for fiction and presented the awards for fiction at this same Fall Festival.

GOOD BOOKS: Horizontal World by Debra Marquart

OUR OWN WRITING: Several of the writers took turns reading things they are working on and the rest of us gave thoughtful comments. Both Niomi and Elisa are working on memoirs that sound excellent. LuAnne has been writing spiritual poems. Jerry is working on another story for his Good Shepherd book.

This was one of those meetings where everyone just clicked with everyone else and we hated to stop talking and leave. A good group, good writing, good conversation.

Hope to see you next time!

March Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone,

Today we held our March meeting. The next meeting will be on April 15, 2012, at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN from 12:30 to 3PM.

Present: Jerry, Scott, Kathy, Deb, Betty, Marlys, Sandy, Sharon.

We had our Editorial Board meeting on March 11 to choose which submissions will go in the book. Tarah is starting on the layout. Sharon is working on filling out the NO and YES letters and the contracts. They will go out in a few weeks. Sharon sent in the Region 2 grant paperwork and we will hope for the best. Walmart did not give us funds last year, but we will try again this year.

The meeting at the Park Rapids Armory will be held tomorrow at 8AM. Jerry plans to go to represent us. We are hoping that there will be meeting space, workshop space, rooms for classes, etc.

Winter Retreat for Writers, this coming Saturday March 14 from 9 to 5 at Headwaters School of Music and the Arts in Bemidji. CarolAnn Russell. Call 218-444-5606 with questions. $75.00.

Many good classes at the Loft. Deb is taking an online Loft writing class with Mary Caroll Moore.

First Saturday in October at Lake Region. Scott and his wife will put on a class called Cross-Wires. This will deal with creating realistic characters using the traits of personality disorders.

Something that is very helpful is free flow writing. Get it all down fast while it is in your mind–the you will have something to work with later.

Jerry reminded us again of writing Glimmers–just a brief description of a scene, an occurrence, an AHA moment, etc.

Congrats to Marlys for her honorable mention in the Writers’ Digest Poetry competition with her poem In Vogue. Great poem.

Remember NANOWRIMO, writing a 50,000 word novel in the month of November? Now we have the opportunity to write a 100 page screen play in the month of April. See below at the bottom of this email for more details. Scriptfrenzy.org.

Good meeting today. Hope to see you all next time.

February Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone,

Today we held our February meeting. The next meeting will be held on March 18, 2012, from 12:30 to 3PM at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN.


Sharon, Jerry, Deb, LuAnne, Marlys


The submissions are coming in for TS21. Unfortunately, we have been having trouble with our electronic submissions. We sent out an email asking everyone who had used our electronic method to send me an email stating what they had sent. I have heard from many of you, but certainly not all. Please send any remaining submissions to sharrick1(a)wcta.net as an attachment. Be sure to also send your name, mailing address, bio, etc. in the email. Sorry for the inconvenience.


We are making plans for our Book Release Party in September 2012. Tentative plans are that we will hold it at Blueberry Pines this year on Saturday Sept. 15. We are planning to have a workshop from 9 to 12, then lunch, then the Book Party from 1 to 5, approximately. Information will be sent out when things are finalized.


Jerry attended a meeting in Bemidji recently. This was the KBXE Community Meeting. This is a new radio station. The two stations will share the same program content. The programming will have a large art/culture component. We look forward to future possibilities.


Tarah Wolff has now completed her book Embraced by Darkness, a fantasy novel. Sharon Harris has completed her poetry book Unspoken. Last Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, they did readings and signings at Beagle Books as part of the third Thursday Art Series in downtown Park Rapids. They had a great time and a nice turnout. Both books are available on Amazon.com. Embraced by Darkness is also available as an e-book.


In January, Jerry had a small group of writers at his home for a retreat for several days. They all had projects they were working on. They spent time writing, reading, and critiquing. It was a great time.


When writing stories or novels, as you are creating your characters, ask yourself: What does this character want?

We enjoyed meeting Marlys today. We hope to see her again at the next meeting!

January Writers’ Meeting

HI Everyone,

Today we held our January Meeting. Our February meeting will be held on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN from 12:30 to 3PM.


Mike, Sharon, LuAnne


We have started to receive submissions for TS21. We have an early deadline of Feb. 20 this year. We will send out reminders.


LuAnne watched a Teleconference called How to Bake Your Book.


We thank everyone for their donations. It looks like we will still need to get a small grant for this year’s book.


Mike has been having some great success with his writing. He had pieces published recently in three different magazines and is working on a fourth one. Congrats, Mike.

Sharon has finished her third poetry book Unspoken. Copies will be available soon.

Tarah’s big fantasy novel is now finished. It will soon be available.

Hope to see you next time! This January meeting seemed to fall so early–maybe our low attendance today was due to that.