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.