November 13th 2004

Today we held our November meeting and book release party at Beagle Books in Park Rapids. We had the meeting from 1 to 3 and then the book party following. Our December meeting date has not been decided yet, but will be on a Sunday in December.

At the meeting, we had Doris and Mary, Jerry, Niomi, Tom, Sharon, Tarah, and Carol and LuAnne.


We discussed what we did during the year. Today’s book release party was the last step on the long journey of publishing Talking Stick 13. (Actually, one more step is to get the rest of the books mailed out to the submitters.) We discussed our workshop with Linda Henry that was held on July 31, the same day as our ten year anniversary party. That was on July 31 at the Hubbard Long Lake Theater. We had a great time and a great turnout.


We discussed TS13. Usually our books are around 80 pages long. The one this year is 128 pages. Next year, the book may be even larger. We plan to give cash prizes next year so we may have to limit the number of submissions and the word count. We plan to have three categories: Poetry, Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction. There will be a prize for each category. We will have a judge for each category, someone who is a well established writer. We believe that we already have Mark Vinz for poetry and Linda Henry for Creative Non-Fiction. Probably we will do the book as usual, with our editorial board going through and choosing the submissions that will go in the book. Then they will choose perhaps 5 of each category to send to the judges. The judges then would each choose one winner for their category.


We plan to have an annual writers’ event. At this event, we would announce the winners of each category. Hopefully all the judges would be able to attend and announce the winners. This will probably be held in the first two weeks in August, probably on a Saturday. We may hold it in Hubbard again; we are discussing possibilities. Hopefully we can have a workshop the same day. We want to have several workshops next year — probably one with Mark Vinz on poetry forms so we can learn the rules before we break them. We might also check with William Kent Kruger and Mike Perry.


Carol announced that there would be a reading by the Great River Writers across from Bookin’ It in Little Falls on January 21 in the evening. When we get more information, we will pass it on.

We have donated copies of our TS books to dentists’ offices and doctors’ offices for their waiting rooms. We mentioned that we should donate them to the Library.

Jerry was on KAXE radio of Grand Rapids recently. Heidi Holton has been a great supporter of ours. She has requested a copy of TS13; Jerry will send her one. She may call people in the book to ask if they would do a recording of their work to be played on the radio.

Jerry said he went to a Kinko’s store and had them make a copy of the cover of our book. He put this in his computer and says that you can make postcards or posters to help sell the books. You could make up signs stating “Talking Stick 13, now available, containing the work of _______”

Jerry recently attended a writers workshop in the cities with Allison McGee. She wrote Shadow Baby from a 12 year old’s point of view. The workshop was excellent and Jerry would be happy to share some of the exercises with the group.


LuAnne is involved with the Center of Lifelong Learning. Our group did do a reading a few years ago for this group and they would like us to do so again. We discussed some dates in March — perhaps the 22nd or the 8th. This would be on a Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 in the afternoon. We would do a reading and then a discussion. They would probably have a book discussion group to discuss our book at a later date. They generally have from 30 to 70 people. We would probably have Tom, Jerry, Tarah, Sharon and Cindie? LuAnne will let us know for sure about the date. This would be held in the basement of the Park Rapids Library in the big meeting room.



Following the meeting, we had the Talking Stick 13 book release party. We had great food and a great program. Jerry’s fruit plate, Marilyn’s famous chocolate chip cookies, punch, brownies, cheese and crackers, hot cider. What a feast!

During the program, Jerry talked about our group. In 10 years, we have put out 13 books! Tarah and Sharon say that they have a couple more volumes in them yet. Jerry discussed the making of the book. We received 259 submissions from 88 writers and photographers. Out of these, we accepted 68 poems, 13 stories and 11 photographs from 56 of the submitters. We had to make a much larger book this year due to the increased number of submissions.

Jerry also talked about our plans for next year’s book and next year’s annual party. We had about 25 attendees. What a fun time! Old friends and new friends coming together. We had people from Hibbing, from the Twin Cities, from east and west. Everyone in attendance read their poems or stories from the book if they wished. Cindie also read Linda’s poem since Linda is our founding mother.

People bought more books for Christmas gifts. We had some of the older Talking Stick volumes available too. We hated to say goodbye and see it end, as usual.

A special thanks to Jill for allowing us to have our meeting at Beagle Books and disrupt her store for a few hours. Thanks to everyone who submitted and thanks to everyone who helped on the book!! Thanks to all who attended and made our book release party for TS13 a great success.