November 17th 2007

Today we had our November Jackpine Writers’ Bloc meeting AND our Talking Stick 16 Book Release Party, both at Northwoods Bank Community Room in Park Rapids MN.

The next meeting will be held at Bella Cafe in Park Rapids MN on Sunday December 16, 2007 from 12:30 to 3 PM.

At 2 PM today, we held a quick November meeting. Present were: Sharon, Tarah, LuAnne, Cindie, Jodi, Jan, Scott, Jerry, Sandi, Peter, Russ, John, Niomi, Luke.

The Mark Munger Workshop in October was very well attended, over 20 people.

November is National Novel Writing Month. It is going well. Cindie has 19 committed writers that she is emailing. They had one evening at Beagle books where writers could come in and write from 5 to 9 PM. The writers are emailing in with comments. It is great fun.

Cindie said that she has been approached by two writers who teach at the Loft. They are interested in coming to the Park Rapids area to do workshops in 2008. One is Deb Lund who writes children’s books. Another is Kate Hopper who writes family memoirs. It was also mentioned that our own Scott Stewart, who does ghost writing, could put on a workshop.

Besides our Talking Stick books, we have now published one other book–Jerry Mevissen’s Broken Hart. We have been approached about doing a second book now. We are going to consider this and hope to be able to do it at a different time of the year than we do our TS books. It is very difficult to be doing two books at the same time.

At 4 PM, people started arriving for the book release party. It was awesome to think that all day long, people had been driving from different parts of the state, all to meet up in Park Rapids and help us to celebrate the release of our latest book, Volume 16 of The Talking Stick.

Many old friends attended as well as many new faces. We had snacks and refreshments brought by our members. We handed out two free copies of the new book to each writer in the book. Many people bought more for gifts. We had older volumes available also as well as books by the three judges for our three categories in this year’s book. Jen and her mom from Beagle Books attended as well to help sell books.

It was mentioned that we had some great workshops this year: fiction workshop by Wm Kent Kruger (one of our judges), poetry workshop by LouAnn Muhm, poetry workshop by Deb Keenan, and a self publishing workshop by Mark Munger.

We received 249 submissions this year from 118 writers. From those, we selected 87 poems, 15 creative nonfiction pieces, and 19 fiction stories by 88 different writers to go in the book. This year’s book is 228 pages, slightly larger than last year. We have an Editorial Board of 5 JWB members who read all the submissions and choose which ones will go in the book. The top 5 to 7 pieces in each category are sent to our special judges with the names removed. They choose the ones to win the prize money.

Our Board of Directors and our Editorial Board can be in the book but they are NOT eligible for the prize money.

Our judges this year:
CarolAnn Russell for Poetry
Bill Holm for Creative Nonfiction
Wm Kent Kruger for Fiction

Thanks to all who submitted to TS16, thanks to all who attended today, thanks to all who helped with today’s party, thanks to Fair Havens Golf Course who put on a benefit golf tournament for us this year to make money to help publish the book, and thanks to all the local newspapers who have done press releases and articles about our group and thanks to Beagle Books for all their support.

A wonderful day!! Over 55 people attended.