April 2022 NorthWords

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April NorthWords includes:

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Notes from the Board Room

We are adding this new message to our newsletter to keep you, our members, informed on what the Board has been focusing on, new opportunities we have coming up, and help you feel a part of this organization.

This month we are pleased to announce that for the second year in a row we have been awarded a Creative Support for Organizations Grant through the Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB). The $10,000 we receive for each grant has greatly enhanced our ability to carry on our programming virtually, and to continue to provide quality events for the writing community.

Funding in 2021-22 allowed us to expand our opportunities for free virtual events for writers of all levels and genres with Superior Shares Open Mic, Book Club for Writers, and Virtual Writers’ Café. We were also able to offer a reduced rate for webinar workshops for members and non-members. These events covered topics including publishing, marketing, and copyright, flash fiction and mystery writing. It also gave us the opportunity to offer attractive fees for our speakers, to support our talented local writers. Upcoming events include Crafting Dynamic Worlds and our Annual Meeting featuring author Carol Dunbar.

  • The 2022-23 grant begins in June, and in addition to the established virtual events we hope to focus on:
    • Initiating new educational opportunities as requested by the writing community
    • Exploring opportunities for writers seeking virtual and/or live writing groups and providing guidance for giving and receiving feedback
    • Using member surveys to ensure we are providing the services needed to help writers in all stages and genres of writing
    • Maintaining our strong connection with the writing and reading community via social media

We look forward to continuing to serve you with new offerings and support for your writing life!

Writing Contest

Lake Superior Writers is excited to announce the theme of this year’s Writing Contest!

Full Circle”

Submissions will be accepted for this annual contest starting February 1, 2022 in the following categories:

  • Poetry – up to 3 poems
  • Short-Short Fiction – 1 or 2 submissions of up to 500 words each
  • Short Fiction – a single submission of 1,500-2,500 words
  • Creative Nonfiction – a single submission of 1,500-2,500 words

First-place winner in each category will receive a prize of $200 and publication on the Lake Superior Writers website. Runner-up in each category will receive a prize of $50.

We are looking for submissions that explore the “Full Circle” theme, and writers can interpret it as broadly as they wish. You might write about lives that follow a circle returning to the starting point but with new insights, or relationships that may follow this pattern, or the circle of nature.

Deadline: April 11, 2022

Winners will be notified by May 11, 2022.

Visit https://lakesuperiorwriters.org/2022-writing-contest/ for submission guidelines and further details.

Crafting Dynamic Worlds

Worlds Apart: Worldbuilding from the Inside Out

It’s a hard truth every writer knows: a good story needs a great setting, and many a diligent storyteller has gotten lost in the details. But doesn’t have to be that way! Whether you’re adapting the past, delving into distant regions of the present day, or conjuring other worlds altogether, some principles of good story-grounding are universal – and you can start applying them right away. Come learn the secrets of crafting immersive, dynamic settings – real or imaginary! – that your fans will want to explore for years to come.

Tex shares tips and tricks for worldbuilding, a technique common in fantasy and science fiction that can be useful across literary genres.

Worldbuilding focuses on crafting rich and unique settings for a story, giving the writer a clear understanding of what their world looks and feels like.

Saturday, April 23, 9:00-11:00am by Zoom
This workshop is $10 for members of Lake Superior Writers, $20 for non-members
Register here – the deadline is Wednesday, April 20

Arianne “Tex” Thompson is a licensed locksmith, egregiously enthusiastic editor, and professional ruckus-raiser. She is the author of  Children of the Drought, an internationally-published epic fantasy Western series from Solaris, as well as ‘chief instigator’ of WORD – Writers Organizations ‘Round Dallas. Now she’s blazing a trail through conferences, workshops, and conventions around the country – as an endlessly energetic, catastrophically cheerful one-woman stampede. Find her online at thetexfiles.com and wordwriters.org!

Virtual Annual Membership Event

Lake Superior Writers invites you to gather with your fellow writers for a morning of inspiration and camaraderie. We are excited to have local author Carol Dunbar speaking on “Getting the Book Deal: What I know now that I wish I knew then.

Join us Saturday, May 21, 9:30 – 11:00am

We have planned a full morning including:

  • A review of the year just completed
  • A preview of events planned for the year to come
  • Keynote speaker Carol Dunbar
    • Carol will share: What I’m learning about the publishing industry, advice that turned out not to be true, advice that I’m really glad I took, and what I wasn’t prepared for on the road to publication.
  • Readings from our Writing Contest winners
  • Drawings for fabulous prizes, meant just for writers (you must be virtually present to win)
    • 3 $50 gift cards – Zenith Books & Fitgers Bookstore in Duluth, Honest Dog Books in Bayfield
    • 5 $10 gift cards for area coffee shops

Come and network with other writers from the comfort of your own home!

To register, email writers@lakesuperiorwriters.org and we will send you a Zoom link.

You must be a member of Lake Superior Writers to attend. If you haven’t joined or renewed your membership yet, this is a great time to do so! Click here to join online or mail in your membership form. We would love to have you!

CAROL DUNBAR is a former actor, playwright, and coloratura soprano who left her life in the city to move off the grid. Her writing has appeared in The New York TimesThe South Carolina ReviewMidwest Review, and on Wisconsin Public Radio. She writes from a solar-powered office on the second floor of a water tower in northern Wisconsin, where she lives in a house in the woods with her husband, two kids, and a giant Alaskan malamute. Her debut novel, The Net Beneath Us, will release in the fall of 2022. She is also a long-term member of Lake Superior Writers.

In the aftermath of her husband’s logging accident, Elsa has more questions than answers about how to carry on while caring for their two small children in the unfinished house he was building for them in the woods of rural Wisconsin. Told over the course of a year, The Net Beneath Us is a lyrical exploration of loss, marriage, parenthood, and self-reliance; a tale of how the natural world—without and within us—offers us healing, if we can learn where to look.

Virtual Writers’ Café

The April Writers’ Cafe will focus on “Writing Retreats.” When we think of writing retreats, we often think of a structured workshop with a facilitator, or maybe a more informal arrangement, either for you alone or with a few writing friends. We’ll explore how to find out about locations and programs near and far. And if leaving town isn’t a possibility, we’ll discuss how to plan a stay-at-home writing retreat.

The May Writers’ Cafe will focus on “Submitting Your Work.” We’ll explore submitting to contests, print and online journals and zines. During our discussion, we’ll create a list of places to submit, both regional and beyond. We’ll also discuss how to deal with rejection and not get discouraged.

NOTE: The Writers’ Cafe will take the summer months of June, July, and August off and return in September. 

Held on the first Saturday of each month from 9:30-11:00am.

Upcoming Dates:

  • April 2
  • May 7

This event is free and membership is not required.

  • Register by emailing writers@lakesuperiorwriters.org.
  • You will receive an email with a Zoom link close to the event.

Registration Deadline for the next gathering: Friday, April 1 by noon

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Superior Shares – Open Mic Night

Held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 6-7pm.  Upcoming dates:

  • April 13
  • May 11

This event is free to participants and audience, and membership is not required.

Are you eager to share your latest piece of writing? 

          Yearning to read it to an audience of readers and writers?

Lake Superior Writers presents Superior Shares, our virtual open mic for local writers to share their work in progress, and for anyone else who appreciates the creative writing process.

This event is free to participants and audience, and membership is not required.

Readers are asked to please limit adult content and language. Graphic content that is violent or sexual in nature is prohibited.

Attendees will be encouraged to use the Chat function to share feedback.

There will be 10 five-minute slots available. Participants will be notified ahead of time if they have been selected to read.

To register, email writers@lakesuperiorwriters.org

Registration Deadline: Monday, April 11, 2022

A Zoom link will be sent out the day of the event.

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Literary events

Zenith Bookstore is thrilled to welcome Connie Wanek for a live event to present Marshmallow Clouds: Two Poets at Play Among Figures of Speech. Wanek will be in conversation with former Duluth Poet Laureate Ellie Schoenfeld. Marshmallow Clouds is the newest collaboration between Wanek and Ted Kooser, former U.S. Poet Laureate and Putlizer Prize winner, along with illustrator Richard Jones. Proof of Covid-19 vaccination is required to attend this event, as is the wearing of face masks over nose and mouth for everyone ages 2 and up.

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Thinking Funny22! April 2 & 3, 2022

Visit https://thinkingfunny.com/ for details.

Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference Monday, June 20, 2022-Sunday, June 26, 2022

Visit https://www.northwoodswriters.org/ for details.

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KUDOS – News about our members

Holy Cow! Press is pleased to announce the publication of Jordemoder: Poems of a Midwife, a debut collection by Madison, WI Swedish-American writer Ingrid Andersson. “A midwife is in the thick of it, she sees it all,” Jennifer Worth, author of Call the Midwife. It is midwifing in its broadest sense—from releasing a newborn’s stuck shoulders or catching a baby in the caul, to Socratic questioning around body autonomy, social justice and climate sustainability. The poems are layered and bi-cultural, rooted in contrasts between America and Sweden, as well as between colonial/industrial and ecological/relational ways of caring for each other and the earth. With a sense of humor, love, art and aging, Jordemoder is a collection of midwifed hope. Ingrid Andersson has practiced as a home-birth nurse midwife for over 20 years. She studied poetry and literature in Swedish, German, French and English, as well as anthropology, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, before mixing that fertile ground with the art and science of midwifery (Frontier Nursing University, 2000). Ingrid is a healthcare activist and founder of related nonprofits. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net and has appeared in Ars Medica, Eastern Iowa Review, Literary Mama, Midwest Review, Minerva Rising, Plant-Human Quarterly, Torry House Press, and elsewhere. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her Swedish-Finnish husband, son, dogs, chickens and bees. “Ingrid Andersson’s poems are well crafted and passionate at once. They are rooted in her family, her work as a midwife birthing babies in a natural age-old way, her own motherhood and her travels. Her work reveals an identification with and close observation of birds, mammals including herself and her clients, flowers, trees, the seasons. These poems offer both insight and joy.”–Marge Piercy – Available at local bookstores, amazon.com, and through http://www.holycowpress.org

Lane Henson has two poems, “Overburden” and “Donna, TX,” appearing in the 10th Anniversary Edition of The Thunderbird Review, releasing in mid-April.

Dawn Johnson’s book Outwit the Workplace Bully is receiving positive reviews on Amazon and other sites. Writing from personal experience, Johnson has developed an 8-step process for reclaiming one’s career, confidence and sanity when confronted with an office bully. Her book is available in paperback and on Amazon Kindle.

Tim Moder’s poem “Stealing Your Own Garden” appeared in San Pedro River Review Spring print issue. His poems “Former Lives in Last Night’s Dream”, “Kite,” and “The Girl Who Spoke Swords” were published on March 20th at https://www.roifaineantpress.com/post/former-lives-in-last-night-s-dream-kite-the-girl-who-spoke-swords-by-tim-moder

Victoria Lynn Smith’s flash essay “Fragmenting Stories” was published by Persimmon Tree, Spring 2022, as part of their Short Takes selections. The theme was Forgetting. Read all the selections here: https://persimmontree.org/spring-2022/forgetting/

Victoria Lynn Smith

Debra Raye King, LSW, SCW, NOWW, WWA member, is soon finishing her farm memoir: Gravedigger’s Daughter – growing up rural published by Wisconsin Writers Association Press, Inc., with September 2022 release planned.          

Photo credit: Flosi Kristjánsson and Ragna Thorhallsdottir. Reykjavik, IS. 

Thomas Wayne King’s latest textbook: ADD HUMAN ~ human factors & ergonomics for all of us ~ is in final beta stages. His focus now is his next textbook: Writing with Lightning – wonder & magic of telegraph codes. Both are new enhancements of books he did in 1999 and 2000 with Simon & Schuster/Allyn & Bacon, Boston. His fun books Noon at the Nerd Table and his Trash Picker series, books 1 & 2 of 3, are nearly ready on Amazon KDP.

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Lake Superior Writers Blog

Lake Superior Writers invites members to submit guest posts for possible inclusion on our blog. Please visit our blog information page for more details: https://lakesuperiorwriters.org/blog/blog-submission-guidelines/

Our blog currently features “Reasons to Attend an Author’s Book Chat (Even If You Don’t Write Books)” by Victoria Lynn Smith https://lakesuperiorwriters.org/blog/