December 2022 NorthWords

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December NorthWords includes:

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Notes from the Board Room

The holidays are upon us and it’s a festive and busy time of year.  Everyone’s calendar fills up with parties, shopping, gift wrapping, family gatherings and preparing special meals.  It becomes even harder to find quiet free time to write, but hopefully you are able to squeeze in moments to capture your thoughts and express yourself with words.  The season is rich with experiences as fodder for your craft. 

We have left the month of December free from classes and workshops, but the board is working hard to bring you great opportunities in the New Year.  Look for writing classes, workshops, Book Club events with regional authors and more on our Events page.  Our annual Writing Contest and the 2023 NEMBA Awards will also kick off early in the year.  Do you have an interest in a class topic or writing opportunity that we aren’t offering?  Drop us a line at and let us know your ideas.  We love hearing from you. 

Speaking of New Year, the start of our new membership year is approaching.  In the interest of keeping expenses down and streamlining the process, our membership renewal notices will be going out by email this year.  We have over 200 members of Lake Superior Writers, and we would love to see each and every one of you back for another year of sharing your passion with others. 

Happy Holidays! 

Molly Hoeg 

Board Chair 

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Lake Superior Writers Events

Virtual Writers’ Café

December 10, 2022 9:30 am to 11 am on Zoom

Registration required. Open to all. Free of cost.

Topic: Backing up your writing projects and understanding the world of “the Cloud”

Let’s talk about how writers today are organizing, storing and—this is very important–locating their drafts, research, and idea files. We’ll look at such resources as Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox – as well as maintaining good old analog systems (such as documents stored in cardboard files). Writers Café is a casual, fun way to connect with writers at all levels from our region and beyond, and you don’t need to be a member of LSW to participate. If you’d like to join the discussion, register by sending an email to

Mark your calendar for January, February, and March Virtual Writers’ Cafés!

Creative Writing Basics: Revision

January 19 and 26, 2023 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm on Zoom

Registration required by Tuesday, January 17 at 6 pm. $10 for Lake Superior Writers members and $20 for non-members.

Take out your manuscript and red (or pink) and green highlighters for this hands-on revision lab. You’ll practice revision strategies focused on scene/summary, arrangement of events, characters, abstract/concrete language, sensory imagery, and significant details. Fiction and nonfiction writers of all levels are most welcome!

Bring a printed copy of your manuscript, a laptop or notebook and something to write with for this hands-on, user-friendly, no experience necessary workshop. Participants will also receive a PDF of all workshop material via email for future reference.

This workshop will be presented Virtually in two one-hour sessions on Thursday evenings in January, 2023.

Afraid you might miss it? The sessions will be recorded and made available to registrants for 30 days following the event.

Learn more and register today on the event’s page. Not a Lake Superior Writers member? Become a member for as little as $35 and save on this and future events!

Book Club for Writers: Carol Dunbar — The Net Beneath Us

Saturday, January 21, 1:30-3:00pm in person at The Depot, also available by Zoom

Registration required by Friday, January 20 at 6 pm.

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 Times, The South Carolina Review, Midwest 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, was released in September 2022.

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.

Register for each event by emailing  

You will receive an email with directions to the Depot and a Zoom link close to the event.

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Literary events

Alex Messenger Book Signing

December 3, 2022 12 pm to 2 pm at Bookstore at Fitger’s, 600 E Superior St, Duluth

Local Author Alex Messenger will be at The Bookstore at Fitger’s signing copies of his book Twenty-Ninth Day. Books will be available for sale. The event is free.

Author Talk with Jess Lourey and Sarah Stonich

December 7, 2022 5 pm at The Bookstore at Fitger’s, 600 E Superior Street, Duluth

After two years of cooling their heels, gnashing behind their masks, and doing virtual events, Minnesota authors Jess Lourey and Sarah Stonich are ready to hit the road and connect in person with readers, booksellers and librarians. In a joint whirlwind tour of Northern and Central MN, Sarah and Jess will sign copies of their latest titles as well as be available to talk one-on-one with readers about the writing life, their inspirations, challenges during Covid, and what’s next for both authors. The event is free, but to join the signing line readers need to purchase a book

Book Signing with Jody M. Anderson

December 10, 2022 12 pm to 2 pm at The Bookstore at Fitger’s, 600 E Superior Street, Duluth

Jody M. Anderson has written a follow-up to her book “Hockey Moms Aren’t Crazy!… Well, Maybe Just a Little Bit” and she’ll be at The Bookstore at Fitger’s signing copies of the book. It’s a quick read and the perfect gift for the Hockey Mom in your life.

Author Event with Frank F. Weber

December 17, 2022 1 pm to 3 pm at The Bookstore at Fitger’s, 600 E Superior Street, Duluth

Frank F. Weber (author and forensic psychologist) will be at The Bookstore at Fitger’s signing books and visiting with people about writing and forensics. Books will be available for sale.

Author Talk with Paul J. Radomski

December 17, 2022 4 pm to 6 pm at The Bookstore at Fitger’s, 600 E Superior Street, Duluth

Paul J. Radomski will be in the Harborview Room to talk about his book Walleye: A Beautiful Fish of the Dark. Books will be available for sale.

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​Social Media: Worth Your Time as a Writer? with Lainey Cameron

December 8, 2022 at 7 pm on Zoom

A social media presence is often portrayed as a must-have for writers. But is it truly worth the energy, or is social media an unnecessary time sink, stealing time you should use for writing?

This two hour workshop focuses on the role social media plays in building a broader author marketing platform, and how to decide which social media are worth your time, if any.

For more information visit

25th Annual International Writing Contest​ 

Submission Deadline: February 28, 2023

The Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop (NOWW) 25th Annual International Writing Contest will begin taking submissions on January 1. In recognition of their landmark anniversary, they have increased prize amounts and added a sixth category.

For more information on the contest including submission guidelines, visit

4th Annual Short Short Story Contest to Support Literacy

Fee: $12

Deadline: January 15, 2023

Flash Fiction Contest.  Write a story using 100 words on one of four topics. Grand prize: $200. 6 Other Prizes: $100 including a Youth Prize for writers 14 years and younger.  Publication in an e-magazine. All ages. No geographical restrictions but story must be written in English. The Contest supports Ethos Literacy, a nonprofit providing free reading, writing and ESL tutoring to adults.

Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Annual Poetry Chapbook Contest

Postmark deadline: February 1, 2023

The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets announces its annual Poetry Chapbook Contest. The contest is open to any Wisconsin writer who has published a poetry chapbook during 2022. Prizes are $200, $100 and $50. The postmark deadline is February 1, 2023. The judge is Joe Cottonwood of La Honda, CA. Go to and click on “contests” for full rules and entry form. For questions, contact coordinator Shoshauna Shy at

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KUDOS – News about our members

Kathy Groth’s next book is called The Shell Box. It’s a narrative nonfiction about a little girl’s annual trip to visit her grandma on the ocean. When the grandma learns her best friend is sad because she’s never been to the ocean, they come up with a plan to bring the ocean to her. It’s a delightful hybrid of children’s book and shell identification guide. Check it out at

Ronnie Hess’s book of ekphrastic poems, “Tripping the Light Ekphrastic,” has just been published by Kelsay Books. Contact me or the publisher if interested.

Katharine Johnson’s book Sylvie’s Silence is ready for Christmas giving. Sylvie doesn’t talk. The secret she must not talk about is stitched inside the jagged scar that runs down her face. The tragic accident that disfigured her and taken her voice has also torn away her memory and her identity. Little by little, dreams and bits of recovered memory reveal the mystery of her accident and her past. As she discovers the secret that is hidden inside the scar, Sylvie struggles against what she has always feared the most—the painful memories and guilt she has been trying to forget. Those are the very things she must face to recover her voice and identity.

Jim Perlman of Holy Cow! Press: The One Book Northland committee is pleased to announce the selected title for 2023: “The Wolf’s Trail: An Ojibwe Story, Told by Wolves” by local author Dr. Thomas D. Peacock and published locally by Holy Cow! Press. “At times moving, at others amusing, and always informative, Thomas Peacock’s The Wolf’s Trail shows us the depth of Ojibwe teaching and the hard truths of Ojibwe experience through the words of a wolf elder as he ‘talks story’ with a set of wolf pups. Through story, he reveals how the pups ought to live in the world, while showing them why the Ojibwe live the way they do. Listen to our wolf brother and learn to live as the Creator intended!” – Carter Meland, author of “Stories for a Lost Child.” Born in Cloquet, Minnesota, Thomas D. Peacock is a member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior (Anishinaabe Ojibwe). Several of his books (Ojibwe Waasa Inaabida and The Good Path) were Minnesota Book Award winners. The Seventh Generation won a national Multicultural Children’s Book of the Year award. In 2023, the Duluth Public Library, along with the Cloquet Public Library, Superior Public Library, Two Harbors Public Library, Barnes & Noble, Bookstore at Fitger’s, UMD Kathryn A. Martin Library, Zenith Bookstore, Jim Dan Hill Library at UW-Superior, Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College and other local businesses and organizations will host events during the Spring months. These events will be unique and deepen our understanding and connection to “The Wolf’s Trail.”

Victoria Lynn Smith’s flash fiction story “Gossip and Dinner” was published by Bullshit Lit on November 11, 2022.

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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:

Our blog currently features Diminution or Diminishment by Carol Mork