March 2022 NorthWords

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March NorthWords includes:

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 for submission guidelines and further details.

Mystery Writing Workshop

It’s Murder, Dontcha Know: An online course in how to write a mystery novel with Jeanne Cooney

What is different about writing a mystery novel? Attend this two-hour workshop to find out!

Instructor Jeanne Cooney, whose fourth mystery is set for release in mid-March, will provide information regarding the various types of mysteries and the mechanics involved in writing them. She will also review the steps commonly followed in writing mysteries, from establishing the protagonist’s wishes and hooking the reader to scattering clues and tying up loose ends. Cooney will invite discussion and promote fun. After all, what goes better with murder than a laugh or two?

Saturday, March 12, 9:00-11:00am by Zoom
This workshop is $10 for members of Lake Superior Writers, $20 for non-members
Register by emailing – DEADline Wednesday, March 9

Jeanne Cooney is the author of the popular Hot Dish Heaven mystery series. Her new series, It’s Murder, kicks off in March 2022 with the release of It’s Murder, Dontcha Know.  Cooney’s books are set in the Red River Valley of northwestern Minnesota, home to an array of colorful, Scandinavian-Lutheran farmers. Along with an old-fashioned, make-believe, who-done-it, each story includes Midwest references, time-honored hot dish, Jell-O, and bar recipes, as well as a few Ole and Lena jokes. And while the books may be read as a series, they can stand on their own too. More information on this popular and entertaining speaker may be found on


Member Cost $10

Non-member Cost $20

You can become a member of Lake Superior Writers for as little as $35! Become a member or renew your membership now and your membership will be good until the end of 2022!

Book Club for Writers

Ever wish you could include a book’s author in your book club discussions?  Now you can!

In this new Book Club for Writers series, we bring the author to the table to talk about craft, what it took to write the book, or life as a writer for 30 minutes.  Then we allow 60 minutes for a Q&A and book discussion.

You do not need to be a member to attend.

  • Register for each event by emailing  
  • You will receive an email with a Zoom link close to the event.

We will be recording each event and making it available to those who register for one month afterwards. So even if you cannot attend, you can watch the session later!

We encourage you to support your local independent bookstores, who may have these books in stock or would be happy to order them for you.

Brian Malloy – The Year of Ice

Tuesday, March 29, 6:30-8:00pm by Zoom


Brian Malloy’s novels are The Year of Ice, Brendan Wolf, After Francesco, and the young adult novel Twelve Long Months. His books have honored with the Minnesota Book Award and the American Library Association’s Alex Award, and have been a Book Sense Pick, an Apple Books selection, and a New York Times new and notable title. He teaches creative writing at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, and has also taught creative writing at correctional facilities, shelters, and social service organizations.

It’s 1978 and a typical January day in Minneapolis – except for Kevin Doyle, whose mother died two years ago when her car plunged into the icy waters of the Upper Mississippi. A high school senior, Kevin is a marginal student obsessed with keggers, rock and roll, maintaining his place in the pecking order of high school males, and – unbeknownst to anyone else – a boy in his school with thick eyelashes and a bad attitude. As lonely women vie for his father’s attention, Kevin discovers his father’s own closely guarded secret: At the time of his wife’s death, he had planned to abandon his family for another woman. More disturbing, Kevin’s mother’s death may well have been a suicide, not an accident.
In the coming year, a series of painful truths threaten the shatter the tentative bonds between father and son and wreak havoc on the lives of those nearest to them.

Virtual Writers’ Café

“Writing advice and feedback: the good, the bad, and the confusing,” is the topic of this month’s Writers’ Café.

Have you ever received feedback on your writing that made you want to give up? Is there a book, mentor or workshop that helped your writing in a memorable way?

LSW member Gail Trowbridge will lead a discussion on these and other advice-related topics.

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

Upcoming Dates:

  • March 5
  • April 2
  • May 7

This event is free and membership is not required.

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

Registration Deadline for the next gathering: Friday, March 4 by noon

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Superior Shares – Open Mic Night

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

  • March 9
  • 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

Registration Deadline: Monday, March 7, 2022

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

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Literary events

March 6 (Sun) 12 pm CST  – Sunday Weekly Poetry Meetings at Dovetail Cafe & Marketplace. Please visit the link to the Facebook page for both in-person and online meetings to workshop each other’s poems and organize local events:

March 16 (Wed) 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm CST – Kathleen (K.M.) Waldvogel will explain her research for her middle-grade book, Spies, Soldiers, Couriers, & Saboteurs: Women of the American Revolution. During her research, she discovered fascinating stories of ordinary women who felt compelled to stand up for what they believed, including sixteen-year-old Sybil Ludington who rode approximately 40 miles to warn the countryside of the British marching to Danbury, Connecticut. She will focus on researching the stories of little-known women who felt the need to take an active role to help the Patriots defeat the British. As the title of the book suggests, many of these women contributed in unconventional ways.

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Thinking Funny22! April 2 & 3, 2022

Yes, it IS POSSIBLE to learn how to write and think funny. ThinkingFunny22 brings three top-level practitioners and teachers to you for our 2nd annual conference. All three have specific, actionable tips and are available both in the general session, on Saturday, and a more intimate workshop session on Sunday.

ThinkingFunny22 will be live, via CrowdCast, April 2, 2022, Saturday from 11:30 am to 5 pm Pacific Time.

The Saturday Conference’s entry fee of $75 is discounted 20% for the first 20 applicants. Use the coupon code “EarlyBird” (without the quotes). 

Register and more information at

This year’s conference will focus on humor-writing and offers four sessions.

  • Anne Janzer will open with a look at how to use humor in serious, non-fiction subjects.
  • John Vorhaus will take us through two sessions. The first will take participants through sure-fire comic tools and the second will focus on creating comedic characters. Vorhaus i is the author of multiple books on comedy-writing and has recently added an authoritative work on stand-up comedy
  • Dave Fox will offer insights into how to craft humorous first-person accounts of memorable experiences and offer suggestions on how to capture notes on the fly. His background in world travel offers a light-hearted and lively but still-respectful look at wide-ranging cultures.

Sunday’s Masterclasses in Humor-Writing

On Sunday, April 2, 2022, there will be three Humor-Writing Masterclasses. These are $100 per person per session, but they are discounted 25% for those who also attend the Saturday Conference. The Sunday sessions will be limited to 15 people per each 90-minute session with. You can chose to attend any or all of these sessions and get personalized feedback from Anne, John, and Dave.

Registrations are first-come, first serve. If you elect to attend both days, you’ll be emailed a link and a discount code for the Sunday masterclass after we confirm your Saturday Conference registration. 

Questions? Contact us at

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KUDOS – News about our members

Kansas Prairie Promises by Sharon Durken is now available on Amazon. It’s the story of Lucinda and her experiences growing up on the Kansas prairie. The story begins in 1859 when Lucinda takes on the role of caregiver for her two younger sisters. Through the years she and Maddie, an enslaved girl, form a life long friendship. Lucinda faces hardships, love, and losses as she challenges the roles for women in her times.

In this outdoors mystery, natural history writer Cary J. Griffith brings back Sam Rivers, the predator’s predator, to investigate an unexplained cougar attack. Cougar Claw follows Wolf Kill, the first Sam Rivers Mystery. There are two additional titles scheduled for future release in the series. More to come …

Alice Mark’s latest mystery The RV Murder will be available in March at Zenith Bookstore. There are many characters and connections with Duluth in this book. It also will be available through Amazon as a paperback, Kindle and audio book.

Tim Moder’s poem “Radio” was published in Olney Magazine Issue #3 on February 5th. His poem “The Origin of Laughter” was published in Main Street Rag Winter 2022 Issue on February 5th.

Publication of Where the Deer Dream: A Coming of Age Adventure in Spirit by Sarah Bamford Seidelmann

Seventeen-year-old Meera’s imperfect life is set to unfold perfectly when an unexpected discovery sends her deep into an unknown world to hunt for help. Meera asks for a miracle which has unexpected consequences.

Where the Deer Dream brings us Sarah at her best, drawing us into her warmth, humor, compassion, intelligence, and plenty of magical beasties. Like Sarah and everything else she creates, this book delights as it heals.” —Martha Beck, New York Times bestselling Author of The Way of integrity. Get your copy at Fitger’s Bookstore or Zenith Bookstore. Audiobook also available at Audible.

Victoria Lynn Smith’s essay “Mafia Dons, Dad, and Severed Heads” was published in the Hive Avenue Literary Journal, Issue IV.

Victoria Lynn Smith

Kathleen (K.M.) Waldvogel was interviewed for the Reading With Your Kids Podcast. Waldvogel discussed her middle-grade book Spies, Soldiers, Couriers, and Saboteurs: Women of the American Revolution. The podcast, which went live on January 30, 2022, is titled “Saboteurs and WereWoofs” with Waldvogel’s interview at the beginning. Listen to what she has to say at:

Paula Zwicke was recently awarded 13th place in the 2021 Writer’s Digest Personal Essay Awards for her essay, “Migration.” Besides winning some swag, her name and the title of her piece will be published in the May/June 2022 edition of Writer’s Digest.

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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 Vital Connections on the Path to Publication by Carol Dunbar