December 2020 NorthWords

The Rules of Engagement: Writing a short story from beginning to end

Thursdays – January 14, 21, 28, and February 4

6:30 pm – 8 pm via Zoom

Winter is the perfect time to try something new.

If you’ve always wanted to write short stories, or if you’ve been writing and are stuck, our winter workshop, “Rules of Engagement,” might be just the thing you need to jump start your short story.

In this four-week workshop, participants create their own “rules” for their short story, then write and complete a full revised draft. Along the way they’ll study other writers and short story “rules” (including when to break them!). In this supportive virtual workshop, participants are encouraged to try something new and take some risks. 

At the end of the workshop, you’ll have a fully written short story, a lot more tools in your toolbox, and a community of writers around you.


Felicia Schneiderhan

Felicia Schneiderhan is an award-winning writer, the author of many short stories, personal essays, nationally-published magazine articles, and the memoir Newlyweds Afloat. She is the recipient of multiple grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council. She has taught writing in workshops settings ranging from Chicago public grade schools to college classrooms.


  • $100 for Lake Superior Writers members
  • $135 for non-members, which includes a year’s membership
  • $35 optional add-on for a private 30 minute 10-page critique, via Zoom or phone

Visit our website to register:

Superior Shares – Open Mic Night

Wednesday, December 9

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm via Zoom

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 inaugural 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 on a first come first served basis, with priority given to Lake Superior Writer members. Time limits will be strictly enforced.  Participants will be notified ahead of time if they have been selected to read.

To register, email Please indicate if you would like to read.

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

Literary events in our region 

Dec 6, 13, 20 (Sun) 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm – Weekly Duluth Poetry Chapter Meetings

The Duluth Poetry Chapter meets every Sunday over Zoom (online link sent the day of meeting). They share poems, write using prompts, and critique each other’s work. Check out their Facebook page to learn more:

Dec 12 (Sat) 12:00 pm – United Friends of Ouamuamua

When the moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars, or the twelfth of December at noon, your Friends/Acquaintances/Well Wishers at United Friends of Ouamuamua invite you to a word share. We are at the gate of the age of Aquarius so really any theme or style is welcome and celebrated. Zoom TBD. Check out Xennial Poetry Notes on Patreon.


Todos Santos Writers Workshop

The eighth annual Todos Santos Writers Workshop will be held online for a one-week intensive, offering daily workshops in Poetry, Fiction, Stage & Screen Writing, and Memoir for writers at all levels. 
January 31 – February 6, 2021
Online via Zoom

Virtual Guided Novel Writing Retreat

Diane O’Connell/Write to Sell Your Book
February 25-28, 2021

Thin Air Magazine – Thin Air invites all writers, emerging and established alike, to submit to our Spring 2021 issue. We accept fiction and creative nonfiction up to 3,000 words, up to five poems, and up to five pieces of visual art. Our editors are also interested in pieces that defy categorization. Regardless of form, we want material that feels fresh. The pieces we accept tend to surprise us and remind us why we fell in love with reading in the first place.  We continually strive to publish authentic work from a multiplicity of perspectives.  

We publish and circulate our journal annually. Alongside our print journal, we also offer the opportunity for publication through our online Web Features with no submission fee, as well as a submission fee-less day on the 15th of every month for submissions from Black and Indigenous writers of color. 

River Poems – Organizers of the St. Louis River Summit and the River Talks speaker series will soon seek submissions of poems about rivers. Featured poems will be chosen by a panel of local writers and river scientists. Poets will have the chance to read their poems during an online River Talk event held in conjunction with the Summit on March 3, 2021, at 7 p.m. Poems about the St. Louis River are preferred, but those about any river are welcome. The St. Louis River Summit is an annual event attended by more than 250 natural resource managers, researchers, educators and the public with the goal of sharing river activities and research. River Talks is a public-friendly evening science event held monthly during the academic year. More details to come next month. The deadline will be in early February 2021.

The Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar is now available for sale at The coil-bound weekly agenda calendar is 160 pages and contains poetry by almost 200 poets. Quantities are limited, so anyone interested in ordering is encouraged to do so early.

KUDOS – News about our members

Gary Boelhower‘s chapbook Step Close In: Poems From the Path was published by The Orchard Street Press. Copies are available from the author at Gary Boelhower authored and Sarah Brokke Erickson illustrated a new children’s book entitled A Common Thirst published by Beaver’s Pond Press in November. The book is available at local bookstores and online at Amazon.

Phil Fitzpatrick‘s 2019 collection Hawks on High: Everyday Miracles in a Hawk Ridge Season received Honorable Mention in the NEMBA 2019 Poetry category.

Thomas Wayne King, professor emeritus, communication sciences and disorders, UW-EC, had his allegoric essay on alternative, non-speech communication possibilities, “Telegraphic Torgeir and Ari,” included with the Wisconsin Brain Injury Support Group of Barron County newsletter, November 10, 2020. In addition, Tom’s unique article was accepted for publication, in condensed form, in QST, international journal of the American Radio Relay League, Newington, CT. Also, as culmination of 20 years of sustained effort, Red Pump Chronicles, Tom’s 700 page collection of all four volumes in his Tales from the Red Pump series of Northland stories, essays, poems and lyrics is finished and ready for release later in November. More info to follow.

The St Croix Writers Group has just released “MANY WATERS,” an anthology of our short stories, poems, essays and long-form excerpts. Forty-six writers from our group (including Duluth/Superior area members) contributed to this cross-genre collection. Copies are available at The Bookstore at Fitgers and Zenith Bookstore in Duluth as well as Little Gift House, Solon Springs; Kunert Kreations, Gordon; Northwind Book & Fiber, Spooner; Redbery Books, Cable. Also available at

Cathy LaForge Tonkin has been published in a book of ghost stories, available on Ebay.

Marie Zhuikov‘s photos and feature story about rare Ojibwe horses, “The Horses Nobody Knows,” appeared in the Dec/Jan issue of Lake Superior Magazine.