February 2021 NorthWords

Lake Superior Writers

February NorthWords includes:

Lake Superior Writers Presents the 2021 Writing Contest:


Lake Superior Writers is accepting entries in multiple genres for our annual writing contest in the following categories:

  • Poetry – up to 3 poems
  • Short-Short Fiction – 1 or 2 submissions of up to 500 words
  • 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.

The theme is “Lockdown.” We are looking for submissions that explore this theme, and writers can interpret it as broadly as they wish. You might write about the tension found in everyday experiences or the profound struggles faced by people, resulting in a feeling of being in “Lockdown” or actually being in Lockdown.

GUIDELINES: The LSW Writing Contest is open to adults (age 18 and older). Graphic content that is violent or sexual in nature is prohibited.

Entry is free for Lake Superior Writers members; $35 for non-members, which includes membership in Lake Superior Writers through December 2021. If you have any questions about your membership status, email us at writers@lakesuperiorwriters.org. You can pay the submission fee here, with your credit card or PayPal account. Membership benefits include the LSW monthly newsletter “NorthWords,” reduced fees for workshops/classes, and invitations to special LSW events. 

Manuscripts must be original and unpublished, including on personal blogs. We are only accepting email submissions. Stories should be formatted in 12-point font, double-spaced. Your name MUST NOT appear on your manuscript. (See details below.) All stories will be read by a panel of judges. Submissions that do not comply with submission and formatting requests will not be considered. 

DEADLINE: April 12, 2021. Winners will be notified by May 11, 2021.


  • The email subject line should read Contest 2021.
  • In the email message, include Your Name, Email Address, Home Address, and Phone Number, Title(s) of Submitted Piece(s), Genre, and Word Count.
  • Save your submissions in .doc or .docx, and attach them to your email message. Your attachment must be identified ONLY by the titles of your submission. DO NOT include your name in the title of your document, or in the document itself.
  • Email your submissions to lswcontest@gmail.com. You will receive a confirmation email within 72 hours of submitting your entry.
  • Submissions that do not comply with submission and formatting requests will not be considered. 

READING AT THE 2021 ANNUAL MEETING: Winners will be asked to read an excerpt from their work at the Lake Superior Writers Annual Meeting in late spring, which will be virtual. If you have questions, please contact Vickie Smith at lswcontest@gmail.com.

Superior Shares – Open Mic Night

Wednesday, February 10

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 writers@lakesuperiorwriters.org. 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

Feb 6, 13, 20, 27 (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: https://www.facebook.com/duluthpoetrychapter/

Feb 17 (Wed) 7:00 pm – Fireside Reading Series

As part of the Fireside Reading series, Margi Preus will discuss Village of Scoundrels, a novel based on the the true story of French villagers in WWII who sheltered and smuggled to safety many hundreds of Jewish children and teens rescued from French concentration camps. Margi’s guest will be Nelly Trocmé Hewett who grew up in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon during WWII, the village that inspired the story, and whose parents were involved in the rescue effort. REGISTER AT: https://thefriends.org/event/fireside-reading-series-margi-preus/


You’re invited to pitch an article for Moving Lives Minnesota! Have you recently moved to Minnesota? Has your family lived on this land for generations? Or did your family arrive in the state somewhere in between? Share your story, or your family’s story, with Moving Lives Minnesota! Moving Lives Minnesota is an initiative hosted by the Minnesota Public Television Association, the group of Minnesota PBS stations, which seeks to gather stories of origin and immigration from residents across the state. Writers of accepted pitched articles will be compensated $250 for their article. Please review the below link for additional information, including story examples and a form to submit your pitch: https://www.movinglivesmn.org/stories/

Duluth Dylan Fest – 80th Birthday Poetry Contest – CALL FOR POETRY. Deadline: May 1, 2021! The Duluth Dylan Fest Committee announces a poetry contest celebrating Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday. Poems must use one of two titles: “Miles from Home” or “Changing Course.” A grand prize winner and the three best poems for each title will be selected. Poems must honor the artist’s life, music, career, or artistry – in short, some aspect of Bob Dylan’s 80 years – using either of the above phrases as the poem’s title. Poems must appear in standard 12-pt Times New Roman and be double-spaced on a standard 8.5 x 11 doc or docx document. http://www.bobdylanway.com/dylan-fest.php for more information. $15 reading fee – make checks payable to: Duluth Dylan Fest. Mail to: 1609 E. 6th St., Duluth, MN 55812.

Austin Film Festival’s Script Competition is open for entries! Submission deadlines are: 
Early Deadline: March 26, 2021
Regular Deadline: April 1, 2021
Late Deadline: May 21, 2021
Details at: Austin Film Festival Script Competitions

KUDOS – News about our members

Jan Chronister’s most recent chapbook, Distanced: Poems from the Pandemic, documents the months of February through November 2020. Copies are available on amazon or from the author at whispertreepress@gmail.com Jan’s poems “Learning from Beans” and “Winter Weight” appear in Last Stanza Poetry Journal. Her poem “Intruder” is included in the forthcoming Sheltering with Poems (Bent Paddle Press). Your Daily Poem featured Jan’s poem “Harvest” on November 7, 2020. Her poem “Progress” appears in Birth, and “Uncle Bill” was published in 100 Lives, both anthologies from Pure Slush Books.

Linda LeGarde Grover’s novel In the Night of Memory has received a U.P. Notable Book Award from the U.P. Publishers & Authors Association. Each January the UPPAA selects ten books by authors who write about the Upper Peninsula and U.P. Concerns for this recognition.

Writing Groups

Feb 11, 25 (2nd and 4th Thurs) 10:00 am – 12:00 pm – Ink Slingers Writers Group

Lynn Watson is the leader pro tempore of the Ink Slingers Writers Group. Alice Marks founded this multiple genre group six years ago and has hosted it at her home. Due to health concerns Alice regrets she her resignation from leading this talented, delightful group of writers. Currently the group Zooms twice a month, on the second and fourth Thursdays from 10:00 AM to noon. Post Covid-19 it will resume home meeting. For more information, Lynn’s email is lwatson@mtu.edu.

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: