January 2015 NorthWords

Poetry, Fiction and Creative Nonfiction
Theme:  “Super + Natural”
Deadline: April 1, 2015

We’re pleased to announce our 2015 Writing Contest with a theme of “Super + Natural.”

“Super + Natural” was chosen after we looked back at a year that saw the City of Duluth winning the title of “best outdoors town” from Outside magazine and thousands of people drawn to view the natural phenomenon of Lake Superior’s ice caves in northern Wisconsin. We truly live and write in an area full of nature that is “super.” Yet perhaps you’ve experienced or imagined things that go beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature. In fact, the word “supernatural” is derived from the Latin words “Supra,” meaning “above” and “Naturalis,” meaning “nature.”

For our 2015 contest, we are looking for entries that deal with nature or the supernatural, or better yet, a combination of the two. We hope “Super + Natural” will inspire you to go in many mystical and natural directions. Give yourself free rein to explore this theme in your poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction.

CATEGORIES INCLUDE:  Poetry (up to 3 poems); Short-Short Fiction (up to 500 words); Short Story (1,500-5,000 words) and Creative Non-Fiction (1,500-5,000 words).   ONE WINNER in each category will receive a prize of $250 and publication on the Lake Superior Writers website. For complete guidelines, go to https://lakesuperiorwriters.org/2015-writing-contest/


Sheila PackaMETAMORPHOSIS – A 4-week workshop for poets and fiction writers begins February

4 Thursday evening sessions
Feb. 5, 12, 19 & 26, 2015
6:30-8:30 pm (Please arrive at 6:15 pm on Feb. 5)
Marshall Professional Building Conference Room
1301 Rice Lake Road, Duluth

Facilitated by SHEILA PACKA

Poet Sheila Packa will help participants explore ways to build chapbooks or manuscripts in a structured and encouraging environment. If you have some poems or short stories, then this is the place to do something with them! Over four weeks, participants will do guided writing exercises to create sequences, strengthen the individual writing voice, find ways to arrange poems or stories, and discover the “meta-” force of your own writing.


Experienced workshop leader Sheila Packa has four books of poems, edited an anthology of Lake Superior writers, and created narrative performances.  She has received Loft McKnight Fellowships (in poetry and prose), a Loft Mentor Award, and ARAC Fellowships. In 2013, she participated in the Creative Community Leadership Institute through Intermedia Arts.   For more information, see www.sheilapacka.com


Current LSW Members – $65
Nonmembers – $100 (includes one-year membership in LSW)
Students (high school, full-time college) – $50
Participants limited to 15.

Preregistration required; please contact Gail Trowbridge at gailwill@chartermi.net or 218-728-1354. Full payment required on evening of Feb. 5 class.



Members of a creative writing class LSW member Alice Marks taught for Community Ed last fall would like to start a writing group on the west side of Duluth. Please give her a call at 651-218-5010 if you’re interested in participating.


SEND IN YOUR NEMBA NOMINATIONS – Deadline: Friday, Jan. 16

UMD’s Kathryn A. Martin Library and Friends of the Duluth Public Library are seeking nominations for the 27th annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA). Books (including e-books) may be nominated in one of six categories. The NEMBA awards recognize books that are substantially representative of northeastern Minnesota in the areas of history, culture, heritage, or lifestyle. Nominated books must have been originally released in 2014. To nominate a book, visit the NEMBA website, complete a nomination form at http://www.d.umn.edu/lib/nemba/2014/27thnomform.htm, and send it along with a $25 nonrefundable entry fee and one copy of the nominated title to UMD Kathryn A. Martin Library, Administration Office, 416 Library Drive, Duluth, MN 55812. For MORE information, call 218-726-6843 or email libnemba@d.umn.edu. Deadline for entry: January 16, 2015



Jan. 9 (Fri) 7-11 pm. Opening exhibit at Prøve Gallery, 21 North Lake Ave., Duluth of “Vestiges: A dialogue around the disappearance of print,” which is the topic of PRØOF Magazine Issue IV. Readings by Brian Beatty and Sheila Packa. For more information, visit http://www.provegallery.com/exhibits/brianbeatty

Jan. 10 (Sat) 3-5 pm. Free writing workshop at Prøve Gallery, 21 North Lake Ave., Duluth with Brian Beatty. For more information, visit http://www.provegallery.com/exhibits/brianbeatty

Jan 15 (Thu) 7-9 pm – Spoken Word Open Mic at Beaner’s Central. Featured Guest Shelia Packa. Hosted by Tina Higgins Wussow. All genres welcome. Half-priced wine, trivia, and prizes.

Feb 14 (Sat) 7:30 pm – Join James Brakken at the 2nd Annual Valentine’s Day Variety Show at Hayward’s Park Theater. Regionally inspired string band music by Brave Cowboy, two short plays by the Hayward H.S. Drama Club. Humor and readings from Brakken’s latest book, The Moose & Wilber P. Dilby and 32 more odd-but-true tales from the north woods. All ages. Info at BadgerValley.com or 715-798-3169. This special, fun-filled evening show will help James provide free large print books to senior care centers across the north.


KUDOS – News about our members

In December, Jim Brakken won the Wisconsin Writers Association’s Jade Ring Award for his creative non-fiction piece “Dale.” It will be included in his next book, a collection of 33 fact-based short stories from northern Wisconsin. Jim also won honorable mention for his piece “Opening Day.” He received a jade ring, a tradition started when J. L. Kraft of Kraft Foods, designed the original rings in 1949.

Linda LeGarde Grover’s novel The Road Back to Sweetgrass was selected for the St. Paul Friends of the Library Fireside Reading Series. Linda will read at the Hamline Midway Library on Feb. 25 (Wed) at 7 pm. To learn more about the series, visit http://thefriends.org/events/ongoing-series/fireside/

Mark Munger will be at Heikinpäivä (mid-winter festival) at Finlandia University in Hancock, MI on Jan. 31. Mark will sign copies of his two Finnish American historical novels, Suomalaiset and Sukulaiaset, at North Winds Bookstore on the Finlandia campus from 10 am-4 pm. He will also be reading from and discussing the books at the Finnish American Historical Center located next to the bookstore from 2 pm-3 pm. Both events are free and open to the public.

Roslyn Nelson announces the publication of her book Snow on Fire: Poetry & Notes. Snow on Fire offers poetry that refers to the natural world of animals, forest and water as its touchstone. It was written in the midst of the struggle to protect the Penokee Range, a pristine watershed, from destruction by a big-money mining company. Snow on Fire makes her gentle and wild small-town Wisconsin life feel intimately relatable.

Diana Randolph had two drawings and one poem accepted for Ariel Anthology. A reading from the anthology took place on Dec 20. The Ariel Concert and Reading event was inspired by a series of Ariel poems written between 1927 and 1931 by poets and writers including T.S. Eliot and Thomas Hardy. Originally, poems in pamphlet form were published during Advent and spoke of transformation and change. Submissions for the Ariel Anthology surpassed 150; 60 poems and art pieces were chosen.

Sue Sojourner and Cheryl Reitan will speak about the book Thunder of Freedom: Black Leadership and the Transformation of 1960s Mississippi, by Sue [Lorenzi] Sojourner with Cheryl Reitan at the Bloomingdale Public Library in Bloomingdale, IL on Feb 2.



The Great Novel Contest
Deadline Jan. 31

The Columbus Creative Cooperative in Columbus, OH hosts The Great Novel Contest every year. The winner and runner up receive a cash prize, ($1,000 to the winner, $500 to the runner up) and priority consideration from four small to mid-size publishers. This contest provides authors the chance to reach the eyes of publishers immediately, preventing them from getting lost in the pile of manuscripts submitted to publishers daily. Entries will be accepted from January 1st to January 31st. For more information, check out The Great Novel Contest at http://columbuscoop.org/2015_great_novel_contest.php

To follow the contest on Facebook, join the group here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1562204020678319/


Tell your music lover’s story
in the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra’s magazine Northern Sounds

The winner’s story will print in the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra’s lifestyle magazine, Northern Sounds, the spring issue, in the column titled “Euphony.”. The magazine is distributed at DSSO concerts and through other community outlets.

noun: euphony – the quality of being pleasing to the ear, especially through a harmonious combination of words

Guidelines for Spring 2015 edition:

The nonfiction story should meet the following criteria:

  • It relates to music, directly or indirectly
  • The length is 600-650 words
  • It is submitted no later than Feb. 10, 2015
  • It is a digital submission. Send to: tsdunham@centurylink.net
  • It is a Word document attachment; include name and contact information in body of e-mail. Type “Euphony” in the e-mail’s subject line. DO NOT type submitter’s name on the Word document attachment
  • Not adhering to guidelines will eliminate entry

The full color magazine will print in early March, 2015. E-mail verification will be sent in response to all submissions. The winner will be notified in late February. Thank you for applying your creativity to this endeavor. Please send entries, per above specifications to:  tsdunham@centurylink.net



The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City, NE offers 2- to 8-week residencies year-round for writers, visual artists, and music composers. Their next deadline for applications is March 1, 2015. Housing, studio space, $100/week stipend are provided. Approximately 60 residencies are awarded per year. Two deadlines each year, March 1 for the following July through December; or September 1 for the following January through June. $35 application fee. See website for complete information, guidelines and the online application portal: www.KHNCenterfortheArts.org. The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, 801 3rd Corso, Nebraska City, Nebraska 68410. 402-874-9600; info@KHNCenterfortheArts.org


Minnesota Northwoods Writing Conference
June 20-26, 2015
Bemidji State University

Register for the conference at northwoodswriters.org/apply or contact writersconference@bemidjistate.edu

Mark Doty, Distinguished Visiting Writer

Workshops and instructors include:

  • Tayai Jones, Fiction “Beginnings, Middles and Endings”
  • Matt de la Peña, Young Adult Fiction: “Writing ‘Up’ to Young Adults”
  • Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Poetry: “Jump-Starting Your Poems With Wonder”
  • Joni Tevis, Creative Nonfiction: “Nonfiction and the Nature of Memory”
  • David Gessner, Creative Nonfiction: “Writing From Place”

For more details, including prices, scholarships and housing, visit http://www.northwoodswriters.org/


2015 Writing Classes

Spend a week on Madeline Island and write! Visit http://www.madelineartschool.com/ for registration, prices, and housing information

Crafting the True Story: An Exploration of Creative Nonfiction
Instructor: Jacqui Banaszynski – June 1-5

Free-Writing Intensive
Instructor: Douglas Goetsch – June 8-12

Alone Together: Write that Book!
Instructor: Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew – June 15-19

Women’s Memoir
Instructor: Kate Hopper – July 6-10

Inner Journeys: Mindful Travel Writing and Memoir
Instructor: Catherine Watson – July 13-17

How to Plan, Write & Develop a Book: Taking Your Book to Publication
Instructor: Mary Carroll Moore – July 20-24, July 27-31, Sept 21-25


LSW WRITING AND DISCUSSION GROUPS – these groups are open to all writers!

The Writers’ Square Table meets 11:30 am Thursday Jan 22 (third Thursday) at Chester Creek Café, 1902 E. 8th St., Duluth.  All are welcome.

Memoir Group meets on Sunday Jan. 18 (third Sunday) at Chester Creek Café, 1902 E. 8th St., Duluth, 1:30 pm.  All are welcome.  Please email Mara at marakirkhart13@gmail.com to check on the time.

Fiction/Poetry Writing Group will meet 6-8 pm Wed Jan 21 (third Wednesday) at Chester Creek Café, 1902 E. 8th St., Duluth. All are welcome.

Have news to share with Lake Superior Writers members? Send your news to calendar@lakesuperiorwriters.org anytime.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s