March 2016 NorthWords


LSW Fiction Anthology Contest, “GOING COASTAL!”
Deadline: April 1, 2016

Are you working on your short story entry to enter in our contest? Lake Superior Writers is trying something different for our contest this year. Instead of accepting entries in multiple genres, we are limiting the contest category to FICTION (maximum length 6,500 words). The winning entries will be compiled into an anthology, tentatively titled “Going Coastal!”

The theme is Lake Superior. We are looking for fictional stories set in and around the lake that describe its people, its history, folklore, environment, wildlife, businesses, communities, culture, or whatever moves you about this place that you would like to share with others. Lake Superior should be the main location for the stories, but other locations can be included.

Winners will receive publication in the anthology and several free copies of the book once it is published (tentatively in early winter of 2016). We plan to offer the anthology for sale in local bookstores and gift shops as a fundraiser for Lake Superior Writers.

For complete contest guidelines, please follow this link: Going Coastal Contest Page.


LSW Editing & Mentoring Program

Would you like a writing coach to help you with your writing or does your manuscript need some editing? We’re pleased to announce that the LSW Editing and Mentoring Program has been relaunched, and writers and editors/mentors are being paired up. You can check it out here: If you’re interested in finding an editor or mentor, you can read through our profiles and contact the individual you would like to work with directly. If you are interested in becoming an Editor or Mentor, please email us at


KUDOS – News about our members

James Brakken will launch his latest book, Saving Our Lakes & Streams: 101 Practical Things You Can Do Today, at the Wisconsin Lakes Convention in Stevens Point, Wisconsin March 30 – April 1. He will display his book at the March 12 You Talk, We Listen public listening session at the LCO Casino & Lodge. Brakken, a former Wisconsin Lakes president, will also conduct workshops at the event. His book will be on display at the April 2 Trout Unlimited Fishing Expo at Northland College in Ashland. Details are on his website, Also, his Chief Namakagon trilogy and other books are now available at the Douglas County Historical Society Museum, 1101 John Ave, Superior, the Rittenhouse Inn in Bayfield, and other outlets.

Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux will read from her new middle grade book, The Marvelous Imagination of Katie Addams on Saturday, March 12, 1 pm at the Grand Marais Public Library.

Carol Dunbar’s essay “The Face of Surrender” was published by Great Lakes Review as part of their Narrative Map project.

Terry Falsani won first prize in Poetry for her poem “Year End Giving” in the Gulf Coast Writers Association’s 2016 Writing Contest. The Gulf Coast Writers Association is based in Fort Myers, Florida and is an organization similar to LSW, which offers support, seminars, classes and other venues for writers to participate in readings and workshops.

Elissa Janine Hoole’s upcoming novel The Memory Jar earned starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, who called it, “An intricately crafted story of teen pregnancy helmed by a bold, achingly real protagonist determined to decide her own fate,” and Booklist, who said, “Hoole’s lucid writing respects her readers, and the story and its resolution are both heartbreaking and hopeful.” The Memory Jar releases April 8, and there will be a launch celebration at the Fitger’s Bookstore in mid-April.

Austin Koepp recently signed with Green Ivy Publishing to publish his book, Valhalla Forever. His book will be released in mid April.

Viola LaBounty’s poem,”Unbroken” has been accepted for publication in Fond du Lac Tribal Community Colleges 2016 anthology edition of Thunderbird Review.

Mark Munger is the featured speaker at the Finnish American Cultural Activities programming on March 18th, 2016 at 7 pm at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Mark will talk about and read from his two Finnish flavored historical novels, Suomalaiset and Sukulaiset. More information will be posted on the FACA website: Signed copies of Mark’s books will be available for purchase at the event.

Upcoming Events

Mar 9 (Wed) North Shore Poets and Writers hold their monthly critique night at the Two Harbors Public Library. Contact:

Mar 17 (Thur) 6:30 pm – In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, North Shore Poets and Writers and the Two Harbors Public Library present Celtic Music with Georgeanne Hunter and a short program by John Schifsky on the life and work of Yeats, and the 100th anniversary of the Easter Uprising in Ireland. Music begins at 6:30 at the Two Harbors Public Library.

Mar 17 (Thur) 7-9 pm – Spoken Word Open Mic at Beaner’s Central, Duluth. Hosted by Tina Higgins Wussow. All genres welcome!

Mar 19 (Sat) 9-11:30 am – Story Map and Data Visualization Basics, EcoLibrium3, 2304 W. Superior St., Duluth. Speakers: Cynthia Hagely of MN Sea Grant, and David Hart of Wisconsin Sea Grant, creators of the St. Louis River Estuary Stories and Science mapping; and UMD’s Geospatial Analysis Center staff, including Britta Hardel, the One River Project Assistant who is designing story maps for One River, Many Stories. What it’s about: Everything happens some place — geography is specific to every story. Online story mapping is a common storytelling tool, an interesting way to build content for bloggers, and makes a terrific research or plot outline. Bring your laptop and make your own story map. This hands-on workshop will introduce you to the basics of Esri’s ArcGIS Online. Through a combination of demonstrations and hands-on activities, participants will learn the fundamentals of designing and sharing online maps, preparing data for use, online data sources, and map design. Coffee and donuts from Johnson’s Bakery in Lincoln Park provided. Free and open to the public, but please visit the One River, Many Stories Facebook page to register.

Mar 26 (Sat) 10 – 11:30 am – As part of One River, Many Stories (see below), poet Sheila Packa is offering a poetry workshop at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth; free with RSVP required to Wendy Grethen at

Mar 29 (Tue) 6:30 pm – Best-selling mystery writer Brian Freeman will be appearing at the Barnes & Noble book store in the Miller Hill Mall, Duluth for a book discussion and signing of his latest Jonathan Stride novel Goodbye to the Dead. Here’s a synopsis: “Detective Jonathan Stride’s first wife, Cindy, died of cancer eight years ago, but her ghost hangs over Stride’s relationship with current lover, and fellow detective, Serena Dial. When Serena witnesses a brutal murder outside a Duluth bar, she stumbles onto a case with roots that go all the way back to the last year of Cindy Stride’s life.”

April 27 (Wed) 7-9 pm – As part of One River, Many Stories (see below) KUWS is developing a “Writers Read” event for in the Great Room at Yellowjacket Union, on the campus of UWS.  They are soliciting submissions for any and all stories (fiction and non-fiction), poetry, songs about the St. Louis River, to be recorded for broadcast on Wisconsin Public Radio. More info, and submission guidelines.



“One River, Many Stories” is a journalism, media and storytelling project and resource hub for journalists, educators, and citizens to foster deeper conversations about our community. This UMD Department of Journalism project is funded in part by the Knight Foundation Fund of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.

Wisconsin Public Radio seeks stories about the St. Louis River

Wisconsin Public Radio will feature a public reading in April of people’s stories about the St. Louis River. The event is coordinated in collaboration with the “One River, Many Stories” project. Wisconsin Public Radio will accept submissions in three categories: fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 4. The public reading will be held Wednesday, April 27, from 7 to 9 p.m. at UW-Superior. Visit

St. Louis River watershed’s “One River, Many Stories” offers opportunities for writers

“One River, Many Stories” is a media storytelling project and resource hub for journalists, educators and citizens to tell stories about their community, funded in part by the Knight Foundation Fund of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation. Local and regional news outlets, magazines, web sites, and art and community institutions and venues will participate in this project to produce original content about the St. Louis River watershed — historical, cultural, commercial, geological, recreational, environmental — any subject is fair game! We hope area writers, poets and artists will publish work in local venues, and help us identify publication outlets for citizen storytellers. Contact Judy Budreau at for more info, or visit One River, Many Stories on Facebook


Northwest Wisconsin Writers Conference July 23, 2016 

The St. Croix Writers of Solon Springs, Wisconsin will be hosting the 44th Annual Northwest Wisconsin Writers Conference on July 23, 2016 at the Solon Springs Community Center with events centered around the topic: The Power of the Process–Creativity, Persistence and Promotion. Keynote speaker will be New York Times best-selling author William Kent Krueger. A Minnesota author, he writes the Cork O’Connor mystery series set in Northern Minnesota. His work has won numerous awards including an Edgar for Ordinary Grace.

Sessions will include: Poetry; Marketing for Independent Authors; Pulling Your Readers Emotional Strings; Memoir Writing Roundtable; Edit Like You Mean It; Creativity; and Resources for Writers. There will also be a book fair. That evening there will be an outdoor concert at Lucius Woods Park Performing Arts Center ( Lucius Woods is a lovely park located on the shores of Upper St. Croix Lake. It features wooded trails, a brook, beach, and camping facilities.

You may want to make a weekend of it! Solon Springs is “nature’s playground” with much to offer! For more information, contact Jan Jenson at


Hal Prize Writing and Photography Contest
Deadline May 1

Each year the Peninsula Pulse newspaper in Door County, Wisconsin holds the Hal Prize writing and photography contest. Categories include fiction, nonfiction and poetry, as well as photography. Benefits include publication with a readership of more than 17,000, cash awards for first place winners, a week stay at Write On, Door County, and other prizes. An online version of the 2015 Hal Prize publication can be found here: The Hal Prize is held in the spirit of the late Hal Grutzmacher, a professor and Door County bookstore owner. Go to for complete guidelines. For questions email


LSW seeks facilitators for First Sunday Amazing Grace Prose Open Mic

Last winter and spring, LSW members facilitated an open mic at Amazing Grace in Duluth’s Canal Park on the first Sunday of each month. People were invited to gather at 6 pm, order dinner/snack and sign up for the reading, which began at 6:30. The program ended last summer, but we’d love to see it revived. This volunteer opportunity asks you to commit to being at the open mic each month, sign up writers to read, and make a short introduction before the reading starts. One of our members has volunteered to facilitate starting in May, but we’re looking for a volunteer or a couple of volunteers to facilitate this winter. Does this sound like you? Please send an email to if you’re interested.


LSW members dominate the nominations for the 28th Annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards

Wow, TEN of our members have books in nomination for the NEMBA awards this year! Here they are, by category:  FICTION – The Ramblings of a Revenant: An Oral History of Vampires by David Tromblay, Createspace. POETRY – Amethyst and Agate: Poems of Lake Superior, Holy Cow! Press; Chester Creek Ravine by Bart Sutter, Nodin Press; What Thread? by Francine Sterle, Red Dragonfly Press; Yoik by Jim Johnson, Red Dragonfly Press; Home Studies by Julie Gard, New Rivers Press. MEMOIR – Leave ‘er Lay by Cathy LaForge Tonkin, Latour Press; The Emancipation of a Buried Man by Eddy Gilmore, Wandering Man Press. CHILDREN’S LITERATURE – Enchantment Lake: A Northwoods Mystery by Margi Preus, University of Minnesota Press. ART/PHOTOGRAPHY – Portrait of an Artist: Paintings by Sarah M. Brokke, Holy Cow! Press.

The 28th annual NEMBA will be presented on Thursday, May 26 at the Kirby Ballroom on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus.  The celebration will feature a talk by Michael Fedo, author of Zenith City: Stories from Duluth and The Lynchings in Duluth. It also includes a book fair and refreshments. The event is presented by the UMD Library and Friends of the Duluth Public Library and in collaboration with Lake Superior Writers.


St. Croix Writers Group in Solon Springs seeking new members

LSW member Viola LaBounty reports that St Croix Writers Group in Solon Springs is open to new people. They meet every Tuesday morning 9:30-11:30. All genres; time to read & option for critique or not. St. Croix Writers Group member Viola says “It’s a good supportive group for people of all levels in their writing journey.”


LSW Open Writing Groups

Mar 16 (Wed) 6-8 pm – The 3rd Wednesday Writers Group will meet at the Lake Superior Writers office in its new location in downtown Duluth. We’re meeting in the Duluth Sister Cities office, 301 W. 1st Street (the Board of Trade Building), Suite 308.

March 16 (Thur) 11 am  – The Writer’s Square Table will meet at the Sami Center of North America (4915 E. Superior Street–enter from Pitt St.) Suite 205. The topic: Writing satisfying endings. All are welcome to this group, which always has lively discussions.

March 20 (Sun) 1:30 pm – The Memoir Group will meet at Mara Hart’s home: 205 W. Kent Road. Call or e-mail Mara for further information (218:728-1253; All are welcome, whether you’re writing memoir or another genre.

Mar 10 & Mar 24 10 am to noon – The Ink Slingers meet the second and fourth Thursdays of each month from 10 am until noon. This is a vibrant, fun-loving bunch of writers of mixed ages who improve writing skills through critiquing each other and through a short lesson on varied writing topics led by the leader. Writers have a choice of writing from a prompt (last time it was what was a saying from the wrapper of dove chocolate heart distributed at the previous meeting) or reading from something else the writer is working on, which has included a sci-fi novel, a book on neurological conditions to be read by youth, poems and short stories. All are working on entries for the LWS Going Coastal contest. The group meets at the home of Alice Marks on West Skyline Ave, near Piedmont Ave. We welcome “morning people” and will keep membership open until we run out of chairs! For more information contact Alice at