March 2021 NorthWords

Lake Superior Writers

March 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 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Manuscripts must be original and unpublished, including on personal blogs.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 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

Superior Shares – Open Mic Night

Wednesday, March 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 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

Mar 6 (Sat) 12:00 pm – Noon Moon Water Word Share

Collecting full moon light in a bowl or glass of water is a ritual in many traditions. The subtle energies that combined with the water are used for healing and divining purposes. This Full moon in Virgo, Wolf Moon, Worm Moon, we delve into the lunar influence, our subconscious, and offer our words. Share your poems, stories, in this encouraging and appreciative space.

Mar 7, 14, 21, 28 (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:

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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. for more information. $15 reading fee – make checks payable to: Duluth Dylan Fest. Mail to: 1609 E. 6th St., Duluth, MN 55812

ThinkingFunny21 – April 3, 2021, starting at 9 am Pacific Time. A humor-writing and comedy workshop. Topic areas include sessions with experts in humor-columns & novels, comedic memoirs, stand-up, funny folk music, and how animators plan and execute stories. An agents and business-session ends the day at 4:30-5:30 pm. Earlybirds with a coupon code of “30-off” get a 30% discount off the $100 cost through March 31. The lineup is available at . Questions? Email

Yes. We know how un-literary “optimism” sounds. But after the last year, we think a little dose of “good” is long overdue. To be clear, we aren’t looking for any sickly-sweet submissions. We’ll pass on Chicken Soup/thirty-five pages about the power of a child’s imagination. But we’ll read heartbreak if we get a little redemption. Give us a mystery with some hope. Poetics with ambition. Humor is fine too. Hell, we’ll even take revenge. Revenge is optimistic, right?

We want tense, imaginative, literary-quality writing that doesn’t end with gout/the sun being a dried-out prune. That’s all. Quality writing means original, challenging writing. This is a challenge. We know you’re up for it. As always, wow us. Thrill us. Never bore us. We’re eager to read your best. Deadline 4/15/21.

Hindsight is a collection of stories about 2020, seeking nonfiction stories from around the world that capture what it was like to wake up every day to a new normal — whether that means navigating emergencies as a first responder or tying the knot over Zoom. Hindsight is an independent, one-time publication. Content will be made available in two forms: Some stories will be shared on our website; the very best submissions will be compiled into a print anthology, which will be published in 2021.

Submission fee: None

Length: Up to 2,000 words

Deadline: Rolling

Compensation: Writers whose work is selected for the print anthology will receive a complimentary hard copy of the book, as well as a digital file.

To learn more, visit:

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:

KUDOS – News about our members

Deborah Cooper’s new chapbook In Passing will be released this month from Finishing Line Press. This is Cooper’s seventh collection of poetry and is available at www.finishing line

Jess Koski, winner of the Lake Superior Writer’s 2020 Contest in Fiction and Poetry, will be featured on Intersections on March 28, 2021. Tune in at 7:55 pm on PBS, WDSE Channel 8.

Alice Marks had an article, “An MRI is Preferable to Insurrection,” published in the Winter edition Persimmon Tree Online .Magazine.

Lou Zywicki Prudhomme will have a story, “A Puppy Named Joy” in Chicken Soup for the Soul:  My Happy, Hilarious Dog. The book will come out in September.

Victoria Lynn Smith‘s flash fiction story “Domestic Duplicity” was published by Better Than Starbucks on their online journal and in their print journal in February. Her story can be read at “Domestic Duplicity” was first published on the Lake Superior Writers website with other contest winners for 2020.

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: