March 2020 NorthWords


A celebration of uncertainty

Lake Superior Writers 2020 Writing Contest

Call for Submissions

Contest JPEGLake Superior Writers is accepting entries in multiple genres for our annual writing contest. Categories include: Poetry (up to 3 poems), Short-Short Fiction (1 or 2 submissions of up to 500 words), Short Fiction (a single submission of 1,500-5,000 words), and Creative Nonfiction (a single submission of 1,500-5,000 words). One winner in each category will receive a prize of $250 and publication on the Lake Superior Writers website.

The theme is “Undecided.”

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 choices or the profound struggles that shape the world or anything in between.

DEADLINE: April 3, 2020. Winners will be notified by May 4, 2020. The contest is FREE to members of Lake Superior Writers.

READING AT THE 2020 ANNUAL MEETING: Winners will be asked to read an excerpt from their work at the Lake Superior Writers Annual Meeting in May. If you have questions, please contact Brooks Johnson at

GUIDELINES: Visit for contest rules and how to submit.

get-published-10-steps-570x380Published! | Panel

Saturday, April 4, 2020

10:30 am – 12:30 pm

Superior Public Library

Publishing your work can seem like a pie-in-the-sky, far-off goal to many writers, but it is possible! Lake Superior Writers will host a panel of five authors from different genres and paths to publishing to discuss getting their book(s) onto bookstores’ and libraries’ shelves!

Lake Superior Writers is thrilled to present such a talented panel of authors! The panel will include poet Jan Chronister, young adult fiction writer Margi Preus, memoir writer Alex Messenger, and fiction novelists Andy Bennett and Adam Herman. See below for their books and bios.


Jan Chronister’s poems have been widely published online and in print journals and anthologies. She has three chapbooks and a full-length poetry collection in print with a second collection in the works. Jan currently serves as president of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.

Margi Preus is the author of the Newbery Honor book Heart of a Samurai and other books for young readers, including the Minnesota Book Award winning West of the Moon, and the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award book The Clue in the Trees, part of the Enchantment Lake mystery series. Her books have won multiple awards, landed on the New York Times bestseller list, been honored as ALA/ALSC Notables, selected as an NPR Backseat Book Club pick, chosen for community reads, and translated into many languages.

Alex Messenger is author of The Twenty-Ninth Day, Surviving a Grizzly Attack in the Canadian Tundra. A Duluth, MN author, marketer and photographer, at seventeen, Alex was mauled by a grizzly bear. In the decade afterward, he’s worked as a wilderness guide, marketing specialist, photographer and volunteer search-and-rescue operator. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Men’s Journal, National Parks magazine, Outside Online, and Backpacker magazine.

Andy Bennett is a novelist and senior copywriter based in Duluth, MN. He has an MFA in creative writing from NYU’s Writer’s Workshop in Paris and was a member of The Loft Mentor Series in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He’s the recipient of an ARAC/McKnight Artist Fellowship Grant, a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, and is currently represented by Aragi, Inc in New York City and Anonymous Content in Los Angeles.

Adam Herman is a songwriter for the Americana band The Slamming Doors, author of Limbo, An Odd Novel and a producer for the podcast Twin Port Half Full. He’s currently writing his second novel, Villa Leila. Listen to him on the LSW podcast.

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Writers’ Café

March 14 (Saturday), 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Perk Place, 1336 W Arrowhead Rd, Duluth, MN

Join us at Perk Place for a chance to meet up with other writers and talk about writing. The Writers’ Cafe meets the second Saturday of each month. It’s a great way to meet fellow LSW members, network, and find members for your writing group. Casual, friendly, and fun – join us!


Literary events in our region

Mar 14 (Sat) 7:00 pm – Climate Emergency Poetry – Eighteen poets, including 3 Duluth poet laureates, will offer views of life in the time of climate change. Hear poems of anger, compassion, despair, commitment, community, and love of nature. For at least one evening we can feel the company of others in the shadow of the climate crisis. Music by Woodblind. Free event. For info contact John Herold ( Wussow’s Concert Café, 324 N Central Ave, Duluth, MN.

Mar 22 (Sun) 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Young Poets Speak Out – Please join us for a poetry reading by area high school and college age poets, organized by Duluth Poet Laureate Gary Boelhower. Refreshments available. Free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Duluth Folk School, 1917 W Superior St, Duluth, MN.

margi_launch_2 - Bob DobrowMar 26 (Thurs) 7:00 pm – Margi Preus – A two for one book launch! VILLAGE OF SCOUNDRELS tells the true story of teenagers in WWII France who helped shelter and smuggle to safety over 2,000 Jewish children and teens rescued from French concentration camps. (“Deeply emotional, intense, and thought-provoking,” according to the starred review in Kirkus) In THE LITTLEST VOYAGEUR, Jean Pierre Petit Le Rouge, a red squirrel, stows away in a voyageur canoe bound for Grand Portage. “A spry novel that deftly threads together a nature adventure, history lesson, cautionary environmental tale, and an animal love story,” according to Publishers Weekly’s starred review.

fedoreed2 - Bob DobrowMar 29 (Sun) 2:00 pm – Authors Event to Support CJMM 2020 Commemoration – Two authors who have written powerful works on the Duluth lynchings will be at Zenith Bookstore for a panel discussion. They will be joined by a member of Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial, Inc., who will provide details for the upcoming 2020 Commemoration and Day of Remembrance.

April 2 (Thurs) 5:30 pm – 7:15 pm – Document Spring 2020 Kickoff – Join Gary Boelhower, Duluth Poet Laureate; Matt Kania, plein air painter; Ben Thwaits, Executive Director, Duluth Sister Cities International; Christina Woods, Ex. Dir., DAI; Vernon Northrup, author – visual storyteller; Kyle Gill, University of Minnesota Cloquet Forestry Center; Lisa Angelos, Manager Jay Cooke State Park, and Ryan Hueffmeier; Ex. Dir., Boulder Lake ELC as we Kick-Off OACC’s Document Spring 2020 – environmental storytelling mashing up art, citizen science and environmental research celebrating the arrival of spring through guided nature expeditions and the “SMALL WORLD SUMMIT!” Registration and more information: Zeitgeist Atrium and Teatro, 222 E Superior St, Duluth, MN. 


2020 Minnesota Writing Workshop – This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, March 7, 2020, at the Intercontinental St. Paul Riverfront. In other words, it’s one day full of classes and advice designed to give you the best instruction concerning how to get your writing & books published. We’ll discuss your publishing opportunities today, how to write queries & pitches, how to market yourself and your books, what makes an agent/editor stop reading your manuscript, and more. No matter what you’re writing — fiction or nonfiction — the day’s classes will help point you in the right direction. Writers of all genres are welcome. This event is designed to squeeze as much into one day of learning as possible. You can ask any questions you like during the classes, and get your specific concerns addressed. We will have literary agents onsite to give feedback and take pitches from writers, as well. For more information, visit Minnesota Writing Workshop.

Writing Poems of Peace – March 12 (Thurs) 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – A free workshop on writing poems about peace will be held at the Bayfield Public Library, 37 N. Broad Street. The workshop is part of Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets’ Tree of Peace project. Participants will be encouraged to write poems to be printed on leaves and displayed on “trees” around the state and considered for publication in an anthology. Please pre-register or request more information by emailing Jan Chronister at


Lakefly2020 Lakefly Writing Contests – Categories include Flash Fiction, Short Story, Poetry, and Teen Short Story. These contests are supported in part by a grant from the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation and the Wisconsin Arts Board as well as the Oshkosh Public Library. Wisconsin residents and Lakefly Writers Conference registrants. Deadline March 13, 2020.

Miller Audio Prize – Genres: audio recordings of prose, poetry, documentary, and humor. Prizes: one $1,000 prize for the winner in each category. Open for entries until March 15, 2020. Visit

cabin.fever.renderzvous.2020.op.1Cabin Fever Spring Rendezvous – To be held March 28, 2020 from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm. 1. Presentations: Tom King – Your GPS for Writing Success (general); Naomi Musch – No Flat Stanleys: Creating Characters that Grab Readers (fiction); Sandy Nelson – Writing Our Life Stories (memoir). 2. 5-minute open mic readings. Sign up for open mic readings will be on a first-come, first-serve basis and take place during free registration (8:30 am), so get there early if you’d like to read. All genres welcome, including but not limited to fiction, creative non-fiction, essay, memoir, poetry, and screenplay. The five-minute limit allotted to readers will be strictly adhered to! 3. Coffee, tea and refreshments available. Solon Springs Village Hall (community center) 11523 South Business Highway 53, Solon Springs, WI.

Pete Lovesey/Soho First Crime Novel Contest – The Competition is open to any writer, regardless of nationality, aged 18 or older, who has never been the author of any Published Novel (in any genre), as defined by the guidelines below (except that authors of self-published works may enter, as long as the manuscript submitted is not the self-published work), and is not under contract with a publisher for publication of a novel. Employees, and members of their immediate families living in the same household, of Soho Press (or a parent, subsidiary, or affiliate) are not eligible to enter. Deadline April 1, 2020. Visit

McKnight Theater Artist Fellowship – for mid-career Minnesota-based artists other than playwrights. Deadline April 16.

OACC’s Document Spring – “The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.” ― Wendell Berry. Document Spring embraces our shared connection with the natural world – the individual journey of the research scientist, citizen scientist, photographer, dancer, poet, journalist, painter, and artist. TO AREA WRITERS AND POETS – PLEASE JOIN US Document Spring is guided by a panel of expert phenologists, naturalists, and environmental managers whose skills help participants experience spring’s arrival in selected environments. Educational materials, presentations, and classroom instruction are available. Compilation and Annual Exhibition Data and artwork is compiled digitally and archived from year to year with an annual exhibition of the year’s expeditions. OACC’s Document Spring is a program of environmental storytelling that mashes up the arts, citizen science and environmental research. It provides opportunities for students, community members, artists, environmentalists and scientists to come together to celebrate the arrival of spring. Document Spring fosters environmental stewardship through experiential connection; providing guided nature expeditions, classroom and online instruction, exhibitions, orientations, and an annual environmental storytelling and stewardship summit – connecting people and telling the story of change within the Natural World.

KUDOS – News about our members

Jan Chronister has two poems appearing in Contours: A Literary Landscape published by the Driftless Writing Center in Viroqua, Wisconsin and a poem in the forthcoming issue of Bramble. Her poem “Dichotomy” won a first place in the Highland Park (IL) Poetry Challenge for “Sight.” Three of Jan’s poems will be published in The Thunderbird Review in April.


Open LSW Writing Groups

Mar 11 (Wed) 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Monthly critique group hosted by North Shore Poets and Writers and Two Harbors Public Library. Writers of all genres (and ages 14 and up) are welcome to this monthly gathering, meeting every second Wednesday of the month. Share your writing for gentle critique, in-depth critique, or merely an audience, or just come and listen to stories and poems by local writers. See or contact our Facebook page for more information. This is a free event held monthly at Two Harbors Public Library, 320 Waterfront Dr, Two Harbors, MN.

Mar 15 (third Sun) 1:30 pm – Lake Superior Writers’ Memoir Group meets at the home of facilitator Ray Allard, 210 W Kent St, Duluth, MN. Bring something to read – we are helpful and friendly! Call 218-464-1782 for more information.

Mar 18 (third Wed) 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – The Third Wednesday Writer’s Group, an open genre group for all writing venues (poetry, memoir, long prose, short prose, fiction/nonfiction, etc.), will meet at Perkins restaurant at the Miller Hill Mall, 1302 Miller Trunk Hwy, Duluth, MN. For more information, contact facilitator Rodney Savary, 218-464-7701,