May 2017 NorthWords

Hobnob with the Literati of northern Wisconsin and northeastern Minnesota!

Literary Celebration & Contest Reading
Sunday, May 21 3-5 pm
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth
835 W. College St. Duluth

The gathering will include:

A KEYNOTE by LSW member Mark Munger, author of 7 novels including his latest Boomtown, a courtroom drama set in Ely. Mark is a District Court Judge in northeastern Minnesota
READINGS by winners of the 2017 LSW Writing Contest – Rivers: Mapped and Unmapped

The event is free for LSW members and their guests (but donations gratefully accepted). We’ll have a membership table in case you want to renew or join LSW.

Please RSVP by May 18 to


Lake Superior Writers has announced the names of the winners and honorable mentions for the 2017 LSW Writing Contest “Rivers: Mapped and Unmapped.” Categories included:  Poetry, Short-Short Story (up to 500 words), Short Story (1,500-5,000 words), and Creative Nonfiction (1,500-5,000 words).

Contest Winners

The winner in each category will receive $250, read from their winning entry at the LSW Member Event and Contest Reading on May 21, and be published on our website.

CREATIVE NONFICTION:  “Minding the River” by Yvonne Rutford (Duluth, MN)
POETRY:  “RIVER – A Haibun” by Shelley Getten (Two Harbors, MN)
SHORT STORY:  “Lone River Woman” by Naomi Musch (South Range, WI)
SHORT-SHORT STORY:  “Undercurrents” by William Tecku (Gordon, WI)

Honorable Mentions

CREATIVE NONFICTION:  “Summer Mode” by Melissa Hepokoski (Duluth, MN) and “Markin’ on the Twine” by Kent Otto Stever (Lakeville, MN)
POETRY:  “Shit Creek” by Paul Peterson (Superior, WI)
SHORT STORY:  “Catharsis” by Phil Fitzpatrick (Duluth, MN)
SHORT-SHORT STORY:  “Farm Flow” by Terry Spangler Dunham (Duluth, MN) and “Moonlight Rendezvous” by Theresa Jarvela (Brainerd, MN)

Congratulations to our winners and honorable mentions, and thank you to everyone who entered.

Thank you so much to our panel of judges…

CREATIVE NONFICTION: Justin Powers and Felicia Schneiderhan
POETRY: Cal Benson and Julie Gard
SHORT STORY: Gail Henderson and Marty Sozansky
SHORT-SHORT STORY: Carol Butler and Marie Zhuikov

…and THANK YOU to Maddie Cohen, this year’s contest coordinator!

LSW celebrates publication of “Going Coastal” anthology

Pictured are six of the seven authors who read from their stories in “Going Coastal” on April 29. From left, Evan Sasman, Maxwell Reagan, James Brakken, Judy Budreau, Marie Zhuikov and Eric Chandler. Phil Fitzpatrick also read from his story at the event. Photo credit: Ryan Swanson.


On April 29, we gathered at the August Fitger Room in Fitger’s  mall to celebrate the launch of Going Coastal, an anthology of short stories by nine authors from northeastern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin. Just released by North Star Press, the book features winning tales from a 2016 writing contest by LSW. Like the horizon blurs between sky and water, reality and fantasy merge in these tales of human struggle on the edge of one of the world’s largest lakes. Anthology authors are Theresa Allison-Price of Superior; James Brakken of Cable; Evan Sasman of Ashland, Johnna Suihkonen of Lakeville; and Judy Budreau, Eric Chandler, Phil Fitzpatrick, Maxwell Reagan and Marie Zhuikov of Duluth. The authors read excerpts from their stories and we enjoyed appetizers and a cash bar by The Boat Club Restaurant. Thank you so much to the Bookstore at Fitgers for sponsoring and making arrangements for this great event.

Going Coastal is $12.95 (before tax) and can be purchased at The Bookstore at Fitger’s and online through North Star Press (follow this link).

 2​9​th Annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA)
Thursday, May 18
5 pm – Book fair, refreshments, cash bar
6:30 pm – Guest speaker & awards presentation
Kirby Ballroom, UMD campus

​​Join us for the 29th annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA) at a public celebration. ​Prizes will be awarded in six categories:​​ Nonfiction, Fiction, Art, Photography, Children’s Literature, Poetry and Memoir.

Nature writer Larry Weber is the guest speaker. He is a retired teacher of 40 years, the last 30 of those years Marshall School, Duluth. After retirement from the classroom, he continued to teach at the University for Seniors at UMD. Larry Weber is a regular speaker at state parks and nature centers and is one of the instructors in the Minnesota Naturalist Program. He has produced weekly nature programs on KUMD for more than 20 years, and on WTIP for about 10 years. Larry Weber is the author of 14 books, including Butterflies of the North Woods, Spiders of the North Woods, Fascinating Fungi of the North Woods, Backyard Almanac, Minnesota Phenology, Webwood: Seasons of Life in the North Woods and In a Patch of Goldenrod.

NEMBA was established in 1988 to recognize books that substantially represent northeastern Minnesota in the areas of history, culture, heritage, or lifestyle. The 29th annual NEMBA will honor books published in 2016.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Gail Trygstad at 218-726-7889. Presented by the UMD Kathryn A. Martin Library and Friends of the Duluth Public Library, with generous support from Lake Superior Magazine. Lake Superior Writers is a sponsor of NEMBA.

“Write On” Writing Class
Instructor: Serenity Schoonover
Weds, June 14 – July 26 (no class July 5)
6-7 pm
Ordean East Middle School

Do you journal? Or maybe you write poetry? Perhaps you have been thinking about starting a memoir? Maybe you aspire to write, or write more. Whatever your inclination, please join us in safe and supportive dialogue on the craft of writing. Led by freelance writer and teacher, Serenity Schoonover, this group will discuss and share writing samples, with each member sure to receive enthusiastic and constructive feedback.

To register, call 218-336-8760, ext. 1, or email Julie Gandt at

Upcoming Events

May 5 (TODAY) 3:40 pm – Gary Boelhower reads from his new book of poetry Naming Rites at the School of Arts and Letters Colloquium, The College of St. Scholastica, 1100 Kenwood Ave, Duluth, Tower Hall, Room 4119.

May 16 (Tues) 7 pm – IF BEES ARE FEW:  A Poetry Event for the Bees, Quaker Friends Meeting House, 1802 East 1st Street, Duluth. Join us for a poetry reading from If Bees are Few: A Hive of Bee Poems, edited by James P. Lenfestey (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) will highlight a hive of bee activities. Poetry readers include James Lenfestey from Minneapolis, Duluth Poet Laureate Ellie Schoenfeld, Connie Wanek, and Bart Sutter. In addition, Catherine Winter, a master gardener and former beekeeper, will talk about landscaping and gardening for pollinators. K & D’s Bees in Oliver, Wisconsin will offer honey samples and jars of honey for sale. Free and open to the public. Refreshments and books for sale. Co-sponsored by Agate Magazine and Holy Cow! Press.

May 18 (Thurs) 7-9 pm – Spoken Word Open Mic at Beaner’s Central, 324 N. Central Avenue, Duluth – Featuring poet and Superior High School student Sunmi Famule. Show up to sign up! Trivia, prizes, and half priced wine.

Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Solon Springs, Wisconsin.

May 20 (Sat) 10 am – 2 pm – Art & Craft Celebration includes poetry reading and chance to meet and discuss writing with the St. Croix Writers of Solon Springs at Our Saviors Lutheran Church, 11405 S 1st St., Solon Springs, WI. St. Croix Writers will be displaying and discussing their writing at this event, including poetry readings by Charles Haislet. This is just one of many displays by an array of talented local artists, crafters, photographers, writers, woodworkers, quilters, musicians and much more! This is not a sale. It is an opportunity to connect with others and learn about their work and various hobbies you may wish to pursue. Free admission and free lunch, courtesy of a Lutheran Thrivent Action Grant. A goodwill offering will help support Vacation Bible School. Sponsored by Our Saviors Lutheran Church and the RAV’N Arts Group.

May 27 (Sat) 2 pm – As part of the Duluth Dylan Fest, LSW member Phil Fitzpatrick will present his lecture “Roots and Echoes from the North Country” (with slides and music clips) at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum. Phil presented his lecture last September at the Duluth Public Library, and the “East Coast Version” will be presented in Cambridge, MA at Fitzpatrick’s 50th college reunion. You can access the entire schedule for the Duluth Dylan Fest at

June 10 (Sat) 7:30 pm – Spirit Lake Poetry Series reading in the Prøve Gallery features Northern Minnesota poet Francine Sterle, author of What Thread? (Red Dragonfly Press, 2015), winner of the David Martinson—Meadowhawk Prize; Nude in Winter (Tupelo Press, 2007); Every Bird is One Bird (Tupelo Press, 2001), winner of the Editor’s Prize; and The White Bridge (Poetry Harbor, 1999). Her poems have appeared in such journals as Ploughshares, the North American Review, Poetry International, and Nimrod, and her poems have been anthologized in Written on Water, Letters to the World, To Sing Along the Way,The Cancer Poetry Project, and 33 Minnesota Poets. Sterle’s awards include ten Pushcart Prize nominations, a Los Angeles Book of the Year nomination, a Loft-McKnight Foundation Award, a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, and a Lake Superior Contemporary Writers Award.

KUDOS – News about our members

J. A. Bernstein’s first story collection, STICK-LIGHT, was shortlisted for the Beverly Prize and is forthcoming from Eyewear Editions. Other stories and essays of his have appeared or are forthcoming in Chiron Review, Lake Effect, Joyland, Chariton Review, Birmingham Arts Journal, Euphony, REAL: Regarding Arts & Letters, States of the Union, FORTH Magazine, and Long Story, Short.

Judy Budreau’s poem “Eating Chocolate with My Mother” will be published in Volume 26 of Talking Stick, a collection of prose and poetry by writers with a connection to Minnesota. Books will be available for sale later this year at the web site of Jackpine Writers’ Bloc of Park Rapids/Menagha, MN ( and, and several northern Minnesota book stores.

 Nancy Lanthier Carroll has had the poem “Love Leaves Quietly” published in Crosswinds Poetry Journal (Vol. II – 2017).

Carol Dunbar’s short story “The Red Coat” will be published in Talking Stick (Vol. 26). Talking Stick, a publication of the Jackpine Writers’ Bloc of Park Rapids/Menahga MN, is expected to be out August with a book release party in September. Books will be available for sale later this year at the Jackpine Writers’ Bloc website at,, and several northern MN bookstores.

Laura Hansen’s poetry collection Déjà Vu will be published by Finishing Line Press this summer. In her review, Joyce Sutphen, Minnesota Poet Laureate, writes, “Laura Hansen’s wonderful new collection covers a lot of territory for a chapbook, from honeybees and hummingbirds to forest fires in Canada and cold-blooded murders in her home town. These are generous and mature poems, honest assessments of relationships with one’s self and others.” Laura Hansen is a regular contributor to regional magazines and literary journals and has self-published three chapbooks. Her poetry has been featured on Lakeland Public Television, Northern Community Radio and NPR. Her poetry appears in several anthologies including Fog and Woodsmoke (Lost Hills Books) and The Heart of All That Is (Holy Cow Press). Orders for Déjà vu are being taken now at

Midnight River by Laura Hansen was named a finalist in the 27th Annual Midwest Book Awards in the poetry category.

 Naomi Musch has signed a contract with Desert Breeze Publishing for two new novels in a series set primarily in northern Wisconsin before, during, and after World War I. The series titled Echoes of the Heart begins with Book One, The Deepest Sigh with a release date of August 2017. Book Two, The Softest Breath will release in May 2018. Naomi is a member of the Upper St. Croix Writers in Solon Springs, Wisconsin. As we remember this WWI 2017 centennial, Naomi invites readers to find out more about the series at or connect with her on Facebook: Naomi Musch – Author or Twitter @NMusch

Margi Preus displays the Premio ITAL Libro di Montagna award she received for her novel Shadow on the Mountain in Trento, Italy on May 2, 2017.

The Italian translation of Shadow on the Mountain (Il Segreto di Espen) by Margi Preus won the Premio ITAL Libro di Montagna award in Trento Italy May 2nd. [photo]

In the May issue of Northern Wilds,  Kelsey Roseth wrote about the Organic Consumers Association based in Finland, Minnesota and their views on how to not only stop, but reverse, climate change. Kelsey also wrote a piece for Northern Wilds about acclaimed conservationist Dave Zentner, and his thoughts on how to encourage the next generation to protect Minnesota’s water resources.

Marlene Wisuri announces that special Issue #1 of Báiki: The International Sami Journal featuring Imago Mundi – The Art of Humanity international art project is now available at the Sami Cultural Center, 4915 East Superior St. #205, Duluth. For more information call 218-525-4757 or email The publication includes art work and writings by artists of the North American Sami Community including several people from the Duluth-Superior area.

LSW Open Writing Groups

May 17 (3rd Wed) 6 pm – Third Wednesday Writing Group meets on the 3rd floor of the Board of Trade Building, 301 West First Street. All genres are welcome.   Questions? Contact Rodney at

May 18 (3rd Thur), 11 a.m. Writers’ Square Table. Place: Sami Center, 4915 E. Superior Street, Ste# 205. Enter from Pitt Street. All are welcome.

May 20 (Sat) 1:30 pm – Memoir Group – We will meet at the home of Mara Hart, 205 W. Kent Road, Duluth. All are welcome.

LSW Mentoring and Editing Program

Would you like a writing coach to help you with your writing or does your manuscript need some editing? Check out the LSW Editing and Mentoring Program where you can pair up with an editor or mentor 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