May 2020 NorthWords


Remembering Milan

By Vickie Youngquist-Smith


Milan Kovacovic, a member of Lake Superior Writers, passed away on March 6, 2020. I met Milan at a monthly Writers’ Café meeting. Milan’s enthusiasm for being with writers showed in his kindness, his warm smile, and easy laughter. Milan loved to talk about ideas, writing, social issues, education, and even his pickup truck when I wanted advice about trucks.

Milan wrote Ma’s Dictionary: Straddling the Social Class Divide, a beautifully written memoir about his life in France and then the U.S. He wrote lovingly about his primary-school teacher, Madam Mercier, and her importance in shaping his life. He wrote about his movement between the social classes in France and his emigration to the U.S. When I met him, he was translating his book into French.

Milan taught for 44 years at UMD. I never had him for a teacher, but throughout 2019, he took the time to mentor me as a writer. He was kind, patient, and supportive. I only knew Milan for about a year, but his passing leaves a big hole in my heart and my circle of writing friends.

He held a couple of community education classes that I attended. In one class, a former UMD student came just because he wanted to see Milan again. The man, in his 40s, had cherished memories of his former teacher, and I can understand why he felt that way. The last time I saw Milan he said he enjoyed our conversations because I could talk about a lot of different ideas. I told him I felt the same. So like Milan to end a visit with some words to make the people around him feel special.

There is a link to a tribute wall, if anyone wishes to post a message to Milan’s family. Tribute Wall


Literary events in our region – virtual

April 30 (Thurs) – Drawn to Write – Explore the stories behind the story as local author Felicia Schneiderhan sits down with regional authors and illustrators to learn about their inspiration behind the words on the page and the beautiful illustrations accompanying artwork. Learn about the process behind writing books and visit the artists in their studios as they create the images that appear in the final, published illustrated books.

Watch on-air Thursday nights on PBS North. Or stream on WDSE’s YouTube Channel, or on the free PBS Video App.

Emma Bee with author Pamela Fish Carlson and illustrator Tessa Carlson.

About Host Felicia Schneiderhan

Felicia Schneiderhan is an award-winning magazine and fiction writer. Her memoir Newlyweds Afloat details the three years she and her husband Mark lived on their trawler, Mazurka, in downtown Chicago. They now live in Duluth with their three kids, who thrive as readers and outdoor adventurers in Northeast Minnesota.




May 7 (Thurs) 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm – Greater Minnesota Virtual Networking: Grantwriting during the COVID-19 Crisis – Free – Help! We’re in the middle of a crisis and I need to write a grant! Don’t panic, you can do it. Grab your lunch and join this interactive session. Joe Pederson will give a brief overview of successful grantwriting, followed by discussion and sharing of tips and ideas from the group. The networking event will be hosted on Zoom. You will need a computer and a phone as a back-up audio method.
Register for the event on Zoom.

Speaker Information

Joe Pederson is the regional coordinator for the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits’ West Central Minnesota Chapter, based out of Fargo. Through this part time position, Joe provides local activities, initiatives, and connections to the resources MCN provides in the west central region of Minnesota.

Previously, Joe was the executive director for Lakes and Prairies Community Action Partnership from 2000 through 2015. Through this work, Joe managed an $8 million budget and oversaw a wide range of programs with a particular focus on those with low-income and from diverse backgrounds. He was deeply engaged in public policy, community relations, fundraising, managing relationships with public and private partners, and much more. In addition to his work at Lakes and Prairies, Joe was an elected official in Hawley (population 2,083) due east of Fargo-Moorhead, he worked for a number of years for Clay County Social Services, and he has worked closely with various MCN member organizations and partners. Joe holds a B.A. in history and political science from Concordia College in Moorhead.





1000 Words Heard for INARA: a writing competition – Donation deadline May 8, 2020, submission deadline May 22, 2020. Details here:

WritingFlyer - Marlene Wisuri


Báiki Writing Project – Báiki and the Sami Cultural Center of North America are soliciting writings for possible inclusion in an on-line or printed Special Edition of Báiki: The International Sami Journal. Writing should address one of two topics: 1. What Baiki means to you or its influence on your life or Sami identity (generally or personally) 2. My travels (real or imagined) to Sapmi. For more information or questions write Deadline for submissions May 19, 2020.


Ariel Anthology – Submissions are now open for Ariel Anthology 2020: Discovery. All adult Wisconsin poets may submit. Please email for complete guidelines before sending poems. Deadline is July 1.


KUDOS – News about our members

“Copper Yearning”, a collection of poems by Kimberly Blaeser (Holy Cow! Press, 2019), has won the The Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award which is given to the best book of poems published by a Wisconsin-based author in the contest year. For further information, please contact The Council of Wisconsin Writers,


Jan Chronister has a poem in the “My Front Door” series from Silver Birch Press and one in Capsule Stories Isolation Edition. Her poem “Captains of Industry” appeared on Poetry Super Highway’s special Holocaust Remembrance Day issue on April 21. 


AxelHolt_BookCover_final - Paul BunyanJoe Field book release May 1, 2020 – Axel Holt: Axel Holt is Arrowhead Nation’s most notorious bounty hunter. The disgraced former sheriff of the nation’s northernmost state, Superior North, he now lives in exile. That is, until his goddaughter finds his secret hideout. The murder of his goddaughter’s father and a threat to Superior North’s governor by a powerful mafia boss propels Axel out from the shadows. Wielding his legendary axe and superhero combat abilities, Axel faces the fight of his life as he fends off the looming threat to his home state and struggles in his new parental role to his goddaughter. Will he be able to win back the respect of the people he once abandoned before he gets himself turned into Chop Suey? Joe Field’s first book in a superhero series, available on Kindle eBook.


Debbi and Tom King – On April 6, Buzz Feed featured 21 things you can learn at home in this time of COVID19. Number 4 is Morse Code. Debbi and Tom King’s work with Google and Adaptive Design Association, NYC, on modern Morse Code is shown, plus link to free PDF of Tom’s 2000 textbook with Allyn & Bacon, Boston: Modern Morse Code in Rehabilitation and Education: new applications in assistive technology. See link. Debbi & Tom are both members of LSW, WWA board members, and members of St. Croix Writers, Solon Springs, WI.


Alice Mark‘s poem “Easter in the Time of Corona” was published in ISLAND WAVES, sponsored by Texas A&M in Corpus Christi.

88011873_2633064396802227_2721501882466959360_n - Sheila Packa


Sheila Packa has her work in two new publications. Rocked by the Waters: Poems of Motherhood published by Nodin Press and Stone Gathering: The Relevance of the Rural.




Susan Rees “An Unexpected Lesson from Driver’s Ed” has been accepted for Persimmon Tree’s “Love in a Time of Corona No.3” coming out during the week of April 20th.



David Saari recently published his fourth mystery novel Dog Leg Left. The book features Front Cover - David Saarirising-star golfer Samantha Williamson and her more-than-caddy, Terry Hatchett. The story finds Sam and Terry playing golf at Gunflint Hills in Grand Marais, the last place they expected to be in the midst of her rookie LPGA season. A startling discovery in the rough on Gunflint’s par-four, dogleg left seventh hole launches the inseparable duo on another quixotic adventure when Sam is unable to ignore a case the Sheriff considers closed. Investigating on their own, Sam and Terry stumble into a tangled web of smuggling, drugs, and murder, with potentially fatal consequences. The book is set in Grand Marais, Silver Bay, and Baudette, MN, and features many notable Lake Superior locales. See for more information.

KSchaefer_Zone_3_spring_2020 - Katherine Schaefer



Katherine Schaefer’s essay, “Oracle,” is now out in the Spring 2020 issue of Zone 3 literary journal.




The Ink Slinger Writers Group, which meets the second and fourth Thursdays of the academic years has switched to Zoom. We’re having a great, productive time and will continue through May.


Open LSW Writing Groups

May 20 (third Wed) 6:00 pm – Third Wednesday Writers  – Monthly Meeting via Conference Call (if still in quarantine), Miller Hill Mall Perkins if not in quarantine. Open Genre Group – check in starts at 5:45 pm – 623-600-3743 code – 727334. We had a virtual-meeting via conference call on April 15th. The meeting went well, certainly better than no meeting at all!



We at Lake Superior Writers wish all of you safety, good health, and continued writing success. As we practice safe social distancing measures, please continue to share with us any virtual events or writing projects that you are working on in these unprecedented times.