October 2021 NorthWords

Lake Superior Writers

October NorthWords includes:

Superior Shares – Open Mic Night

Held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 6-7 pm.  Upcoming dates:

  • October 13

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 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 writers@lakesuperiorwriters.org. Please indicate if you would like to read.

A Zoom link will be sent out the day of the event.

Author Talk and Workshop

Brian Malloy

Lake Superior Writers welcomes Minnesota author Brian Malloy as he launches his new book, After Francesco.  Join us for a literary evening, as Brian reads from his book, answers questions and conducts a writing workshop.

October 5, 6:00 – 8:30 pm

Fitger’s Brewery Complex

Schedule of events:

  • 6:00 Spirit of the North Theater – After Francesco reading. (15-20 minutes with time for questions)
  • 6:30 – 7:00 Spirit of the North Theater – Break, book signing
  • 7:00 – 8:30 August Fitger Room (adjacent to theater) – Workshop: Working on Your Novel
  • Spend 90 minutes generating raw material for your novel-in-progress. We’ll try our hands at exercises to bring structure to our novel ideas, spend time creating compelling characters, and use sensory imagery to bring our settings to life. Beginners to advanced writers welcome!

The reading and book signing are free and open to the public, with no advance registration required.

  • Copies of After Francesco may be purchased at Fitger’s Bookstore.

The Workshop is $10 for members of Lake Superior Writers and $15 for non-members. You are encouraged to register in advance. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

If you’d like to become a member of Lake Superior Writers, click here to join!

Once you’ve submitted your workshop fee, you’ll receive a payment confirmation from PayPal via email. You’ll also receive a workshop registration confirmation via email within 48 hours.

Member Workshop Fee $10

Non-member Workshop Fee $15

Register and pay on our event page: https://lakesuperiorwriters.org/events/author-talk-and-workshop/

Brian Malloy is the author of The Year of Ice (St. Martin’s Press), Brendan Wolf (St. Martin’s Press), and Twelve Long Months (Scholastic). His new novel, After Francesco (Kensington) is an Oprah Magazine “most anticipated” book of 2021, and a featured Publishers Marketplace Buzz Book for 2021. His books have been a New York Times “new and notable title,” a Booklist Editors’ Choice for best of the year, and a Book Sense pick. He has taught creative writing at Emerson College, Minnesota Correctional Facility – Lino Lakes, Quatrefoil Library, Rainbow Health, and the University of Minnesota.  You can learn more about Brian and his writing career on his website, malloywriter.com.

After Francesco has received a Star rating in Library Journal.

After Francesco is a novel of love, friendship, and surviving the deepest loss, set in New York City and Minneapolis in 1988, at the peak of the AIDS crisis. Two years after his partner, Francesco, died, twenty-eight-year-old Kevin Doyle is attending yet another funeral, yet another loss in their close-knit group. They had all been young, beautiful, and living the best days of their lives, though they didn’t know it. That was before New York City began to feel like a war zone, its horrors somehow invisible, and ignored by the rest of the world. Some people might insist that Francesco is in a better place now, but Kevin definitely isn’t. He spends his days in a mind-numbing job and his evenings drunk in Francesco’s old apartment, surrounded by memories. Francesco made everything look easy, and without him, Kevin struggles to keep going. And then one night, he stops trying. When Kevin awakens in a hospital, he knows it’s time to move back home to Minnesota and figure out how to start living again—without Francesco. Drawing on his experience as part of the AIDS generation, Brian Malloy brings authenticity, insight, sensitivity, and surprising humor to a story that is distinct yet universal in its powerful exploration of heartbreak and recovery, and the ways in which love can defy grief.

Brian Malloy is a fiscal year 2021 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Lake Superior Writers is a 2021 recipient of a Creative Support for Organizations grant from the Minnesota State Arts BoardThis activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Intro to Flash Fiction


Flash fiction stories are very short stories, ranging between one sentence and three pages long. Using published examples, there will be a discussion of the characteristics of flash fiction, including an emphasis on language and imagery as well as a strong use of subtext. Writing exercises will focus on the five primary types of flash fiction: the monologue, the individual scene, the snapshot story, the tale, and the experiment. This workshop is open to writers high school aged and older. All genres and levels of experience are welcome.

Saturday, October 16, 9:00-11:00 am

  • Cost of the event is $20 for members; $30 for non-members. See Registration and payment section below.
  • Registration deadline is October 12.
  • You will receive an email with a Zoom link closer to the event.

Betsy Finesilver Haberl‘s recent fiction has appeared in Jet Fuel ReviewHypertext Review, and Barnstorm Journal. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University, where she is also assistant director of the Summer Writers’ Conference. Teaching credits at Northwestern include the Summer Writers’ Conference and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She is also a curator for Sunday Salon Chicago, one of Chicago’s longest-running literary reading series. She grew up in northeastern Wisconsin, but now lives in Evanston, Illinois, with her family.


Once you’ve submitted your workshop fee, you’ll receive a payment confirmation from PayPal via email. You’ll also receive a workshop registration confirmation via email within 48 hours.

Member Cost $20

Non-member Cost $30

Register and pay on our event page: https://lakesuperiorwriters.org/events/intro-to-flash-fiction/

You can become a member of Lake Superior Writers for as little as $35! Become a member or renew your membership now and your membership will be good until the end of 2022!

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Book Club for Writers

Ever wish you could include a book’s author in your book club discussions?  Now you can!

In this new Book Club for Writers series, we bring the author to the table to talk about craft, what it took to write the book, or life as a writer for 30 minutes.  Then we allow 60 minutes for a Q&A and book discussion.

You do not need to be a member to attend.


We encourage you to support your local independent bookstores, who may have these books in stock or would be happy to order them for you.

Danielle Sosin – The Long-Shining Waters

November 16 – 6:30-8:00 pm by Zoom

Danielle Sosin is the author of The Long-Shining Waters, a novel from Milkweed Editions. The Long-Shining Waters won the Milkweed National Fiction Prize, was chosen as the 2013 One Book South Dakota state read, and in 2016, as Minnesota’s representative for the Great Lakes Reads series. The novel was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, as well as  The Midwest Independent Bookseller’s Choice Award. Her first book, Garden Primitives a collection of short stories, was published by Coffee House Press. Her nonfiction has appeared in BOMB Magazine. Sosin is a recipient of many awards and fellowships. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota.

Frigid. Lethal. Wildly beautiful. Lake Superior is as alluring as it is dangerous. Featuring three stories in three different centuries, all set on the Lake’s shores, this novel illuminates the haunting powers of the greatest of the Great Lakes.

              In 1622, Grey Rabbit—an Ojibwe woman, mother and wife—struggles to understand a dream-life that takes on fearful dimensions. Berit and Gunner, a Norwegian couple, fish the North Shore in 1902. Though the lake anchors Berit’s isolated life, those same waters ultimately test her endurance and spirit. And then in 2000, Nora, a seasoned bar owner, finds her life unraveling and is drawn inexplicably into a journey around the lake. As these narratives unfold with the mesmerizing rhythm of waves, a fourth mysterious voice slowly manifests.

Past Book Club selections:

Linda LeGarde Grover – In the Night of Memory

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

A Lake Superior Writers board member shares:

The “Get Your Dream on Paper: Book Publishing in Today‘s World” webinar a couple of weeks ago was fantastic!  Brainerd publicist/agent Krista Soukup teamed up with client Frank Weber to provide timely and insightful information about publishing. I had just finished reading Frank’s most recent book, Burning Bridges, and had no idea that he would be writing about places that were only miles from where I live in rural Deer River!  There were about 15 of us on the zoom, a great number for lots of questions and relaxed conversation.
I’m so glad that Lake Superior Writers is sponsoring several more webinars on writing in the coming months. I’m still very cautious about in-person events, so I really appreciate the webinars.
I hope to see some more writing friends at the Flash Fiction Workshop on Oct 16th! – Chris Marcotte

Literary events in our region

Oct 7 (Thurs) 6:30 pm – Book launch of Mark Munger’s memoir, Duck and Cover: Things Learned Waiting for the Bomb. Theater of the North at Fitger’s (Duluth, MN) Mayor Don Ness MC’s an evening of music (Bill and Kate Isles), short readings, and discussion surrounding the release of Mark’s 13th book. More information can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/events/422216849219396. Free and open to the public. Published by Cloquet River Press.

In her new book, award-winning Duluth author Linda LeGarde Grover interweaves family and Ojibwe history with stories from Misaabekong (the place of the giants) on Lake Superior. This event is free. The West Theater will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test in the past 72-hours for entry. Masks will also be required. Books will be available for purchase from Zenith Bookstore. Free event.


October 9-10, 2021 (Sat-Sun) – WOW (Women of Words) 11th Annual Writers’ Conference

Fee: $65.
This includes all 10 sessions.

Held via Zoom.

Topics include:
Publishing Possibilities, The Right Social Engagement (social media) at the Right Time, Expand the Revenue Streams of Your Book (marketing), The Confidence to Speak, Best Practices for Public Speaking About Your Book, Outlining or Storyboards, Oh My! Find a Structure That Works for You, It’s a Mystery to Me (mystery writers panel) Your Book is Launched: How to Find YOUR Readers, Want to Write a Memoir or Life Story? and Editing for Authors.
For more details regarding the classes and speakers please visit https://www.womenofwordsconference.com/speakers-2021 Invite a friend to join you. To register go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/164746080963

October 29-30, 2021 – Natural Connections Writers Workshop

Join award-winning author and naturalist Emily Stone for this first-ever writing workshop in an all-virtual format. Using the magic of Zoom and Google Docs, writers of all experience levels will practice using writing to deepen their own and other’s connection to nature. Through a progression of home-based outdoor experiences, instruction, exercises, feedback, and revision, participants will gain confidence in finding the stories in nature. Begin at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, and finish by 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. Register by October 15 to receive pre-course assignments. $100. https://www.cablemuseum.org/event/natural-connections-writing-workshop-master-naturalist-advanced-training/

Thin Air invites all writers, emerging and established alike, to submit to their Spring 2022 issue. Accepted workds include fiction and creative nonfiction up to 3,000 words, up to five poems, and up to five pieces of visual art.

Thin Air publishes and circulates their journal annually. Alongside the print journal, there is the opportunity for publication through online Web Features with no submission fee, as well as a submission fee-less day on the 15th of every month for submissions from Black and Indigenous writers of color. 

Also announced is the second annual The Bird in Your Hands Prize: a contest that centers and celebrates BIPOC voices. This is a no-fee contest accepting poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in any form under 500 words. The winner of the contest will be awarded $1000, published in Thin Air Magazine, and interviewed for Thin Air Online. The winner will also be invited to read the winning entry, all expenses paid for, at the Northern Arizona Book Festival held in April 2022. First and second runners up will also be awarded an honorarium. The deadline for submission is 11:59pm (MST) on Tuesday, December 1 on Submittable. This year’s judge is Raquel Gutiérrez. Gutiérrez is an arts critic/writer, poet and educator.

Is the landscape of your piece one which we’ve never seen before? Send us your most resilient work, something that will survive above 7,000 feet. We’re excited to read it.

Please submit via the Thin Air Magazine Submittable Page

KUDOS – News about our members

Gavin Glen’s poem “My Scent is Your Scent” will be published in an Australian anthology called Pure Slush that will be released in October.

Debra Raye King and Thomas Wayne King, Solon Springs, are authors of OH MY GOSH…. HAVE WE GOT SQUASH! – raps, rhymes & tales from gardens & farms. Their clever 104 page chap book contains 30 original works by Debbi and Tom, with inspiration by Herb E. Vore. It is available on Amazon.

Alice Marks, in partnership with Neal Oskerka, is converting the first of her Corpus Christi Mystery Series book, Missing, into an audio book. There will be additional audio books of the second and third books, Breaks, and RV Murder. The third book is still under production. Once each narration is completed , it will be available through Amazon, along with the books and e-books. Books alone are available through Zenith Bookstore. Alice is finding it very enjoyable to audition narrators and to make a hard choice to find the one who fits the book best. She is enjoying working with narrator, Neal Oskerka.

Liz Minette has recent poetry published in Abbey and Moonstone Art Center’s anthology Protest 2021, Celebrating 100 Thousand Poets for Change.

Holy Cow! Press is pleased to announce the publication of “Kaddish: Before the Holocaust and After,” Poems by Jane Yolen. In her new gathering of sixty poems, award-winning author Jane Yolen gives us a feminist view of Biblical themes and personalities such as Eve, Sarah, David and Goliath. The poems then morph into those about the Holocaust and after. Yolen’s unflinching and stark record of the many death camp horrors serve as reminders of that era’s brutality and the unrelenting suffering visited upon an innocent people. “Knowing means remembrance,” Yolen writes–as each poem becomes a memorial, a teaching, a warning for our and future generations. Her book concludes: “… no Jew truly escapes/that time, those places,/unscarred, unscathed./I have no numbers on my arms,/But I have studied the charts,/the cities, the deaths,/till I know them by heart.” 88 pages, perfectbound, $16.95. Books can be purchased through local bookstores, at amazon.com, or by way of the publisher’s website: www.holycowpress.org

Marie Zhuikov had an article and photos published in Northern Wilds magazine about a canoe trip she took with her husband near Cotton, Minnesota: “Canoeing “Old Blue” Down the Whiteface River. https://northernwilds.com/canoeing-old-blue-down-the-whiteface-river/

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: https://lakesuperiorwriters.org/blog/blog-submission-guidelines/

Our blog currently features A Review of After Francesco by Jennifer Jubenville https://lakesuperiorwriters.org/blog/