September 2021 NorthWords

Red Leaf on Book

Lake Superior Writers

September NorthWords includes:

Superior Shares – Open Mic Night

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

  • September 8
  • 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 Please indicate if you would like to read.

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

Getting Published

Want to know what it takes to get published? Join us for an informative and entertaining 2-hour virtual workshop with two experts:

Literary Publicist Krista Soukup‘s “Get Your Dream on Paper: Book Publishing in Today’s World,” takes you from first steps to the finer points of marketing once published.

Prize-winning author Frank Weber‘s “The Writing of True Crime Thrillers,” takes readers through his publishing journey, as well as offering a look at his research and writing process. (Prospective attendees should be aware that Weber’s talk includes details of his work as a forensic psychologist dealing with violent crimes.)

Saturday, September 18, 9:00 am to 11:00 am

  • Cost of the event is $5 for members; $15 for non-members.
  • Registration deadline is Sept. 14.
  • You will receive an email with a Zoom link close to the event.

Register and pay on our event page:

Get Your Dream on Paper: Book Publishing in Today’s World

Do you dream of writing a book? Learn about today’s book publishing industry, publishing options, first steps to publishing  and what to expect once your book is published. This workshop will discuss the pro’s and con’s of various publishing options, the do’s and don’ts in publishing and the key marketing elements to prepare for a successful book launch. We will discuss how to find a publisher, pitching a book, target market and author branding. Every author journey is unique, learn proven strategies that will keep you on the right track to a successful author career. As Frank Weber’s agent and publicist, we’ll discuss his unique path to being an award winning author and the key strategies used to grow his author brand.

The Writing of True Crime Thrillers

Frank’s author journey began with a passion to write and a unique perspective. Learn how Frank went from a Forensic Psychologist to an award winning best selling author of five True Crime Thrillers. Frank will discuss his work in forensics and the latest developments and technologies  in the field as well as his own unique journey to publishing. Lean how he continues to engage readers and fans across the country. From interviewing chained inmates in prison, to testifying in cases, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn more about the world of true crime.

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.

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:

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,

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:

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.

Literary events in our region

Sept 8 (Wed) 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm – Poetry Book Club / Book: Diane Seuss: Still Life With Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl – The Poetry Book Club convenes on the second Wednesday of the month at 5:30 pm starting in September 2021, facilitated by Sheila Packa. Each month, our group reads the designated book and meets to discuss the poet’s work. Come join us! We strive for a diverse selection of books and usually consider single works by contemporary poets who have achieved national attention. What makes this poet tick? What makes this book remarkable? The conversation is wide-ranging, thought provoking, and inspiring. Please Direct Message Sheila Packa if you’d like more info and for the link to the Zoom meeting.

Join us at Zenith Bookstore on Tuesday evening, Sept 21st, at 7 pm for the launch of Duluth poet Ryan Vine’s newest collection WARD (Texas Review Press Chapbook Series). Ryan will read from and discuss his work. Signed copies of his book will be available. More at

Zenith Bookstore is thrilled to host William Kent Krueger for a LIVE author event to hear the best-selling Minnesota author discuss his newest novel Lightning Strike.


Bayfield Poetry Trail. August 14–September 12. Twenty-two businesses in the Bayfield area have a poem posted in their windows/doors. Visitors and residents can enjoy reading a variety of poems. Record the 22 poem titles on an entry form (available at the Bayfield Chamber) by September 12 at 4 p.m. for a chance to win a copy of A is for Apostle Islands (A-Z poetry and art). The Poetry Trail is the idea of Lucy Tyrrell, Bayfield Poet Laureate 2020-2021, in collaboration with the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce. For more information: 715-779-3335.

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 Invite a friend to join you. To register go to:

Nonprofit group seeking to provide resources to writers:

KUDOS – News about our members

Molly Brewer Hoeg’s story “Rescuing Spot” was published in the book Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Hilarious, Heroic, Human Dog. The book goes on sale September 7.

Debra Raye King, Solon Springs, is in beta stages with her story collection Grave Digger’s Daughter – growing up rural. Debbi and husband Tom are collaborating on books featuring experiences from years of raising Icelandic wool sheep together. Love in the Time of Sheep, memoir of shepherding days, and Save the Sheep! A Sonja Snowplow and Rocksey Roller Adventure, an illustrated book about sheep stranded in blizzard snow, are in progress. The Kings recently performed many of their original Northland story songs and rhymes at “Music on the Docks” concert on Upper St. Croix Lake for Lucius Woods Performing Arts Center.

Thomas Wayne King’s new collection, Noon at the Nerd Tabletales and essays for the curious, passionate and intense, plus, writing as T. K. Royden, his book 1 in new 3-book novella series, Trash Picker – danger on a tropical beach, are at Tom also received publisher contracts to update two of his academic textbooks for 2022 release: …ADD Human , focusing on Human Factors in engineering and design, and Writing with Lightning – wonder and magic of telegraph codes. Additionally, Tom’s 700-page 2021 release, Red Pump Chronicles, is available online at Amazon, Walmart, Lulu, and in stores.

Christine Lynn Marcotte Finding the right place for a story isn’t always easy.  In fact, I think I submitted and revised Woodland Magic at least a half dozen times since June 2019.  Finally, I decided to submit it to Small Leaf Press, a publisher in the UK that was looking for stories for an anthology.  Within a week, I had an email that Woodland Magic was exactly the kind of story they were looking for!  The In Touch with Nature anthology arrived in the mail this week, and I was delighted! 

Other recently published short stories are Moonlight Reflections inTalking Stick volume 30 and Grandmother’s Hands in Spring Thaw. 

Tim Moder’s poem “Mutuals” was published with Penumbra Online on 08/14/2021.

Victoria Lynn Smith’s short story “Who Do You Think You Are?” was accepted by the Red Cedar Review, an annual journal published by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire-Barron County Campus.

Anne Stewart’s creative nonfiction piece “Footprints” will appear in the September 2021, Vol. 30 issue of Talking Stick, published by Jackpine Writers’ Bloc, Inc.

Marie Zhuikov and Deanna Erickson edited and published “A River of Poems,” a free poetry e-book about rivers. It’s a thin volume with a worldwide span. In 2020, we sent out a call for river poems for The River Talks speaker series, which Wisconsin Sea Grant organizes with the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve. Poets from across the world responded. Twelve were chosen and they read their poems via Zoom during one of the River Talk monthly presentations. (Link: The event was so moving, and the poems so well received, we created a publication to showcase them. “A River of Poems,” is now available as a free download here:

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:

Our blog currently features Victoria Lynn Smith