November 2022 NorthWords

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November NorthWords includes:

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Notes from the Board Room

Thankfulness is inextricably woven into the month of November.  This new month reminds me to stop and look around and appreciate the good things that come my way.  In my role as Board Chair for Lake Superior Writers, I can find a lot of ways to be thankful.

This past month we completed our first year as stewards of the Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA).  I am so thankful for the board members who stepped up and agreed to accept responsibility for this program on behalf of LSW.  We had an awesome steering committee made up of LSW members and representatives from the community to recreate the organizational processes to carry out the awards.  And it was an honor to have our work featured in the Duluth News Tribune!

Back in June, the board submitted a proposal to The Depot in hopes of gaining office space there.  While we were not accepted as tenants, that effort still had a positive outcome.  The Depot staff reached out to pursue partnering with us and has offered us the use of their gathering spaces for our events.  The board will begin meeting in their Board Room monthly, and we hope to host upcoming workshops, book club nights and other LSW in-person events there.  I’m so thankful for this silver lining!

It doesn’t take much to find other ways to be thankful.  We have wonderful presenters lined up for the upcoming year, and it feels so good to be able to return to some in-person events.  Networking with other writers is a key component of LSW, and we hope to re-invigorate that goal.

I am thankful to each and every member of LSW, for being part of our writing community, for pitching in to help, for providing feedback after our events and for spreading the word about our organization.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Molly Hoeg

Board Chair

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Lake Superior Writers Events

Virtual Writers’ Café

November 12, 2022 9:30 am to 11 am on Zoom

Registration required. Open to all. Free of cost.

Topic: Commonplace Books and Other Organizing Tools for Writers

If you’re like most writers, you probably have a million notes, scraps of conversation, saved articles, inspiring quotes, research notes and more strewn about your writing space. There’s a way to capture those bits of your writing life, and it’s called a commonplace book, an idea that’s been around since the Renaissance. Writers Café is a casual, fun way to connect with writers at all levels from our region and beyond, and you don’t need to be a member of LSW to participate. If you’d like to join the discussion, register by sending an email to

Mark your calendar for December, January, and February Virtual Writers’ Cafés!

Scene and Description Two-Part Workshop with Will Weaver

November 14 and 21, 2022 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm on Zoom

Registration required by Saturday, November 12 at 6 pm. $10 for Lake Superior Writers members and $20 for non-members.

Makin’ It Real: Description and Fiction

The best writing transports us into a new, particular world. And the vehicle for that is one of the most basic techniques of fiction: Description. But good description. Not too much, not too little. And blended into the ongoing story. Will Weaver will share tips on energizing and managing your descriptive writing, with the goal of making it stand out among the competition.

Don’t Make a Scene! (Actually, Please Do)

Good fiction proceeds scene by scene. Each scene moves the plot forward. If the structure of screenplays and scripts is explicitly organized by numbered scenes, fiction uses scene less obviously. So what is “scene?” It’s an action or incident set in a particular place, and which has its own dramatic shape. A good scene has tension, plus a beginning, middle, and end. Will Weaver will share his methods of writing strong scenes that will power your plot (and reader) forward through the story.

Learn more and register today on the event’s page. Not a Lake Superior Writers member? Become a member for as little as $35 and save on this and future events!

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Literary events

Book Signing: Brian Freeman

November 1, 2022 11 am to 1 pm at Zenith Bookstore, 318 N Central Ave, Duluth

Meet best-selling author and Northland favorite Brian Freeman, who will be at Zenith Bookstore on Tuesday, November 1st, to sign copies of his new thriller The Zero Night.

Book signing: Jennifer Walters

November 5, 2022 11 am to 1 pm at Zenith Bookstore, 318 N Central Ave, Duluth

Meet Northland author Jennifer Walters for a book signing at Zenith Bookstore, on Saturday, Nov. 5, of her latest title The Memories We Keep.

Book Signing: Carol Dunbar for The Net Beneath Us

November 5, 2022 12 pm to 2 pm at The Bookstore at Fitgers, 600 E Superior St, Duluth

Chat with local author Carol Dunbar during this book signing which also happens to be on her birthday! Hailed as “an astonishing debut” by NYT best-selling author Ron Rash, The Net Beneath Us is a lyrical exploration of loss, marriage, parenthood, and self-reliance that vividly describes the wonder and harshness of life off the grid.

Surface Displacements: Book Celebration & Poetry Video Installation

November 6, 2022 3 pm to 6 pm at Nordic Center, 23 Lake Ave, Duluth

Panel: “Confluences: Writing, Composing, and Making Art from (or based on) Art” featuring poet Sheila Packa and artist / composers Sara Pajunen, Wendy Durrwachter, Kathy McTavish, & fiber artist Leslie Hughes. Sometimes an encounter with certain artworks, music, or images of others can open a door and trigger a procession of images, associations, and reveries. This art & poetry installation is a collection of work that reflects such encounters. The audience will be invited to participate by way of postcards (bring your own or pick one up at the event) to write or draw an image, association, or reverie triggered by another’s piece of art. Surface Displacements (Wildwood River Press) is a book of poems that reflects the waterways and people of the North. The photograph on the cover is from Sara Pajunen’s “Mine Songs.” For more info, contact

Author Reading: GennaRose Nethercott’s Thistlefoot

November 8, 2022 6 pm at Kathryn A. Martin Library 416 Library Drive, Duluth

Join us for an evening keynote with the author, GennaRose Nethercott, where she will read from her debut novel, Thistlefoot.  Books will be available for purchase at the event. An enchanted adventure illuminated by Jewish myth and adorned with lyrical prose as tantalizing and sweet as briar berries, Thistlefoot is an immersive modern fantasy saga by a bold new talent. Learn more on the UMD Calendar:

Publication Reading: Sheila Packa

November 9, 2022 5 pm at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, 2101 14th St, Cloquet

FDLTCC is hosting a publication reading for Sheila Packa and her new book, Surface Displacements. In the FDLTCC Library, 4:30 pm meet & great with the reading at 5:00 pm. This event is in person and on Zoom:

Book Launch: Marie Zhuikov presents Meander North

November 17, 2022 7 pm at Zenith Bookstore, 318 N Central Ave, Duluth

Join Duluth author Marie Zhuikov for the launch of her new book Meander North (Nodin Press). The essays in this collection were collected over nine years on Zhuikov’s “Marie’s Meanderings” blog. These quirky essays are arranged by season, and cover a wide range of outdoorsy and community-based reflections, from an insider’s view of Duluth’s Christmas City of the North Parade, to a spring cleaning trip to the local dump and a description of a lawn-mower race. One piece depicts a gleeful summer morning paddleboard on a quiet lake, another takes us on a meditative fall walk on a Hartley Park trail. The book finishes with specific topics including “Brushes with Fame,” where Zhuikov describes close calls and meetings with famous (and not so famous) people, and “Bookish Adventures,” which detail her literary leanings and various incidents that have added spice to book signings for her previous works. Although the topics are diverse, all display Zhuikov’s love for her home state. Meander North is a celebration of Minnesota, its seasons and traditions.

Book Signing: Mark Munger

November 19, 2022 11 am to 1 pm at Zenith Bookstore, 318 N Central Ave, Duluth

Duluth author Mark Munger will be at Zenith Bookstore on Saturday, Nov, 19, signing copies of his books, including his most recent Duck and Cover.

Local Author Event: Kathleen Waldvogel

November 22, 2022 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm at Rice Lake Public Library 2 E Marshall St, Rice Lake

Kathleen will speak about her writing and publishing journey. She is the author of a middle-grade book, two picture books, and has had her work published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Attitude of Gratitude. There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions and answers.

Meet The Authors!

November 26, 2022 11 am to 5 pm at Zenith Bookstore, 318 N Central Ave, Duluth

On Small Business Saturday, Zenith Bookstore will host three local authors, who will be signing copies of their most recent books. 11 am – 1 pm: Sam Zimmerman, artist and author of Following My Spirit Home (Black Bears and Blueberries Publishing).

1-3 pm: Tony Dierckins, author, along with the late Mary C. Norton, of Duluth’s Grand Old Architecture 1870-1940.

3-5 pm: Emily Kilgore, author of the new children’s book The Christmas Book Flood, which is based on the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod.

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Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop presents: So…did you like it? A workshop on writing literary criticism with Michael Sobota

November 10, 2022 at 7 pm on Zoom

An hour-and-a-half workshop will cover the broad spectrum of elements toward successively literary criticism, or writing reviews.

4th Annual Short Short Story Contest to Support Literacy

Fee: $12

Deadline: January 15, 2023

Flash Fiction Contest.  Write a story using 100 words on one of four topics. Grand prize: $200. 6 Other Prizes: $100 including a Youth Prize for writers 14 years and younger.  Publication in an e-magazine. All ages. No geographical restrictions but story must be written in English. The Contest supports Ethos Literacy, a nonprofit providing free reading, writing and ESL tutoring to adults.

Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Annual Poetry Chapbook Contest

Postmark deadline: February 1, 2023

The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets announces its annual Poetry Chapbook Contest. The contest is open to any Wisconsin writer who has published a poetry chapbook during 2022. Prizes are $200, $100 and $50. The postmark deadline is February 1, 2023. The judge is Joe Cottonwood of La Honda, CA. Go to and click on “contests” for full rules and entry form. For questions, contact coordinator Shoshauna Shy at

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KUDOS – News about our members

In “Son of Norway,” Jan Chronister presents a portrait of her father and his life in twenty-five short poems. His story takes us through the Depression and WWII, economic and social changes, and the personal journey of a man growing old. The poems portray a dedicated husband and father whose relationship with his middle child was sometimes strained. Eight years after his death, the poet takes an honest look at the life and love she shared with her father. Copies are available at Dovetail Marketplace and Zenith Books in Duluth or on Amazon.

R.T. Lund’s new book, Who Are You?, a Lake Superior Mystery and Book 1 of a Lake Superior Trilogy was recently released by Little Creek Press and is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and I-Books and through my website (

Tim Moder‘s poems “No Flowers By Request” was in River Mouth Review Oct 1, “Stone Chimney and Piping Plover” were in Lean And Loafe Oct 10 and “101 Shouts and Seven Axis Mundi” were in Ninshar Arts Oct 22

Victoria Lynn Smith’s flash fiction story “Dust Upon the Wind” was published by the Mason Street Review in their fall/winter 2022/2023 issue.

Anne Torrey’s article, “In Remembrance” is being published in Lake Superior Magazine. It’s about the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald from the perspective of a local high schooler.

Paula Zwicke’s essay, “Madam Tracy Lake” was recently published at the Teacher-Powered Schools blog:

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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 Moving from Mess to Message by Dawn M. Johnson