Midwest Fiction Writers meets on the second Saturday of every month
Our typical schedule includes:
09:00 - 9:45 - Critique / Craft Session
9:50 - 10:30 - Journey of a Novel ($8-$11)
(If you have previously purchased the JoaN book, we invite you to bring it along and join us as the author takes on their Journey of a Novel.) )))
10:30 - 11:20 - Business Meeting
11:30 - 12:30 - Program
We meet at the Edina Community Center.
June 8 - Room 351
Craft: Speaking for Writers with Joan Estenson
While internet promotion is useful, any writer will have opportunities to promote her writing in person. So how do you get out from behind your computer, face your fear of public speaking and connect with your readers and potential readers?
Joan Estenson will talk about how to use two tools we already use as writers – stories and preparation. The stories, though, are not fiction but stories about yourself that you are willing to share. And the preparation? You wouldn’t throw your first draft out there and tell the world “this is my book,” would you? The real work comes after that first draft is done.
Bring a notebook and come prepared to begin developing your own story to answer each of those questions we know we will get asked as writers, and stories which help readers understand who you are as a writer. No public speaking will be required, but there will be time to share a WIP during the workshop if you’d like.
Joan has been a member of Toastmasters for 18+ years, and has given a session called Writing for Speakers at a Toastmasters event.
JoaN: The Difference A Day Makes by Barbara Longley
Ryan Malloy has lost it all. After his fiancée dies in a tragic accident, he enlists in the army, only to lose his best friend in a roadside bombing. Wracked with guilt and grief, Ryan finds life unbearable—until a job offer from his former commander gives him a glimmer of hope. And in the tiny town of Perfect, Indiana, the man who thought he had nothing left to live for meets the only woman who can tempt him into risking his battered heart one last time...
Paige Langford has it all: wealth, beauty, and ambition. But when her boyfriend’s betrayal leads to the loss of her job and her reputation, she retreats to her brother’s rural Indiana home to regroup. There she meets Ryan Malloy, a gruff, hard-drinking loner whose surly temper can’t hide the haunted misery in his eyes. He is everything Paige never wanted, yet he may be exactly what she needs—if only they can overcome their personal demons to forge a love strong enough to save them both.
Program: Treasuring Your Writing - Betty Liedtke
Betty Liedtke’s program is based on Dream Coaching lessons and practices that have helped thousands of people to achieve dreams in many different area of life, including dreams of writing and publication. The program will be in the form of a mini-coaching session and will emphasize the tools and techniques that help us blast through obstacles that can keep us "stuck" after we hit a wall in our writing.
I always wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I just didn’t realize it until I was pretty much grown up. I started college majoring in med tech, but took less than a year to realize how wrong that was for me. I switched to an English major, added a journalism minor, and I’ve been writing ever since.
In March, 2001, my dream of being a newspaper columnist came true when I started writing “No Place Like Home” (which evolved into “Find Your Buried Treasure”) for the Chanhassen Villager. In June, 2004, I joined Toastmasters because – although I could express myself pretty well in print – I wanted to sound more clear, confident, and convincing when speaking out loud.
Toastmasters opened up in me the desire to become a professional speaker, and that led to a long and often-frustrating quest to find whatever unique and special talents, qualifications, and credentials I had, along with the message I was meant to share with the world. What I eventually discovered was that the gifts we have that are most special and unique are those that don’t feel special to us at all. They’re so much a part of us, and they come so naturally – or they are interwoven into painful experiences or devastating losses we have suffered – that we don’t realize how precious or powerful they are. They’re like buried treasure, lying dormant deep within us and often covered up or disguised as something else. Part of the buried treasure I discovered in myself was the gift of recognizing this treasure in others, and a desire to help them recognize it, value it, use it, and enjoy it!
Potluck and RWA Recap
Attendees are asked to bring a dish to share and while eating, members who attended the 2013 RWA Annual Conference will share stories and experiences.
Craft - Vocabulary-Building Game
September may be time to go back to school, but this game won't be anything like school.
JoaN: Rescue Me by Jody Vitek
Jody will share how the idea for the story came about, to publishing her second release and what she's working on now.
Catherine Mornelli’s life turns upside down after she learns her great-aunt’s bequest has left her nothing but a troubling entanglement—with handsome and caring neighbor Josef Garrison.
Only one thing will bring joy to Josef Garrison’s life—getting back the land his great-grandfather lost in a poker bet. There’s just one troubling obstacle—beautiful, stubborn Catherine Mornelli.
January 12 - Room 334
Due to the weather, the holiday party will be held throughout the MFW meeting. Remember to bring something to share for the potluck and money if you wish to participate in the exciting raffles.
Craft: The Scents of Smell - Liz Selvig
We’re always reminded as writers to remember the five senses when creating our stories. Some are easier than others to incorporate, but one of the most forgotten and yet fun to use senses is that of smell.Come to January’s craft session with Liz Selvig and experience scents and smells hands-on. She’ll talk about:
Your favorite scents and what they say about you/your character
- Memory scents
- Using the sense of smell in our writing
JoaN: Far From Perfect by Barbara Longley
Noah Langford narrowly survived the roadside bombing in Iraq that killed five of his men and took his leg, leaving him haunted by flashbacks and riddled with guilt. When his stepbrother Matt dies in a car accident, the loss feels like the final blow to Noah’s shattered soul. But then he learns about the girlfriend and baby Matt abandoned years earlier, and suddenly Noah has a new mission…
Ceejay Lovejoy was nineteen and pregnant when her boyfriend walked out, disappearing from her life just like her parents did. Since that day, Ceejay has devoted herself to giving her daughter a better life, avoiding any man who could threaten that security—until the day Noah Langford shows up on her doorstep. His gentle spirit has an unexpected effect on Ceejay’s guarded heart, tempting her to take one last chance on love. But when a painful secret comes to light, it threatens to break the fragile bond growing between them…and to destroy a love powerful enough to heal them both.
Barb will share her experiences with Montlake, which have been wonderful. How the book came about, and a little about the next two books in the series.
Program: Tarot for Writers with Corrine Kenner
Corrine Kenner specializes in bringing metaphysical subjects down to earth. She’s written twelve books and edited four anthologies, including Tarot for Writers, Simple Fortunetelling with Tarot Cards, Tarot Journaling, and Crystals for Beginners. One of her books, Tall Dark Stranger: Tarot for Love and Romance, was a COVR Visionary Award finalist, marking it as one of the top three divination books of 2006.
She doesn’t just write about tarot: she also created the Wizards Tarot, the Epicurean Tarot and a forthcoming deck called the Victorian Christmas Tarot. Her work has even been featured in the Encyclopedia of Tarot.
She was born in Minnesota in 1964, and raised on a farm in North Dakota. In her late teens, she lived in Brazil. In her early twenties, she moved to Los Angeles, where she earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from California State University. For the first part of her career she worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and media relations specialist. Now she lives in Minneapolis with her husband, a software developer, and their four daughters.
It's her goal to make tarot and astrology easy, fun, and comfortable for everyone -- whether she’s conducting a reading, teaching a class, or sharing what she knows through her articles and books. She wants to de-mystify the art of astrology and tarot, without taking away from their mystical appeal.
She’s been a keynote speaker at national and international tarot conferences, and she’s taught tarot and astrology in England, Canada, and across the United States. She’s also a frequent guest on talk radio shows, web-based podcasts, and internet forums. Some of her books have been translated for a worldwide audience; they're available in Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, Romanian, and Russian. Here in Minnesota, Metro magazine called her one of the best psychics in the Twin Cities. She’s also been featured in Downtown Minneapolis and CitySouth magazines.
She’s a member of the American Federation of Astrology, the National Council for Geocosmic Research (NCGR), the Minnesota STARS chapter of NCGR, the International Academy of Astrology, the International Society for Astrological Research (ISAR), and the Organization for Professional Astrology. She’s also a certified tarot master.
February 9 - Room 351
Craft: MFW Speakers Bureau - Susan Seyfarth
The MFW Speakers Bureau is getting off the ground! We plan to eventually offer a number of panel discussions and workshops to the general public, and are finally ready to get started. Join Susan Sey on February 9th as we hash out some content and a format for our first panel discussion! The membership has been voting for months on a topic to start with and we’ve narrowed it down to three potentials:
Journey of a Novel, from idea to publication
Keep an eye on the yahoo loop for a final decision on topic, then please consider joining us on February 9th from 9 to 9:45. All are welcome, even if you have no interest in ever being on a panel or speaking in public. We want and value all input, especially from introverts who usually have really good questions that they don’t ask.
JoaN ($11): Finding Home by Lois Greiman
1 broken down mare
2 baby lambs
3 lost teens
And a busted up bronc rider with more balls than brains...
They all add up to trouble in Casie Carmichael’s book. She’s come back to Hope Springs, South Dakota, with only one thing in mind—selling the family’s tumble-down ranch and returning to Sioux Falls and her very practical fiancé. But leaving isn’t as easy as she imagined, not when every bedraggled stray in the territory has a homing beam straight to her barn.
Suddenly, angry parents, hairless goats and a former flame’s new heat aren’t Casie’s most pressing problems. Her own mixed-up heart is at the top of the list, and as she throws herself into making a safe haven for her motley crew, she realizes home is a lot closer than she thought. Program: Michael Bodine
Michael Bodine is a psychic who comes from a family of psychics. His memoir, Growing Up Psychic: From Skeptic To Believer, chronicles the hair-raising and hilarious moments in Michael's life and includes tales of a dangerous ghost friend, growing up with psychics gathering in his mom's kitchen, misadventures in ghost hunting, spirit messages, and possession. He'll talk to MFW about his adventures as a psychic and ghost hunter, his psychic gifts, and how psychic gifts might be portrayed in novels.
March 9 - Room 350
Critique: Barbara Longley
The group will be critiquing the first few pages of Barbara's third book in her Perfect series.
JoaN ($8): Love in the Land of Lakes anthology by MFW members
The following authors scheduled to be on the panel:
Michel Prince - HER STRANGER, Liz Selvig - WHAT'S UP DOCK?, Rosemary Heim - LAKE DREAMS, Susan Sey - UNWRAPPED, Mary Schenten - LAKE SECRETS, Laura Breck - BOBBERS 'N BAIT, Rhonda Brutt - A CUT ABOVE THE REST, Jody Vitek - ROADSIDE LOVE, Kathy Johnson - SNOWBOUND, Ann Hinnenkamp - HOOK, LINE AND STINKER, Joel Skelton - THE BOUNCING BOBBER and Rose Marie Meuwissen - DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT
Program: Elijah J. Shaw of Icon Services Corporation
Elijah J. Shaw is the President and CEO of Icon Services Corporation. Elijah has provided security consultation and staffing to notable long-term celebrity clients including Usher Raymond, Chaka Khan, Naomi Campbell, and 50 Cent. He also provides security and investigative consulting to a number of Fortune 500 companies such as Ford Motor, AT&T and Thrivent Financial.
An industry expert, Mr. Shaw has been consulted for his opinion on bodyguards and security by major news broadcast such as the Today show and Fox News. He has been featured in prestigious publications such as Inc., Portfolio, Entrepreneur and Black Enterprise.
Elijah worked closely with government agencies including the United States Secret Service to handle major events related to the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Mr. Shaw currently serves as the National Director to the North American Bodyguard Association (NABA); an organization which provides screening, oversight and support for professional members of the Executive Protection community.
Mr. Shaw’s 17 year contribution to the security industry has been in applying licensed and trained talent with a focus on professionalism and customer service, to an industry that is increasingly under the magnifying glass since the events of 9/11, and coping with current issues domestically and internationally.
April 13 - Room 351
Craft: Speed Dating - Writer's Style
Come meet some fascinating writers in a unique setting. Are you in need of a mentor? Are you looking for a critique partner or group? Do you want to learn more about a board job? What are you looking for in a writer connection? Come join us for a fun and positive learning experience in Speed Dating - Writer's Style.
Program: The Teens Know Best Group - a panel discussion on YA novels
Teens Know Bes thas been an active and actively engaged book review group that has evolved over the course of the last nine years into a dynamic community of readers, writers, reviewers, program speakers, and even filmmakers! (our first book trailer can be viewed at http://vimeo.com/40908360,). It is a successful collaborative venture between Metropolitan State University and the St. Paul Public Library.
Attendance at our monthly meeting typically averages 20-30 members, where discussion is very lively (a consistent favorite mentioned is the freedom to disagree). The members, approximately 45 at any given time, range from 12 to 18 years old with members often beginning at age 12 and staying relatively consistent in their participation throughout the course of their adolescence. In addition to our monthly meeting teens are expected to read books in our collection, most of them galleys, and submit at least one formal written review every two months.
Teens Know Best is just beginning a two-year commitment as a YALSA Teen’s Top Ten group - one of only sixteen groups across the country who nominate books and select the 25 finalists for YALSA’s annual Teen’s Top Ten award.
May 11 - Room 351
Jo2N: Spirited and Wonder Guy by Naomi Stone
This is a Journey of two Novels. The writing of Spirited intertwines with Wonder Guy an Naomi will be sharing how the two books are strung together.
Program - David Uniowsky
David Uniowsky will make a few brief remarks about the state and future of bookselling, talk a little about the failure of indie bookstores to sell romance literature and then talk about how writers can approach bookstores engaging the audience in a discussion about book events.
Saint Paulite David Unowsky is a 40-year veteran of independent bookselling. He owned and ran Hungry Mind—later known as Ruminator—for 34 years; started the event series at Magers and Quinn, and is now events manager at the new SubText bookstore in Saint Paul. He was president of the Midwest Booksellers Association, a board member of the American Booksellers Association and founding president of the Metro Independent Business Alliance. He received the Kay Sexton award for service to the Minnesota book world in 1993.
Besides his SubText position, he also currently is an adjunct career counselor at Springboard for the Arts and a sales and marketing consultant for the Saint Paul Almanac. David has also been a publisher, writer, and publicist. He does private consulting for writers and publishers. Recently he agented a book for the first time.
Midwest Fiction Writers
Chapter 24 of Romance Writers of America
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