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Serving all writers since 1948

what you need to know for June 2020 Wisconsin Writers Association

WWA Members and Friends!     The COVID-19 corona virus risk is significant. The WWA is monitoring these risks with our members and the public in mind. As such, WWA encourages members to check on the status of WWA events before planning to attend to ensure that the event or activity has not been canceled due to elevated concerns. If an event is scheduled to take place, WWA encourages you to use your best judgement for your own health and consider the health of other attendees if you have symptoms. WWA will carefully consider the risks posed before canceling an event.  

For further info about COVID19, please see https://www.usa.gov/coronavirus

Hey {Contact_First_Name},

Here are 10 things we thought were worth sharing this month with you!

  1. A Note from WWA President Barry Wightman.
  2. Join us for a WWS Historical Fiction Workshop
  3. Board Meeting
  4. 2020 Jade Ring Contest Ends Soon! Learn More
  5. WWA Coffee Chats and Happy Hour  Online Open Mic
  6. WWA Friends Announcements 
  7. WWA sponsors Novel Book Camp  Learn More
  8. Member Book Reviews
  9. Check our website for opportunities and Contests!
  10. Member News. See what our busy members have been up to!  SEE MORE HERE
  11. Keep up with WWA Every Day! Follow Us on Facebook! Learn where to network with other WI Writers on WWA's Meetup Page!

Editors Note: The WWA NewsBrief is about member accomplishments, writing events, and contests. It is delivered on the 25th of each month by email. I welcome your comments, suggestions, ideas, and yes, complaints.  Please send news bits for the March 2020 issue to bjm.writer@gmail.com by June 20th. Thank you.


Access Links: To access web links inserted in this NewsBrief, click on blue text to jump to the referenced web link.

To download and print a copy of this NewsBrief, CLICK HERE.

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WWA Website News:  Send all requests for website changes, corrections, routine updates, and questions associated with the WWA website to Board Operations Chair, Kymberley Pekrul, kpekrul.editor@gmail.com.

Share your pride in WWA membership and promote the organization at the same time!  Download badges to include in your email signature and other areas where you want to tell the world about your associations. Visit the WWA website to download your badge.

Facebook: Keep up with WWA every day? Follow the WWA Facebook Page  https://www.facebook.com/WIWrite/ – Post your exciting writing news! Stay up with the pulse of what’s trending in today’s shifting marketplace. Network  with other members. Explore, learn, discover, connect, and keep up with authors.

Paid a visit to the  WWA website, yet?  You'll find tons of great information for writers. Check out the "Helpful Articles for Writers" page for a valuable list of  resources from industry experts. 

Website Refresh

We've got a great public
website! Have you
noticed? Check it out at: wiwrite.org

Keep Up With Us


WWA Website

WWA President’s Message
May 20, 2020

"Focus, Barry, focus.”

That’s what my inner self, my daemon, is telling me. And these days, sometimes I’m drifting, gone somewhere else, I’m in need of a nudge.

There’s a lovely little book from way back in 1993, Writing Past Dark, by Bonnie Friedman, all about distraction and other dilemmas of the writer’s life. Fear and distractions? We got ‘em. She wrote:

“Stories hang from the trees, hive under the coffee table, gather like glass on the corners of the roads. To pick them up, one simply needs to focus one’s eye and keep a steady hand. Writing focuses the eye; writing develops the steadiness of one’s hand…we try to render the world precisely on paper…the stories – there they are, warm, buzzing, continually close, prepared to remain invisible forever if one chooses to overlook them, prepared to reveal all their secrets to the observant eye, the hand that continues despite the risks.”

Thanks, I needed that.

Note to self: the 72nd Annual Jade Ring Writing Contest – DEADLINE JUNE 5.This is it – what are you going to submit? https://wiwrite.org/contests

Lots of WWA events coming up, all online. Book to Film and Crafting Story – two great workshops on Wednesday evening May 27. Then on Saturday morning June 13, Writing Historical Fiction – two wonderful workshops. Visit the WWA Events page to register: https://wiwrite.org/events

We just had another WWA Open Mic/Coffee Chat – and there are more coming. Always fun to hear what folks are writing.

We’replanning our annual fall conference, October 3 in Madison. But who knows? We may have to go virtual. Stay tuned. Watch this space. And our Events page: https://wiwrite.org/events and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WIWrite/

and LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/wiswritersassoc

Stay well, keep in touch. Write.


Ready to be a Member of the Board?

WWA, a registered 501(c)3, is managed by a Board of Directors.  Board members focus on policy and the goals of the mission to support Wisconsin writers as they achieve their own writing goals.  If interested, contact Barry Wightman, barrywightman9@gmail.com. Not ready for the board, consider other volunteer opportunities.

Next Board Meeting June 3, 2020; 10:30 am conference call. Members are welcome to join as observers. For more information, contact Kymberley Pekrul, kpekrul.editor@gmail.com. 

WWA Business Membership Available:  Promote your writing-related service business. Just $35 one-year annual membership for individuals who own/operate a business that provides related writing services may join WWA and secure a listing on the Business Member Profile Directory page of the WWA website.

Look for more Coffee Chat and Happy Hour Open Mics soon! Stay tuned! Watch your emails or visit our website. 

Promote and Support Wisconsin Authors!

Order Your Copy of the WWA Creative Wisconsin Anthology Today!

Order online: WWA Shop or by mail: send a $10 check to Kymberley Pekrul, W1347 Pit Road, Mount Calvary, WI 53057-9508 (please include the address to which to send the copy sent.

Writing Quote of the Month:

"You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading and reading is the finest teacher of of how to write."           ~ Annie Proulx

Join us for the Historical Fiction Online Virtual Workshop!

Register here!

LAST CHANCE!! WWA Jade Ring Contest ends June 5th!

Submit your poems (up to three poems per entry,) fiction, and nonfiction work for a chance to win the coveted Jade Ring before June 5!

Meet the judges, review contest rules and enter here!

President Barry Wightman featured on the WRITESCAST Podcast!  

Member Book Reviews!

Enjoy our latest member book reviews, a wondrous story of 14th century China, and a special memoir of a sister dealing with a devastating illness. Thank you again to our dedicated team of book reviewers. If you’re interested in becoming a reviewer or would like to see a review of a WWA member book, please check the guidelines under the Blog-Book Reviews tab at https://wiwrite.org/book-reviews or email me, lisalickel@yahoo.com

Two Book Reviews

The Lacquered Talisman, a novel of 14th century China by Laurie Dennis
Historical fiction, 300 pp
Published by Earnshaw Books Ltc. (Hong Kong), March 1, 2020

Reviewed by: Bill Mathis, http://www.billmathiswriteretc.com

A fascinating and intriguing historical novel of tragedy and fortitude! 5 Stars!

From the poorest of families emerges the filial son; From the worst of times emerges the hero…

Called Fortune as a boy, later called Vessel as a teen Buddhist monk wandering the country side, Zhu Yuanzhang did not appear to be destined for greatness. At least not to my Western mindset. Yet, later he grew up to found China’s Ming Dynasty.

The autumn dew has just turned white,
The moon is the same one shining on my old home.
I have brothers but they are all scattered,
No place remains for me to ask after their fate.

Read the full review here: https://wiwrite.org/book-reviews/8954247

Nancer the Dancer, Myositis and Me, by Judith Gwinn Adrian
Genre:  Biography/Chronic Illness/ Disability, 249 pages
Henschel HAUS Publishing, Inc., 2020

Reviewed by:     Jan Jenson (Janet Kay) www.novelsbyjanetkay.com

It’s all about attitude – equal amounts of optimism and realistic expectations.

That was Nancy Gwinn Dell Nee’s mantra and her secret to successfully coping, later in life, with chronic illness, disability, and eventually a premature death. 

A free spirit with an adventurous streak, her journey in life began as a rebellious wild child of the 1960s. Nancer the Dancer, as she was affectionately called by all who knew and loved her, knew how to dance, how to have fun, how to play pranks and break all the rules. Her love of life and sense of humor were infectious.

Read the full review here: https://wiwrite.org/book-reviews/8893368

Member News:

Got News? Send your member news by the 20th of each month for inclusion in the upcoming month’s WWA NewsBrief issue. Send to the editor, bjm.writer@gmail.com.

   Mary Behan has just published her first novel. A Measured Thread, by Mary Behan. (Laurence Gate Press). Nearing the end of her life, a woman confronts her past when she rediscovers the letters she wrote home to Ireland fifty years ago.
    The paperback is available through the usual outlets including Amazon. However, consider ordering it through your local bookstore. They appreciate your business. The ISBN for the paperback is 978-1-73449-430-3. The e-book is available  through  Amazon Kindle,  SmashwordsBarnes and Noble Nook, Kobo, and Apple Books. The ISBN for the e-book is 978-1-73449-431-0.https://www.covidlit.org/

   Julia Gimbel, My book, “Student, Sailor, Skipper, Survivor - How WWII Transformed the Lives of Ordinary Americans” was published by Orange Hat Publishing on March 3. We had a wonderful book launch at the War Memorial Center in Milwaukee with over 100 people in attendance, including two WWII veterans who I interviewed for the book. 
   Check out the book jacket, synopsis, and reviews on Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/dp/1645381064/ref=nav_timeline_asin?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

   Jan Jenson recently released her new book.Rainy Lake Rendezvous  is an intriguing tale of love, lies, and family secrets - with a supernatural twist -  is the long-awaited sequel to Waters of the Dancing Sky. 
   New York Times bestselling author William Kent Krueger noted "Rainy Lake Rendezvous is a tale that begins with obsession and madness but becomes, in the end, a journey with something quite different in mind. Janet Kay offers a rich tapestry of intrigue, history, Ojibwe lore and cultures, and even of ghosts - set against the stunning backdrop of the border country between Minnesota and Canada. If you're in search of a true taste of the North Country and a diverting tale to take you there, Rainy Lake Rendezvous is the perfect ticket." 
   Genres: Psychological suspense, Wilderness Adventure, Supernatural. For more information, and a Photo Gallery of places where Janet Kay's novels are set, go to http://www.novelsbyjanetkay.com. Her novels are available at bookstores, Amazon.com, and Ingram.

   From the North Woods, Thomas Wayne King reports a new find... a Thursday noon author program from Montana re Gwendolen Haste. Gwenny was Wisconsin author who became NYC-based feminist writer of American West. Montana is recognizing her work in this noon program from Western Hertiage Center.  Gwenny lived for a time in Superior, WI, and visited her sister (maybe half sister?) Angela Haste Favell, my great grandmother, who, in 1886 or so, homesteaded with Thomas Favell at their farm here in Solon Springs, WI...where we now live.  Gwenny's works are archived at Boise State University. Fascinating. Learn more here:  https://www.ywhc.org/event/montana-poetry-grace-stone-coates-and-gwendolen-haste/

   St. Croix Writers audio-only phone teleconferences meet every Tuesday, 9:10-11 am. No charge. Any phone will work. Moderator Debbi King requests you call in at 9:10 - 9:25 am to join. Each reader gets about 7 minutes, time permitting. Dial in at  602.610.2058. Conference code is 405424.  If line is busy, try again. SCW welcomes you.  More information, email Debbi at sunnycovestudio@gmail.com 

Member discount to WWA members for the Saturday Craft & Publishing Workshops at Red Oak Writing Studio. WWA members enjoy a special rate of $45  (a $5 discount!)  For more info, contact Kim@redoakwriting.com, or call 414-881-7276 or visit the website

WWA is a proud sponsor  

Novel-in-Progress Book Camp and Writing Retreat Book Camp & Writing Retreat, two six-day, residential programs focused on the craft of long-form writing, publishing, and networking among new friends (writers all.) It will be held Sunday evening, August 2 -7, 2020. Rooms are still available! The event is hosted by member Dave Rank.

The Book Camp is a hands-on workshop led by published novelists, editors, and literary agents, providing craft classes, one-on-one consultations for your Work-In-Progress, group critiques of your writing, and presentations on writing and publishing. A roster of writers are already lining up to attend, so reserve your spot  by contacting director Dave at davejrank@ameritech.net, as soon as possible.  Visit our website for more details.

Announcements from our WWA Friends:
WWA provides a monthly listing of non-sponsored, non-affiliate opportunities for its membership community. WWA shares this information solely as a service to its members.


Announcements: WWA forges relationships to help us better serve our membership, improve our organization's performance, and engage our professional networks.

WWA Affiliate Announcements:  WWA develops long-lasting partnerships between complementary organizations and businesses where a mutually beneficial relationship serves each organization's interests. WWA will consider proposals to work together or on events and projects but does not guarantee acceptance.

Red Oak Writing offers programs for writers of all levels of ability and experience: Registration is open for Roundtable Critique Groups (online and in person), Craft & Publishing Workshops, and Youth Creative Writing Camps.

Subscribe to Masters Review
Find contests and other writing opportunities. Masters Review offers a quality platform for emerging writers.  Click here for details.


Tied to home is an opportunity to write and enter contests. Here are a few...for more visit our contest page on the WWA website!

Flash Fiction Magazine  pays $40 for stories selected to be in Flash Fiction Magazine anthologies, but does not pay for stories published on their website. They accept fiction stories between 300–1,000 words. Read Flash Fiction Magazine to see the stories they have paid for. The award is $1,000. Visit their website for details.

Regal House Publishing  is currently seeking manuscripts within the genres of literary fiction, contemporary fiction, historical fiction, and memoirs. We only accept poetry submissions (from both debut and previously published poets) through our Terry J. Cox Poetry Award that opens for submissions in November of 2020. We only accept short story submissions via our W.S. Porter Prize, which opens for submissions September 2020.

Fabled Collective: Women of the Woods is a collection about the lore, myths, and legends of women who dwell in the forest. Historically, it’s the witches, artists, and outcasts who make the dark forest their home. Writers can retell a piece of folklore or create something altogether new. They want spooky, eerie, gothic tales, stories with rich, haunting settings that leave out the gore and focus more on a feeling of dread and foreboding. Think dark fantasy or quiet horror.  Deadline: 30 June 2020; Length: 2,000-8,000 words; Pay: $0.01/word

Writers Groups Writing is a solitary endeavor, but we can learn so much from fellow writers, sharing our works, listening to others share theirs improves our writing. Do you know of writers groups in your area that welcome new members? Share them with us, send your information to Barb, bjm.writer@gmail.com.

The Kenosha Writers Guild meets at the beautiful Carthage College on the shores of Lake Michigan. See videos of members and their success and upcoming events at Kenosha Writers Guild

Lake Geneva writing group meets on the third Wednesday of the month from 1-3 pm at the Lake Geneva Public Library. For more information, contact Rachel at rachel.strehlow@lakegeneva.lib.wi.us 

Monthly Poetry Readings First Tuesday of each month at Suzy's Steakhouse in Portage WI; 6:00 - 8:00 pm. The group extends an invitation to Wisconsin Writers to attend or to request an opportunity to be a Featured Poet. The goal for each month is to have one male and one female Featured Poet and time for Open Mic. Contact June Paul at jungpaul@gmail.com to learn about current openings.

Opportunities and Events:

Do you know of an event? Send event news by the 20th of each month for inclusion in the upcoming month’s WWA NewsBrief issue. Send to Barb, bjm.writer@gmail.com.

MotherWell is a blog that features personal essays and “perspective pieces” about all sides of parenting. According to an interview with their editor, they pay $50 per post, though payment is not listed on their website. To learn more, read their submission guidelines.

Mommyish focuses on the realities of parenting. They publish listicles, humor, and clickbait. They are accepting applications for regular bloggers. To apply, contact their editor here.

Romper is a website for millennial moms. They are “looking to a) explore facets of parenthood that may yet be unaddressed by the media, and b) ruminate deeply on The Great British Baking Show.” They accept pitches for essays and reported pieces of 800 to 2,000 words. According to one payment report, they paid $150 for a profile or interview of about 1,000 words. To learn more, refer to this page.

Contemplation and Creativity: A Writers Retreat

Sister Julia Walsh, a freelance writer, serving at the Marywood Spirituality Center in Vilas County, Wisconsin is hosting, with two other writers, a Writer's Retreat July 19-25 at the center. 

Marywood is located just north of Minocqua on Hwy 51 on Trout Lake. We offer on-site programs and retreats in our center and lakeside cabins. We are also available to come to your sites and assist you with you programs at your location. 

This retreat is a chance for you to write away from your daily distractions and in a supportive environment. Plenty of writing time, input from experienced authors, prayer, and opportunities for writing workshops, socials and recreation in the Wisconsin Northwoods will offer the inspiration and energy you need to make progress on the writing project you bring along—or simply get started putting words on the page. 

Fee: $595 for a private room in a shared cabin. Commuters $325. Call 715-385-3750 or email marywood.center@gmail.com to register by July 6. $50 discount if you register and pay in full by June 15. Include $100 deposit with registration. Space is limited. Register early. Scholarships are available. Inquire at registration. 

2020 Retreat Faculty:

Lisa Deam, Ph.D., is an award-winning writer in spiritual formation. She is the author of A World Transformed: Exploring the Spirituality of Medieval Maps and a forthcoming title from Fortress Press (2021). She also manages The Contemplative Writer, a website providing daily soul care to writers.

Kate Parker is Associate Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where she also directs the Institute for Social Justice. She is an active writer at work on her first scholarly book which explores the work of four women translators in eighteenth-century England. 

Julia Walsh is returning to Marywood for this event. She is a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration and part of a new generation of Catholic Sisters. Her writing can be found in National Catholic Reporter/ Global Sisters Report, Living Faith, America, at MessyJesusBusiness.com & elsewhere.

More information about Marywood can be found at www.MarywoodSC.org

Networking Opportunities:

Did you know that WWA is On Meetup? Yep, we’ve been on Meetup since November 2018. What’s Meetup you ask? It’s a new way for Wisconsin Writers to connect with writing groups and events around the state! Connect through Meetup with other writers you know from all over Wisconsin, learn about writing-related events that happen everywhere! WWA now has 210 Meetup members!  Meetup is a great member benefit coordinated by board member Adrienne Hulburt who regularly adds new conferences, events, and interesting writer events and anything else that gets thrown her way onto the WWA Meetup events calendar. Follow the link below to join WWA’s, Meetup Page! https://www.meetup.com/WisconsinWritersAssociation/

Publication Opportunities:

The Masters Review/New Voices – The Masters Review New Voices category is open year-round to any new or emerging author who has not published a work of fiction or narrative nonfiction of novel length. Authors with short story collections are free to submit. They accept simultaneous and multiple submissions but ask that you inform them immediately if your story is accepted elsewhere. They pay New Voices authors $0.10/word up to $200 and do not charge submission fees but are highly selective. To read previously published stories, or to submit a piece of fiction or narrative nonfiction up to 7000 words, please see the New Voices page of their website.

Join the group that supports you throughout Wisconsin!

Become a member here!

You write. Wisconsin writes!
WWA Monthly NewsBrief

NewsBrief Editor Barbara Messick

Please send NewsBrief bits to:  bjm.writer@gmail.com



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2020 WWA NewsBrief Submission Deadline Calendar:

To help WWA Members and our Partner Groups & Organizations schedule submissions for inclusion in the WWA NewsBrief, we’ve put together a handy Issue/Deadline Reference (see below) for the upcoming year. Feel free to print and keep the reference in a convenient place to schedule your news submissions.

Please note that the November and December NewsBrief is combined into one issue. Also, the January NewsBrief has an earlier December submission deadline to allow for timely distribution to members before Christmas week each year.

  • July NewsBrief 2020 - Deadline Saturday, June 20, 2020
  • August NewsBrief 2020 - Deadline Monday, July 20, 2020
  • September NewsBrief 2020 - Deadline Thursday, August 20, 2020
  • October NewsBrief 2020 - Deadline Sunday, September 20, 2020
  • November/December NewsBrief 2020 - Deadline Tuesday, October 20, 2020
  • January NewsBrief 2021 - Deadline Wednesday, December 13, 2020
    Note: earlier deadline for January submissions