In the three years that I’ve been involved with Brainerd Writers Alliance while learning the how-tos of writing a novel, I’ve been stunned at the level of great talent I’ve found in Minnesota.  Talented writers abound. Maybe it’s the isolation of winter that opens the creative spirit – create or die from cabin fever. Maybe it’s the natural beauty of our region that inspires the muse. Whatever the spark, our writers are some of the best. And many of you are unknown.

That’s why writing groups across the state hold writing competitions every year, so we can experience your work. You can enter our contest through August 31.

I listened to Erin Hart speak last Saturday at An Open Book event in Wadena. She shared with the audience that her first short story – and only short story – won first prize in the Glimmer Train new fiction writers category. Not only is that a remarkable achievement but she also received an inquiry from an agent wanting to see the first fifty pages of her novel, barely a work in progress at the time. That agent became her agent and remains her agent to this day.

Which leads me to this question: Would winners of the Brainerd Writers Alliance writing contest like to have their work published on our website?

We haven’t done this in the past because we’re so small and do not publish an anthology of regional writers work. It may be unlikely that an agent would find your work published on our small-traffic website. Because we don’t publish on our website, your winning work is then available for first publishing rights should you enter other competitions.

We’d like to hear from you. Your input will be considered at our September planning meeting for 2019.

On another note, Erin Hart will be our fiction category judge and our guest speaker at the Brainerd Writers Alliance Conference and Book Fair this year. She is an enthusiastic speaker and rich with information about her research and writing practice. I can’t wait to hear her speak again.

And, sadly, An Open Book author event will end as of this October. It’s moderator, Jerry Mevissen, is retiring to his new passion for found object sculpture. We’re happy for him, but this will leave a vacancy for celebrated authors to come to our area for talks and book signings.

Keep current on our author talk events:

August 25
Bonnie West will talk about her book, Boyfriends, an anthology of short stories, recently released in paperback! Sage on Laurel, 11:00 to 12:30.


Lakes Area Writers Alliance is a writers group in Brainerd, Minnesota that offers support, encouragement, and critique to members and visitors to their monthly meetings.


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