BWA meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 10.

Join us! Members, bring work to share for critique. Brainerd Public Library, small meeting room. 10 a.m.

April 8 – BWA Guest speaker, Doug Lewandowski

Doug is the author of “Woman River.” He will be talking about human motivation as it relates to the development of characters in stories. You can learn more about Doug on his website at For this event, we will be meeting in the large meeting room at the Brainerd Public Library.

March meeting – annual Write-in! and more…

Next meeting is March 11. Starting early, at 9:00 for annual WRITE-IN.
Bring something to work on. Meeting at 11:30. Bring your lunch and something to share.
Members only! April’s guest speaker, Doug Lewandoski, on the psychology of characters.
If you haven’t joined, now’s the time. Annual dues only $15.

Jack Pine Writers announce submissions for “Talking Stick” now open

Make sure and read this year’s submission guidelines carefully as they are doing something VERY different this year!!

Dream the Scene

By M E Fuller.

At Saturday’s Brainerd Writers Alliance meeting, one of our members, Bev Abear, shared her notes from a weekend workshop with Sheila O’Connor. The theme of the workshop was “Dream the Scene.” Ms O’Connor shared her thoughts on how to approach the writing of a scene for a novel. Her insights can also be applied to a short story or a work of nonfiction. According to O’Connor, the way to start any writing is in the writer’s imagination: dream (imagine) first the scene, then mind-map, then write. To read more, please visit mefuller’s blog, at

Wrapping up the year

Our heartfelt thanks to all who attended this year’s BWA Fall Festival. Our speaker, Angela Foster, was just awarded a 2017 Artist Initiative project grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board to complete her memoir “Falling Away.” Events will include a public reading, as well as a memoir writing workshop in Pine City. We look forward to forthcoming details about the workshop. Congratulations, Angela!

From left to right. 1-3: Winners reading their work. 4: Judge Theresa Jarvela. 5: Winner Sara Gall 6: Participants 7: BWA member accepting registrations 8: Julie Jo Larson, Emcee 9: Angela Foster, Guest Speaker

Workshop workshop2 Winner Theresa Jarvela Sara Gall Participants Registration Julie Jo Larson, Emcee   Angela Foster, Guest Speaker

Our BWA member M E Fuller is launching a weekly blog series, Greyhairs Rising, on November 13 on her website, Greyhairs Rising is a work-along weekly series to help you renew your commitment to your inner artist. Posts will follow her experiences, after retirement, of putting her artist-self first.

Join the discussion:

Call for Entries, Minnesota writers

Enter the Brainerd Writers Alliance 2017 Writing Contest


This contest is open to all writers who are residents of Minnesota.


  • Fiction: 2500 word limit.
    • Tips: Stories need a strong hook to get the reader into the first scene; good development of character and scene interwoven with action; clear rising action to a turning point and resolution; consistent point of view; theme or story idea is clear by end.
  • Creative non-fiction: 2500 word limit.
    • Memoir stories use fiction guidelines above but are based on actual events.
    • Essay should concern an issue but still have a hook and be developed using examples, narrative, cause-effect, or comparison-contrast; rising action to a climax – arguments get stronger to the turning point; and come to a clear conclusion.
    • Poetry: 3 poem limit (each poem limited to maximum 40 lines). Poems need strong imagery that enhances the theme or emotion. Robert Frost said, “Poems should begin with delight and end with wisdom.”


$15.00 –  one entry in fiction and non-fiction categories. Additional submissions require additional payment.

$15.00 –  1 to 3 poems in poetry categories. Additional submissions require additional payment.


  • Contest is open to writers who are residents of Minnesota.
  • Work must be submitter’s original, not previously awarded and unpublished.


  • Entries due post marked August 30, 2017 (no metered mail) or before
  • Winners will be notified by Sept. 30th.


  • Cover letter, separate from entry, to include
    • Name and contact info (address, phone, email)
    • List entry titles with category and word count. Example: “Olivia” – creative non-fiction – 2,455 words.
  • $15.00 entry fee per entry check made out to BWA
  • Two (2) typed copies of each entry
  • All entries must be typed on standard 8 ½ x 11 paper
  • Use 12 pt. Times New Roman font or similar, double-spaced / Poetry may be single- or double-spaced
  • Fiction and creative non-fiction include: title, category, and word count on top of each page; double-spaced, DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME.
  • Poetry include: title at the top of the page, DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME.
  • Submit by August 30, 2017
  • Postal mail entries to: BWA Writing Contest, 30755 Old Hwy 371, Pequot Lakes, MN 56472


  • Prizes are $75 for first place and $50 for second place and free entry to 2017 Fall Writers Festival.
  • Winners will be notified after September 30, 2017
  • Winners are invited to read at the festival. Prizes will be awarded at the festival or by mail after the festival.


  • Winning entries will not be put on our website or published in any way, so that they may be submitted later as “not previously published” in magazines, anthologies, etc.
  • Our judges are skilled in the writing craft. We encourage them to attend the festival and give comments on the winning entries.
  • All contest entrants are encouraged to attend the BWA Fall Writers Festival October 28th at the Northland Arboretum.


Festival Speaker, Faith Sullivan 

Faith Sullivan. Photo credit: Leila_Navidi

Faith Sullivan was born and raised in southern Minnesota. Married to drama critic Dan Sullivan, she lived twenty-some years in New York and Los Angeles, returning to Minnesota often to keep her roots planted in the prairie. She is the author of Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse (2015), Gardenias (2005),  What a Woman Must Do (2002), The Empress of One (1997), The Cape Ann (1988), Mrs. Demming and The Mythical Beast (1986), Watchdog (1982) and Repent, Lanny Merkel (1981). A “demon gardener, flea marketer, and feeder of birds,” Sullivan lives in Minneapolis with her husband. They have three grown children. For more information, please visit her website.


  • A separate fee of $25 for the Festival includes a catered lunch.
  • Reservations are due on or before Oct. 25th.
  • To reserve your spot, send $25.00 check payable to BWA
    • Postal Mail: 6584 Parkview Circle, Baxter, MN 56425
    • Email:, attn.: Bev, with your RSVP and pay at the door.
    • BOOK FAIR VENDORS: $5 for 1/3 of an 8-foot table space to sell your books. Space is limited. Be sure to mention you’d like a spot when registering.

Contact Contest Chair Bev Abear with questions at