2017 writing contest winners

Poetry

9-12: Raquel Riemer, first; Avery Thorne, second; Sommer McDowell, third; Sarah Hohn, two honorable mentions.

5-8: Kemewan Kinepoway, first; Beverly Peters, second; Lily Guenther, third.

1-4: Nora Bushman, first and second; Katy Hager, third; Justine Mielke, honorable mention; Maddie Hert, honorable mention.

Nonfiction

9-12: Morgan Fregien, first, third and honorable mention; Sarah Hohn, second.

5-8: Emmitt Kietlinski, first; Lily Guenther, second; Skye Breitrick, third; Graciali Zuleger, honorable mention.

1-4: Jill Guenther, first; Kendra Strebel, second; Makenna Dombeck, third.

Fiction

9-12: Morgan Fregien, first; no second place awarded; Verna Hassenfeldt, third.

5-8: Fiona Hoffman, first, second and third; Rachel Peters, honorable mention; Julia Hahn, honorable mention; Natalie Ahlers, honorable mention; Emily Westphal, honorable mention.

1-4: Jonas Bushman, first; Nora Bushman, second; Wyatt Bratz, third; Isabella Roberts, honorable mention.

Award-winning author to keynote 2017 George Putz Memorial Student Writing Contest awards ceremony April 29 at the Mielke Arts Center

Shawano Area Writers are pleased to announce that Alicia Rades, whose debut novel Fire in Frost has been downloaded by more than 100,000 readers, is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the 2017 George Putz Memorial Student Writing Contest awards ceremony. Fire in Frost won a B.R.A.G. Medallion award and in 2015 was one of the Readfree.ly top 50 indie books to read. Rades writes for young adults with a love for supernatural stories set in the modern world. Her degree in communications features an emphasis on professional writing.

The awards ceremony will recognize young Shawano and Menominee county writers for their works of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction on Saturday, April 29th, at the Mielke Arts Center in Shawano. The program is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m.

Serving as master of ceremonies will be Nancy Smith, Executive Director of the Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce.

Judges for the contest were from outside of Shawano and Menominee counties. Recognition includes 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place and honorable mention in each of three grade groups: 1-4, 5-8, and 9-12, along with cash prizes. Winning writers receive a Certificate of Achievement as a reward for their time and work.

This year’s winners will be recognized on the Shawano Area Writers’ website www.shawanoareawriters.org. Direct questions to John Mutter, Jr., at 715-524-4520.

George Putz Memorial 2017 Student Writing Contest Begins with Call for Entries

Shawano Area Writers has launched its 11th annual George Putz Memorial Student Writing Contest with a call for entries. Letters have been delivered to schools and homeschooled groups announcing the 2017 contest for students in Shawano and Menominee counties.

The contest deadline is March 31st.

Students compete in three grade groups: Grades 1-4; grades 5-8; and, grades 9-12. Students will compete in the categories of Poetry, Fiction and Nonfiction. The contest is funded through a generous endowment from George Putz, long-time Shawano resident and author. Each separate entry must have an entry form, but students can compete as much as they want. There is no charge to enter.

The contest judges are chosen from outside Shawano and Menominee counties. Judges choose first, second, and third place winners in each category, and within each grade group. Each of the three winners in each age group receives cash prizes. Judges can award honorable mentions for student entries. All winners, including honorable mentions, receive certificates of achievement at the awards ceremony held at the Mielke Arts Center.

Rules and entry forms are available on the Shawano Area Writers website – www.shawanoareawriters.org. Entries can be sent by E-mail to dleepulaski@yahoo.com, or by mail to: Shawano Area Writers, P.O. Box 657, Shawano, WI 54166.

Members are available to speak to students about the contest and writing in general. From the website, teachers can select members of the group to contact about visiting their school.

Former poet laureate will speak at youth writing awards

Former Wisconsin poet laureate Bruce Dethlefsen will be the featured speaker at the 2016 George Putz Memorial Student Writing Contest awards ceremony May 7.

Bruce Dethlefsen

Bruce Dethlefsen

Dethlefsen is a retired educator and public library director from Westfield. He was poet laureate in 2011-2012. He teaches poetry workshops and runs a poet camp twice every year.

The ceremony begins at 9 a.m. at the Mielke Arts Center, N5649 Airport Road, Shawano. Cash prizes and certificates will be awarded to students in grades 1-12. There is no cost to attend the event.

Students from Shawano and Menominee counties submitted entries in the categories of fiction, nonfiction and poetry for the contest, which is conducted annually by Shawano Area Writers.

Shawano Area Writers celebrating 50th anniversary

Fifty years for anything can be quite a feat, but for a small writing group based in Shawano, Wisconsin, it’s an endless wave of words and imagery.

The Shawano Area Writers set down roots on Jan. 20, 1966, and since then, it has seen writers come and go, and a continuous cacophony of stories, poetry and more has been the legacy for an organization committed to encouraging and supporting writers.

Marcie Leitzke, right, a founding member of the Shawano Area Writers when it formed in 1966, reads one of the columns she writes for the local newspaper, during a regular meeting of the group. Barb King, who is listening to Leitzke’s recitation, has been with the group for several years and is in the process of publishing a book about a one-room schoolhouse and the children who received an education there. (Photo by Lee Pulaski)

Marcie Leitzke, right, a founding member of the Shawano Area Writers when it formed in 1966, reads one of the columns she writes for the local newspaper, during a regular meeting of the group. Barb King, who is listening to Leitzke’s recitation, has been with the group for several years and is in the process of publishing a book about a one-room schoolhouse and the children who received an education there. (Photo by Lee Pulaski)

Even today, one only needs to attend a meeting of the Shawano Area Writers to see what a rich and diverse group it is. On every third Thursday of the month at 10 a.m. sharp, there are usually a dozen writers nestled into a reading room at the Shawano City-County Library.

Take Barb King, a retired schoolteacher, as an example. For more than two years, she has delighted other writers in the group with her stories about children in a one-room schoolhouse, titled “Tug Lake Tales.” Even while she works to get that book published, she is already diving into her next book, an edgier suspense novel that has left writers who have become used to her warm, nostalgic children’s tales surprised and even delighted with her range.

Then there’s Dolores Kaliebe. She always touts herself as the “newer member” of the Shawano Area Writers, although she has participated in the group for quite a few years. She always comes prepared with a personal essay about something in her life, and often that essay includes a visual element, whether it’s an old black-and-white photograph or a little knickknack from her home that she passes around to the group.

Dolores Kaliebe, who says she is a “new” member of the Shawano Area Writers despite being with the group for a number of years, reads one of the personal essays she writes. (Photo by Lee Pulaski)

Dolores Kaliebe, who says she is a “new” member of the Shawano Area Writers despite being with the group for a number of years, reads one of the personal essays she writes. (Photo by Lee Pulaski)

John Mutter, another retiree with a colorful array of jobs in his career, is a member who is very active with the Shawano Area Writers, not only serving as the organization’s treasurer but also the coordinator for the annual George Putz Memorial Youth Writing Contest. All of the jobs, along with other personal aspects of his life, provided the tapestry for an autobiography titled “No Time to Count,” showcasing his 70 years of life.

Leading the group is Lee Pulaski, a transplant from Arizona who has called the Shawano area home for almost five years. The president for the Shawano Area Writers has self-published more than a dozen books and often shares snippets from his works in progress when members share what they’ve written. He is currently finishing up the fourth installment in a mystery series based in Gresham, a small village in the center of Shawano County.

Carol Schlehlein, left, reads a short story she wrote as Trilby Beauprey McIntosh listens during a meeting of the Shawano Area Writers. Schlehlein has self-published two books in the last two years. (Photo by Lee Pulaski)

Carol Schlehlein, left, reads a short story she wrote as Trilby Beauprey McIntosh listens during a meeting of the Shawano Area Writers. Schlehlein has self-published two books in the last two years. (Photo by Lee Pulaski)

These are just a few of the writers that have come in and out of the library monthly for the Shawano Area Writers’ meeting. Some are published authors continuing to trek forward, while others are still timid about the writing process and seek guidance from others who have walked the path before them.

“It always impresses me how many amazing stories there are being developed by simple people in Shawano County and the surrounding areas,” Pulaski said. “When you leave one of our meetings, you feel like you’ve had more entertainment and enrichment than you’d get spending an evening in front of the television. We might not have anyone on the New York Times bestseller list, but you wouldn’t know it to hear some of the stories.”

At one point, the Shawano Area Writers had more than 40 members. The membership today is about half that, but the writers in the group are very active.

Jerome Schuelke sets the scene before he reads an excerpt from a story during a meeting of the Shawano Area Writers. The group serves as a sounding board for writers around northeast Wisconsin. (Photo by Lee Pulaski)

Jerome Schuelke sets the scene before he reads an excerpt from a story during a meeting of the Shawano Area Writers. The group serves as a sounding board for writers around northeast Wisconsin. (Photo by Lee Pulaski)

In 50 years, there is only one founding member still alive and kicking, still eager to share her words with friends and others willing to listen. Marcie Leitzke was at the first meeting in 1966, and she brings the knowledge of hundreds of writing meetings and collaborations to the table, giving newcomers an idea of the joys and the trials of writing and seeing that writing in print.

“We were just a little insignificant group to start,” Leitzke said. “It went from zero to a lot.”

In the early years, Leitzke helped to give the Shawano Area Writers added exposure by getting the local radio station to dedicate air time to the group to talk about writing.

Leitzke has published several books of poetry and even published a book about her son, Matthew, who was born with Down Syndrome. Leitzke still actively writes today at the age of 88, contributing regular columns to The Shawano Leader newspaper and Engines and Engineers magazine.

Many affiliated with the Shawano Area Writers believe Leitzke represents the heart and spirit of the group, but she does not believe that for a moment.

Terry Misfeldt, left, reads one of his stories to the group as Jeanne Connors listens during a meeting of the Shawano Area Writers. Misfeldt serves as the vice president of the Shawano Area Writers. (Photo by Lee Pulaski)

Terry Misfeldt, left, reads one of his stories to the group as Jeanne Connors listens during a meeting of the Shawano Area Writers. Misfeldt serves as the vice president of the Shawano Area Writers. (Photo by Lee Pulaski)

“I wouldn’t take the credit,” Leitzke said.

Besides working to enrich each other’s work, the members of the Shawano Area Writers also work to encourage the next generation of writers to give their imaginary tales form. In 2002, the group started an annual youth writing contest open to all children living or going to school in Shawano and Menominee counties.

The contest took a hiatus for a few years when it became difficult for the small group to come up with enough money for prizes. That changed a few years ago when the Shawano Area Writers received a $77,000 inheritance from George Putz, someone who had been a big fan of the group. Putz requested that the money be used to promote writing in the area, and the group decided to resurrect the contest like a phoenix from the ashes.

“I used to love writing when I was a kid, and I think it’s important for us to encourage young people to reach into their imaginations and give their ideas life,” Pulaski said. “With this contest, we’re able to motivate our future writers to come out of their shells, step out of the shadows and dazzle us with stories.”

The Shawano Area Writers have also contributed to the history of Shawano County, helping with the compilation of the Shawano City Centennial in 1974 and the Shawano County Sesquicentennial in 2003.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary, the Shawano Area Writers will publish its latest anthology, featuring the short stories, poems and non-fiction pieces of 13 writers in the group. This will be the 14th anthology that the organization has published.

The Shawano Area Writers plans to celebrate its golden anniversary with a release party for the anthology. The celebration will take place from 4-6 p.m. on Feb. 3 at the Shawano City-County Library, located at 128 S. Sawyer St. in Shawano. The celebration will be held in the library’s Ella Veslak Room downstairs. Writers who are published in the anthology will read some of their work, and copies of the anthology will be sold. Refreshments will also be served.

Shawano Area Writers part of Shawano City-County Library “Afternoon With the Authors”

Six Shawano Area Writers will showcase their work at “Afternoon With the Authors” on April 14 at Shawano City-County Library. Participating in the event are, from left, seated, Dennis Vickers and Carol Schlehlein; standing, Dr. Steven Dakai, Wendy Goerl and Lee Pulaski. Not pictured is John Mutter Jr.

Six Shawano Area Writers will showcase their work at “Afternoon With the Authors” on April 14 at Shawano City-County Library. Participating in the event are, from left, seated, Dennis Vickers and Carol Schlehlein; standing, Dr. Steven Dakai, Wendy Goerl and Lee Pulaski. Not pictured is John Mutter Jr.

The Shawano Area Writers will be well-represented at an event designed to showcase the authors that walk among the regular folks of rural northeast Wisconsin.

The Shawano City-County Library is hosting an “Afternoon With the Authors” from 3-6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14 as part of its observance of National Library Week. The event will be an open house where patrons can meet with almost a dozen authors one-on-one, learn about their writing and why they’re so passionate about it, and even stock up on some reading material.

“People don’t always realize what amazing writing talent exists right in their own back yard, and this is a chance to meet authors up close and personal,” said Lee Pulaski, Shawano Area Writers president. “The library is providing us with a wonderful opportunity to showcase homegrown talent.”

The Shawano Area Writers meet monthly at the library, usually at 10 a.m. on the third Thursday of the month. More than a dozen writers gather each month to share what they’ve written.

“Anyone who has ever attended one of our monthly meetings knows that there are a variety of creative writers in northeast Wisconsin ― from poets to folks who write personal essays to full-blown published novelists ― and no matter how you’re feeling that day, you’ll definitely hear something that will make you smile and something that will make you cry,” Pulaski said.

Here’s a brief rundown on the six members of the Shawano Area Writers who will be part of “Afternoon With the Authors”:

Dr. Steven Dakai: Steven has been a nationally recognized professional and personal development consultant for over 17 years. He just released his new book, Making Shift Happen. He holds a doctorate in addictive disorders. Steven is CEO of Shift Happens International LLC, a behavioral health consulting firm. He is well known for guiding individuals and behavioral health programs through coaching, mentoring, and professional learning opportunities.

Wendy Goerl: The secretary for Shawano Area Writers will be attending with copies of her poetry book, Fantasms of Freedom, as well as her how-to books, 30 Ways to Weave a Potholder and 30 More Ways to Weave a Potholder. In addition to compositions of words, Wendy also composes images in pencil, charcoal, acrylic paint and photography, some of which find their way into her written works.

John Mutter Jr.: John is a longtime member of the Writers and has recently published an autobiography titled No Time To Count: The Life of a Small-Town Writer. The book looks at his life from his birth in 1943 to all of the various careers he’s had in his life and also talks about how taking a creative writing class in 1980 inspired him to write.

Lee Pulaski: Lee is the president of the Shawano Area Writers and has a number of books in print. Currently, he is working on a series of mystery books based in Shawano County, mainly in Gresham. There are already two in print ― As American as Apple Pie and Death by Order of the Queen. The third book in the series, Murder at the Teddy Bears Picnic, is due out May 1.

Carol Schlehlein: Carol is a longtime member of the Shawano Area Writers, and she writes in several forms. In fall 2014, she published a book titled God is My Help: A Book of Meditations, which is a compilation of prayers and poems covering all 52 weeks of the year, as well as special holidays and birthdays. In March, Carol published Thunder Weather, a novel based on a true story of family life on a farm in Mequon, Wisconsin, from 1900 to 1945.

Dennis Vickers: Dennis is a professor at the College of Menominee Nation. Dennis Vickers writes eclectic novels with truth-seeking underpinnings, strong doses of humor and occasional explicit erotica. In late 2014, Dennis published the novel Mikawadizi Storms, a fictionalization of the very real issue of open-pit mining in Wisconsin.

Besides authors from the Shawano Area Writers, the library will also play host to writers and authors Nadine Thies, Nancy Thelen, Gary Beyer, John Powers and Alicia Rades.

For more information about the Shawano Area Writers, visit www.shawanoareawriters.org. To find out more about “Afternoon With the Authors,” contact the Shawano City-County Library at 715-526-3829.

Shawano Area Writers participating in “Afternoon With the Authors”

AFTERNOON WITH THE AUTHORSThe Shawano Area Writers will be showcasing some of its talent at an event put on by the Shawano City-County Library on April 14. From 3-6 p.m., the library will hold an open house called “Afternoon With the Authors.” You’ll be able to meet local writers in Shawano and the surrounding communities, find out about their writing and even purchase some of their books.

Among the Shawano Area Writers participating are:

Wendy Goerl: The secretary for Shawano Area Writers will be attending with copies of her poetry book, Fantasms of Freedom, as well as her how-to books, 30 Ways to Weave a Potholder and 30 More Ways to Weave a Potholder.

Lee Pulaski: The Shawano Area Writers president will be selling the first two installments of his mystery series based in Shawano County — As American as Apple Pie and Death By Order of the Queen. He’ll also be selling some of his earlier novels, set in Wisconsin and Arizona.

Carol Schlehlein: Carol will be attending with two books to talk about and sell. God Is My Help is a compilation of prayers, meditations and poem, written in a simple manner to reach all who are searching to expand their understanding and relationship to God.  She will also be selling her new book Thunder Weather, a novel based on a true story of family life on a farm in Mequon, Wisconsin, from 1900 to 1945.

Dr. Dennis Vickers: Dennis is a professor at the College of Menominee Nation and will be showcasing his latest novel, Mikawadizi Storms. His story is a fictionalization of the very real issue of open-pit mining in Wisconsin.

John J. Mutter Jr.: A longtime member of the Writers, John will be selling copies of his autobiography No Time to Count: The Life of a Small-Town Writer, which he self-published, as well as some of his earlier work.

Dr. Steven Dakai: Dr. Steven Dakai is a nationally recognized professional and personal development consultant for over 17 years. and author, who just released his new book, Making Shift Happen. He holds a doctorate in addictive disorders and recently joined the Shawano Area Writers.

Check back often to see which additional members of the Writers will be participating.

Shawano Area Writers meeting – Dec. 19, 2013

The Shawano Area Writers had an extremely busy meeting on Dec. 21 as plans moved forward on reviving the group’s annual writing contest and a number of holiday stories and other writing was shared.

Dennis Vickers joined the group and said he writes as a hobby. Vickers currently teaches creative writing and philosophy at the College of Menominee Nation.

Two members brought Christmas goodies for the group to enjoy. Lois Smith brought cookies from a cookie walk, while Barb King made some bars for the group.

The members discussed a number of self-publishing venues — including Bookwhirl, Createspace and Lulu—and how they make it easier for aspiring writers to get published. Vickers pointed out that Feather Chronicles, a literary journal done by CMN, was published through Createspace.

Then the writers turned their attention to reviving the dormant writing contest. Previously, the Shawano Area Writers had sponsored a contest for seven years, with 2008 being the last year. John Mutter explained that the contest got to be monster after a while, with 50 winners chosen in a variety of categories and more than 300 people attending the last award ceremonies. A committee was formed to look at planning a new writers’ contest, with Mutter, Vickers, Lee Pulaski and Terry Misfeldt volunteering to work on the issue.

Joel Devcich from Thrivent Financial made an appearance and gave some recommendations regarding the sizable amount of money received from a family trust. He urged the group to formally pursue a 501C3 non-profit status.

John Mutter holds up a copy of the anthology “A Wisconsin Harvest, Vol. II,” published through Wisconsin Writers Association Press. The anthology includes a short story he had written. (Photo by Lee Pulaski)

John Mutter holds up a copy of the anthology “A Wisconsin Harvest, Vol. II,” published through Wisconsin Writers Association Press. The anthology includes a short story he had written. (Photo by Lee Pulaski)

Mutter showed the anthology where he had a short story published, “A Wisconsin Harvest Vol. II” published through Wisconsin Writers Association Press.

Barb King read Chapter 7 of Tug Lake Tales titled “Ron.” The story took place around Christmastime and it was starting to snow at the school. The school’s teacher, Mrs. Craig, offered an extra long recess if the children stuck to their tasks in class.

Carol Schlehlein told the group that, before she moved back to Shawano, she lived on a homestead in Crivitz, and the two poems she brought were both related to her time there. She read a poem where she says goodbye to someone named John, noting that the lovemaking was too tumultuous to her aging heart, only to reveal “John” was a tractor. Her second poem, called “Ode to Mama Deer” told about the view from the woods of a mother deer and her young. Schlehlein also read an essay titled “Once Upon a Christmas” providing a deeper look into the town of Bethlehem and how the birth of Christ looks in this day and age.

Irma Timmons-Arndt read “A Little More Love,” a Christmas story. It recalled an aging cat and how she was cared for by the family.

Lois Smith noted her piece, “Let Me Off at the Windsock,” wasn’t related to Christmas at all, as previous stories were. Smith’s story talked about her dream of flying and how she had always wanted to learn, but a car crash that injured her husband inspired her to finally pursue her dream.

Bailey Hansen shared an excerpt from a longer story she is working on, where her protagonist, Daniel, had dreams of going to college despite dealing with a debilitating injury. The excerpt looked at how Daniel and his brother Mark tried to tackle a complicated pie recipe during Christmas vacation.

Wendy Goerl read a piece she wrote that looks at drawing and painting and their differences. She noted it was half-memoir, half-instructional.

Vickers read a folk tale based in Mexico where a man named Miguel made a deal with the devil, who was named Angel, for a new life. He noted that he has traveled to Mexico during spring semester the last couple of years and was inspired by an author who wrote folk tales.

Misfeldt read a short story that’s a work in progress. The story looked at a father’s chair and how you never challenged Dad when he wanted to sit in it.

Pulaski read the first page and a half from a new novel he is working on, currently titled “Death by Order of the Queen,” His protagonist, Zachary, must calm down the local tourism director when she learns about an unorthodox fundraiser under way to help restore a historic community dance hall.

Todd Shewchuk finished up the readings with the third chapter of the novel he is working on, “A Family Divided.” His protagonist, T.J., is dealing with aftermath of being rejected by family and breaking up with his boyfriend as he travels to New York City.

The Shawano Area Writers’ next meeting will be at 10 a.m. Jan. 16 in the Elsie Engel Reading Room of the Shawano City-County Library.

Shawano Area Writers meeting – Nov. 21, 2013

The Shawano Area Writers briefly discussed what to do with a $77,000 endowment when it held its monthly meeting Nov. 21.

Joel Devcich from Thrivent Financial met with the group and is offering to do research on the endowment. He said he planned to also speak to the Shawano Area Community Foundation about helping the group.

Carol Schlehlein dug up minutes from a meeting of the Shawano Area Writers in 2007. She was secretary at the time. Schlehlein also brought in coffee cake for the group to enjoy.

Two guests joined the group last month. Debbie Maier, a recent transplant from Pennsylvania, read a poem called “I Feel Your Spirit.” She noted that she feels a person’s spirit in everything from everything physical and emotional.

Bailey Hanson moved to area year ago. She said she went to college to pursue creative writing and now lives in Shawano. Hanson read a poem “Baptism in the Rain.” In the poem, she compares her life to a book, and said sometimes it reads like a bad one.

Marcie Leitzke suggested having Barb King, a retired schoolteacher, head up the writing contest with input from John Mutter. She suggested that it would be easier than having all of the members give input.

Terry Misfeldt informed the group that the Green Bay Writers is planning to have a book festival on May 3 at the KI Center and is interested in getting the Shawano Area Writers involved. The Green Bay Writers plan to bring in other writers for workshops and is looking at asking retired football player Donald Driver of the Green Bay Packers to be the keynote speaker.

Lee Pulaski asked the members to come up with brief essays and short stories to be published in the Christmas issue of The Shawano Leader.

After all the planning and announcements, the writers shared some of their latest efforts.

Leitzke read her Christmas essay for the Senior Living section of the Leader, titled “Hope is Everywhere.” She notes all the hopes in her life, for example, getting winning bingo numbers, and notes you’re always a winner if you have hope.

Pulaski read a piece he wrote on Black Friday and how the big shopping deals are now infringing on Thanksgiving Day itself. He questioned whether any holiday could truly be sacred anymore.

Schlehlein read two poems. One was called “The Soldier” in honor of Veterans Day looking at a World War II soldier who died 60 years ago and questioned who would mourn him in the future. The other poem, “These Heroes” paid tribute to hospital nurses and personnel, and Carol said she wrote it at 2 a.m. while she was at the hospital for a few days.

Irma Timmons-Arndt read a poem about her Welsh Corgi, Bojangles. She wrote about how he leaps for a tennis ball in the way the Packers would envy, but he’s also gentle at times.

Dolores Kaliebe wrote an essay about piano lessons. The essay addressed how she learned to play at 8 or 9, even though she was not that interested.

Lois Smith said her last couple of essays had a sad tone, so she decided to read something more upbeat. She read a pair of short pieces about her weddings to her two husbands.

Terry Misfeldt read part of a booklet he wrote called “Cheese Curds.” It addressed why the Green Bay Packers are referred to as “cheese heads.”

Wendy Goerl read a piece called “The Troubleshooter.” The short story looked at a pair of mechanics trying to repair the automaton known as 097 and then giving it a test run.

The Shawano Area Writers will next meet at 10 a.m. Dec. 19 in the Elsie Engel Reading Room of the Shawano City-County Library, 128 S. Sawyer St., Shawano. The group is growing, but new members are always welcome.

Shawano Area Writers meeting – Oct. 17, 2013

A big announcement highlighted the monthly meeting of the Shawano Area Writers, held Oct. 17 at the Shawano City-County Library.

Greenwood Law Firm sent the group’s president, Wendy Goerl, a check for $77,090.32 from George Putz’s estate. The money was designated for the Shawano Area Writers to revive the annual writers contest. Details are expected to be worked out in the next few months as to the size and scope of the contest.

Marcie Leitzke, the last active founding member of the Shawano Area Writers, holds up a $77,090.32 check from the estate of George Putz that the group received in October. Putz’s will designated that the money should go toward reviving the group’s annual writing contest. (Photo by Lee Pulaski)

Marcie Leitzke, the last active founding member of the Shawano Area Writers, holds up a $77,090.32 check from the estate of George Putz that the group received in October. Putz’s will designated that the money should go toward reviving the group’s annual writing contest. (Photo by Lee Pulaski)

Barb King suggested looking at having some well-known published authors come to the high schools and middle schools to help spark students’ interest in writing. It was suggested by other members to utilize interest from the Putz check to go toward bringing in authors, as it was unclear whether the estate would allow the original money to go toward anything besides the contest itself.

Terry Misfeldt, who also belongs to the Green Bay Writers Guild, announced that the group is planning a writers’ conference next April and has expressed interest in involving the Shawano Area Writers with planning and development.

For a treat, Lee Pulaski prepared two large casserole dishes with baked macaroni and cheese. He used colby jack cheese and tried out some applewood smoked bacon from Nueske’s for the first time. The dish got positive reviews from the writers.

Dolores Kaliebe shared a letter she wrote to the Madison historical society about genealogy. She hoped to find out information about her father’s family and went through the archives to find out details, with the discovery of one name leading to questions about two more. She noted that she “squealed with delight” when she found some books on the Randall family.

Lois Smith read a letter she wrote to Patty, her daughter who passed away from meningitis. She explained she had to feed her infant daughter in between meal rushes at the restaurant, and that when she had to take Patty to the hospital, the staff assumed she was at fault for her daughter’s condition.

King read part of the sixth chapter for Tug Lake Tales. In it, the teacher, Mrs. Woods announced it was going to be her last week at the school because she was with child. It also introduced the new teacher, Mrs. Craig, who was described as the complete opposite of Mrs. Woods.

Irma Timmons-Arndt read a poem about ascending a hill and observing military officers paying their last respects to one of their fallen.

Goerl read a poem called “Mr. Lucifer Goes to Washington,” which she noted seemed appropriate given the current political climate. The poem was part of her published book “Fantasms of Freedom.”

Marcie Leitzke read her latest column for the Senior Living section of The Shawano Leader “Ghosts of the Past.” She wrote about moving from a two-bedroom apartment across the hall to a one-bedroom and how looking at some of the pictures she has collected reminded her of past memories of her life.

Misfeldt writing a young adult book about cowboys. He read the fourth chapter, which addressed his protagonist, Thomas, who met up with a Spanish rider named Pablo during the Civil War and decided to travel together for a time.

Misfeldt also read his poem, “A Herd of Birds,” which had been in demand from the Shawano Area Writers. He said the poem came in a dream where he asked the visiting birds where they had been.

Pulaski read his latest blog post, titled “More money for education is a good thing.” The piece addresses a proposed bond election in his hometown of Chino Valley, Ariz., and why it would be a good thing for the community members to vote in favor.

Todd Shewchuk read the end of his second chapter for his work in progress. It showed the farewell between T.J. and the man he loved, Jesse, as he goes to pursue a theater career in New York City.

Carol Schlehlein wrote an essay called “A Very Special Book.” She wrote about a gift she received—an autograph book where the paste for the decals had long disintegrated and the pages had yellowed. In the essay, she expressed dismay about there being fewer thank you notes and gifts of appreciation like the book.

The Shawano Area Writers will hold the next meeting at 10 a.m. on Nov. 21 in the Elsie Engel Reading Room of the Shawano City-County Library. New members are always welcome.