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Mid Michigan Writers invites new members

Updated: Jul 10, 2022

By Laura Bender


Do you have a story to tell? Are there memories you want to preserve for your children and grandchildren? Do you enjoy mystery, history, romance, and fantasy enough to try writing your own novel? Do you experience moments best expressed through the language of poetry? Could your professional writing benefit from critique? Since 1977, Mid Michigan Writers, one of the oldest writing groups in the state, has been gathering on second and fourth Mondays to provide a supportive critique for its members. Currently, they meet at the West Branch Public Library, 119 N. Fourth St. in the downstairs Community Room at 6:30 p.m. Members may also attend meetings via Zoom. Moderator Ken Stephenson, an eight-year member, joined the group to improve his writing skills. “I had been writing since junior high school and posting daily on my blog. Mid Michigan Writers helped me polish my work by bringing out the flavor and color in my writing. Some people are uncomfortable with critique, but we do it in a supportive fashion with the goal of helping you prepare your work for publication.” When the pandemic began, Mid Michigan Writers continued to meet. In pleasant weather, they gathered on a member’s front lawn. In winter, they moved to Zoom. When the library reopened, they returned to faceto-face meetings. “Because of Covid, our members had more time to write,” said Ken, “so we continued to provide support.” In the future, the group hopes to offer semi-annual writer’s workshops and their annual writing retreat as they had preCovid. Recently Mid Michigan Writers published an anthology of works by their membership, which includes short stories, poems, and book chapter excerpts. Uneven Terrain: An Anthology of Mid Michigan Writers is available in paperback and on Kindle through Amazon. If you are interested in joining the group, but are anxious about sharing your writing with others, I will tell you what I found when I joined two years ago – friends. Some have published, others write for their personal enjoyment. Members include retired schoolteachers, a school counselor, two former US Navy sailors, a musician, a geologist, a real estate agent, a financial advisor, an accountant and a nurse. Tyrone Black, a charter member who joined in 1977, writes professional articles and short stories. Debbie Walker, who joined 26 years ago, is a grant writer, has co-authored a novel, The Will of Sarah Krager, and several plays. Chris Lucka is a freelance editor whose poems have been published in 2019 and 2020 in the Still Life Journal, Saginaw Valley State University and in the 2021 Walloon Writers Review, edition 6. Mary Lou Bugh recently published her Fifth book, Windsong. Her other three novels, all available through Amazon, are Late Nite Radio, Inkspots: A Reader’s Road Trip Through Michigan and Rozia. Like Windsong, are all set in Michigan. Her fifth book, Writing Life Stories: One Piece at a Time, is a must have for those who want to write memoir. Mary Lou is also available to teach writing workshops. Nancy Renko has had short stories published in Walloon Writers Review, Good Old Days, The Quarterly of the National Writing Project, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. In 2019, her short story won first place in Art Fest 55 in Midland. In 2018, Kay Butzin wrote the winning essay Before and After about Hurricane Harvey for the “Women On Writing” contest. Ernie Hinderliter is working on his fourth novel, a murder mystery set in Michigan. His first novel is The Bluestone Cabal. Laura Bender has written essays for Navy base newspapers and sermons for many years. A retired chaplain, she has had six military stories placed in the Mighty Pen archive at the Virginia War Memorial, scholarscompass. vcu.edu/mighty_pen_archive and a short story, The Same Flight published in their 2020 Journal. In 2023, her one act play, Twenty Two, will be included in the production of War in Pieces directed by David Robbins. She maintains a blog of short stories at Bendertales.com and loves writing for the Ogemaw County Voice. Lenore Troia is an accomplished musician, singer and songwriter from Key West, whose CDs are available at LenoreTroia.com. She recently returned to West Branch and now writes essays and short stories. Ricki McCallum has several books available through Amazon, including Buying Your First Home, Downsizing Homes, and Pandemic Real Estate. Nancy Low writes non-fiction stories about everyday heroes and spiritual poetry. Pam Binder writes memoir and poetry. Joan Beck, a new member, writes articles. “Writing is my passion,” Ken Stephenson says. “If writing is your passion, we’d love to have you join us. Many of Ken’s stories come from his experiences as a Navy submariner and nostalgic childhood experiences. If you’d like to write about your life experiences or have stories to develop, drop by the library on second and fourth Mondays at 6:30 p.m. For more information about Mid Michigan Writers, visit: www.midmiwriters.wixsite.com/website or email them at midmiwriters@ gmail.com. And don’t forget to check out their new book Uneven Terrain: An Anthology of Mid Michigan Writers.


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