Monthly Archives: June 2012

CWW Award Namesake Makes National Scene

Council for Wisconsin Writers board member and past-Wisconsin Poet Laureate Marilyn Taylor’s ears picked up on Saturday when she heard and passed along that “our very own Christopher Latham Sholes is profiled on Garrison Keillor’s daily poetry column today.”

Keillor, in his “The Writer’s Almanac”, which airs on a number of public radio stations including Wisconsin Public Radio, noted that “The typewriter was patented on this date in 1868, by Christopher Latham Sholes of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sholes was a newspaperman, and he was driven to invention out of necessity: His printers went on strike. He and two colleagues set out to invent a machine to print letters on paper.” You can read the rest of the story at after scrolling past–or after reading–the lovely poem, “When I Am Among The Trees” by Mary Oliver.

CWW’s Christopher Latham Sholes Award recognizes Wisconsin residents for outstanding encouragement and support of Wisconsin writers.

How nice that our award namesake made the national scene via Keillor’s “Almanac.” Thanks, Garrison!

Please visit the CWW website at





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SE Wisconsin Festival of Books and Two Interviews

Couple of reminders from the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets (WFOP):

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN FESTIVAL OF BOOKS, JUNE 15-16:  The Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books will return to the UW-Waukesha campus on June 15-16, 2012, celebrating the theme “Freedom to Read.” 100 authors and presenters including keynote Tawni O’Dell and Wisconsin favorites Cathryn Cofell with Obvious Dog (Bruce Dethlefsen and Bill Orth), Jerry Apps, Kathie Giorgio and Jean Feraca.  View the 2012 Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books Program for detailed information about program content.

ANN PETERS:  FRIDAY, JUNE 15:  Ann Peters, a New Yorker and native of Fond du Lac, will read from her forthcoming book House Hold: A Memoir of American Place and Property.  7 pm reading at Windhover Café Gallery, 51 Sheboygan Street in Fond du Lac. Refreshments will be served.

Thanks WFOP!

Don’t forget to drop in on CWW’s website at

Photos from our Awards Banquet are at

Read award-winning poet (and CWW board member) Karla Huston’s interview with Wisconsin Poet Laureate Bruce Dethlefsen at

The first of Marquette University journalism student Andrew Phillips’ interviews with 11 Wisconsin writers–this one with historian John Gurda– is at

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Fermentation in Verse–Burma Shave

This landed in my email inbox over the weekend:

Poetry Call for Entries

2012 Reedsburg Fermentation Fest

 Wisconsin writers are invited to submit short poems relating to food, agriculture, art, or the landscape to be part of the 2012 Reedsburg Fermentation Fest and Farm/Art DTour, October 12-21.  Three entries will be selected for display along the Farm/Art DTour in a series called Pass Words.  This series is modeled on the Burma Shave roadside advertising sign series that appeared from 1925 to 1963 in most of the contiguous US. 

 A Burma Shave poem or jingle consisted of six consecutive red-and-white signs posted along the edge of highway.  Each sign was a line of a witty message spaced for sequential reading by passing motorists with the last sign the name of the product. In most cases, the end of lines 2 and five rhymed. Examples of the original Burma-Shave signs can be found at

 Entries must be five lines of two to five words.  Each Pass Word will be six 36-inch wide signs; the final sign will carry the Farm Art Dtour logo and the poet’s name.  Additional entries will be printed and several special read-aloud presentations of entries will take place during Fermentation Fest.

 Writers may enter up to three poems.  All entries will undergo a blind jury process – anonymously judged by Sarah Busse and Wendy Vardaman, co-editors of Verse Wisconsin.  Deadline for submissions is August 1, 2012.  Entries may be sent via email to or mailed to Dtour Poetry, 6048 S Highlands Ave, Madison WI 53705.

For more information about Fermentation Fest 2012 please see

And don’t forget to visit the CWW website at



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Former CWW Award-Winning Book Up for New Award

Jacqueline Houtman's middle-grade novel The Reinvention of Edison Thomas, which was the 2010 winner of CWW's Tofte/Wright Children's Literature Award. has been nominated for the Garden State Children's Book Award. Jacquline says that is especially special to her, because she spent her middle-grade years in New Jersey.

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Items of Interest from the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters

Here are a couple of items that might be of interest to Wisconsin writers:


Wednesday, June 6, 7:008:30 pm, Steenbock Center, 1922 University Ave. (parking in back) 
Free and open to the public, this meeting of the monthly Wisconsin Book Discussion Group features American Boy, by Milwaukee author Larry Watson. Refreshments will be provided as will discussion questions, which can be downloaded here in advance. For more information, visit the Wisconsin Book Discussion Group page or e-mail Jason A. Smith.

More info at




The Wisconsin Academy is pleased to host the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission and work with Wisconsin poets laureate both past and present in keeping Wisconsin poetry alive and well. Check out Poet Laureate Bruce Dethlefsen’s June appearances in Wisconsin by visiting our poet laureate’s page here on our new website or make a donation to help ensure the continuation of the Poet Laureate program. Too, you can catch a radio interview with Bruce on Thursday, June 7, at 7:30 pm by tuning in to WORT-FM 89.9.

Don’t forget to visit the CWW website at


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June Writing Events

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators member Ann Angel posted the following on the Wisconsin chapter's listserve:
There are a number of June events coming up that might be of interest to writers and illustrators. They each sound so interesting and so I thought I'd put together a roundup. 
The Southeast Wisconsin Book Festival will be June 15-16 at the University of Wisconsin Waukesha. This year's theme is Freedom to Read. I'll be on a panel on censorship on Saturday at 4. But the keynote is Friday night with NYT bestselling author Tawni O’Dell at 6 p.m. Friday, June 15. O’Dell’s remarks will be followed by an interview with Jean Feraca, long-time host of Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Here On Earth.” There will be an SCBWI table and some children's events including a high school essay contest. For more information, you can go to
This is also the site and Saturday is the date of a Mystery Writers daylong workshop for folks who might be interested in writing mysteries. 
If you live in Racine, Barnes and Noble will be hosting children's writer/illustrator booksignings on June 16 as part of the Hispanic Business and Professional Association. Lois Ehlert will be signing her illustrated picture books and I'll be there that morning signing copies of Janis Joplin ["Rise Up Singing"]. 
Martha Merrell's Books in Waukesha, which has been a longtime supporter of local writers, will also be hosting a number of outdoor booksignings as part of music on the square events and Guitartown celebrations on Friday evenings. I'll be signing books at 4:30 on June 22 and if there are writers out there who have musically themed children's books, I'd be happy to arrange a group signing. Just email me offlist. 
If you have middle schoolers who love to write, you might be interested in sending them to RedOak Writers' summer writing camps. While the weeklong day camp to be held at Mount Mary College in Milwaukee and the camp at Sharon Wilson Center in Brookfield have waiting lists, there's still room in the camp held at Ten Chimneys. For more information, go to 
JoAnn Macken, our fearless leader, is in the middle of facilitating a graduate student picture book workshop that filled within two weeks, at Mount Mary College. And she's posted on SCBWI about the one day Picture Book Workshop, taught by Liz Garton Scanlon, to be held on July 21. Mount Mary College has graciously opened its campus and rooms to SCBWI members for this event. Here is the link to the registration form: 

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Children’s Authors, Illustrators Share June News

Following are postings on the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators listserve announcing good news from its Wisconsin members:

Lisa Moser just sold her picture book, Bug Garden, to Candlewick Press. This makes number nine (unless I miscounted) for Lisa.

Dori Chaconas has recorded Don't Slam the Door at a local sound studio for Nutmeg Media. The finished DVD, with audio and video, is meant primarily for schools and libraries. A preview is at

Miranda Paul sold her first two national magazine submissions. "Eco-Erek's Blue-Green World," a nonfiction piece about the environmental efforts of 11-year-old Erek Hansen, is appearing in the July issue of POCKETS. "Watch Me Grow," an action rhyme that dances preschoolers through the life cycle of a butterfly, is slated for the July/August issue of TURTLE magazine. "They're not book deals or anything," Miranda says, "but both were my first submissions to each magazine and picked off the slush, so you can imagine how amazing each acceptance felt."

Malcolm at Midnight, a middle-grade mystery by Becky Wojahn writing at W.H. Beck, is being published by Houghton Mifflin, coming out on Sept. 4 -- just in time for the beginning of school in the fall. A preview is at Becky says Recorded Books have bought audio rights to Malcolm with the audiobook due out in October. The book has also been selected for the middle grade editors' "buzz" panel at the BookExpo of America. More info is at

There is, no doubt, more good news to come for this month. I'll post as received.

Meanwhile, please check out the CWW website for other news and interviews at

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