Monthly Archives: June 2014

CWW Honorable Mention Biking Book is a Winner

Council for Wisconsin Writers’ 2013  Norbert Blei/August Derleth Nonfiction Book Honorable Mention ” Wheel Fever: How Wisconsin Became a Great Bicycling State by Jesse J. Gant and Nicholas J. Hoffman, has won anouther award. Here’s Wisconsin Historical Society Press’s news release:

Wisconsin Historical Society Press Logo
For Immediate Release

June 2014

Kristin Gilpatrick, Marketing Manager
Wisconsin Historical Society Press

‘Wheel Fever’ Receives Prestigious AASLH Award

The Wisconsin Historical Society Press book, Wheel Fever: How Wisconsin Became a Great Bicycling State by Jesse J. Gant and Nicholas J. Hoffman, was recently awarded the 2014 American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) Award of Merit. The AASLH has awarded the Leadership in History Awards for the past 69 years and is one of the highest achievements in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. AASLH awards will be presented at a special banquet during the 2014 AASLH Annual Meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Friday, September 19, 2014.


This award-winning book explores the origins of bicycling and why those origins still matter, but it is also about Wisconsin’s continuing fascination with all things bicycle. The authors weave their way through bicycling history beginning with the velocipede craze of 1869 and pedaling through the “wheel fever” of the 1890s. This lushly illustrated book features never-before-seen images of early bicycles and the people who rode them: bloomer girls, bicycle jockeys, young urbanites and unionized workers. “Wheel Fever” also details the often-impassioned debates over who should be allowed to ride, where they could ride, and even what they should wear.


The Wisconsin Historical Society Press is Wisconsin’s oldest publisher, established in 1855 as part of the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison. It continues to serve the Society’s missions, publishing books that share the best of Wisconsin history and culture, like “Wheel Fever.”

The Wisconsin Historical Society Press, publishing the best of

Wisconsin history and culture, since 1855

To read about other CWW winners and honorable mentions, please go to


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Achieving Creative “Cool” in Five Steps

Writer, editor, poet and Council for Wisconsin Writers board member Jeff Winke has shared a piece he wrote about writer “cool,”  Being Avant Garde: How To Pull Off The Creative Life, which appears on the All About Jazz website.

Here, with Jeff’s permission, is the piece:

Being Avant Garde: How To Pull Off The Creative Life


Published: June 21, 2014 | 1,539 views

Creative people exude a sense of the creative. There is a style subtext to everything they do.

Some appear to live the creative life effortlessly.

Everything appears to contribute and help define an aesthetic that reflects a life lived as art. Everything is simple, beautiful, and just right for the moment. The cover from an unwanted fashion catalog gets absentmindedly folded into a square before being tossed into the recycling bin. But the folded square becomes a coaster for a freshly mixed mojito randomly poured into a Mason jar topped by a fresh sprig of mint.

The serendipitous coaster, mason-jar mojito with fresh mint look like they belong together in the world. One could imagine this everyday still life in the studio of a modern dancer, digital artist, off-Broadway playwright, or indie film director. Those living the creative life somehow create confluences of spontaneous coolness. Stuff happens. And when it happens, it looks inventive, unusual, and freshly creative.

Creative people exude a sense of the creative. There is a style subtext to everything they do. Creative wannabes and those yearning to join the creative strata of society will want to study the following. Documented below are just five artifacts of the avant-garde life:

1. A cool hat—One can not live a creative life with a bare head. Berets are a bit trite, but some can still pull them off. Try a fez (without the tassel), a Fidel military cap, a bluesman fidora, plain baseball cap (no plastic webbing and adjustable plastic strap), or even a newsboy cap.

2. A good luck amulet—It takes good luck to be creative. A coin (preferably foreign or ancient), smooth stone, smooth piece of sandglass, subway token, or bingo chip. The most powerful talismans are round. The circle is eternal and lucky.

3. The grand project—Be involved in something big. Matter-of-factly mention the Pergolesi-inspired opera you’re composing, the two-story tree-house retreat your designing in the Louis Henri Sullivan style, the 60-sonnet poetry collection you’re writing, or the loft-size triptych of Buenos Aires-inspired oil paintings.

4. The latest eyewear—Even if you don’t wear eyeglasses, get a pair with plain glass. The frames must be the latest style and clearly what most people might look at when choosing new frames, but quickly dismiss with the thought “I could never pull this off.” Pshaw! You will pull it off with style.

5. Wear a mix of resale and new clothes—Thoughtfully mix up your clothes with flamboyant, ugly, ill-fitting vintage pieces and sharp, tailored new clothes. It should look as though your clothes just happened upon you. Too much resale and you’ll look homeless. Too much tailored new stuff and you look like a dandy if you’re a guy or a fashion snob if you’re a lady. Shoes are important. Go for boots-work boots, old riding boots, go-go boots, rubber waders… Opt for clunky, comfortable, and casual.

The key to living the creative life is adopting the right attitude, which should be that the world is a stage and you’re the star of your own drama. As the star, people will look at you. Your friends will shake their heads in admiration while saying, “There goes (fill in your name) s/he’s so creative.” Those you think don’t get it, actually do on a deep viral level. They may shake their heads in disgust, but deep down they are wrestling with their own self-doubt and envy. They yearn to be as creative and cool as you.

Read more about Jeff at


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Poetry News From WFOP Friends

Monday, ​JUN 16​, 6:30 p.m., Harmony Cafe, Appleton ​ – 


​Sarah has been the host of the Harmony Cafe Poetry Series since its inception years ago, and Mandi of the Appleblossom/Caramel Crisp Cafe series in Oshkosh, both​ faithfully attending month after month to celebrate the work of so many other poets. ​ Now it’s our chance to return the favor by​ coming out to hear their exceptional work:

Sarah Gilbert returned to writing poetry in the midst of two decades of Lynch Syndrome cancers. She serves as a regional VP for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. Her work has appeared in Fox Cry Review, Wisconsin Poets Calendar, The Healing Muse, Your Daily Poem, and Sharing Widely Living Deeply. Someday her cancer chapbook will find a publisher, and she’ll get other collections together. Meanwhile, she spends her days volunteering here and there, gardening, weaving, and hanging out with her family, cats, and dog.

Mandi ​Isaacson ​was writing a mystery when she fell in love with poetry and has been writing poems ever since. She is a member of two writing groups and the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. Mandi assists Kay Sanders in running the monthly poetry readings at Caramel Crisp Café/Apple Blossom Books—featuring renowned poets from throughout the state—the 4th Tuesday of every month, except December. Mandi has been published in several issues of the Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar, The Scene–Oshkosh and has placed twice in the Reedsburg Fermentation Fest poetry contests.

The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets (WFOP) Fox Valley Poetry Series meets at Harmony Café, 233 E. College Ave, Appleton on the third Monday of every month except December (the first Monday). Each evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with the featured reader(s), followed by an open mic open to anyone who wishes to read 1-2 poems.


July 21           Tom Jones and Cristina Norcross
Aug 18           Kay Sanders and Margaret Rozga

​Sep15            Kathryn Gahl and Wendy Schmidt



WED, ​JUNE 11, JUDE GENEREAUX, featured at the DICKINSON POETRY SERIES: On the second Wednesday of every month the Dickinson Poetry Series features a reading by a local or regional poet followed by an open mic and reception. The public is welcome, and admission is free.  7:00 p.m. at the UUF, 10341 Highway 42 in Ephraim.  For more information visit or call 920.854.7559.

TUES, JUNE 24, FRANKIE MENGELING AT CARAMEL CRISP & CAFE200 E City Center, Oshkosh:  Except for a 6th grade poem about how her school’s blackboard was now green, Frankie didn’t write poetry until she was teaching at Lourdes High School where ​she discovered the National Writing Project that teaches how to teach writing.  For six years she was one of the 13 National Writing Project teachers who critiqued teacher writings across the USA via email.  She submitted her poetry for their scrutiny also and learned that bathtub Madonnas appear in more places than Wisconsin farmyards.   And that Southerners had never heard of rumble seats.  ​Her poems have appeared in the Museletter of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, Fox CryVerse Wisconsin, and six Wisconsin Poets’ Calendars. In addition she writes a blog “Riding the Beer Trail” about old Oshkosh taverns. The blog has had nearly 34,000 hits by readers from the USA and over 70 countries. The featured readers begin at 6:30 pm. An open mic will follow where participants may read one or two of their own poems or poems by others that they love.   Come early and enjoy a meal or grab a cup of coffee.




Erin Heiling is the new contact person for poetry submissions to The Scene: Oshkosh.  She is very enthusiastic about receiving your poetry with an eye towards publication.  Poets may contact Erin at:

CALL FOR POETS​: Northeast Region (Green Bay) looking to develop a schedule of poets for readings at The Reader’s Loft, Green Bay, the last Thursday of every month. Openings July, August and September. Bring your chapbook or collection for display/sale. If interested, contact regional VP Tori Grant Welhouse at

BROADSIDE CONTEST​: One poet will be awarded their submitted poem visually designed as an 11×17″ color broadside with 100 color copies to sell or otherwise distribute at readings, events, etc. If you are not familiar with broadsides here’s a link to the Minnesota Book Arts that not only explains this historical format but also includes a few examples.

* Submit one of your best poems to by the 6th of July that you believe would translate well to a broadside.

* Winner will be announced by August 3rd.

* Broadside designed and printed by September 7th.

​Questions?  Contact Tori Grant Welhouse at

Cathryn Cofell, PR Coordinator for Sarah Gilbert, Poetry Reading Series Coordinator (and WFOP Regional VP)

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Wisconsin Children’s Writers Share Good News

Here is monthly good news reported by Wisconsin’s SCBWI members:

Miranda Paul sold her fourth picture book, 10 Little Ninjas, to Knopf Children’s at Random House. A Publisher’s Weekly item says, “Karen Greenberg and Melanie Cecka at Knopf have acquired Miranda Paul’s 10 Little Ninjas, a ‘sensei-tional’ picture book twist on a childhood rhyme, in which a group of not-so-sleepy ninja toddlers devise ways to sneak, creep, and tumble their way out of going to bed. It’s planned for spring 2016; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary brokered thdeal for world rights.”

Miranda says she owes “a lot to one of my SCBWI critique partners for her willingness to help me as I worked through umpteen drafts, and to my SCBWI conference faculty critiquer for the encouragement to go ahead and submit it to my agent.”
Andrea Skyberg and her husband, Michael Greer, recently took home national awards for two of their books. The Eyes of India by Michael was awarded a Mom’s Choice Award for Juvenile Fiction, and CommuniTree by Andrea and the Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts was honored with a Finalist Award from Next Generation Indie Books.
CommuniTree was created in collaboration with 686 students. A video at describes how the book was made.
Georgia Beaverson the first book in a project she’s working on for Wisconsin Media Lab, a bio of Les Paul, is available for free download, along with free resources and a fun film. This series is meant for classroom use by Wisconsin teachers. Georgia is editing the books this year. Here’s the link.
Congratulations to Miranda, Andrea, Michael and Georgia!
See other news about Wisconsin writers at

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Wisconsin Writer Chronicled Her O.J. Simpson Trial Role

The media has entered the year of Simpson Revisited with the upcoming 20th anniversary of the murders of O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend Ron Goldman (June 12). Articles about the crimes and case that arose from it — The People vs. Orenthal James Simpson — have been popping up with more frequency for the past week or two. A Q&A Hartford Books Examiner’s John Valeri had with me about my role with the court and my book, Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from The People vs. O.J. Simpson, was posted on his Examiner website today. Here is John’s lead-in on his Facebook Page and a link to his article. (Sorry for the pop-ups. Just click the x to get rid of them):

“Today, I’m in conversation with Jerrianne Hayslett, who was the media liaison for the Los Angeles Superior Court during the O.J. Simpson trial.”

Anatomy of a Trial was a Council for Wisconsin Writers 2008 Kingery/Derleth Book-Length Nonfiction honorable mention. As a member of the CWW board of directors, my bio, along with those of the entire board is on the CWW website at http://www.wiswriters/contacts.

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