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Rockford Review Youth Poetry Award!

Rockford Review Youth Poetry Award An anonymous donor sent us funds to sponsor a youth poetry contest. The contest will be open to all kids up to age 18, so we hope all of you RWG members will encourage your children and/or grandchildren to submit poems they’ve written. We’ll try to get the word out to the wider public, too. We’ve set up two categories: 13-18 12 and under Please send up to 3 poems, 50 lines or less, to sally@rockfordwritersguild.org. Your name, age, address, email address, and phone number should appear in the upper righthand corner. Two RWG members have graciously volunteered to judge the contest entries. The deadline for entries is September 15, midnight Rockford time. Winners will receive a $20 check from RWG and winning poems will be published in the Winter-Spring edition of The Rockford Review ...
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Books to be mailed soon

The Summer-Fall edition of The Rockford Review will be mailed next week ...
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Calling All Poets!

Invitation from Poets & Patrons of Chicago: Poetry contest with 14 themed categories, plus a free sonnet contest with 2 categories (traditional and modern). Cash prizes. Deadline September 1, 2020. Contests are open to all, except one category open to Chicago area residents only (Rockford is included in the definition of “Chicago area”). Go to www.poetsandpatrons.net for details and guidelines ...
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June Newsletter Posted on Website

Check out our June newsletter: see the results of our Board election, find out who won the writing contests, notice that our June meeting has been cancelled, and more! Just click on Newsletters at the top menu bar ...
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Read/hear Connie Kuntz interview of Ian Kessler

Here's another must-read/hear interview. Connie Kuntz interviews Ian Miles Kessler, Chicago playwright, who is originally from Hamden, CT. Connie calls this “State of the Quarantined Artist.” https://www.northernpublicradio.org/post/state-artist-whole-world-suddenly-tasting-loneliness ...
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Rockford Poet Laureate Positions Open for Nominations April 8

Rockford has two poet laureate positions available: Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate. The nomination process begins on April 8, with a deadline of June 1. Learn more about the details here: https://www.northernpublicradio.org/post/rockford-poets-laureate-champion-art-poetry-and-spoken-word ...
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MARCH 15 RWG MEETING CANCELLED

Due to recent events regarding COVID-19, we’ve decided to cancel our March 15 RWG meeting at the Burpee Museum. Yesterday, WHO declared the coronavirus a pandemic. Be safe and well, everyone! ...
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RWG MEETING, MARCH 15, 1-3 PM — EVERYONE IS INVITED!

Everyone is invited! March 15 RWG meeting: Burpee Museum of Natural History, 1-3 p.m., downstairs Riverview Room. But, if you aren't feeling well, you might want to stay home. Choose one of the stories you have done so far this year and develop a plan for rewrites. Share what you would like to do in terms of editing/revising. Please bring copies of your work so people can read along and make suggestions ...
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Connie Kuntz’s SOTA Interview of Nate Woogen

Read and hear Connie Kuntz’s fascinating State of the Artist interview with Chicago (originally from Westchester, NY) artist Nate Woogen. He says he identifies as a writer second and a comedian first. When asked why, he said, "Comedy takes over your life once you get into it." https://www.northernpublicradio.org/post/state-artist-slippery-floor-radiator-perfect-combination ...
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Everyone is invited! RWG meeting Feb. 16

Join other writers and enjoy their poems and stories read out loud. Bring a friend! Sunday, Feb. 16, Burpee Museum (downstairs Riverview Room), 1-3 PM. Join in on the fun! ...
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Connie Kuntz Interviews Rockford Artist Valerie Gibbons

Read and listen to Connie Kuntz’s heartwarming interview with “fun” artist Valerie Gibbons, who first made a footstool for her sister. "State of the Artist continues with a Rockford woman who makes decoupage. Decoupage involves gluing and arranging paper cutouts on a variety of surfaces. It's a form of expression that has special meaning for artist Valerie Gibbons." https://www.northernpublicradio.org/post/state-artist-whats-name ...
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RWG MEETING JAN. 19 , 1-3 PM, BURPEE MUSEUM – ALL ARE WELCOME!

For the January meeting, bring someone else’s writing (prose or poem) that is told from a different character’s perspective (e.g., Grendel by John Gardner which tells the story of Beowulf from the monster’s perspective). In February, bring your writing telling a story from someone other than the main character’s perspective. We’ll share our writing and also have a writing contest ...
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Severson Dells Writing Workshop: Register Early

Severson Dells Writing Workshop: March 21 Join other writers for a morning with Gavin Van Horn at Severson Dells Nature Center. $35 for Severson Dells members, $45 for non-members. Space is limit- ed, so register early. 815-335-2915 ...
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Connie Kuntz Interviews Christopher D. Sims

Read and listen to Connie Kuntz's lively interview with Rockford poet and writer Christopher D. Sims. Hear him recite his poem, "Sacred Woman." Christopher D. Sims, aka UniverSouLove, is a poet, spoken word artist, performer, and human rights activist. I followed him for a day in the city where he was born and raised: Rockford, Illinois. https://www.northernpublicradio.org/post/state-artist-pescatarian-poet-says-its-still-who-i-am?nopop=1&fbclid=IwAR2L8A1ka3YbXawzIIIS-wcOUg6rTCACj0ASfoc0JvwhdkE4lPtCrTWqnyw ...
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Everyone is invited! RWG meeting Sunday, Dec. 15!

Reminder: everyone is invited! RWG meeting Sunday, Dec. 15, at Burpee Museum from 1-3 p.m. in the downstairs Riverview Room. Come and enjoy your fellow writers, learn new writing tips, read your stories and poems, participate in a writing contest ...
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Everyone Is Invited! RWG Meeting, December 15, Burpee Museum

Everyone is invited! It’s that time again for people who live near or in Rockford — our next meeting is a week from today on Sunday, December 15, from 1-3 p.m. in the downstairs Riverview Room of the Burpee Museum. James Marshall will lead the group in discussing the writing of a poem or prose piece that’s a sequel to a story. Join in the camaraderie and learning process. People in Rockford are fortunate to have such a writing group. Cash prizes are awarded for a writing contest ...
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Give a Gift Membership

Consider giving your writer friends a gift membership to Rockford Writers' Guild. Just click on Give a Gift on our website, www.rockfordwritersguild.org and follow the prompts. Our 2020 Summer-Fall edition is open to members only, so this is a chance for unpublished writers to be published! ...
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Connie Kuntz’s State of the Artist Interview

Read and hear Connie Kuntz’s colorful State of the Artist interview of Manny Tang, aka China Cat, printmaker and painter. Another Rockford artist refers to Manny as “Rockford Royalty.” https://www.northernpublicradio.org/post/state-artist-who-doesnt-little-black-leather ...
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RWG Meeting, Nov. 17, Burpee Museum

Everyone is invited! RWG meeting on Sunday, Nov. 17, at the Burpee Museum, downstairs Riverview Room, from 1-3 PM. Bring an example of a sequel to a story (prose or poem) in which the sequel is written by a different author than the original story ...
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November 17 RWG Meeting

Rockford area writers, come on down to the Burpee Museum, Sunday, Nov. 17, 1-3 PM, downstairs Riverview Room. Enjoy friendship and shared creativity! Bring an example of a sequel to a story (prose or poem) in which the sequel is written by a different author than the original story. A writing contest will take place toward the end of the meeting ...
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Severson Dells Nature Center: Volunteer Opportunity

Conservation Crew Work Day — Vegetation Management Saturday, November 9, 2019 9 AM to NOON No experience necessary; training and tools are supplied. Bring a water bottle and stay hydrated. Dress in layers and expect to get dirty! https://www.seversondells.com/events/conservationcrew-nov-9 ...
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Connie Covers the Screamatorium

Just in time for Halloween! Read Connie Kuntz’s delightful spine-tingling, elbow-tickling piece about Ann-Margret Naber and Brian Thomas' Screamatorium. https://www.northernpublicradio.org/post/state-artist-devil-details ...
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RWG Meeting Sunday, October 20

Don’t miss the Sunday, October 20, Rockford Writers’ Guild meeting at Burpee Museum, 737 N. Main Street, 1-3 p.m. That’s just a week from today. Bring a short prose or poetic retelling of a story that you wrote yourself. And, winners of the “Smooth as Ice” poetry contest are invited to read their poems. James Marshall, Ph.D., will lead the meeting ...
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Connie’s Interview With Dr. James Marshall

Ornithologist and Rockford Writers’ Guild Vice President Dr. James Marshall bands birds at Severson Dells Nature Center every week during the fall migration. Read Connie's interview with James to find out what he says regarding the decline in our national bird population. https://www.northernpublicradio.org/post/illinois-ornithologist-responds-national-bird-population-decline ...
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The Shumway, Oct. 1, 10 AM

All artists, including writers, are invited to a coffee klatch with Connie Kuntz on Tuesday, October 1 at 10:00 a.m. sharp at The Shumway; 713 E. State Street in Rockford. Connie is the host of 89.5 WNIJ's State of the Artist. WNIJ is the local station for NPR. For State of the Artist, Connie interviews Illinois artists in the places that inspire them to keep creating and changing the world. The five-minute interviews are broadcast during Morning Edition and then live forever on the WNIJ website and NPR podcasts. She is scouting for artists to feature on the show and she will discuss the interview process at the klatch. No registration necessary, but if you have questions, email Connie at ckuntz@niu.edu. This is a free event and coffee will be served ...
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Three Upcoming Events at Severson Dells

THREE EVENTS AT SEVERSON DELLS: Sept. 26, 7:30 - 8:30 am Breakfast at the Dells Sept. 28, 8 am - 4 pm Forest Quest Scavenger Hunt Sept. 28, 4:30 pm Concert: Musician Kraig Kenning For more information, call 815-335-2915 or email info@seversondells.org ...
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Poetry Contest Winners

“Smooth as Ice” Poetry Contest Winners Thank you to the writers who entered the Smooth as Ice Fall Poetry Contest. Judges selected ten $10 winners and their work with be published in the 2020 Winter-Spring edition of The Rockford Review. Winners are invited to share their poems at the October 20 meeting. Marie Asner for “The Skater.” Cindy Guentherman for “Combing the Dog.” Mark Hudson for “Icy Pond.” John Casey Kalkirtz for “The Old Country Mailbox.” Jennifer Lagier for “Frosted.” Emily Marshall, age 7, for “Smooth as Ice” — children’s category. James Marshall for “Smooth Sailing.” Wilda Morris for “Florrie.” Jim Swierzynski for “Byootocks on Ice.” June Thompson for “Ice Walk.” Honorable mention: R.M. Yager’s “Martini Talk.” ...
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Submission Form Online

Hello, Writers! Our new website is online at www.rockfordwritersguild.org. Check it out! We encourage you to submit your poems and prose pieces via our online submission form. Try it -- you'll like it! We have two deadlines: October 15 for open submissions of poetry and prose and November 15 for our On the Abyss contest (for RWG members only) ...
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On the Abyss Contest

Hello, RWG Members, We have another contest, deadline November 15. Please submit up to three poems, each no more than 50 lines each, and/or three prose pieces (fiction or creative nonfiction), each 1,300 words or less. Theme: On the Abyss. The winning pieces will be published in our 2020 Winter-Spring edition of The Rockford Review. Also, our RWG website is refurbished — check it out at www.rockfordwritersguild.org. For those interested, try using our new submission form for entering the contest ...
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RWG Meeting September 15

Our next Rockford Writers’ Guild meeting is on Sunday, September 15, 1 -3 p.m. in the Riverview Room, Burpee Museum. James Marshall has outlined a schedule for RWG meetings titled “A Year of Re-Creation.” For the first two meetings, we will look at how people retell familiar stories. In the September meeting, bring in an example of an author or poet who is retelling a well-known story. We will discuss these works and have a writing contest ...
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Calling all writers!

Please consider sending us your poems and short stories for our 2020 Winter-Spring The Rockford Review. Deadline: October 15. Members and non-members, please send up to 3 poems (each 50 lines or less) and/or three short stories (each 1,300 words or less). Include a bio (50 words or less). Send to: sally@rockfordwritersguild.org Thank you! We pay $5 for every person published in the edition ...
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RAAC Meeting August 28

Attention Artists and Writers! Arts+Meeting WED, August 28 Noon-1:00 PM Arts Council office 713 East State ...
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One More Day!

Guild members -- you have one more day to submit up to three new poems to our poetry contest. The theme is: Smooth as Ice. Each poem should be 50 lines or less. Please also include a short bio of up to 50 words.       Send to sally@rockfordwritersguild.org Thank you, everyone! ...
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We Need Your Good News!

Guild members -- Be sure to send us any good news about your writing successes and we'll post the news in our September newsletter. Send to sally@rockfordwritersguild.org ...
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Connie’s Interview With Ann Rundall

As with all of Connie’s extraordinary interviews, her interview with Ann Rundall is chockfull of witty quotes, lessons to be learned, and a wealth of inspiration. You go, girl! And know we miss you! Thanks to Connie for sharing this one. "This year's theme is 'Dream.' I think too often children get told what their dreams should be. We are trying to draw the dreams out of the children, and encourage them to dream for themselves.” And another: “It (Ann’s car license plate) spells RT ATAK, because I believe that we can attack the problems of the world through the arts," said Ann. https://www.northernpublicradio.org/post/state-artist-here-go-make-some-stuff ...
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TEN MORE DAYS!!

Rockford Writers' Guild poets -- you have ten more days before the August 15 deadline! Poetry contest: "Smooth as Ice" is the theme. Cash prizes to the winners. Send new, unpublished poems (each 50 lines or less) to sally@rockfordwritersguild.org ...
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Dan Klefstad’s Upcoming Novel

Take a few minutes to read this well-written and enticing excerpt: "The Dead of Venice” is a chapter-excerpt from Dan Klefstad’s upcoming novel, "Fiona’s Guardians." ...
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Doris Kampfe

To all who knew Doris Kampfe: Doris Kampfe passed away on July 20, which explains why she didn’t make it to the Un-Gala. She was 93 and a longtime member of the Guild. She was featured on the last podcast with her poem, Bounce Back. Her daughter Lisa died a few months ago. Our deepest sympathy to Doris's family and friends. She will be missed and forever cherished ...
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Calling Rockford Writers’ Guild Poets: Winter Poetry Contest

Open to RWG Members: Winter “Smooth as Ice”  Poetry Contest.  Submit up to three new poems, each up to 50 lines. Theme is Smooth as Ice. The deadline is August 15, 2019. Cash prizes up to $100. Winning entries published in The Rockford Review, Winter-Spring Edition, 2020. Winners announced in the October 2019 newsletter. Send your three poems to sally@rockfordwritersguild.org Don't delay -- the August 15 deadline is quickly approaching! ...
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In The Mail

Dear Guild Members, Your copy or copies of the 2019 summer-fall "members only" edition of The Rockford Review are in the mail. You should receive your package in the next couple of days. The exceptions are as follows: Those who emailed their Un-Gala RSVP to me will receive their books at the Un-Gala. Those who live out of the country. I will be taking care of our international mailing this week when I am at the Post Office. Now...If you receive your book in the mail and decide, "Hey, I want to come to the Un-Gala!" then shoot me an email and RSVP. This will help ensure that I order enough cake. Also, if you come, don't forget to bring your book with you to the Un-Gala. If you want to order extra copies of the book, you can purchase them online for $12 or send a check or money ...
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Congratulations and Celebrations

Congratulations to Cindy Guentherman. Her haiku was selected out of more than 4000 entries in the NPR summer haiku challenge. Her poem was read on the air by Dan Klefstad and you can read the full story here. Since we are on the topic of haiku, please enjoy a link to Guild member Charlotte Digregorio's haiku/writing blog here. Charlotte has a solo haiku exhibit the month of July at Northfield Public Library in Northfield, IL. The haiku is illustrated with art. Congratulations are in order for Wilda Morris. The National Federation of State Poetry Societies Annual Convention in Santa Fe awarded her the NFSPS Founders Award for her poem, "On the Local Train from Orvieto to Florence." The prize is $1,000. And my new series State of the Artist has successfully launched on 89.5 and WNIJ.org. I follow artists to the places that inspire them and interview them. Learn more here. Maybe you will be my ...
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Come Write with Rockford Writers’ Guild

A Year of Sensational Writing                                                                   June 16 Meeting:  Review your sense-based writing from the past year. Revise a piece or write a new piece that focuses on the senses.  If you have missed meetings, write new work that focuses on any or all of the five senses. New people are welcome! 1,300 words or less for prose and 50 lines or less for poetry.  Share your work with the group. We will discuss your work and have a writing contest.                                   July 21 Un-Gala: Come meet Sally Hewitt! She will be flying in from Washington state for this event. We will ...
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Dan Klefstad Keynotes Rock Valley College’s 35th Annual Writing Awards Ceremony

Most people know Dan Klefstad as Morning Edition host on 89.5 and WNIJ, author of Shepherd & the Professor, and our first Guildy Pleasures Podcaster. After reading this dynamite speech he delivered at Rock Valley College's 35th Annual Writing Awards Ceremony, we think he qualifies as a motivational speaker for writers, too!  What do you think? DAN KLEFSTAD'S SPEECH Congratulations in advance to the writers who will be recognized tonight. I look forward to reading your work and sharing the stage with you at future author events. And to those who don’t receive an award: Take heart, you will be recognized one day. And, one day, you might even get the publishing contract your novel, academic paper, or memoir deserves. But I think we should all prepare ourselves for an industry that is structured to say No to your work.  That’s the default. Your job is to be so brilliant you ...
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“Snow Day” Poetry Contest – Deadline is March 15

Dear Writers, The deadline for the "Snow Day" Poetry Contest is March 15, 2019. If you are a member of the Guild in good standing (dues are paid), you may enter up to three poems for this cash writing contest.  Here are the rules: (1) poems must be fifty lines or less, and (2) poems must express the theme "snow day." Per the Guild's constitution, we will not publish content that is pornographic, sexist, racist, and/or vulgar. Email your subs to editor@rockfordwritersguild.org or snail mail 'em to: Rockford Writers' Guild PO Box 858 Rockford, IL 61105 The winners will be announced in the April newsletter. Winners will receive a cash prize up to $100 and have their winning poem published in the next summer-fall "Members Only" edition of The Rockford Review. Thanks for reading. Now...go write! -Connie Kuntz ...
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Submit to the 2019 Summer-Fall Edition of The Rockford Review

Dear Guild Writers, It's time to submit your writing to the 2019 summer-fall “Members Only” edition of The Rockford Review. Submit up to 3 new, previously unpublished poems (50 lines or less) or 3 new prose pieces (1300 words or less) or a combination of up to three poems and prose pieces to be considered for publication in The Rockford Review. No theme. Any Guild member in good standing may have one poem or prose piece published in this edition as long as it meets the Guild’s content rules, listed below.* If you want me to select, send me a bunch. If you prefer to pick your own, that is perfectly fine. Deadline: April 15, 2019. Include your bio, 50 words or less. *Per the Guild’s Constitution, we will not publish content that is sexist, supremacist, racist, vulgar, or pornographic. We publish work that is new; a reflection of the ...
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A Poem for The Current Condition by Cindy Guentherman

A Poem for The Current Condition                                                                         by Cindy Guentherman                                                                                                           Loves Park, IL The wind chill is 45 degrees below zero and the USPS has suspended service. All the junk mail lies smug in the carriers’ bags and even the bills are not eager to show up. All the kids have a snow day but none of them are out playing in it. They ...
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Feb 17, 2019 – Save the Date!

All Guild members (who are able) are strongly encouraged to attend the February Guild meeting. The meeting is Sunday, February 17, 2019 from 1-3 p.m. in the Riverview Room at Burpee Museum of Natural History. We have important announcements about the future of the Guild and the safety of its members.  Input from the membership is crucial. More details later.  Until then, mark this date on your calendar.  Now...go write!       -Connie Kuntz ...
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2019 Winter-Spring Edition of The Rockford Review

Our fantastic printer, Gary Ehrhardt with 11th Street Express Printing emailed me a couple days ago.  He wrote: "Hi Connie, Everything looked good with the files.  Have started the job. Thanks, Gary" Hearing that the manuscript is no longer a galley proof but is actually almost a book always brings me great relief.  We'll be distributing the books at the February 17 Guild Meeting at Burpee Museum of Natural History.  If you are Guild member who is unable to attend, we will mail you your copy and you will receive it by the end of February. In the meantime, below is a peek at the front and back covers. And here's a quick thanks to our amazing editorial board:  Eunice Fisher, Cindy Guentherman, Sally Hewitt, Jesse Kuntz, Lori Marshall, and Kris Veches. Thank you for reading this update.  Now...go write! -Connie Kuntz ...
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Guild News for January 2019

A Year of Sensational Writing:  Month Five - January On Sunday, January 20, 2019 from 1-3 p.m., meet us in the Riverview Room at Burpee Museum of Natural History. Bring new writing that focuses on “senses in a late winter setting.”  Consider how you are using your words to evoke different feelings and settings. Rehearse, then share writing with  group. Prose must be 1300 words or less. Poetry—50 lines or less.  We encourage creativity!  Be thoughtful, serious, joyful, or whatever. James Marshall will lead a literary discussion around your work and conduct a cash writing contest.  Recap of the Year of Sensational Writing: In September, writers brought famous writing that highlighted a sense.  In October, writers returned with their own writing about that same sense. We are building off this pattern throughout the year.  We will culminate with a sense-themed Un-Gala in July 2019.  If you miss a meeting, just ...
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MEETING CANCELLED

Dear Writers, Today's December 16 meeting at Burpee Museum of Natural History is cancelled due to a power outage.  The museum is closed to the public while Com-Ed works to restore the energy. I will go down to the museum to personally explain the cancellation to any writer who does not get this message. We will not be rescheduling this meeting, but will combine the December writing and sharing with the January meeting.  We'll have details about that in our January newsletter. I am so sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment this news may bring to you. Thank you for staying apprised of all things Guild.  I hope you find time to "go write" today, just as you would have at today's meeting. Yours, Connie Kuntz ...
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