Tuesday, February 18, 2020

High School Writing Competition now open

High School Writing Contest

Calling all High School Juniors and Seniors
Enter Wisconsin Writers Association High School Writing Contest

Official Rules:
·         No charge to enter.
·          Awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in both fiction and non-fiction.
·         Entries may have a 1500 words maximum.
·         No swear words may be used. 
·         Entries must be submitted by Thursday, April 30th.
·         Entries must be submitted as doc or docx
·         Double space and use 12 pt. font

How to Enter:
            Fill out the entry form at:
            Include on your submission:
o   Name, phone number, email address of student.
o   Name and city of school you attend.
o   Name and email address of teacher. (So we can notify both student and teacher.)
o   Title of Essay
o   Add Disclaimer at bottom: "This is my original work." with student's name typed after disclaimer.

Two Categories: Fiction and Non-Fiction
1st Place in each will be awarded $75.00 
2nd Place in each will be awarded $50.00
3rd Place in each will be awarded $25.00
*All winners will get a free one-year membership to the WWA.

Please Note: All winning submissions will be published in our Wisconsin Writers Association Anthology. A copy will be sent to the student and the school they attend.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Review childrens fantasy Isasnora Snores

Isasnora Snores

Isasnora Snores
Young Adult Fantasy
Carol L Paur
Black Rose Writing, 2019
178 pp

$5.99 ebook
$17.99 paperback
also available in hardcover

Buy on Amazon
Buy on Barnes and Noble

About the Book
Exiled because of her dangerously loud snoring, Isasnora realizes that living in the forest has its advantages, such as talking animals and flying dragons. When an evil ruler declares war on her former kingdom, Isasnora wants to go into battle for her country.

My Review
Isasnora Snores is a delightful young adult fantastical story ultimately about learning to accept differences and overcome prejudice.

Once upon a time, a baby was born—a most unusual baby with a horrible problem. “We heard monstrous clanging and crashing, and the king’s household couldn’t sleep,” Sir Hybroth said, puffing out his shoulders. “Worse, glass is shattering all over the kingdom, and a strange malady has struck. People can’t stop laughing and scratching! If this all continues, surely the Kingdom of Calelind will disintegrate before our very eyes.”

When the kingdom of Calelind’s knights are sent to root out the source of the trouble, they are baffled. How could a tiny baby, a little girl, cause so much havoc? The king is unmoved and does what he must to save his kingdom. Banished to the forest miles from the glass castled kingdom of Calelind, Isasnora and her family carve out a rustic life in the woods. Isasnora is gifted with the ability to understand the language of creatures large and small, exotic, and the stuff of fairy tales. Her close friend and ally is a giant and her other confidants bugs, mice, and birds. Isasnora is influenced by her wild life in the forest and avoids the  training and manners her mother tries to enforce. It takes another kingdom of the forest, her creature friends, to help Isasnora learn to overcome her feelings of anger and rejection and embrace politeness and kindness. Eventually her parents decide to believe their daughter’s fantastic tales of speaking to the animals, and they meet her friends. Learning to communicate comes with a happy price: “‘You finally have reached an understanding,’ Lovel said. ‘For some, it’s harder, but you have overcome the biggest obstacle.’

‘What is that?’ Sir Callum asked.

‘Doubt,’ the slug replied.”

Along with acceptance and tolerance, Isasnora and her family and friends must also overcome jealousy and learn the value of the truth and obedience. The young son of a neighboring kingdom finds refuge with Isasnora’s family, but when George’s father declares war on Calelind and George, along with Isasnora’s father, go to battle, Isasnora wants to be more than “the girl who snores.” and follows them.

Although written for kids, Paur’s vocabulary is quite fun including words like corpulent, vociferously, malaise, and impudent, and fun phrases like “keep a low profile.” This is the first of a series, and the next quest is introduced at the end of the book. Those who enjoy fantasy tales of queens and kingdoms, giants and dragons; stories that have a feel of Alice in Wonderland, will enjoy this story.

About the Author
Carol L. Paur
Isasnora Snores is Carol L. Paur's first children's book, inspired by her own snoring! She now has a special machine called CPAP that quiets her snoring and helps her sleep soundly. When she's not slumbering, she's writing, cooking, singing, painting, traveling, producing plays, and spending time with her family.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Sisters, a ghostly tale by Janet Kay

The Sisters by Janet Kay

The Sisters
Janet Kay
published 2018 by World Castle Publishing
264 pp

$3.99 ebook
$15.99 paperback
also available in hardcover

Buy on Amazon
Buy on Barnes and Noble

About the Book
Bella and Jimmy, long lost soulmates, rediscover each other in a chance encounter that forever changes their lives. Jimmy, however, is already engaged to marry Bella’s sister, Veronica.

Heartbroken, they continue along their destined paths in life, journeys that flow from the shores of historic Galveston Island on the Gulf of Mexico to the icy depths of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota. Along the way, life confronts them with devastating losses – and experiences that defy explanation.

Bella seeks solace through her spirit guide and visits to the other side of life.

The sisters, torn apart by their love for the same man, spend many years locked in a cycle that fluctuates between feuding and estrangement. It is only after Jimmy’s death that they begin to discover secrets buried within a past life they once shared. Secrets that may help them to unravel this bizarre love triangle.

Can they find a way to heal, to forgive, and to break free from the karma that has haunted them for an eternity? Or, is it too late to penetrate the veil separating the world of the living from the land of the dead?

My Review

The Sisters, steeped in the occult and spiritism, is a cautionary tale of three souls locked in a cycle of jealousy, rage, and despair. This lifetime could be their chance at forgiveness.

Kay’s novels are set in exotic eras of unusual settings, always painstakingly researched with believable characters experiencing the reality of their situation. In this story, Bella relives the shock of a soul lost in the devastation of the 1900 hurricane that shredded Galveston, Texas. But the gift of Bella’s spirit guide is only the means to show her truths of a battle that she can ultimately decide to win or lose…again.

Bella and her older sister Veronica are two sides to the coin of an old-money, well-established family on Galveston island. Bella has always had a wild side, whereas Veronica has always been a “stuffed shirt,” concerned with reputation. Bella seems to have inherited all the passion between the siblings. The story opens at the death of Veronica’s husband Jimmy, a self-made man chosen for her by her father, but living a double life. Since girlhood Bella is the sister who accepts the hauntings of her ancestral home while Veronica pooh-poohs the whole notion…until the death of the girls’ mother a short two months after Jimmy. While Bella writes her spirit-guided novel in her cozy little cottage, strange occurrences at the family home send Veronica looking for answers at the island’s Witchery shop. The sisters meet by chance downtown when Bella finishes her book, and decide to call a truce. But the reconciliation is short-lived when Bella simply can’t find a happy place, even for a moment, whenever Jimmy’s name is invoked. Jimmy isn’t the only soul with a secret.

Upon accidentally overhearing gossip, Veronica is forced to look at the truth of her life. She attempts to reconcile with Bella one last time in a triumphant party to celebrate Bella’s book. Tragedy sends Veronica over the edge to search for understanding the lies she’s accepted and reinvented through several lifetimes. But forgiveness can’t be one-sided. Veronica’s revelation, “That’s the way I’d always handled troubling situations in my life—locking my emotions away someplace deep down so I wouldn’t have to deal with them,” shows how these souls have struggled.

Told in first person through four characters, Kay explores an imaginative idea about choice, justification, reunion, and reincarnation. “We decide what’s right and wrong,” declares a spirit on the other side. Those who like ghosts and the occult will find a lot to think about in this tale of love and loss.

About the Author
Janet Kay
Janet Kay lives and writes on a lake in the woods of Northwest Wisconsin. Drawn to nature since she was a child, she sees it as a source of renewal, reflection and connection with something greater than oneself. She has previously published two novels, Waters of the Dancing Sky and Amelia 1868. Her work can best be described as a blend of paranormal, historical, fantasy, romance, spiritual and visionary fiction. Janet Kay’s lifelong passions include creative writing, travel, photography and spending time with family and friends. She frequently combines these interests as she explores new and exciting destinations to set her novels.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Women of the American Revolution new story!

Spies, Soldiers, Couriers, & Saboteurs: Women of the American Revolution
KM Waldvogel
Middle Grade
Orange Hat Publishing July 2019
132 pp
$15 print

About the Book
The Revolutionary War has divided the country. Neighbor has turned against neighbor. Family members argue with family members. Angry rumblings of “no taxation without representation” surround you.

You dream of a new country and crave independence from Britain. But do you have the courage to act on your feelings? Will you spy on the enemy? Will you fight for freedom? Are you willing to risk your life for your beliefs?

These are the stories of courageous women who did just that.

K. M. Waldvogel has done a masterful job of telling the stories of brave young women, many little-known, who risked their lives during the years America was fighting for its independence. Waldvogel’s stories are fast moving and filled with drama and suspense. ~ Jerry Apps, Professor Emeritus, UW – Madison, Historian, Author

Buy the book:
Dotters Books (independent bookstore in Eau Claire)           
Northwind Book & Fiber (independent bookstore in Spooner)             

A brief interview with the author
Kathy, what do you love about this book?
I love that I can tell the stories of little-known women who acted so courageously. They were not trying to make a name for themselves, they did not desire great fame, they simply stood up for what they believed and acted on these beliefs.

Introduce us to the character you found most challenging.
Since these women lived over 240 years ago, finding information on any of them was very challenging. I wanted to stay true to history but also make the women come alive for the reader. I think trying to give Anna Smith Strong character traits was very challenging for me. While I knew her role in history, I found very little as to what her personality was like but it was still important to me that the reader would empathize with her.

What do you hope readers will tell others when they've finished the book?
I hope the readers will recognize women’s contributions during this time. We often read about our Founding Fathers and marvel at their heroism – and we should – but I also want readers to know that women also acted heroically. Many took an active role in our country’s fight for independence and risked their freedom and their lives while doing so.

What are you reading now?
I am reading The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather. This is a story of a Polish Resistance Fighter who willingly entered Auschwitz to sabotage the Nazis plan for the Final Solution.

What's next for you?
I am writing a middle-grade historical fiction book involving four children who travel back in time to the American Revolution and become involved in a spy ring. It requires a lot of research to get details correct so that is taking quite a bit of time.

About the Author
Kathleen (K.M.) Waldvogel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and a Master
of Science degree in education. She taught fifth grade for four years and eighth grade language arts for ten years.

Teaching fifth grade social studies renewed her passion for American history and she began reading as many books as possible on the subject. While doing so, she wondered about the role of women in our country’s fight for independence. Having always enjoyed writing, she decided to merge these two interests and began researching little-known women of the American Revolution. Her reading uncovered many heroic tales by young girls and women. The result of her research is Spies, Soldiers, Couriers, and Saboteurs: Women of the American Revolution.

Waldvogel is a member of the Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators, Wisconsin Writers Association, and local writing groups in Wisconsin and Arizona. She and her husband reside in Wisconsin but spend many happy months each year in Arizona.

Visit her website or follow her on Facebook

Friday, January 10, 2020

Book to Film Workshop Feb 9

Book to Film and Close Attention Writer Workshop
Sunday Feb. 9, 2020
1 pm - 4 pm

The Center for Well-Being Lake Country
301 Cottonwood Ave, Hartland, WI 53029
Limit of 25 seats, so sign up soon
$30, $15 for WWA members

Taking your book to film has never been more possible than now, when creators and streaming media is hungry for original work. Learn all about the steps, processes, and hurtles to get your novel into the media, with hands-on interactive tasks and rolling Q&A so you can collect everything you want to know about this aspect of our industry.

About Sara Dahmen
Sara has published over one hundred articles as a contributing editor for various trade magazines, has written for Edible and Root + Bone, among others, and spoke at TEDx Rapid City. Her historical fiction series, Flats Junction (Promontory Press, Inc.), with Tinsmith 1865 and Widow 1881 and as the first novels, is in early development for media.

Sara’s non-fiction book on the history, science, use, and care of cookware, Copper, Iron, and Clay: A Smith’s Journey, is due out in Spring 2020 (William Morrow/Harper Collins) and will feature interviews from the biggest makers in the world, from Lodge to Ruffoni to Mauviel and more.

Joanne Nelson
Author and teacher Joanne Nelson will lead the workshop session - Crafting Story: The Art of Close Attention. This interactive session focuses on exercises and discussion designed to re-energize rich moments of memory, create vivid sensory details, and structure narrative flow in compelling ways. We will practice paying close attention and learn how increased awareness of the present can help us craft our stories that must be told. Bring plenty of paper or a laptop, and a desire to spend time learning, laughing, and, of course, writing! wakeupthewriterwithin.com

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Book Festivals and Conferences 2020

Publisher's Weekly has a great list of events for the author and book lover in your life

Check it out!

Happy New Year, Friends

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

New humor fiction from Mark Snyder

A Dog of Few Words
Mark Synder
Orange Hat Publishing, October 2019
Humorous fiction
178 pp
$12.95 paperback
Buy on Amazon

About the Book
Does your dog talk? Do you communicate with your cat? Can you understand what your horse is trying to tell you? What would our furry companions say if they could truly speak? And what of the wild ones: the badger, the bird, the beaver, the bear?

You may just find out during this endearing, heart-warming tale of a man, his soft-spoken dog Abraham, and all the creatures they meet throughout their year-long journey, including a gabby woodchuck named Ada, Sunflower the badger, and Stella the starling.

So grab some kibble, a hot cup of coffee, and get ready to embark on the adventure-filled journey in A Dog of Few Words.

About the Author 
Mark Snyder, better known as Opa, grew up in Sauk County, Wisconsin. After college, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, where he met a beautiful young lady that lived across the hall from him in the barracks. Together, they supported the 69th Dragon Tactical Air Command (TAC) squadron at Moody Air Force Base near Valdosta, Georgia, supplying munitions for F-16 Falcon Jets. They have been married over thirty years and are blessed with six children and a quiver full of grandchildren. They own and operate a business in Wisconsin and are well known for their specialized work with computerized organs, pipe organs, and digital pianos. In their spare time, they operate a hobby farm in Jefferson County, Wisconsin, where they enjoy a plethora of wildlife. They have several pets that occupy their time and communicate with them on a daily basis.