Sunday, May 29, 2016

Wisconsin Writers Jade Ring contest info and judges

Judges for the 2016 Jade Ring competition include Laurie Scheer, Patricia Skalka, and Marilyn Taylor. Jade Ring contestants may also elect to receive the judge’s written feedback on their entries for an additional fee. See submission guidelines for more information. The contest submission period closes July 31, 2016. Winners and placers are announced at the Jade Ring Banquet Saturday, October 15, 2016 at the WWA Fall Conference held in Neenah.

Download the mail in submission form
OR Enter online

Nonfiction Judge
Laurie Scheer, Media Goddess, is a former vice president of programming for WE: Women’s Entertainment. She has worked as an assistant, d-girl, and producer for ABC, Viacom, Showtime, and AMC-Cablevision.
Laurie has been an instructor at numerous universities across the US including Northwestern, UCLA, American University, and Yale. She is the author of a book about working in Hollywood entitled Creative Careers in Hollywood and her DVD How to Pitch and Sell Your Screenplay has been a perennial favorite at screenwriting events.
As a professional speaker, she has appeared at annual conventions for NAB, NATPE, The Great American Pitch Fest, Screenwriters’ World, Reel Screen, WIFV, FTX West, the Willamette Writers Conference. She has served as a judge for numerous screenplay competitions, film festivals, and the International Emmys. She is currently a Faculty Associate/Writing Mentor with UW-Madison’s Continuing Studies Writing Department where she critiques writers’ works, conducts numerous online and in-person courses, and serves as the director of the Writer’s Institute.
She is also the Founding Editor of the literary magazine, The Midwest Review. Her current interest is in exploring ways to preserve good storytelling within the 21st century transmedia marketplace and sharing her new book The Writer’s Advantage: A Toolkit for Mastering Your Genre (Michael Wiese Productions, 2014) with writers in-person, online, and worldwide.
Fiction Judge
Patricia Skalka made her fiction debut with publication of Death at Gills Rock (2015) and Death Stalks Door County (2014), the first of the Dave Cubiak Door County Mysteries from the University of Wisconsin Press. Death in Cold Water, the third volume in the series, will be published this fall.
A Chicago native and writing instructor, Skalka is a former Reader’s Digest Staff Writer, editor, and freelancer with human interest and medical articles in national print and online publications and nonfiction books published by Random House, St. Martin’s and Rodale. She is a member of The Authors Guild of America, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Society of Midland Authors and the Chicago Writers Association.

Poetry Judge

Marilyn L. Taylor, former Poet Laureate of Wisconsin (2009 and 2010) and the city of Milwaukee (2004 and 2005), is the author of six poetry collections. Her poems and essays have appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Poetry, American Scholar, Measure, and Able Muse. She has taken first place in a number of poetry contests, and recently received the 2015 Margaret Reid Award, an international competition for poetry in traditional forms.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Badger State Author Event Aug 13 Plan Now

Framed as "an intimate event" by Rochell and Roxanne, the Badger State Author Event is an ultimate "get to know you" opportunity for readers to connect with regional and national authors in the Midwest.

The Badger StateAuthor Event is scheduled for Saturday August 13th, 2016

This event will take place at the Marriott West Hotel located in Madison, WI
The morning session will be from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
followed by a 2 hour lunch break and
will resume from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Tickets, $15, are now available at

Make sure to get your tickets early before they are sold out as there are a limited number available.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Harold William Thorpe and The O'Shaughnessy Chronicles

Giddyap Tin Lizzie: The Long Road Back to the Plow (The O'Shaughnessy Chronicles, #1)

When a sibling unexpectedly inherits his grandfather’s dairy farm, Will O’Shaughnessy turns to selling Fords in rural, pre-World War I southwestern Wisconsin. But over the next two decades, even as his automobile business booms and he raises a family with his true love, Mary, Will yearns to return to farming. Meanwhile, the small town of Ashley Springs weathers the war, the booming 20s, prohibition and the Great Depression. There’s family drama in devastating illness and an estranged, alcoholic brother. Then, as automobile sales plunge in the deepening 1930s economic crisis, Will sees a reason to finally trade cars for cows. But can he convince his wife and daughters to follow him back out of town?

Bittersweet Harvest: The Weight of the Plow (The O'Shaughnessy Chronicles, #2)

Will O’Shaughnessy has left behind Ashley Springs, and his car dealership, and moved his family to a dairy farm in the hills of southwestern Wisconsin. Now, as the Great Depression gives way to World War II, his daughters are growing up. Neighbors are driving gasoline tractors, but he’s still plowing with horses and milking by hand. Will is living his dream. But challenges bear down. His wife, Mary, insists on taking in their wild teenage niece from Texas. Accidents, unreliable farmhands and weather take their toll. Bills are piling up. He’s wrangling with other dairy farmers about forming a co-op. His troubled, maimed brother Jesse might be back. And did someone purposely set out to sicken his herd? Will is beginning to think that his grandfather was right, that he doesn’t have what it takes to run a farm.

$2.99 Kindle Edition

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Life and Works of Abraham Heschel and Thomas Merton Reflection Workshop

The School Sisters of St. Francis invite you, your friends, and family to an inspiring reflection workshop titled “The God of Infinite Love:  The Life & Works of Abraham Heschel and Thomas Merton.” This workshop will be presented on Saturday, June 4, from 9 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., at St. Joseph Center, the campus of the School Sisters of St. Francis, who are sponsoring the event. We hope to see you there!

“The God of Infinite Love:  The Life & Works of Abraham Heschel and Thomas Merton” Reflection Workshop, St. Joseph Hall, 1501 S. Layton Blvd.
 (Greenfield Ave. at 27th St.),
9 a.m.

A treasure trove of stories about the Jewish theologian and the Trappist monk will be presented by Sacred Heart School of Theology’s Sister Mary Carroll, D. Min., lecturer and associate director of pastoral formation, with colleague Bonnie Shafrin, director of the Lux Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies. Learn about the memorable spiritual journeys and insights of the two most revered spiritual writers of the 20th century. 

The fee is $12. 
Write checks to: School Sisters of St. Francis, c/o Donna O’Loughlin.  Contact: or 414-385-5272. 

This event is sponsored by the U.S. Province of the School Sisters of St. Francis.