Something to Crow About

Things are really starting to POP for our writers.




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NOTE: If you are a current member of our Roundtable groups and have news to share, please send it kim[at]redoakwriting {dot} com. Unfortunately, spammers have made it impossible to leave comments open for folks to share their news directly.


  1. Anyway, if you’re like me, and I hope for your sake you’re not, you might have multiple email accounts. Even with a spam filter, there are so many things that come into my mail boxes, that I sometimes miss something that would be important to me. When I entered the latest Humor Press National writing competition for the 3rd quarter/4th of 2015, it was a hurried slapdash effort, to beat the December 31st deadline after I had rewritten the piece, acting on comments from Kim Suhr’s Wednesday morning Red Oak Writing Roundtable. So when I didn’t see any notifications by the end of January, I just assumed it didn’t make the grade—not in the Top Five Winners category, Finalists, Semi-Finalists, and not even Honorable Mention. But today I received a notification that I took Third Place in the nation, with my piece, “How to Write Political Humor!” The notification came from PayPal, telling me they were depositing the money in my account. I looked back in my emails, and sure enough, there were the notices from Humor Press. There are two morals to the story: I. Check your emails thoroughly. II. You’ve got to get in the game to win it!

  2. Three of my poems on jazz (Stephane Grapelli, Benny Goodman and Count Basie)are featured on the blog-zine “the song is” at – Marianne Slyzk (the editor) has been very enthusiastic about the poems and they have received several positive comments.

  3. AudioBooks just purchased the rights to my upcoming book Sit. Stay. Heal. I lobbied heavily to be the one to do the recording, but . . . alas, no. I will however have a say in how it sounds. Here’s to me teaching someone how to talk like a Milwaukeean.

  4. Will be reading my poem, 2070, and ghost reading another poet’s gorgeous piece, at the Stoneboat 6.1 (Fall 2015) launch in Sheboygan, Saturday Nov. 7, 2-4 pm, Paradigm Coffee and Music, 1202 N 8th St. Great community of writers!

  5. I’m delighted to announce that my second novel, Hope Is The Thing With Feathers, was published in October both as a soft cover and as an eBook. It’s available on and at Indie book stores. I’m looking forward to visiting book clubs once again. Many thanks to all who helped bring the novel to fruition.

  6. I took first place in the humor writing contest at the Wisconsin Writers Association Conference in Wisconsin Rapids this month!

  7. Looks like the annual Wisconsin Writers Association Fall Conference, October 2nd-4th at the Mead Hotel and Conference Center in Wisconsin Rapids, is shaping up to be quite the shindig.

    For those who come in on Friday (The big stuff is all day Saturday, culminating with the awards dinner, and the keynote address by New York Times Best Sellers List Author Michael Perry), there will be separate Prose and Poetry Roundtables Friday evening. There will be more big stuff Sunday morning, with enough time to make it home for the Packers/San Francisco game kickoff at 3:25 pm CDT.
    I was flattered when WWA President Dave Rank asked me to be the moderator of the humor panel, entitled “You Write Funny” Saturday morning to get everyone in the right mood. It’s a powerhouse panel, comprised of fellow Red Oakers Mel Miskimen and Elaine Maly; my fellow member of Working Writers of Wisconsin, Leah Carson (; and oh yes, some guy named Michael Perry will be on the panel, too. If you like to associate with other writers, consider joining the Wisconsin Writers Association.

  8. Very excited to have my essay, “Warm Ink” shared on Brain, Child’s blog. I couldn’t have done it without my Roundtable group~ thank you writing friends!

  9. The Christian Century informed me a short piece I submitted on the importance of “song” will be published. Thanks, Red Oak Friends!

  10. Excited to have a craft piece, “26 Shades of Fun,” up at
    By the way, The Tishman Review has a new craft editor and is looking for more craft essays and reviews. Take a look! Submit!

  11. New title of my book: Sit. Stay. Heal. How an Underachieving Labrador Stole Our Hearts and Brought Us Peace. Not sure about the subtitle . . . but, hey, if it sells books? Whatever.

  12. I am excited to share that I am a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association (PNWA) 2015 Literary Contest for my novel “A Far Different Path”. I would highly recommend the PNWA contest to all Red Oak writers; they also sponsor what looks to be a great conference in July if anyone is going to be in the Seattle area!

  13. Excited to say The Tishman Review literary journal (where I’m the nonfiction editor) will soon publish its third issue. We are actively looking for nonfiction, fiction, and poetry for our October issue. Checkout for submission information.

  14. Happy to report lots of recognitions of our young writers in the Scholastic Writing Awards: Madelaine F, Mark V, Ethan S, Jemma K, and Emma K. I was also honored to receive the Janet I Martin Award “Celebrating Teachers Inspiring Young Scribes.”

  15. The paperback edition of my historical novel, IN LIBERTY’S NAME, has just been released by Knox Robinson Publishing. It is available on line or through your local bookstore, as are the hardcover and e book editions. I am available for author talks and book club discussions about the novel, which is set during the French and Haitian revolutions.

  16. My taking Second Place in the recent semi-annual Nationwide Humor Press writing competition with my essay, “Hey Dean!!!,” not only gave me positive feedback (and a few bucks), it also helped confirm what I had long felt about the great value of Red Oak Roundtables. This essay, was worked over, um, I mean, “critiqued” more than once until it got to where I wanted it to be. Two other entries, which were National Finalists also benefited from my Red Oak Roundtable sessions, while one I submitted in haste, to be timely and to meet the deadline, “How to Watch Football,” did not receive any Roundtable scrutiny and finished in the Semi-Finalist category. A small sample, granted, but I know what I get from Roundtables (criticism and enthusiastic receptions can then be evaluated by me as to the merits of both). My thanks to Kim Suhr and my fellow Red Oakers.

  17. Sarah Busse & Wendy Vardaman, the people who brought us Verse Wisconsin for 5 great years, have compiled an anthology of prose from that publication – poets writing about writing poetry. The title: local ground(s) – Midwest Poetics from their other invention, Cowfeather Press. My contribution is an edited version of an email conversation among 5 of us discussing blogging. It turned out to be about more than blogging and a lot about writing poetry, entitled “A Means to Open the World.” Includes Sarah, Margaret Rozga, Jennifer Morales, Lisa Vihos, and yours truly. The entire book is an incredible collection, an enormous project, a real contribution. You will find other Red Oak writers in it. I am honored to be a part of this project

  18. Excited to have my essay, “Seeking Our Fortunes” included in the inaugural issue of The Riding Light Review and “Hangers” in the journal, The Notebook.

  19. My book, ‘My Father’s Keep’ on Amazon, has placed in four independent publishing contests:
    Next Generation Indie book Awards – Gold Medal Finalist
    Paris Book Festival – Honorable Mention
    Readers’ Favorite – 5-Star Review
    Global E-book Awards- Honorable Mention
    Seven more contests I entered still to announce in 2014 and 2015 as part of my promotional strategy. It has been validating and fun.

  20. Pam Parker and Kathy Lanzarotti have put out a call for Done Darkness, an anthology of writings about life during and beyond sadness. Poetry submissions close on August 31st. Fiction and non-fiction remain open until October 1st. Find more details at

  21. Just recorded two humor pieces at WUWM; the first one, “Festival Fest” will air this Thursday on Lake Effect from 10 to 11 Also did a piece, voiced by Mitch Teich and me, “Constructive Criticism, about road construction and traffic in Milwaukee, which will air on Lake Effect, over the Labor Day weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 30th, and 31st on Lake Effect from 3 to 4 pm. If you can’t pull in FM 89.7 on your radio, just go on your computer to and hit the “Listen Live” button.

  22. Of the three entries I submitted to the Humor Press 1st/2nd quarter National Humor Writing Competition, one was one of 14 Semi-Finalists, one was one of five Finalists, and one was a Fifth Place Winner. This is the second time I have placed 5th in the country—I have placed second nationally five times. If you don’t submit, you don’t win; and your odds are better than playing the Lottery.

  23. My essay, “Guardian Angel” will appear in Milwaukee Magazine, August issue, Perspectives section. Thanks to the friends who helped me edit. As always, it takes a village.

  24. Two of my pieces of flash have been published this month; Some People graciously appears in Issue 6 of Lost In Thought magazine, and Heirloom in the June Sugar themed issue of Flash Frontier online.

  25. I’ll be reading from my upcoming book, The Seamus Sessions: Dog Training for the Bereaved, July 22 at Boswell Books. Come. Sit. Stay.

  26. Redbird alum Jon Kolb will be interviewed about his novel, “The Summer of Rain:Odyssey of a Young PI”, on Friday, June 13, during the 10-11AM Lake Effect show. He will discuss his knowledge of Milwaukee area crime history, as well as aspects of his novel. The book is available at Boswell Books, Myster One, Barnes and Noble and the Little Read Bookstore, as well as Amazon.

  27. I was gratified to to take Second Place in the Wisconsin Writers Association’s annual Florence Lindemann Humor Writing Competiton.
    Thanks to Judge Cherie Burbach for her flattering and helpful comments. If you enter any writing competition, and they offer feedback for an additional fee, seize the opportunity. Why wouldn’t you?

  28. I was thrilled to learn my poem “Cardiac Rotation” received an Honorable Mention in the WFOP 2014 Muse Contest! Thanks to all my round table friends who read and work shopped this poem with me.

    Sharon Foley

  29. My historical novel, In Liberty’s Name, has just been released by Knox Robinson Publishing. I will talk & sign copies at Boswell Book Co., Milwaukee, May 8, 7 pm. The story was inspired by my French ancestors who lived in Haiti during the slave insurrection and settled in New Orleans in 1809. You can read an excerpt at the publisher’s website.

  30. I have two exciting weeks coming up at The Clearing in Door County. June 1-7 I’ll be teaching the Life Stories class, and Sept 29-Oct 4, the Women’s Writing Retreat. A week at The Clearing is a life changer — worth every minute and every penny.

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