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Welcome to the MWC!
 

Interested in becoming a member of MWC?  Need to renew your membership?  Now you can use this PayPal link to join or renew to enjoy discounts on our paid programs and workshops, receive a copy of our year-end Writer's Block E-Magazine & other member benefits.  Contact MWC if you have questions about membership. Student and Senior Memberships start at $25, Individual memberships start at $30. Thanks!

MWC Membership Fees

Fall 2014 Novel Workshop Series:
Writing a Unique and Inspired Novel

Instructor: Steve Semken

                                                                       
September 16th and 30th, October 14th and 28th, November 4th and 18th (all Tuesdays),
6 to 8 p.m. each session (6 sessions total) at MWC

 This three month workshop will focus on how to best create an inspired novel that you can call your own. We won't spend time discussing writing formulas, but instead develop and explore how you can turn your distinctive ideas and passions in to YOUR own novel. Our time will be spent in a variety of ways: group discussion and critiques, questions and answers, writing activities, author techniques, dreams, intuitions, will all be used. The instructor, both an author and long time book publisher, will cover all stages of the writing process: from initial idea to knowing you are done. This workshop is expected to challenge both beginning and experienced writers.

These workshops will focus on improving your writing with an eye toward publication. Participants are encouraged to have a manuscript in progress. There will be time for critique/feedback with the group as well as for time for each participant to meet 1-on-1 at some point during the course of the workshop. There will be some homework and reading assignments.
 

Cost of participating in the fall workshop series is $175 for MWC members, $200 for non-members. Installment payments are welcome. For more information, contact MWC at 563-324-1410 or register online today using the PayPal below.
Space is limited so sign up for this unique opportunity soon!           

Registration

 

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The Atlas, Vol. 9 Release Party & Reading

August 13th at 7 p.m. at MWC
 


Celebrate with the 2014 YEW Interns and take a look at their publication, The Atlas. Interns will be reading their work and copies of The Atlas will be for sale at a special discount.

Light refreshments served. Free and open to everyone.
 

Buy a copy of THE ATLAS, Vol. 9 using the PayPal link below

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The 2014 Susan K. Collins / Mississippi Valley Chapbook Contest is OPEN for submissions

 

The Midwest Writing Center will be taking submissions to its Susan K. Collins Poetry Chapbook Contest (f/k/a Mississippi Valley Poetry Chapbook Contest) through September 30. The winning chapbook will be published by MWC Press; the winner will also receive $100 and 15 free copies of the finished chapbook.

 

Visit the Contest Page to download a brochure and for complete information


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Alex Lemon Poetry/Memoir Workshop: The Most Beautiful Frankenstein
September 13th from 1-3 p.m. at MWC
 

Award-wining writer Alex Lemon will discuss his experiences as a poet (Mosquito, The Wish Book) and a memoirist (Happy: A Memoir), and how working within multiple genres can energize and embolden your work.

Special pricing for this one-of-a-kind workshop: $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Contact MWC or use the PayPal link below to register.

Alex Lemon is the author of Happy: A Memoir and four poetry collections: Mosquito, Hallelujah Blackout, Fancy Beasts and most recently, The Wish Book. An essay collection is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions. His writing has appeared in Esquire, American Poetry Review, The Huffington Post, Ploughshares, Best American Poetry, Tin House, Kenyon Review, AGNI, New England Review, The Southern Review and jubilat, among others. Among his awards are a 2005 Fellowship in Poetry from the NEA and a 2006 Minnesota Arts Board Grant. He is an editor-at-large for Saturnalia Books, the poetry editor of descant and frequently writes book reviews for the Dallas Morning News. He lives in Ft. Worth, Texas, and teaches at TCU.

Registration

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Fall 2014 Pen In Hand Mini-Conference
Saturday, October 11th from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at MWC
 

MWC favorite Christiana Langenberg is coming back to MWC and bringing her friend, poet and MD Gabriella Miotto, for a special not-to-be-missed Pen In Hand. Format will be two 2-hour workshops, with a 90 minute lunch in-between. Workshops include "This is a Story, Too: Nontraditional Formats for Revealing Short Story Narratives," led by Christiana Langenberg, and "The Body as Canvas and Page: The Use of Visual Literacy and Literary Imagery in the Anatomy of Poetry," led by Gabriella Miotto.

Click here to visit the Pen in Hand page for full workshop descriptions, faculty bios, and online registration

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An Evening with the Illinois & Iowa Poets Laureate - Kevin Stein & Mary Swander
Hosted by Former Quad City Poet Laureate Richard Stahl

Thursday, October 23rd | Cocktails at 6 p.m., Event at 7:00 p.m.
The Outing Club (2109 Brady St., Davenport, IA, 52803

 

MWC is proud to bring the Illinois and Iowa Poets Laureate to the Quad City area to celebrate the written word, the service of both of these poets to their individual states, and the community that exists between Iowa and Illinois here in the Quad Cities.

Mary Swander of Ames, IA and Kevin Stein of Peoria, IL have been championing poetry, creative expression, and literacy as Poets Laureates for many years, but they have never appeared together, so this event will be unique both in their careers and for our community to host.

This event will be an opportunity for readers and writers of all ages to experience an engaging two-part conversation between these two award-winning poets. The first part will be a poetry reading; the second part will be a discussion about their experiences as Poets Laureate, as writers and educators, and as literacy advocates. This second part of the conversation will be facilitated by former Quad City Poet Laureate Richard Stahl of Davenport, Iowa. Mary Swander is a former student of Mr. Stahl’s, who was a long-time teacher at Davenport Central High School, and his involvement will lend additional perspective to the discussion as well as add another local feature to the event.

Cost of this event is $25/person. Scholarships are available to interested students from Quad City area schools. Please contact MWC for more information.

BRIEF BIOS for MARY SWANDER & KEVIN STEIN

In 2009, Governor Chet Culver appointed Mary Swander the Poet Laureate of the State of Iowa. Her most recent work is a book of poetry, The Girls on the Roof (Turning Point/Word Tech, 2009), a Mississippi River flood narrative. Swander has worked with the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre to create a performance piece of The Girls for the stage. Currently, Swander is also touring her play Farmscape, a docudrama capturing the changing rural environment, and Vang, a drama about recent immigrant farmers. She is the co-founder of Agarts, a national group designed to explore the intersection of the arts and agriculture.

Swander published Farmscape (Ice Cube Press) in 2012. The book contains the play and a collection of essays about the production and the food movement by such writers as Anna Lappe and Fred Kirschenmann. Swander’s memoir, The Desert Pilgrim (Viking, 2003, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection.), has just been re-issued by Ice Cube Press as has the memoir, Out of this World (Viking, 1995), by the U. of Iowa Press. Swander is the author of three additional books of poetry, Heaven-and-Earth House (Alfred Knopf, 1994), Driving the Body Back (Alfred Knopf, 1986), andSuccession (University of Georgia Press, 1979), as well as a book of literary interviews, Parsnips in the Snow (with Jane Staw, University of Iowa Press, 1990).

In December 2003, The Governor of Illinois named Kevin Stein Illinois Poet Laureate, filling the position previously held by Gwendolyn Brooks, Carl Sandburg, and Howard Austin. This accolade is one of many Stein has earned during his career as poet, critic, editor, and teacher. Stein is author of seven poetry collections, three scholarly books, two poetry anthologies, numerous poems and essays published in journals as well as anthologies. This work has received wide acclaim from reviewers, including recent pieces by Julia Keller in the Chicago Tribune and Mark Eleveld in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stein’s newest collection, Wrestling Li Po for the Remote, appeared in spring 2013 from Chicago’s Fifth Star Press. Yusef Komunyakaa calls that volume “a tour de force . . . of mercurial wit and quickness, politics and aesthetics“ in which “nothing seems to escape this poet’s flawless ear and keen eye.” Other recent collections include Sufficiency of the Actual (University of Illinois Press, 2009), which Bob Hicok notes as a “compelling and large-minded book,” and American Ghost Roses (University of Illinois, 2005), the latter earning praise from David Wojahn for its "impeccable craft" and by Edward Hirsch for its "particularly American . . . way of fooling around to get at something deep and necessary." In addition, American Ghost Roses garnered the Society of Midland Authors 2006 Poetry Award.

 

Register today using the PayPal link below or call MWC to reserve your seat--space is limited!

Number Of Seats

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Midwest Writing Center Establishes New Endowment Fund for Youth Programming

 

         The Midwest Writing Center (MWC) has established a new endowment fund specifically to support its current and future youth programs: The Midwest Writing Center Tim Curry Endowment for Youth Programming.  The fund was named for and established using memorials honoring Tim Curry, beloved former Moline High School English teacher and developer of the Young Emerging Writers Summer Internship Program (YEW) at the Midwest Writing Center. 

         The endowment is established at the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend (CFGRB). MWC’s goal is for the fund to provide annual support for youth writing programs such as YEW, the YEW Middle School Day Camp, and the David R. Collins Children’s Literature Festival, in addition to other youth programs MWC plans to develop in the future.  

         Contributions to the Fund may be made by sending a check, payable to the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, to:


Community Foundation of the Great River Bend
ATTN: MWC Tim Curry Endowment for Youth Writing Programs
852 Middle Road, Suite 100
Bettendorf, IA 52722 
 

         Online donations can be made on the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend’s website.  Gifts from Iowa taxpayers may be eligible for the Endow Iowa Tax Credit.

         For more information about this or about MWC’s general Endowment Fund, or including this endowment fund as a beneficiary in an estate plan, please contact Barb Melbourne, CFGRB Vice President of Development, at 563-326-2840 or barbaramelboune@cfgrb.org.

 
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Announcing the winner of the 2013 Susan K. Collins /

Mississippi Valley Chapbook Contest…

 


 

Our esteemed judge, Gale Thompson, has selected The Polychrome Clinic by Caroline Crew as the winner of the 2013 Susan K. Collins/Mississippi Valley Poetry Chapbook Contest.  Congratulations Caroline!

We had a terrific group of manuscripts to read and it was wonderfully difficult to select a group of finalists to send to our judge.  Here is the list of finalists: 

Rachel J. Bennett — Mural Quadrant

Erin M. Bertram — The Salvaging

Jaime Brunton – Opera on TV

Caroline Crew & Chris Emslie — Your Stupid Fortune Gives Me Stupid Hope

T. M. De Vos – Finishing

Iris Jamahl Dunkle — 500 Days

Diane LeBlanc — Sudden Geography

Lesley Ann Wheeler – Misery Diaries

 

We are hoping that The Polychrome Clinic will be available later this spring and we will be sending copies out as soon as we have them.

Thanks to everyone who participated, to all of our readers, to our finalists, to our terrific judge Gale Thompson, and congratulations to Caroline Crew!

Details on the 2014 Chapbook Contest coming soon!

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The 6th Annual

QC Iron Pen Contest

 

 

The Fastest Writing Contest Around!

 

WINNERS OF THE 2014 IRON PEN CONTEST

 

Here are the winners of the 2014 Iron Pen contest by category:
 

Fiction

1st Place: Jonathon Knapton
2nd Place: Andy Pavey
3rd Place: Ashley Allen

Honorable Mention: Roger Pavey, Sr.
Honorable Mention: Barbara Harroun

Poetry

1st Place: Michelle Ladwig
2nd Place: Karen Schwenker
3rd Place: Jennifer MacBain-Stephens

Nonfiction

1st place: Shelia Kramer
2nd place: Steve Robinson
3rd place: Mark Davidsaver

Congrats to all of our winners! The judges had a lot of positive things to say about what they read, which we will share with everyone Saturday March 1, 2pm, here at the MWC. The winners, 2nd, 3rd Places and Honorable mentions will be our featured readers, but anyone who participated is welcome to come and read their entry to this year’s contest.

We hope you had fun with this year’s prompt—everyone certainly did a great job of going from zero to finished piece in a mere 24 hours! Thank you all so much again! Please let me know if you have any other questions about the contest or the Award Ceremony this Saturday (if you would like to RSVP that’s fine but it is not required). Thanks again for competing!
 

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Copies of The Atlas Vol. 8 are now available!
Get your copy of the annual literary magazine produced by the YEW interns!

 

 

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MWC reached our endowment goal!

MWC received a $5,000 match from the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend!

 

Thanks so much to everyone who contributed to the endowment challenge:

 

Anonymous Donor | Leah Christensen | Susan & Ryan Collins | Pat Crozier   

Mr. & Mrs. Mark Davidsaver | Craig Dahms | Shea Doyle & Hannah Morrell

Exotic Imports | Mary Foster | Carol Gloor | James & Carol Horstmann   

Mr. & Mrs. Steven Lackey | Mary Lewis | Mr. & Mrs. Thomas McKay   

Mr. & Mrs. Gerald Meehan | Steve & Barb Melbourne

Mr. & Mrs. Richard Miller | Max Molleston | Rochelle Murray | Dr. Trisha Nelson

Mr. & Mrs. Mark Petersen | Larry Riney | Thomas Spitzfaden | Jodie Toohey   

Jane VanVooren Rogers | Lindsey Wheeler | Jill & Dale Whiteside   
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Announcing the Winners of the 40th Annual Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest!
 

NATIONAL WINNERS & HONORABLE MENTIONS

 (Selected by Lisa Zimmerman)
1st Place: "The Widd'er Woman" – Jessica Glover
2nd Place: "For wrapping trees in cellophane" – Xan Roberti
3rd Place: "Novena for the Nameless" – Kelly Lynn

Honorable Mention:
"Phoenix" – James K. Zimmerman
"Doing the Dishes, 1966" – Julia Meylor Simpson


Finalists (all finalist poems will appear in Off Channel) 
“A Father’s Favor” – Leland James
“Pictured You Again” – E.P. Schultz
“From My Grandfather’s Journal: June” – Susan Brown Norris
“Poetic Alchemy” – Gayle Rein
“Spinster” – Constance Snyder
“Wild hearts” – Nancy Schaefer
“Last Present: for My Daughter, Alex” – Nan Trahan
“Nothing Sacred” – Jessica Glover
“The museum of truth to you” – Xan Roberti
“Vengeance” – Nancy Cook
“Relation” – Salvatore Marici
“shark’s teeth” – Kerry Rawlinson
“fear of falling” – Kerry Rawlinson

REGIONAL WINNERS
Selected by Laura Madeline Wiseman

1ST Place: “On Stieglit’s Gable and Apples” – Beth McDermott
2nd Place: “Will” – Beth McDermott
3rd Place: “Cow blessing” – Nancy Schaefer

Finalists (all finalist poems will appear in Off Channel)
“Gather at the river” – Betty Benner
“Colliding Spheres” – Gayle Rein
“Build a bridge” – Gayle Rein
“Everything is Burning at the Wayside Stop” – Tony Ledtje
“Winneshiek Homecoming” – Tony Ledtje
“Sea Wrack” – Timothy Walsh
“Threshing Day” – Ellen Kelley
“Garden Musings” – Ellen Kelley
“Connected with Her Own Skin” – Nan Trahan
“Bee Charmer” – Kelly Lynn
“Blood Memory” – Nancy Cook
“Why Some Things Never Hatch” – Nancy Cook
“Fate of a Sicilian Orange” – Salvatore Marici
“The Verdigris Wind Vane” – Salvatore Marici

UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER VALLEY WINNER & FINALISTS
Selected by Richard Stahl

Winner: “Fireworks” – Therese Guise

Finalists (all finalist poems will appear in Off Channel)
“Cedar Road” – Beth McDermott
“Reorienting” – Nancy Cook
“Foreclosure” – Nancy Schaefer
“Behind the museum at Sibley Park Zoo, Mankato, Minnesota” - Betty Benner
“Miracle at the Main Street Tap” – Jean Tucker
“Rutherford County” – Jean Tucker

 

Congrats to all of the winners, honorable mentions, and finalists!

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Announcing the winner of the 2012 Chapbook Contest!

 

Our esteemed judge, Shane McCrae, has selected Apple Season by Cindy Hunter Morgan as the winner of the 2012 Chapbook Contest (see Cindy’s full bio below).

We had a terrific group of manuscripts to read and it was wonderfully difficult to select a group of finalists to send to our judge.  Here is the list of finalists: 

The Future is a Faint Song, Jaime Brunton and Russell Evatt

Opera on TV, Jaime Brunton

Sudden Geography, Diane LeBlanc

Scotch Tape World, Tom Hunley

Victory Tattoo, Richard Boada

The tentative release date for Apple Season is early April 2013.  Copies will be available for purchase at the MWC and on their website at that time.

The MWC will be renaming the contest starting in 2013 to the Susan K. Collins Chapbook Contest, in honor of the hard work and dedication of our long-time Board of Directors President here at the MWC.  Susan continues to devote much of her time and energy to the success of the MWC and its many programs, and we are deeply grateful for her many contributions over the last 10+ years. 

 

Cindy Hunter Morgan lives in East Lansing, Michigan and teaches creative writing at Michigan State University. She has another chapbook, The Sultan, The Skater, The Bicycle Maker, which won The Ledge Press 2011 Poetry Chapbook Award. Her poetry has appeared in a variety of journals, including A cappella Zoo, Bateau, The Christian Science Monitor, Sugar House Review, and West Branch. She graduated from Albion College and also studied at the University of Stirling in Scotland.
 

Purchase a copy of Apple Season using the PayPal link below:

Number of copies

 

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Join us for Out Loud Open Mic Nights at their new location:
 

Downtown Central Perk (approx. 5 block from the MWC)

 

 

 

The new Out Loud Anthology VI is available now -- use the PayPal link below to order your copy today!

 

Number of Copies

 

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Congratulations to Dr. Robin Throne--

winner of the 2013 David R. Collins Literary Achievement Award

 

Dr. Robin Throne has made many significant contributions to writers in the Quad Cities area and the Midwest Writing Center in addition to her talents as a writer,

an editor and an educator. In her nomination letter, Dr. Nancy Schaefer had this to say about Dr. Throne:
 

"Dr. Throne is a founding member of the LeClaire writing group in Iowa...She is a published author in her own right, producing a chapbook of poetry, two novels and an academic monograph, among other things...beyond her own work she generously mentors and supports local writers and poets; she started and operates her own small independent press, 918studio, publishing and showcasing the writing of others.

Moreover, Dr. Throne has been a steadfast supporter of the Center...Over the years, she has continued to contribute to the life of the Center in various ways, serving on the Program and Advancement Committees, and briefly on the Board. She started the Mississippi Valley Chapbook contest, the Great River Writers' Retreat, the Collins' Poetry Residency, and served as a past mentor for the residency. She started up online classes, formatted a poetry book and The Atlas, and for a time even blogged for MWC too. In September 2012, she served as the docent for the first day retreat.

Her influence and support extends beyond the Quad Cities as well. A working academic, she advises dissertations for North Central University in Arizona and also acts as the faculty advisor this semester for the Scott Community College student newspaper."
 

Follow the link to read more about Dr. Throne in the Moline Dispatch

Congratulations Dr. Throne!  The MWC & the QC writing community are grateful for all you do!

 

Thanks to all of our sponsors of the 2013 Literary Awards Banquet:

 

The Dispatch-Argus

Exotic Imports

Scott County Regional Authority

 

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The 5th Annual

QC Iron Pen Contest

 

 

Award Ceremony: February 23, 2pm @ the MWC

 

Here are the winners of the 2013 Iron Pen Contest by category:

Adult Fiction                                          Adult Nonfiction                              Adult Poetry
1. Mary Davidsaver                               1. Frank Claudy                               1. Mike Bayles
2. Ashley Allen                                       2. Tom Miller                                   2. Bill Hudson
3. Daniel Horne                                    3. C. Bruce Moore                            3. Steve "Lanny" Biehler
Hon. Mention – Connie Wilson             Hon. Mention – Steve Robinson
 

                                                          Youth Poetry -- 1. Brooke Wiese                Youth Fiction -- 1. Andy Pavey
 

Congratulations to all of our winners & thanks to all who participated! 

 

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Memorials for Timothy J. Curry, creator of the Young Emerging Writers Program

 

   Timothy J. Curry, master teacher and creator of the Young Emerging Writers Internship program, passed away at his home in Evanston, IL on October 10, 2012.  We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend, who inspired a love for literature and writing in so thousands of young people over nearly four decades.  We are honored to continue his legacy with the Young Emerging Writers program for many years to come. 

 

Read more about Mr. Curry's impact on his students in this wonderful tribute written by Felicia Schneiderhan.  Memorials for Timothy J. Curry can be made to the Young Emerging Writers Internship Program c/o the Midwest Writing Center.  Our dearest gratitude to his family for including Young Emerging Writers in his memorial.   

 

 

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            New Releases from MWC Press: 

(click on the titles below for more information on how to buy one of the chapbooks)

The Canopy by Sandra Marchetti Regional Winner of the 2011 Mississippi Valley Poetry Chapbook Contest.

Call it A Window by Monica Wendel National Winner of the 2011 Mississippi Valley Chapbook Contest.

Black as Caviar by Menno Wigman, translated from the Dutch by Dr. Stephen Frech.

Click on the titles for more information and to purchase.

 

MWC needs YOU!

Please consider volunteering! It only takes as much time as you can give; you choose your schedule and your job. Click here for more information!

 

 

Want to help but not sure how?

How about sponsoring a workshop? All it takes to put on a two hour workshop is $100. You can help decide what kind of workshop it will be and have  your name associated with it. It can be a free workshop or MWC can charge and keep the proceeds, potentially doubling (or more) the impact of your donation. Interested? Email us at mwc@midwestwritingcenter.org.

 

 

Bix Beiderbecke: Jazz Age Genius Now for Sale Online!

A brand new, republished edition of Bix Beiderbecke: Jazz Age Genius by David R. Collins is now for sale on the MWC bookstore!  Check it out!

 

 

Midwest Writing Center's Premise Statement

The Midwest Writing Center's goal is to help writers develop their craft, find audiences and establish a writing community where they can learn and grow in a supportive environment. Through public readings, workshops, critique groups, contests, publications and partnerships, the Center enriches the community with its emphasis on literary arts and education.

 

In the past two years we have worked with a consultant provided by the Iowa Cultural Trust Sustainability Grant to develop a new funding and marketing plans. In the course of this work we developed a premise statement which is the ultimate vision of the Midwest Writing Center.

 

 

**On September 8, 2011 the Midwest Writing Center Board of Directors adopted the

Iowa Principles and Practices for Charitable Non Profit Excellence.

 

 

 

The creation and design of this website was made possible by a grant from the Riverboat Development Authority.

All programs are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

  

Copyright 2001-2011 Midwest Writing Center