Upcoming in April

First and foremost: The deadline for our spring poetry contest in March 30, so send your entries if you haven’t already and you reside in the included counties. We can’t wait to read your work!

Our March meeting witnessed some old favorites and some new thrills as we continue to tweak our new meeting format. We tried our hand at writing haiku (and didn’t do too badly!) and the critique group had an earnest and successful beginning. This summer we hope to bring local authors and good lit to the Muscatine Second Saturday events, and scholarships are available for the Creativity Camp in June—contact us for more details.

Last but not least, if you’re up for the challenge, incorporate these words into a piece and post here or on our Facebook page: pear, redundant, agnostic, befuddled, intent, enlightened, elevation, procrastination, cement, admiration, and relief. Lots of feelings in those words. Have fun, and keep writing!

March Meeting

Join us on Tuesday, March 20 at the Student Center at Muscatine Community College for the next Writers on the Avenue meeting! The business meeting will begin at 5:30 to discuss the poetry contest and upcoming anthology. The writing fun will begin at 6:00. Bring a pen, bring a friend, bring something to share.

We will do a writing exercise, share our short works, and hold a critique session at the end. As always, there will be lots of camaraderie and inspiration as we try to bring out the best in one another. New members are always welcome!

If you’re up for a challenge this month, incorporate these words into a story, essay, song, poem, or whatever else suits your fancy. The words are: sestina, gerbil, lordosis, sabertooth, open, hilarious, queen, power, fidelity, and apricot. Feel free to post your response as a comment here, or share to the Facebook group. Write away!

February meeting

Join us on Tuesday, February 20 for the next WOTA meeting! Bring a pen, bring a friend, and bring work you’d like to share. We’re adding some new activities to the usual meeting format in hopes of sparking more inspiration and fueling some fresh ideas.

The business meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Center lounge of Muscatine Community College. Items on this month’s agenda include the poetry contest, our upcoming anthology, and a possible panel on publication. All are welcome, and all dues-paying WOTA members have a vote. Your input is appreciated, especially if you responded to the survey with ideas about more activities that you’d like to see WOTA undertake.

The writing portion of the evening will kick off at 6:00. This month’s meeting will include an on-the-spot exercise, so bring your favorite composition tools—laptop, tablet, good old pen and paper. We will write and share.

We will also set up an ongoing rotation for critiques of longer works and topics for future writing prompts or activities. It’s going to be an exciting shakeup of the usual, and I can’t wait to see what rattles free. See you there!

WOTA wants your poems!

Writers on the Avenue is holding a poetry contest for residents of Muscatine and adjacent counties, with prizes available in three categories: adult, teen (13-17), and youth (12 and under). The first prize in the adult category is $25. The deadline for submission is March 30, 2018.

Send 5 poems or up to 5 pages of unpublished work along with a cover sheet listing your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, category, and titles or first line(s) of poems to this email address, or mail to WOTA Poetry Contest, 2614 Imperial Oaks Drive, Muscatine, IA 52761. There is no entry fee.

All entries will be considered for publication in a winners’ anthology tentatively titled  From River to River. Complete contest rules are listed below.

If you are not a resident eligible for the contest, but would still like to submit your work for consideration for the anthology, or if you have further questions, please contact us. We look forward to reading your work!

Rules for 2018 Poetry Contest:

  1. The contest will be open to persons living in Muscatine County and the adjacent counties of Cedar, Scott, Louisa, Johnson in Iowa and Rock Island in Illinois.
  2. Entrants need not be a member of Writers on the Avenue. There is no entry fee.
  3. Poems may be entered in one of three categories: Adult (18 and older), Teen (13-17), and Youth (12 and under).
  4. A maximum of five pages of poetry will be accepted, with standard page formatting (1″ margins, 12 pt font).
  5. Each entry should include a separate cover page listing the name of author, category entering, mailing address, phone number, email, and titles or first lines of poems being entered. Poems should not contain any identifying information.
  6. Poems containing profanity or vulgarity will not be considered.
  7. Manuscripts will not be returned.
  8. Judges’ decisions are final.
  9. Prizes will be awarded in the adult division in the amounts of $25/$15/$10 for first, second and third place. Honorable mentions will be awarded. Teen and youth categories will be recognized with $15/$10 cash prizes and honorable mention. Winners will receive publication in an anthology tentatively titled From River to River.
  10. All entries will be considered by an editorial committee for inclusion in From River to River.

A WOTA New Year

Join Writers on the Avenue for our first meeting of 2018 on Tuesday, January 9 starting at 6:00 p.m. in the Student Center at Muscatine Community College, 152 Colorado St. The college will be open during the break, or at least, the lounge will. Feel free to bring whatever you like to share with the group, but if you’re feeling up for the monthly word challenge, compose something using January’s words: stupefied, commence, handy, resolution, bouquet, vindicate, claustrophobic, beginning, happiness, nightmare, splendiferous, and gout. See you then!

And if you’re still looking for holiday gifts, remember, WOTA anthologies are a one-of-a-kind present for all the readers in your life! Happy holidays, all.

December events

December will kick off with WOTA hosting a table at the downtown Muscatine Holiday Stroll, an annual event that brings residents and out-of-towners to enjoy the open air, refreshments, entertainment, and the goods and services of local businesses sporting their best holiday attire. We’ll be located at Trinity Episcopal Church, which will have its door open for their annual soup supper. We will have copies of both our recent anthologies for sale, and the soup is really good.

Then, join us for our annual meeting on Tuesday, December 12 in the Student Center lounge at Muscatine Community College starting at 6:00 p.m. We’ll have holiday treats to sweeten you up as we run elections for the new board members. Then, for the most important part of the evening, we’ll share our work. This month’s challenge is to incorporate the following words into any piece of your choosing: angelic, majestic, archangels, relatives, memories, festive, nostalgia, Tannenbaum, humbug, and Scrooge. Can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Available from Amazon if you’re looking to get into the holiday mood:


November meeting

Join us on Tuesday, November 14 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Student Center at Muscatine Community College (152 Colorado St., Muscatine) for the next monthly meeting. We’ll talk books, NaNoWriMo, new projects, and—of course!—writing.

If you’re up for a challenge, write something using these words: masticate, sleepwalk, facetious, promulgate, beguile, sauerkraut, pigeon, entice, hornswoggle, statuary, and dew. Whew!

anthology coverKeep spreading the word that our anthology Climbing the Hill of Life is available from Amazon.com in paperback at $12.95 or for Kindle at $2.99. Paperbacks are also available from any WOTA member. Use the contact form on this site if you’d to order copies. All sales directly fund WOTA’s efforts to support local writers and the literary arts in and around Muscatine.

Inspiration Anthology now available!

Writers on the Avenue is delighted to announce the release of our latest anthology, CLIMBING THE HILL OF LIFE: Stories and Art to Inspire and Uplift. This amazing and heartfelt collection of stories, essays, poems, and art features writers of all ages and walks of life sharing messages of hope and wisdom, offering solace for the troubled heart, or simply celebrating the simple beauty of the everyday. Lighthearted and soulful, tender and profound, this book will lift your spirits, soothe your hurts, strengthen your courage, and soften your heart.

The collection is available in paperback or Kindle version, and all proceeds benefit WOTA’s work to support local writers and foster the literary arts in and around Muscatine, IOWA. We appreciate your support!

October mischief

Get ready for some treats (no tricks) from Writers on the Avenue this October! Our monthly meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 10 (that’s right, 10/10) starting at 6:00 pm in the Student Center of Muscatine Community College. Join us to swap work, ask advice, give pointers, share inspiration, and just generally enjoy the creative spirit and bonhomie that always accompanies these meetings.

On Saturday, October 14, there’s scads of fun in store: Musser Public Library will be celebrating Indie Author Day, and that evening, the Second Saturday series will conclude with two of our favorite authors sharing their books and their writing advice at the WOTA table: historical novelist, poet, and writing coach Jodie Toohey (otherwise known as the Wordsy Woman), and fiction writer Tom McKay. Stop by to get your books signed!

And just take a look at the word challenge for this month: We decided to challenge ourselves with the biggest, Scrabble-winning-worthiest, gum-cracking words we could find. Just see how your imagination stretches with these beauties. Bring your work to the meeting, or post it here as a comment – we’d love to see what you come up with!

October’s tongue-twisters: hirsute, defenestrate, prevaricate, supercilious, anarchy, odiferous, contempt, geotherman, discombulated.

Enjoy, and happy writing!