December doings

Join us for a holiday party and open mic on Tuesday, December 20 from 6 – 8 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church, 211 Walnut St., Muscatine. Bring a short work to share, a festive attitudes, and a food or beverage to add to the holiday spread if you wish. Friends, family, guests, and grinches are all welcome.

December word challenge:

Have a holiday memory to share? Don’t forget about our upcoming anthology!

Books make the best gifts!

Give your loved ones the gift that keeps on giving: a book from Pearl City Press. All proceeds fund WOTA events and efforts to support the literary arts in and around Muscatine.

Want to give back to WOTA? Write a review for a Pearl City Press and leave it on Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, wherever. We appreciate your support!

Happy holidays!

November news

The November WOTA meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 15 in room 301 of Musser Public Library from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Bring a pen, bring a friend, and bring a short work to share! Also be prepared for a warm-up exercise to get the words flowing.

If you’re stumped for a prompt, compose something using the word list the October members cooked up: CATACLYSM, MERRY-GO-ROUND, SOMBER, EPICUREAN, TIME, WONDERFUL, SOUNDING. If you can’t share at the meeting, post your work in the comments below!

Some fun upcoming events:

Author fair and meet-and-greet at Skylark in Rock Island from 4:30 -6:00 on November 13, sponsored by the Artsy Bookworm

The Sterling Lord Readers & Writers Festival runs every Saturday in November; check the schedule at their website to see who will be on deck!

Tuesday, December 20 we will have our holiday party at Trinity Episcopal Church, 211 Walnut St. in Muscatine, from 6:00 – 8:00. Wear festive attire if you wish; bring a dish to share if you care to; bring a short work to share at our open mic. Family, guests, and spectators are more than welcome!

Member news

Congratulations to Misty Urban for winning a BookFest Book Award for her novel MY DAY AS REGAN FORRESTER!

September is for writing

For those of us with household members in school, September might also be back to our own projects month! With the kids usefully occupied, let’s hope we can all squeeze in some time for our writing. In addition there are lots of events in and around the region to help you build your writing community and learn from other writers. And don’t forget the monthly WOTA meeting Tuesday, September 20 from 6-8 pm in room 301 of Musser Public Library. We’re cooking up some new projects & hope you can join in!

Winners of the 2021 and 2022 Great River Writer’s Retreat will read from their works in the community room of the Rock Island Public Library on Thursday, Sept 1 at 5:30 pm

Poets: Call for Submissions

The German American Heritage Center and Museum is opening a new exhibition with a night of resistance poetry on October 2nd. If you’d like to submit, send something to the GAHCM by September 10th. Poets must be between 13 and 20 years old, and the poem must be 5 minutes or less in length. To submit, email¬†poetry@gahc.org.¬†

Banned Books Week is Sept. 18-24

The Midwest Writing Center and the Rock Island Public Library are hosting their annual Banned Books Reading at the library on Sept. 21 at 6 pm. Come hear local librarians, artists, and other readers share excerpts from banned and controversial books to celebrate Banned Books Week. Join the fight against censorship by buying banned books, reading banned books, and sharing banned books. Human knowledge ought to be a gift available to all.

Write More Light

The Midwest Writing Center’s “Write More Light” video series will return August 30th! Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1 pm, join the MWC’s Facebook or YouTube channels to enjoy writing talk, advice, practice, and inspiration from a special guest.

Hope your September is a harvest of fruitful words!

August doings

WOTA meets Tuesday, August 16 from 6 to 8 pm in room 301 of Musser Public Library. Bring a pen, bring a friend, bring a short work to share. And bring something to write on, as we’re returning to our habit of having a short, introductory craft talk/writing exercise to get the gears turning.

Other literary news:

Audio recordings of the pieces in THESE INTERESTING TIMES: Surviving 2020 in the Quad Cities are available on the WVIK website! If you need a bit of inspiration on getting through challenging times, revisit this inspiring collection of local and regional authors and artists.

Authors and artists: the Midwest Writing Center is accepting pitches for workshops for the coming year. Send them your ideas!

Here’s to an August that fills the creative well and lets those projects grow & thrive!

Hello, June.

WOTA will meet on Tuesday, June 21 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm in room 301 of Musser Public Library. Bring a pen, bring a friend, bring a short work to share!

If you’re looking for a challenge, write something using:

CORNPONE, EFFICACIOUS, PEACEFUL, SEXY, SPRING, THRUM, WINE, WONDERFUL

Hey, I don’t pick the words, I just write them down.

Upcoming workshops that may be of interest:

The Society of Great River Poet’s Creativity Camp runs from June 17 – June 19 at Langwood Educations Center. For details on sessions, camping arrangements, and more, click here.

May your summer be full of inspiration and plenty of time to create!

May news

WOTA will meet on Tuesday, May 17 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm in room 301 of Musser Public Library. Bring a pen, bring a friend, bring a short work to share!

If you’re looking for inspiration, the words for the May writing challenge are:

loquacious, wanderlust, suspicious, audit, train, emissary, savant, observant, perfunctory, soap

Feel free to share your piece here as a comment to this post! Just remember that, because we welcome writers of all ages and genres, we’ve agreed that our shared work will be suitable for general audiences.

Some other area events to keep an eye on:

Registrations are open for the Society of Great River Poet’s Creativity Camp. For details on sessions, camping arrangements, and more, click here.

Missed the May newsletter? You can find a copy here.

May the creative force be with you, today and always!

Holiday Party & Open Mic

Join us for a holiday party and open mic to celebrate the season and WOTA! We’ll meet from 6:oo to 8:00 pm in room 301 of Musser Public Library on Tuesday, December 21. Wear your favorite festive attire–holiday hats and ugly sweaters encouraged–and feel free to bring snacks or drinks to share. Be prepared to sing carols as well as sharing short works. WOTA books will be available for sale if you need to tick items off that gift list!

Rekindling Creativity Challenge

For some of us, November means NaNoWriMo (write a novel in a month). For others, it means watching the days get shorter, darker, and colder, and fighting the urge to hibernate. (Or maybe giving in, just a little bit, but not too much.)

For you, friends of WOTA, I propose a November challenge that will spark your creativity. However you want to go about it; whatever appeals to you most; whatever you can think of to step outside your comfort zone, stretch your creative muscles, add a little color to your life or a spring to your step.

You can do anything you want, really. But I hope you’ll share your challenge in the comments below, and then check back to tell us how it’s going. What did you learn? What did you do? What inspiration descended from above?

Here are some things you might consider:

  • Write something in a genre you usually don’t write in. Share the results below in the comments or on our Facebook page.
  • Visit a new place in your local area. For example, the National Pearl Button Museum, if you haven’t seen it already, and check out not just the amazing displays on the first floor but the commodious space on the second floor, where WOTA meets.
  • Write a poem and submit it to Riverfront Poetry.
  • Join a new group–a fitness group, a hobby group, a group that provides volunteer services to area residents.
  • Learn a new skill: paint, draw, embroider, crochet . . . the list is endless.
  • Attend a community event–an exhibit, lecture, musical evening or performance.
  • Redecorate or redesign something: an area of your house, your yard, your wardrobe.
  • Read a book you wouldn’t normally choose, or listen to a podcast you wouldn’t normally listen to.
  • <fill in your own artistic, social, or spiritual endeavor here>

Maybe you choose one thing for the month and you’re done. Maybe you choose a small challenge each week. Maybe you decide to try something new for each day in November. Tell us about it and share your spark!

Dystopian works

Since we are all living in an apocalyptic scenario right now–and all of Iowa is closed for business–this seems like it can’t help but spawn some wonderful writing. If you’ve written something COVID-19 inspired, whether by visions of global destruction or simply heaps of extra time stuck at home, share it in the comments below!

While the March 17 and April 2 meetings are cancelled due to public health emergency status, we are still planning to meet on Tuesday, April 21 at 6:00 pm in the Makerspace (room 17) of Musser Public Library.

In the meantime, you are also invited to participate in our Facebook community in order to continue sharing work, inspiration, and support.

Hang in there, everyone.