Mead Moon June

Join us for the WOTA monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 20 from 6-8 pm in room 301 of Musser Public Library. Bring a pen, bring a friend, bring a short piece to share!

If you’re looking for inspiration, write something incorporating these words: COMMON, CELOSIA, TWISTED, GLASSES, ORCHARD, COMPONENT, CARTON, KNIGHT, SUPPOSE

Happening in June:

The best dang regional conference in the Midwest: the David R. Collins Writers’ Conference will take place on the campus of Augustana College in Rock Island from June 22-24. Check out the amazing faculty and free public events, including an author fair, at the MWC website


The National Federation of State Poetry Societies is meeting in Iowa this year! Register for the event in Des Moines running June 21 – June 26 via this link.

Creativity Camp for Adults

The Society of Great River Poets is hosting their much-beloved Creativity Camp for adults at Langwood Education center in Grandview, Iowa, from June 9 – June 11. Registration fee is $20 for Friday, $35 for Saturday, $25 for Sunday, or $70 for all three days. Please make check payable to SGRP. Mail to Rod Reeves, 1605 South Street, Burlington, IA 52601. Email for more information or to register. This year’s schedule:

Friday June 9 — Lodge opens 4 PM.

7:00 Writing Games Pat Bieber

Saturday June 10

9:00 Prompted Poetry, Maggie Ripperger

10:45 From E to Zoom Stephen Brayton

12:15 Lunch

1:30 JournalingJerry Narland

3:15 Make it Your Own, Pat Bieber

5:00 Supper, create cover for instant anthology

Sunday June 11

9:00 The Benefits of Rejection Dennis Maulsby

10:45 Writing the 100 Word Story Misty Urban

12:15 Lunch

1:30 Fun with Short Forms Part V Pat Bieber

Local Author Celebration

WOTA would like to thank Musser Public Library and the Friends of Musser Public Library for organizing the Local Author Celebration on May 20! Members, friends, and fans of WOTA were in attendance to talk about and read for their books.

April is a month for poems

WOTA’s monthly meeting will be held Tuesday, April 18 from 6-8 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 a short piece using these words generated by the March group: COMIC, ADEPT, PERSNICKETY, INDICATE, ALFALFA, LUCUBRATE, IMMEDIATE, COMMENTS, EVASIVE, SMOKY, MIRROR

Got a poem in you? Send it to the Wandering Words contest! Open to residents of Muscatine county. Deadline is April 30, 2023. No entry fee.

Other events:

The Midwest Writing Center is accepting applications for the Great River Writer’s Retreat. Enjoy a week at the serene, creativity-inspired Benet House in Rock Island. Click here for details and deadline

Enrollment is open for the Young Emerging Writer internship program at the MWC. This paid internship is open to QC-area writers ages 15-19 who want to be part of a thriving creative cohort, put together a literary magazine, and grow themselves as writers. Details and application info on the MWC website

If you’d like to attend an excellent regional writing conference for a bargain price, the DRC is the way to go. The conference will take place June 22-24 at Augustana Collge and feature an amazing faculty, free public events including readings and an open mic, a book fair, and more. For information and registration, click here

And if you’ve noticed that the MWC, like WOTA, does really excellent work to promote the literary arts and creators in the QC area, why not show them some love with a donation through Birdies for Charity? They’ll get more bang for your buck through a price-match due to support from the Hubbell-Waterman foundation, and you can continue to enjoy their excellent programming and other opportunities. Click here to give to Birdies

May you April be full of few storms and much poetry!

March is for Madness

March is well underway, and so is progress on WOTA’s latest anthology. Thanks to the editorial board for their thoughtful comments, and thanks to the contributors who are busy revising.

If you have an old photograph or memory that might serve as cover art, send it to us!

Join us for the monthly WOTA meeting on March 21 from 6-8 pm in room 301 of Musser Public Library. Inspiration will definitely be in the air! Words for the March word challenge are OBSERVE, HARMONIC, TOFFEE, MEDIATE, EMANCIPATED, ELITE, AMOROUS.

Registration is open for the David R. Collins Writers Conference hosted by the Midwest Writing Center. Check their website for information about the fantastic faculty and classes on offer this year. Runs June 22-24, 2023, at Augustana College in Rock Island. While courses require a fee, other events around the conference are free & you’re welcome to attend!

The Muscatine County Arts Council is holding their Wandering Words poetry contest again this year!

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

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:


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!