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!

Spring Meetings

Join us from 6:00 – 8:00 pm in room 301 of Musser Public Library in Muscatine to share work and inspiration on these dates:

Tuesday, January 18

Tuesday, February 15

Tuesday, March 15

Bring a pen, bring a friend, bring a short work to share! You might also want to bring along a mask.

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!

October writing challenge

October writing challenge

The first part of this challenge is to capture 13 words. Some ideas:

  1. Collect 13 words from storefronts or billboards you pass in your car or ads that pop up on your computer screen
  2. Pull a book off your shelf that you haven’t touched in years and randomly pick out 13 words from page numbers that include the numbers 1 and 3
  3. Give yourself 13 hours and pick a word once an hour that gives you a little tingle or chill
  4. Consult your favorite little ghoul(s) and have them suggest words

When you have your 13 words, write a spooky story, horrific poem, eerie essay, or other piece of your choosing. Bring a copy to pass around at the meeting and scare our socks off!

October Occupations

Time to dust off your Halloween decorations and your creativity caps, writers. WOTA is hoping to recharge you this month with some fresh sources of inspiration.

October Meetings

WOTA in the Afternoon will start the month with a bang on Thursday, October 1. Look for the October newsletter in your inbox for the Zoom link to an online meeting running from 1 to 3 pm.

WOTA is going to try a new location for our monthly evening meeting on Tuesday, October 20! The new director of the National Pearl Button Museum, Dustin Joy (also WOTA’s vice-president) has invited us to try out the Museum’s upstairs meeting area. There will be space to spread out but still meet face to face. Bring your mask, your hand sanitizer, your pen, something to write with, and a work to share. We’ll observe social distancing and all necessary COVID-19 precautions. Note there is elevator access to the second floor and accessible restrooms as well. The business meeting will start at 5:30 pm and the writing portion will begin at 6:00. See you there!

October Writing Challenge

How do you learn to write well? Imitate your betters, and steal from the greats. This month’s writing challenge is to compose a short piece in the style of a writer you admire. Don’t tell us in advance who you’re stealing from, though; read it and make us guess. Or post your work in the comments section below and share with the world!

September Word Challenge

If you’re in need of a prompt to make you pick up your pen, try WOTA’s September writing challenge:

Choose a homophone (no need to stick to this list) and write a piece that incorporates as many different meanings (and versions) of the words as you can think of. Poetry, prose, screenplay, hybrid–you know it’s all on the table. Surprise us!

You can post your piece in the comments selection below, post it to our Facebook group, and, of course, share your piece at one of the September meetings. Check the newsletter for the Zoom links for WOTA in the Afternoon on Thursday, September 3 and the regular Tuesday evening meeting on September 15. If you’re not on the newsletter but would like the link to attend the meeting, email us now.

Can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!