Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Writing Contests: Summer 2015

There's really no end to the many avenues that writers have to improve their skills in the realm of writing. Blogs, articles, short stories, writer's prompts, novels and even greeting cards offer us a seemingly endless supply of ways to pluck from our imaginative pool and twist our words into a stream of prose meant to delight, inform or even terrify our readers. Contests provide us with an opportunity to meander off our finely beaten writerly paths and foray into a new genre - perhaps with a bonus at the end of publication or prize. Try your hand at one of these upcoming writer's contests below....

TLR Prose Poetry Contest: Accepts prose poems. Deadline 8/1/15

The Barthelme Prize for Short Prose: Accepts poetry, flash fiction and micro-essay. Deadline 8/31/15

The Sixth First Line Contest: Accepts starter sentences. Deadline 9/1/15

NANO Fiction Prize: Fiction works of 300 words or fewer. Deadline 9/1/15  

Cahoots Collaboration Contest: Must include a literary element. Deadline 10/1/15

War and Peace Fall Essay Contest: Accepts essays up to 3,000 words. Deadline 10/12/15

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Finding Inspiration in Summer at the 2015 Alcona Writer's Retreat

Michigan in summer is a rich harvest for writer's. Dense forests, glistening waters and a sweetness that crests each day with the rising and setting of the sun, provide inspiration for anyone seeking their muse. If you want to find a bit of community for your creativity, you might consider the Alcona Writer's Retreat in Northern, Michigan...

 "Wayne State University Press and Inspiration Alcona, a nonprofit arts group, will host the first annual Alcona Writers Retreat June 4-7 in northeast Michigan. Three prominent Michigan authors will teach memoir, poetry and fiction writing at Lost Lake Woods Club’s lodge on a small, quiet lake at the edge of the forest. Anne-Marie Oomen, author of several memoirs and a book of poetry, will teach memoir writing. Kathleen McGookey, author of four books of poetry, will teach poetry in verse and in prose. John Smolens, author of 10 critically acclaimed novels, will teach fiction. All levels of experience are welcome, including those who want to start writing. Learn more at"


Writing is nothing more than a guided dream.-Jorge Luis Borges


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Writer is a Dreamer

Are you looking for some deeper truth in your writing? Try recording your dreams and crafting them into stories. Dreams remove us from the mundane. Time and place become fluid and the self dissolves into a myriad of symbols that our conscious mind often cannot see. Through the recording of our dreams, we shine light into our writing and we also illuminate the darkness within ourselves. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Voices of the Middle West Festival: Ann Arbor

If you're looking for some writing inspiration, mark your calendar for the Voices of the Middle West Festival held on the campus of the University of Michigan on Saturday March 21st, 2015. The festival brings together a variety of Midwest authors and writers including U of M faculty, students and additional writers and press. The festival will be headlined by award winning author and poet Stuart Dybek.

Voices of the Middle West Festival

Location: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Date: March 21st, 2015

Time: Begins at 10 am

Cost: FREE

For more information visit

Never write anything that does not give you great pleasure. Emotion is easily transferred from the writer to the reader. -Joseph Joubert

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Elizabeth Gilbert TED Talk

This TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert is fabulously inspiring and it reminds us to recognize the divine energy at work in our lives.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Yoga and Creative Writing Workshop in Traverse City

For you Michigan Writers who reside in the beautiful Traverse City area of North Michigan, I am offering a workshop that integrates yoga and creative writing. We will meet for five weeks with the intention of tapping into your authentic voice. This is not a critique workshop, but rather an opportunity to dig deeper and release your words and stories in a spontaneous way.

Peaceful Prose:
A Yoga and Creative Writing Workshop

Join author and yoga teacher Jacki Erickson in a five-week workshop integrating yoga and creative writing.

We will explore postures, chakras, breath-work and meditation with an emphasis on discovering our authentic voice. Writing exercises, prompts and journaling will offer a structure to share our insights and hone our craft.

Who Should Attend? This workshop is designed for anyone who wants to spark their creativity and dive deeper into the practice of yoga and writing. Beginning writers and those new to practicing yoga are encouraged to attend.

Location: Shanti School of Yoga, 2074 West South Airport Road, Traverse City, MI

Dates and Time: Five Fridays February 20, 2015- March 20, 2015 from 4pm-5:30pm.

Cost: $125

Please Bring: A yoga mat, journal, writing utensil and an open mind.

Contact me at

Jacki Erickson (J.R. Erickson) is the author of Ula: Born of Shadows; a fantasy novel series published by Bluewood Publishing in 2012. The release of her second novel Sorciere is expected in 2015. Jacki has been writing most of her life and has published articles and short stories in a variety of publications.
Jacki is a 300-HR certified yoga teacher through Hilltop Yoga in Lansing, Michigan. She currently teaches at Shanti School of Yoga in Traverse City.