Archived Story

A writer’s journey to Fergus Falls leaves her with much to think about [UPDATED]

Published 9:22am Thursday, October 11, 2012 Updated 11:23am Thursday, October 11, 2012

When I heard that Will Weaver of Sweet Land fame was the keynote speaker of the LRWN Writers Conference, I was hooked on the invite. The bonus of meeting other esteemed writers and learning more about the writing process sealed the deal for me.

And so began my writer’s journey to M-State Fergus Falls, some 158 miles away from my home.

Lake Region Writer’s Network sponsored the fourth Annual Writer’s Conference Saturday, Oct. 6.

The staff at LRWN certainly had their creative juices flowing planning this event. The star power line-up of workshop presenters was impressive. It included well-known regional writers, authors, poets, professors, directors, producers, editors, teachers and a psychotherapist.

Even the autumn table decorations were imaginative. Famous writers’ quotes were hand painted on pumpkins. A sign with a map of Fergus Falls on the table reminded each participant this is where their writing journey begins.

Will Weaver, a beloved storyteller from the Midwest, set the tone for the conference with his folksy style and humor. He asked participants to look at all the reasons why we write. He challenged us to look for different ways to stretch our writing to get to that next stage, publication. Weaver shared some of his stories about his writing journey; the challenges he faced and risks taken to become a published author.

In his closing remarks he said, “We all have stories, the challenge is telling them well,” certainly gave me lots to think about.

Throughout the day our creative spirits were nurtured with the variety of workshops available. We learned how to stretch our writing, improve our storytelling skills, utilize technology to develop an author’s platform, apply effective poetry techniques, improve screenwriting skills, and write a memoir. There was something for everyone at the conference no matter where each participant was in his or her writing journey. The information on how to develop an author’s platform using technology was quite helpful to me since I am a blogger.

Not only was the day filled with a variety of workshops to attend, but afforded opportunities to network with other writers, check out a variety of resources, purchase books, reconnect with colleagues, and even pick up some poems on a stick to enjoy. The newest edition of the Lake Region Review was available for purchase. This literary book contains high quality fiction, creative non-fiction and poems by regional writers in Minnesota and the Eastern Dakotas. The cover art for The Lake Region Review is a woodcut print design titled, “Cardinals.” Charles Beck, a native of Fergus Falls, designed the cover. Copies of this literary book can be purchased at Victor Lundeens, downtown Fergus Falls, or online at

The facilities at Legacy Hall provided the perfect setting for writers on a crisp autumn day.

The scenic route back home on State Highway 210 provided me with lots of reflective time to think about the eventful day. This conference will definitely be on my 2013 calendar.

I am looking forward to sharing all the information from the conference with other writers in my area and to encourage their participation next fall. And I would like to add that my writing journey to Fergus Falls was well worth the long drive for all the new ideas and resources I was able to collect for my own writing.


Sue Ready is a writer and blogger at She is the Poetry Chairwoman for Northwoods Arts Council in Hackensack.

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