SCHEDULE for 2019-2020
 We meet the 2nd Tuesday of the month

SEPTEMBER 10, 2019

Season Kickoff

Writing The Road South: On Detours, the Unexpected, And Taking the Road Less Traveled

How do our books change throughout the writing process?  And how might we embrace that change to benefit our books? Join author B.J. Hollars as he shares the behind-the-scenes stories of writing and publishing his award-winning book, The Road South: Personal Stories of the Freedom Riders.

B.J. Hollars is the author of several books, most recently The Road South: Personal Stories of the Freedom Riders,  Flock Together: A Love Affair With Extinct Birds, From the Mouths of Dogs: What Our Pets Teach Us About Life, Death, and Being Human, as well as a collection of essays, This Is Only A Test. Additionally, he has also written Thirteen Loops: Race, Violence and the Last Lynching in America, Opening the Doors: The Desegregation of the University of Alabama and the Fight for Civil Rights in Tuscaloosa, Dispatches from the Drownings, and Sightings.  In the fall of 2019, his forthcoming book, Midwestern Strange: Hunting Monsters, Martians and the Weird in Flyover Country, will be released.  Hollars is the recipient of the Truman Capote Prize for Literary Nonfiction, the Anne B. and James B. McMillan Prize, the Council of Wisconsin Writers' Blei-Derleth Award, and the Society of Midland Authors Award. He is the  founder and executive director of the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild and an associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He lives a simple existence with his wife, their children, and their dog.

OCTOBER 8, 2019

Memoir Writing

This session will explore the concept of writing memoir. We will discuss the difference between memoir and autobiography, read some examples of memoir and why they are effective, touch on audience and how we want our memories to be perceived by others, and try our hand at a few ways to begin recording our own memories.  Please bring whatever you need to write comfortably: laptop, journal book, legal pad…whatever works best for you. By the end of the session, you will have some strategies for starting or continuing your own memoir and some contacts of people who will be happy to help you along the way.

Dr. Karen Peterson Welch is a retired professor of English from UW-Eau Claire. She taught college writing and rhetorical strategies, technical communication, women’s studies, and women’s literature. After retirement, she taught memoir writing for UWEC’s Continuing Education Program and now offers weekend or day-long workshops in memoir for community groups. She lives in Altoona with her partner, Jack, and dogs Booker and Maisie.

NOVEMBER 12, 2019

Write Your Obituary: You Get the Last Word

Wondering how to best have your last say? Dr. CeCelia Zorn will discuss (a) specific parts of an obituary, (b) common characteristics, and (c) media considerations. You will leave this presentation knowing how to write an obituary that not only includes significant information, but is also personal, concise, and memorable. A full handout with helpful details and examples will be provided.

CeCelia Zorn is an accomplished author, award-winning teacher, registered nurse, musician, and Professor Emerita, University of WI-Eau Claire. She has taught obituary-writing classes with many groups across western Wisconsin and has also co-authored a 10-part obituary-writing series in the Chippewa Valley Senior Review. She lives with her husband Wayne and their dog Oreo in Eau Claire, WI.

DECEMBER 10, 2019

Christmas Celebration

Come one, come all as we gather to celebrate the gift of Christ this month. Members will provide the party entertainment as they present their creative clips that commemorate the season. We welcome friends and family to this evening of festivities and refreshments. Be sure to bring a gently wrapped, used book for the annual book exchange and be prepared to mingle with word-loving folks.

 JANUARY 14, 2020

Writing a Biography- Putting All the Pieces Together  

A lifelong sports fan, Joe Niese is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research and the Professional Football Researchers Association. He has written three sports biographies: Burleigh Grimes: Baseball's Last Legal Spitballer, Handy Andy: The Andy Pafko Story and Gus Dorais: Gridiron Innovator, All-American and Hall of Fame Coach. In 2015, Handy Andy won a bronze prize in Foreword Review's Book of the Year Award (Sports). That same year Joe received the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association State Media Award. He lives in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin with his wife and three children.

FEBRUARY 11, 2020

Inspiration or Imagination

Where does inspiration for your stories come from? Out of your imagination - or from your life experiences? Do you dig them out of the past or look to the future? Does an incident at school or work trigger a thought that needs to be expanded and shared? Our very own Renee Liming will share where and how she gets her ideas and material - from songs, words, games, articles, books, and cards - and challenge the group to discover their own source of ideas.


With a Bachelor of Science Degree in Community Health Education from UW LaCrosse, Renee Liming is the owner of Lessons for Tomorrow, LLC., which creates workshops and seminars designed to trigger memories and preserve legacies. She is currently employed as the Director of First Impressions at Bauman Associates in Eau Claire, WI.

MARCH 10, 2020

Take Your Writing to the Next Level

How do you write so people want to read? Consider using the nuts and bolts of structure to boost your readers' enjoyment and hold their interest. Examine the techniques and explore the styles of other authors to get beyond the rough draft - beyond the first edit - to a well developed manuscript. Bring your own ideas and collect a few more as we bring life to our writing.

With a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology, Sheila Wilkinson is now president of the Christian Writers Guild. She works as a writer, ghostwriter, editor, and proofreader and lives in Eau Claire with her family.

APRIL 14, 2020

Critique Night
Critique is an essential ingredient in becoming a better writer. We learn both by critiquing others and being critiqued ourselves. This meeting will be very practical and a chance to hone our skills! We will have a deadline ahead of time to submit your work. Then everyone who is able to participate will print the writings of the other members ahead of time and critique them. We will bring our critiqued copies of each other's work to the April meeting and spend the evening providing constructive criticism and encouragement to each other. 

Our own Briana Novacek will be leading Critique Night. She is a freelance editor, a contributor for Volume One Magazine, and enjoys writing nonfiction. She lives with her husband Matt and their son Joseph in Chippewa Falls.

 MAY 12, 2020


The May Showcase is a Readers' Theatre with treats and toasts, praise and prayer. This is our time to congratulate writers and rejoice in the accomplishments of the year. Join us as we take pleasure in the talents among us and disband for a summer of writing.

Please note: While we make every effort to adhere to this schedule, there are times when TOPICS or SPEAKERS MAY CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. And, since we meet in Wisconsin, there are times when weather causes us to cancel altogether. If we must cancel, we'll notify WWIB and WHEM radio in the Chippewa Valley by noon on meeting day. Thanks for your understanding!