Rockford Writers’ Guild offers May updates

Winners of 2007 'Ides of March Contest'

Adult Poetry: First—Rose Glitzow, DeKalb, “Ice River,” $60; Second—Olivia Diamond, Whitefish, Mont., “New Orleans September 2005,” $45; Third—Chris Holaves, Roscoe, “Wall Street Interest,” $30. Honorable Mention: Barbara Deming, San Marcos, Calif., “The End,” $10; Richard Swanson, Madison, Wis., “Precinct,” $10; Candace Murrow, Olympia, Wash., “Burnout,” $10; E.P. McGuinness, Hampshire, Ill., “Calamity,” $10; Patrick T. Randolph, La Crosse, Wis., “Cab Driver,” $10; Eunice Fisher, St. Petersburg, Fla., “The Tailor (for Peter),” $10; Sandy Fink, Dowling Park, Fla., “Patience (Picking the Bones),” $10; Jeanine Stevens, Sacramento, Calif., “Tea and Camphor,” $10.

Adult Prose: First—C. Michael Becker, Naperville, Ill., “Familiar Strangers,” $50; Second—Barbara Deming, San Marcos, Calif., “Hummiditee,” $30; Third—Les Morgan, Rockford, “A Tree Long Past,” $20. Honorable Mention: Carol Kuczek, Cherry Valley, “Master Quinn’s Roommate,” $10.

Youth (up to 14 years old): First—Katie Long, Rockford, “Alphawhat,” $25; Second—Valerie Portolano, Fountain Hills, Ariz., “My 7th Birthday,” $15.

Youth (15 to 19 years old): First—Alexandra Claus, Rockford, “They Say I Am,” $25; Second—Madelyn Thea Whitaker, Odessa, Wash., “Burning Mistakes,” $15; Third—Rashelle Bellarosa, North Grafton, Mass., “It’s Never Crystal Clear,” $10. Honorable Mention: Mary A. Connor, Rockford, “Mitosis,” $5.

Writers’ Guild speaker for the May 20 meeting at Barnes & Noble will be Jeff Flodin. After losing his sight, Jeff learned tools to put thoughts into words, and words into print during six months of blindness skills training. Five years into the process, he has written two books and a dozen short stories. His first story, “Shadows and Light,” won the Editor’s Award for Prose in the Winter 2007 edition of The Rockford Review. His 135,000-word memoir, Cats Don’t Like Fish (People Just Think They Do), is being examined by a Los Angeles literary agent.

A Rockford native, Flodin has lived equal periods of time in his hometown, in Phoenix and in Philadelphia. He went to school in Rockford and credits his teachers at Highland, Marsh and Guilford for instilling in him a love of reading and writing. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in international relations at Lake Forest College. Later, he channeled his energy for social change into a master’s degree in social work from Arizona State University, and worked in mental health, child welfare, special eduction and medical hospital settings for 25 years. He has learned independent living skills and has a seeing eye dog named Sherlock.

GALA Readings: Pick you style

The July 15 GALA will be at Clock Tower Resort with a noon banquet. Readers have a choice of performance or podium styles of delivery. The former includes portable microphones, sound effects, movement, props and/or a cast of characters. The latter means standing behind a traditional podium with an attached microphone. Both styles are equally respected and should be rehearsed out loud before readers step on stage.

Olivia Diamond's new book, Novenas for Grandmother

Olivia Diamond’s new book, Novenas for Grandmother, is a thematic series of 16-stanza poems commemorating the immigrant experience of the poet’s Polish grandmother. Dedicated to all the mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers of the world, this poetry chapbook makes a lovely gift for the special women in your life. Price is $3, which includes postage. For five or more copies, there is a 10 percent discount. Order by mail: Olivia Diamond, 4301 Star Meadows Rd., Whitefish, MT 59937; by e-mail at (provide e-mail link on mouse click) or by telephone at (406) 862-3940.

Election of officers

At the May 20 meeting, officers will be elected for the six Executive Board positions. According to the Guild’s rules, people to fill the positions shall be nominated in April and elected by the general membership at the May meeting. Officers who are elected will be installed at the June meeting and will begin their terms July 1.

Dictionary of book stores available

American Book Trade Directory is an annually-published directory of the book stores in the U.S. and Canada. It lists book stores by state and city for the United States and by province and city for Canada. Included for each city are all the retailers that sell books: college book stores, Christian book stores, Judiaca, gift, juvenile, foreign, law, music, mystery and detective, ornithology, specialty, etc. book stores—both new and used books. The Directory has an index of types of book stores. If your public library does not own the Directory, you can request it at interlibrary loan.

from the May 16-22, 2007, issue

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