Most writers find solace and inspiration in nature. Living in Winnebago County and Rockford has special advantages for writers who love parks, forest preserves, gardens, river walks and bike paths. Some favorites are the Sinnissippi Bike Path, which has remained unspoiled by too much river traffic; the drive down Route 2, especially in fall when the bluffs explode in color and the river glistens silver and gold; Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve, with its bluffs and quiet walkway that winds along the Kishwaukee River; Anderson Gardens, which is not only a local but a national treasure; Rock Cut State Parks many beautiful prairie walks amidst golden honey locust and goldenrod and an occasional bluebird; and the sanctuary of Severson Dells, where wild ginger and skunk cabbage bloom in spring. These, of course, are just a few of our areas best-kept secrets.
What are your favorite natural places? Where do you go to find quiet beauty and solace from the cornfield starter castles and the assaults of urban sprawl? What is your connection to the land in this area? Perhaps it is your own personal garden. If you have written about such places or created drawings of them, here is an opportunity to share your vision in an anthology. Don Miller, naturalist and educator at Severson Dells, invites you to submit your writing and drawings to The Land Anthology, which he is coordinating. Here are the details:
For many of us, the natural places of north central Illinois have a special meaning. These natural places shape the stories of our livesand those words need to be heard. Severson Dells Education Foundation is taking part in an exciting project. We are soliciting authors and artists to submit poems, essays, short fiction, and artwork that can be reproduced in black and white for an anthology of north central Illinois writing related to the land. We are looking for writing about those natural places that show a strong connection of
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people to the land. Share your words and/or drawings of those places that captivate, inspire, provide solitude or escapeor simply call you to explore them more closely.
We hope you will respond to this invitation to share your perspective on the land and be part of this project, which is supported by a grant from the Smith Foundation as well as other organizations and individuals from this region.
To submit artworks or written work:
1) Please mail entries to Severson Dells Education Foundation, 8786 Montague Road, Rockford, Illinois 61102, before November 25, 2002.
2) A committee will select approximately 30 juried pieces to be accepted for publication.
3) Those entries that are accepted will be notified by mail. (Notified by phone if included with entries.) If you wish for an entry to be returned, please send in a self-addressed, stamped envelope; otherwise, all entries not picked up by March 15, 2003 will be discarded.
4) No e-mail entries, please.
5) Two contributor copies will be awarded to all authors and artists of published pieces.
6) Artwork must be able to be reproduced in black and white, and may be of animals or plants, as well as places.
7) Written entries should not exceed 1,000 words.
8) North central Illinois will be defined as a radius of approximately 40 miles from the town of South Beloit, Illinois.
Severson Dells Education Foundation hopes you find this project intriguing and excitingone that shows how the quiet beauty of prairie, rivers, fertile earth and the creatures who reside in this region provide solace and inspiration to those of us who call it home.
Please call (815) 335-2915 if you should have further questions.