Search This Blog


Thursday, February 20, 2014

April Conference

It's not too late to sign up for the Missouri Writers' Guild conference! Check out our amazing schedule at:

and checkout the interviews with our faculty at:


We also still have until March 1 for the writing contests. You don't have to attend the conference to enter, so if you are a Missouri Chapter or Guild member, polish up those pieces and send them in! The price is right and the bragging rights are awesome!

January 25 2014 Meeting

Donna gives her presentation on critique sessions

January 25 SEMO Writers’ Guild Minutes

Jan welcomed members back for a new year of meetings, and asked visitors to introduce themselves. Visitors included: Gary Case, Susie Ryan, Roy Meyer, Christa ?, and Marcie Upchurch.

2014 Officer Elections: This year, the current officers wanted to add a Historian/Web Coordinator to the list of positions. Also, the Secretary/Treasurer position will be divided into two separate positions—as noted in the original bylaws.

Reminder: The Missouri Writers’ Guild ‘Fifty Shades of Writing’ conference will be held April 11-13, 2014 in St. Louis. Check out the MWG website at: for details about faculty and workshops.

Anthology: The officers decided that the anthology would be a Print On Demand book this year. That way there will be not output of SEMOWG monies upfront. Donna stated she has the entries in InDesign, but the book isn’t ready for editing just yet.

Mini-Conference: Jan asked Mary Rechenberg, President of Heartland Writer’s Guild and SEMOWG member about getting together with the HWG to put together a mini-conference sometime this summer. Mary said that HWG meetings are held on the third Sunday of each moth from 2-4 p.m. at the Jackson Steck House on Washington Street.

Jan also mentioned that the ‘Memoir Writers’ group meets at the library and that maybe we could contact them to see if they would want to be included in the conference preparations.

Members were asked to provide feedback to officers as to what they would like to see presented at this conference. PLEASE SEND FEEDBACK TO SEMOWG email: Or send to Donna Essner at

Mary Rechenberg shared that there will be an Open Mic at the Coffee House and a booksigning at the Cape River Heritage Museum. She said she would let the library know of these presentations as well. Dates and times will be announced later.

News and Updates from Members – Marybeth Niederkorn will be presenting at the National Conference for Graduate Students in February. Mary Rechenberg won the Judges Pick for her literary essay recently. During a critique session at the November SCBWI Regional meeting, Donna Essner met with Regina Brooks of Serendipity Agency on her new novel. Miss Brooks stated she would like to see more when the novel is completed.

2014 Officer Elections

President – Donna J. Essner
Vice President – Rick Duniphan
Secretary – Samantha Deusinger
Treasurer – Laura Luttrell
Historian/Web Coordinator – Jan Cannon
Assistant Historian/Web Coordinator – Tom Neumeyer

Note: Jan Cannon was elected Vice President, but then declined so that she could run for the Historian/Web Coordinator position.

Speaker/Presentation: Donna Essner then presented a short talk on Critiques: A Necessary Evil?

She stated she will send out a signup sheet and the detailed information page to members on Critique Guidelines.

The meeting was adjourned.

Next meeting: Saturday, February 22, 2014. Lisa Miller, Walrus Publishing, LLC will be the speaker.

Southeast Missouri Website:

SEMOWG email:

Minutes respectfully submitted by
Donna J. Essner, Secretary/Treasurer (former)

Monday, May 20, 2013

May 18th Chapter Meeting Notes

May's SEMO Chapter Meeting opened with President Janet Cannon welcoming everyone and inviting those who attended the April Missouri Writers' Guild conference to share some of what they learned at the conference.

Janet shared some of what she learned from C. Hope Clark's Early Arrival Seminar about how the "shy writer" can succeed by using a calendar to mark off days you wrote (proving to yourself you are successful and dedicated!), using positive language to talk about your writing, and making small and measurable goals you can see so you don't give up on the big goal you want to attain.

Bill and Sharon Hopkins talked about a workshop they attended that explained how to make your web presence more effective. Social media, web pages, Amazon author pages, using tags and key words, and Google analytics reports oh my! Lots to learn in that department!

Marybeth Niedercorn discussed a little about what she learned about how to figure out what small presses want from a writer and from their manuscripts.

We also celebrated the winners of several MWG contests: Sharon Hopkins' book Killerfind won Best book in the President's Contest. One of her short stories, "Rear View Mirror" won third place in the Short Story contest. Marybeth Niedercorn's "Demon Hawg" won first place in the Humerous Short Story category. Janet Cannon's "Blonde Curls and Scurvy Pirates" won first place in the Flash Fiction contest and her inspirational Essay "Dance: Driven by the Inciting Incident" won an honorable mention. Plus, our chapter won Basket Wars! (Marybeth accepted the trophy.) We think we had more members there than any other chapter as well! All in all, our chapter really stood out at the conference this year.

The group as a whole then discussed several topics. Last year's anthology did not have enough entries to make a full-sized volume, so we are going to put out a call for more members to submit and do a two-year volume. We decided July's meeting will be a social/idea sharing meeting at Steelcrest Winery. The Hopkins will get back with us on what weekend will be the best for us to meet there.

Several people also wanted to get started on workshop/critique groups. A sign-up list was circulated. An email will also go out through semowg to ask for others who want to be a part of the workshop/critique groups. Hopefully we'll be able to get these together in the next couple of months.

We also announced our summer and fall lineup of speakers (except for October, which we don't have finallized just yet!) And here it is!

June 29 - Dr. Frank Nickell on regional history
July ?? - Social day at Steelcrest Winery
August 31 - Margot Dill on blogging
September 28 - Peter Green - on working with editors and publishers
October 26 - ??

Janet Cannon then closed the meeting. We all snagged a few last cookies, talked a bit more, then went home.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


On our maiden voyage as participants in the Basket Wars competition at the Missouri Writers' Guild conference, we won the bidding! Our basket's theme was, "Everything a Writer Always Wanted but was Afraid to Ask For." It contained generally mundane items but descriptions that allowed for...let's say...other possibilities. For example, gardening gloves that were red so that, "the blood would blend right in," and boxes to "hide evidence in plain sight." Then we had fake mustaches, fake evidence, and a rubber duckie villian. All sorts of fun to put together, all sorts of fun to watch people ooh and ahh over. We even had one person ask for the description list she thought it was so funny! Now, what will we do NEXT year?

April 20th Meeting Notes

April 20, 2013 SEMO Writers’ Guild Meeting
Cape Girardeau Public Library

In lieu of President Jan’s late arrival, VP Marybeth called meeting to order.

The first item on the agenda was if there were any donations to be added to the Basket War basket for the MWG conference. She asked if there were any suggestions on names for the basket, but there were none. So, Jan, Marybeth, and Donna chose a name “Everything a Writer Always Wanted but was Afraid to Ask For.”

Next, speaker, Marilyn Hutchings, Reference Assistant at the Cape Girardeau Library, was introduced. She shared two handouts on ‘Found’ poetry. One from Annie Dillard and one that Marilyn wrote. She noted one of the problems with people reading poetry is that they think it has to have a meaning, and usually a hidden meaning. Sometimes, however, she pointed out that there is no hidden meaning.

One form of poetry she shared was ‘Found’ poetry, where an idea or image is taken from another’s writing and thereafter forming another poem. With this kind of poetry you don’t have to start from scratch. You can take someone else’s words and take bits and pieces and refashion and remake it into a poem. She stated that Found poetry is “a word collage in art!”

She suggested that writers interested in this form of poetry, to visit the “Found Poetry Review.” They publish twice a year. They have prompts on their website that you can take bits and pieces to create your own poem. They also have a blog.

Marilyn also shared some poets who took poetry to a different level: Some were David Lehman who wrote The Evening Sun, in which he wrote a stream-of-consciousness poem for each day of the year. Another was John Caddy, Morning Earth, who wrote poems in his journal about the first thing he experienced each morning. She also shared Christian Bok’s Eunoia, in which he wrote lipograms, and used each vowel for each chapter when writing his poems.

Next, in celebration of National Poetry month, several of our members and guests read poetry.

Sam Deusinger
Bill Hopkins
Bill Whitlock
Richard Flentge
Marybeth Niederkorn
Rick Lettau

Our next meeting in May will be Saturday, May 18. This is a week earlier than our regular meeting, due to Memorial Day weekend. 
--Submitted by Donna Essner

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Meeting this Saturday!

Don't forget our meeting this Saturday, March 23 at 10:30. We'll be meeting at our new location, the Cape Girardeau Public Library. Once you go in the main doors, turn right and turn right again to find the Oscar C. Hirsch room. A map is included in this post.

If you haven't already, please take our very short survey about what direction you want our chapter to head this year. The link will let you start over if you get interrupted, but will only let you take the survey once. We'll discuss the results Saturday morning:

Also, don't forget to bring any items for our writer's supplies/inspiration basket for the conference. It can be ANYTHING that you think a writer needs or wants for writing and inspiration. Please include an approximate value of the item.

See you soon!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Updated Information on Upcoming Meetings

For those who missed the last meeting and the announcements so far, from now on we will be meeting at the Cape Girardeau Public Library, 711 N. Clark, Cape Girardeau, Missouri. As you walk in the main doors, turn right then right again down the hallway to the Oscar C. Hirsch room.

Our first meeting at the Library, March 23, will be with Robin Tidwell, owner of All on the Same Page bookstore. She has a unique perspective on marketing and publishing you will want to hear. 

April 20th, the week before the MWG conference in St. Louis, we will celebrate National Poetry Month by having a guest speaker from the Library talk to us about Poetry. We will also have our first open-mic "Poetic Reading" event. Bring your one or two of your favorite poems or prose poems to read to the group. They can be works you've written or your favorites others have written.

On May 25th, we'll get a tour of the Library and all it's many resources. You will not want to miss this one! You may think that the Cape Public Library is just a place to check out books to read but it is so much more!

We are working on lining up speakers for the rest of the year, so check back frequently for updates.