Welcome to the MWC!
Interested in becoming a member of MWC?
Need to renew your membership? Now you
can use this PayPal link to join or renew to
enjoy discounts on our paid programs and
workshops, receive a copy of our year-end
Writer's Block E-Magazine & other member
benefits. Contact MWC if you have
questions about membership. Thanks!
Midwest Writing Center Establishes New
Endowment Fund for Youth Programming
The Midwest Writing Center (MWC) has
established a new endowment fund
specifically to support its current and
future youth programs: The Midwest Writing
Center Endowment for Youth Programming. The
fund was established by using memorials
honoring Tim Curry, beloved former Moline
High School English teacher and developer of
the Young Emerging Writers Summer Internship
Program (YEW) at the Midwest Writing
The endowment is established at
the Community Foundation of the Great River
Bend (CFGRB). MWC’s goal is for the fund to
provide annual support for youth writing
programs such as YEW, the YEW Middle School
Day Camp, and the David R. Collins
Children’s Literature Festival, in addition
to other youth programs MWC plans to develop
in the future.
Contributions to the Fund may be made by
sending a check, payable to the Community
Foundation of the Great River Bend, to:
Community Foundation of the
Great River Bend
ATTN: MWC Endowment for Youth Writing
852 Middle Road, Suite 100
Bettendorf, IA 52722
Online donations can be made on the
Community Foundation of the Great River
website. Gifts from Iowa taxpayers may
be eligible for the Endow Iowa Tax Credit.
For more information about this or about
MWC’s general Endowment Fund, or including
this endowment fund as a beneficiary in an
estate plan, please contact Barb Melbourne,
CFGRB Vice President of Development, at
*NEW PROGRAM* Weekly New Voices Young
Every Tuesday (January 21st
& 28th; February 4th,
11th, 18th & 25th;
March 4th, 11th, 18th
Each session runs from 6 -
7p.m. at MWC (Bucktown Center for the Arts,
225 E. 2nd St., Suite 303, Davenport, IA)
NOTE: Please use the south entrance (closest
to the Mississippi River) and ring MWC when
starting a new weekly writers workshop for
young writers (ages 15-19) called New
week will feature a different prompt with
time for participants to read, to write and
sessions will be led by MWC Executive
Director\poet Ryan Collins, with guest hosts
appearing this spring.
Cost is $5 per
student for each session. Advance
registration is preferred but not required.
Call MWC at
(563) 324-1410 with questions or to
Executive Director Ryan Collins discussing
Iron Pen Contest
CITIES w/ Jim Mertens
QC Iron Pen
The Fastest Writing Contest Around!
WINNERS OF THE 2014 IRON PEN CONTEST
Here are the winners of the
2014 Iron Pen contest by category:
1st Place: Jonathon Knapton
2nd Place: Andy Pavey
3rd Place: Ashley Allen
Honorable Mention: Roger Pavey, Sr.
Honorable Mention: Barbara Harroun
1st Place: Michelle Ladwig
2nd Place: Karen Schwenker
3rd Place: Jennifer MacBain-Stephens
1st place: Shelia Kramer
2nd place: Steve Robinson
3rd place: Mark Davidsaver
Congrats to all of our winners! The judges
had a lot of positive things to say about
what they read, which we will share with
everyone this Saturday March 1, 2pm, here at
the MWC. The winners, 2nd, 3rd Places and
Honorable mentions will be our featured
readers, but anyone who participated is
welcome to come and read their entry to this
We’ll have some light refreshments and will
hand out the medals and certificates for our
winners, and we’ll also have our drawing for
the full registration to the David R.
Collins Writing Conference (please note that
you do not need to be present to win the
conference registration—anyone with a paid
Iron Pen Entry will be included in the
raffle). You are of course welcome to bring
family & friends to help us celebrate all of
your creative efforts.
We hope you had fun with this year’s
prompt—everyone certainly did a great job of
going from zero to finished piece in a mere
24 hours! Thank you all so much again!
Please let me know if you have any other
questions about the contest or the Award
Ceremony this Saturday (if you would like to
RSVP that’s fine but it is not required).
Thanks again for competing!
SPRING 2014 PEN IN HAND
Stand out from the
Competition: Basic Book Marketing for
March 22, 10:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. at MWC
Applying the 4 P’s to
your B: Creating a Book Marketing Plan with
workshop, participants will learn how to
create a basic marketing plan so they can
take focused action to try to get their book
into readers’ – and buyers’ – hands. We’ll
cover the four P’s (place, price, product,
and promotion), the 5th P (people), holding
giveaways, using social media, and setting
Toohey is the author of three books: two
poetry collections and one novel. She also
runs Wordsy Woman Word Sales and Service, a
professional writing and editing company
helping people say what they want to say.
She’s taught workshops at CASI, the Vet
Center, and MWC. Jodie holds a Marketing
Certificate and is focusing on Marketing as
part of her over half-completed MBA.
How to Make the Media
Your Partner with Joe Taylor
interactive, hands-on, real world session
will cover how to write effective press
releases, target the right media for your
work, find the right contact person at the
media outlet, how to tie your idea or work
to current news, and more.
Taylor is president/ceo of the Quad Cities
Convention & Visitors Bureau and regularly
appears in broadcast, print and on-line
media outlets in the Quad Cities. He has
been with the bureau since its inception in
1990 and has served as its president/ceo
since 1998. Prior to tourism, he was a
newspaper reporter and editor.
The Art of the Blurb with
interactive workshop will focus on how to
write effective book synopses, endorsements,
blurbs, and reviews. Participants are
encouraged to bring books or manuscripts to
exchange for reviews, or books-in-press in
need of synopses or endorsements.
writer and educator, Robin Throne’s book
reviews, endorsements, and blurbs have
appeared in Connections, Unity Book
Reviews, Iowa Woman, GoodReads, Amazon.com,
and various academic & popular presses.
$20 per workshop for members/$40 for all
$25 per workshop for non-members/$50 for all
$25 per workshop for members/$50 for all
$30 per workshop for members/$60 for all
Use the PayPal button below
to registr online today! Or please call MWC
or email email@example.com.
You may also mail a check with a note
indicating your desire to register with your
name, phone number, email address, and the
titles of the workshop(s) for which you want
to register to:
Midwest Writing Center
225 E. 2nd Street, Ste. 303
Davenport, IA 52801
The 2014 Great River Writers'
Retreat Contest is accepting submissions Jan. 1-June 1, 2014
The winning Iowa or Illinois writer will receive a
7-day/6-night residency, from August 31 - September 6,
2014, at the Benet House Retreat Center
in Rock Island,
Illinois, a travel stipend, and an invitation to read to
the literary community of the Quad Cities.
The public reading of
their original work will take place on September 4, 2014
at the Midwest Writing Center at 7 p.m. as part of the
Click here for complete guidelines
SPECTRA enjoyed an amazing 2013!
Thanks so much to
everyone who performed,
attended, supported & encouraged us -
we love you!
SPECTRA - Spring 2014 - Schedule of Events:
Please note that all SPECTRA events
1. manifest at Rozz-Tox (2108 3rd Ave. Rock Island, IL 61201)
2. start at approx. 8pm
3. are free & open to the public
Thurs. February 13 - Local Lovers Open Mic II
- release of Aubrey Jane Ryan
broadside, designed by Alexander Iaccarino
Thurs. March 13
- SPECTRA 010: Adam Fell, Caryl Pagel & Lisa Wells
Thurs. April 3 - SPECTRA 011: Hannah Gamble & Alex Lemon
Thurs. April 24 - SPECTRA 012: Nate Pritts, Jennifer H. Fortin & Zach Savich
(all musical guests for all Spring 2014 events TBA)
More details coming soon--don't be a stranger!
SUBMIT TO SPECTRA!
SPECTRA Poetry Reading Series is looking
for poets to open for featured readers at future events. Please send no more than 3 of your best
poems (previously published poems are accepted) in a single file
attachment (.doc, .docx, .pdf, .rtf, .otd) to
with the phrase “SPECTRA Readers” in the subject line.
Click here for more information
named one of the 2012 "Top 10 Reading Series in the Midwest"
See the complete
here. Many thanks to the good people at LitBridge!
The Spring 2014 season of SPECTRA manifests
thanks to the generous support of the
Riverboat Development Authority.
Aubrey Jane Ryan is the 2013 Collins
Jane Ryan will serve as the resident poet at
MWC throughout the fall of 2013 and will
facilitate a series of events including a
featured reading, area poetry workshops and
school visits, hosting a community poetry
reading, and curating an online poetry
journal. Through the residency, Ryan will
encourage community-based poets who are
developing their craft outside of a formal
academic setting, and to provide a forum to
showcase their work through the residency’s
online poetry journal and a public reading
of their poems.
online poetry journal are available at
Here's the submissions call:
Calling all you poets!
The Midwest Writing Center seeks poems: send
us your battle cries and your prayers.
Make us want to go out and fight another
Give us a balm for our wounds.
Poetry is medicine, so share some of yours
with the people!
Selected poems will appear on this here
blog, to be curated by The Midwest Writing
Center’s 2013 Collins Writer in Residence,
We're accepting poems immediately and
Send 'em our way at
Aubrey Jane Ryan
Aubrey Ryan's poems have appeared in
Best New Poets, Anti-, Phantom Limb,
Quarterly West, Squat Birth Journal,
DIAGRAM, Cellpoems, Pebble Lake Review, and
elsewhere. She is the winner of a Tupelo
Press Poetry Project award, and the 2012
Booth Poetry Award. Aubrey is poetry editor
at Sundog Lit and runs a (very) fledgeling
broadside press. She lives in Iowa with her
sweet husband and sweet kid.
2013 Collins Poetry Residency Public Events:
October 10th at 8:00 p.m. |
Midwest Writing Center presents SPECTRA:
Hart, Smeltz, Dillon with Poet-in-Residence
Aubrey Ryan and musical guests The Multiple
Cat | Free & open to the public
Location: Rozz-Tox (2108 3rd Ave.
Rock Island, IL)
October 24th from 7:00-9:00 p.m.
| Out Loud Open Mic with special guest host
Free & open to the public
Location: Downtown Central Perk, 226 W. 3rd
St., Davenport, IA
November 2nd from 1:00-3:00 p.m.
| Poetry Workshop: Medicine for the
Revolution - Poetry & Healing Free & open to
Location: Midwest Writing Center, Suite 301,
225 E. 2nd St. Davenport, IA
November 14th from 7:00-9:00 p.m.
| Community Poetry Reading hosted by Aubrey
Ryan, featuring contributors to the 2013
Community Poetry Blog | Free & open to the
Location: Bucktown Center for the Arts,
Suite 103, 225 E. 2nd St.,
The Collins Poetry Residency
is sponsored by
K. Collins/Mississippi Valley Poetry
2013 CONTEST SUBMISSIONS ARE CLOSED
Thanks to everyone who submitted!
We'll be in touch ASAP...
Mississippi Valley Poetry Chapbook Contest
has official been renamed the Susan K.
Collins/Mississippi Valley Poetry Chapbook
Contest to honor the decade of service as
Board President by Susan Collins
The Susan K.
Collins/Mississippi Valley Poetry Chapbook
Competition invites submissions of chapbook collections
of poetry. Submissions are open
between May 1 and September 30.
The winner will be announced
online via our
website this fall. The winning
manuscript will be published by MWC Press in
the spring of 2014, and the author will
receive 15 copies plus a cash prize of $100.
2013 Judge: Gale Marie Thompson
Gale Marie Thompson is the
(Tupelo Press, forthcoming)
and the chapbooks
If You’re a Bear, I’m a Bear
(H_NGM_N, 2013) and
Expeditions to the Polar Seas
(Sixth Finch, 2013).
work can be found in the
Best New Poets 2012,
Columbia: A Journal of
Literature and Art,
received her MFA at the University of
Massachusetts and is a PhD candidate at the
University of Georgia in Athens.
is the creator and editor of
works at the Georgia Review.
Copies of The Atlas
Vol. 8 are now available!
Get your copy
of the annual literary magazine produced by
the YEW interns!
MWC received a $5,000 match from the Community
Foundation of the Great River Bend!
Thanks so much to everyone who
contributed to the endowment challenge:
Anonymous Donor | Leah Christensen | Susan &
Ryan Collins | Pat Crozier
& Mrs. Mark Davidsaver | Craig Dahms | Shea
Doyle & Hannah Morrell
Exotic Imports | Mary Foster | Carol Gloor |
James & Carol Horstmann
& Mrs. Steven Lackey | Mary Lewis | Mr. &
Mrs. Thomas McKay
& Mrs. Gerald Meehan | Steve & Barb
& Mrs. Richard Miller | Max Molleston |
Rochelle Murray | Dr. Trisha Nelson
& Mrs. Mark Petersen | Larry Riney | Thomas
Spitzfaden | Jodie Toohey
Jane VanVooren Rogers |
Lindsey Wheeler | Jill &
Thanks to everyone who submitted to
the 40th Annual
Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest.
Winners will be announced this fall.
have questions about your submission please
contact the MWC.
Announcing the winner of the
2012 Chapbook Contest!
judge, Shane McCrae, has selected Apple Season
by Cindy Hunter Morgan
as the winner of the 2012 Chapbook Contest
(see Cindy’s full bio below).
We had a
terrific group of manuscripts to read and it
was wonderfully difficult to select a group
of finalists to send to our judge. Here is
the list of finalists:
The Future is a Faint Song,
Jaime Brunton and Russell Evatt
Opera on TV,
Scotch Tape World,
release date for Apple Season is
early April 2013. Copies will be available for
purchase at the MWC and on their website at
The MWC will
be renaming the contest starting in 2013 to
the Susan K. Collins Chapbook Contest, in
honor of the hard work and dedication of our
long-time Board of Directors President here
at the MWC. Susan continues to devote much
of her time and energy to the success of the
MWC and its many programs, and we are deeply
grateful for her many contributions over the
last 10+ years.
Morgan lives in East Lansing, Michigan and
teaches creative writing at Michigan State
University. She has another chapbook, The
Sultan, The Skater, The Bicycle Maker,
which won The Ledge Press 2011 Poetry
Chapbook Award. Her poetry has appeared in a
variety of journals, including A cappella
The Christian Science Monitor,
Sugar House Review, and
She graduated from Albion College and also
studied at the University of Stirling in
copy of Apple Season using the PayPal link
Join us for
Out Loud Open Mic Nights at their new
Central Perk (approx. 5 block from the MWC)
The new Out Loud Anthology VI
is available now -- use the PayPal link
below to order your copy today!
Congratulations to Dr. Robin Throne--
winner of the 2013 David R. Collins Literary
Dr. Robin Throne
has made many significant contributions to
writers in the Quad Cities area and the
Midwest Writing Center in addition to her
talents as a writer,
an editor and an
educator. In her nomination letter, Dr.
Nancy Schaefer had this to say about Dr.
"Dr. Throne is a founding
member of the LeClaire writing group in
Iowa...She is a published author in her own
right, producing a chapbook of poetry, two
novels and an academic monograph, among
other things...beyond her own work she
generously mentors and supports local
writers and poets; she started and operates
her own small independent press, 918studio,
publishing and showcasing the writing of
Moreover, Dr. Throne has been a steadfast
supporter of the Center...Over the years,
she has continued to contribute to the life
of the Center in various ways, serving on
the Program and Advancement Committees, and
briefly on the Board. She started the
Mississippi Valley Chapbook contest, the
Great River Writers' Retreat, the Collins'
Poetry Residency, and served as a past
mentor for the residency. She started up
online classes, formatted a poetry book and
and for a time even blogged for MWC too. In
September 2012, she served as the docent for
the first day retreat.
influence and support extends beyond the
Quad Cities as well. A working academic, she
advises dissertations for North Central
University in Arizona and also acts as the
faculty advisor this semester for the Scott
Community College student newspaper."
link to read more about Dr. Throne in
the Moline Dispatch
Dr. Throne! The MWC & the QC writing
community are grateful for all you do!
to all of our sponsors of the 2013 Literary
County Regional Authority
QC Iron Pen
Award Ceremony: February 23, 2pm @ the MWC
Here are the winners of the
2013 Iron Pen Contest by category:
1. Mary Davidsaver
1. Frank Claudy
1. Mike Bayles
2. Ashley Allen
2. Tom Miller
2. Bill Hudson
3. Daniel Horne
3. C. Bruce Moore
3. Steve "Lanny" Biehler
Hon. Mention – Connie Wilson
Hon. Mention – Steve Robinson
Youth Poetry -- 1. Brooke Wiese
Youth Fiction -- 1. Andy Pavey
Congratulations to all of our winners &
thanks to all who participated!
Memorials for Timothy J. Curry, creator of
the Young Emerging Writers Program
Curry, master teacher and creator of the
Young Emerging Writers Internship program,
passed away at his home in Evanston, IL on
October 10, 2012. We are deeply
saddened by the loss of our friend, who
inspired a love for literature and writing
in so thousands of young people over nearly
four decades. We are honored to
continue his legacy with the Young Emerging
Writers program for many years to come.
about Mr. Curry's impact on his students in
tribute written by Felicia Schneiderhan.
Memorials for Timothy J. Curry can be made
to the Young Emerging Writers Internship
Program c/o the Midwest Writing Center.
Our dearest gratitude to his family for
including Young Emerging Writers in his
offer Creative Writing Basics Online Courses all year round!
Click here for more details
New Releases from MWC Press:
(click on the
titles below for more information on how to buy one of the
by Sandra Marchetti
Regional Winner of the 2011
Mississippi Valley Poetry Chapbook Contest.
Call it A Window
by Monica Wendel National Winner of the 2011 Mississippi Valley
Black as Caviar
by Menno Wigman, translated from the Dutch by
Dr. Stephen Frech.
Click on the titles for more information and to purchase.
consider volunteering! It only takes as much
time as you can give; you choose your
schedule and your job.
Click here for more information!
Want to help
but not sure how?
How about sponsoring a workshop? All it
takes to put on a two hour workshop is $100.
You can help decide what kind of workshop it
will be and have your name associated
with it. It can be a free workshop or MWC
can charge and keep the proceeds,
potentially doubling (or more) the impact of
your donation. Interested? Email us at
Beiderbecke: Jazz Age Genius Now for Sale
A brand new, republished
edition of Bix
Beiderbecke: Jazz Age Genius by
David R. Collins is now for sale on the MWC
Check it out!
Midwest Writing Center's
The Midwest Writing Center's goal is to
help writers develop their craft, find
audiences and establish a writing community
where they can learn and grow in a
supportive environment. Through public
readings, workshops, critique groups,
contests, publications and partnerships, the
Center enriches the community with its
emphasis on literary arts and education.
In the past two years
we have worked with a consultant provided by
the Iowa Cultural Trust Sustainability Grant
to develop a new funding and marketing
plans. In the course of this work we
developed a premise statement which is
the ultimate vision of the Midwest Writing
**On September 8, 2011 the Midwest
Writing Center Board of Directors adopted the
and Practices for Charitable Non Profit Excellence.
and design of this website was made
possible by a grant from the
Riverboat Development Authority.
are partially supported by a grant
from the Illinois Arts Council, a