Autonomy is a good thing and writers are especially autonomous. On the other hand, there are times when a prospector needs a map. How else can one find a way to the next level of competence? Another good thing is getting a dose of reality through feedback from our peers. These and several other resources are listed here to help local writers find success.
The Loft Literary Center
Open Book Building
1011 Washington Ave. S., Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55415
The Loft Literary Center has become one of the nation’s leading literary arts centers after nearly 40 years of engaging writers in learning opportunities, hosting authors in readings and dialogues, providing online digital resources and paying writers through contracts, awards and grants. The Writers’ Block blog allows writers and readers to read, discuss and learn the latest in the writing and literary community. Many posts link to writing exercises, interviews, advice and reviews.
Center for Writing
University of Minnesota
10 Nicholson Hall
216 Pillsbury Drive S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Find the best diverse writing ideas in the nation at this site. For example, see UW-Wisconsin’s great insights on poster presentations, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s step-by-step method on writing book reviews and U of M writing instructors giving advice to students on letters of recommendation. Anyone can access the Center’s quick help for videos, PDFs and web pages applicable to many writing situations. The Center for Writing supports University of Minnesota students, faculty and staff but it has generously opened access to all.
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The Minneapolis Writers Workshop
Black Forest Inn
1 E. 26th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Minneapolis Writers Workshop provides direct, real-time feedback and advice from an eclectic mix of writers. Members meet for approximately two hours each Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Six to eight authors are encouraged to sign up a week in advance to read their manuscript aloud. Members in attendance provide constructive comments on the work either orally or in writing or both dealing with the writing mechanics, marketability or getting published. Should you not wish to join, you are nevertheless invited to read a 10-minute sample of your work on an “Open Read” night the first Wednesday of every month.
Minnesota Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
Writers of children’s books have a great local resource for classes, workshops and critique groups offered year-round. The website provides links to other resources plus member names and contact information. Each year, the society hosts a one-day writers and illustrators conference attracting nationally recognized agents, editors and writers to speak and to host breakout sessions.
LinkedIn for Writers
Connect online with other Minnesota writers. Scan through the roster to identify writers specializing in your field of interest. Post queries, requests for information or simply reach out to others with a similar interest. Complete your profile and get recommendations so publishers and organizations can seek you out. LinkedIn has more than 1,700 different groups related to writing. The website allows users to associate by group or region. It even allows users to create a new group. Basic membership allows one to post a profile, see profiles in one’s network and search new profiles. The Business membership allows others to send free messages to you and for you to get references on others.
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Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.