Janet J. Allen
Thomas Alan Ebelt
Norma Price was a writer who moved to northern Michigan in 1977. Once, the boxes were unpacked, furniture arranged, and the closets were filled, she found herself missing the contact she had enjoyed with other writers “down below” and a seed was planted. The Welcome Wagon hostess called and presented Norma with a free ad in the local “ad-liner”. She advertised for others in the vicinity that might be interested in starting a Writer’s Club and received two responses, Stanley Pierce of Mio, and Brenda Wilga of Alger.
Later in the year, Norma, who was a contender in the 1977 Writer’s Digest Contest and due to be a winner, was interviewed by the Bay City Times. This interview generated a lot of mail from various parts of the state and one of those who wrote was Alice Baldwin. Norma and Alice meet in a local restaurant, and the two decided with the addition of Stanley and Brenda they had the nucleus of a writer’s group.
In March of 1978, Norma wrote a letter to prospective members and published it in the local newspaper. The announcement read as follows:
“If you are an active writer, published or unpublished, and are interested in being a part of a Writer’s Club in the mid-Michigan area, read on! There will be an organizational dinner at the Red Lantern Restaurant in St. Helen on March 29 at 6:30 pm. A temporary chairman will be selected and a permanent meeting place discussed. If you would like to be a part of this forming group, call Norma Price…….” Thus over 40 years ago, Mid-Michigan Writers was born.
Since that time a lot of changes have occurred and members have come and gone. We are no longer just a “club”, but have grown into one of the best and most productive writer’s groups in the state of Michigan. We promote writers and writing in the northern lower peninsula through readings, critiques, workshops, and conferences. Meetings are held twice a month where writers can read works in progress and receive helpful critiques on what’s working, what needs improvement, and possible venues for publication and an audience. Each year we hold a conference “Gateway to Writing” where workshops are presented and participants have an opportunity to meet, gain instruction from, and interact with published writers. In June a summer workshop is held where classes are taught in all aspects of the writing discipline, from using the senses to building “new worlds”. We sponsor a writing contest each year for youth and participate in various activities that enhance, encourage, inspire, and improve the written word.