Leone Castell Anderson to be in Word of Art 2

Congratulations to all the authors whose work has been selected by artists for the Word of Art 2 exhibition and publication! The authors include Leone Castell Anderson. Leone is a published author of ten children’s books including picture books, Golden Books, and middle-grade historical novels. Her poetry varies from adult subjects of importance to her, to kid subjects with a touch of humor.

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Deb Lecos Will Be Featured Speaker at August In Print Meeting

Guest - Deb LecosDeb Lecos LMT, CST-T is a writer, speaker and practitioner of the healing arts. In her private practice she utilizes CranioSacral Therapy, Visceral Manipulation and shamanism to facilitate harmony of the body-mind-spirit. Deb lives with her husband, where everyday living often collides with mystical moments of hoo-ha. These are the events stuck between the pages of her memoir 20 Gurus and a Dog. She has a loving-via-text relationship with her two grown children who are on an extended sleep-over at college.

Deb is a member of In Print and will be talking at our August meeting.  Her topic is “How pitching to an agent nearly ended my love affair with writing, plus other stories and magical tools to help a writer keep the words flowing.”  The meeting will be at the Cherry Valley District Library from 1:00 – 4:00 pm.  Everyone is invited to attend.

Prompt Club – July Meeting

The Prompt Club had a great meeting in July.  We welcomed newest Prompt Club member, Kathleen Weber.  Members seemed to enjoy writing about the story behind a want ad/personal ad/headline.  The prompts bounced between humor and deep emotion.

August’s selected prompt is And now a word from our sponsor. Write a story that prominently includes a brand name item (real or imaginary) that makes a difference in your story.  Objects can be very important to a story. Where would Lord of the Rings be without the ring? The Wizard of Oz without the red slippers? Dean Winchester without pie?  The next meeting will be Tuesday, August 18, 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Cherry Valley District Library.

It Was Perfect

by Tina Hunter

Day one of her long-awaited, much-planned vacation, Brendi is shocked silly plugging in a curling iron. Her fingers tingle; her tongue goes numb. She’s left dazed.

The second day, Brendi joins tourists at a Mayan temple. She hits her head exiting the shuttle, and vomits during the detailed description of ancient hearts ripped from living bodies. She declines tequila on the return trip.

Day three she develops a painful, inexplicable swelling on her calf. A piece of fruit falling from a tropical tree bounces hard onto her head as she limps through the rainforest.

Bloody is the fourth day. Poolside, Brendi picks the scab from a minor blemish until blood trickles down her sunburned right cheek. Leaving dinner, she slips on wet marble into a trellis awash in pink blossoms. Her left cheek bleeds.

Day five, admiring a pair of peaceful swans, Brendi is rushed and bitten by the male. Venturing into the surf later, a wave takes her down, then smashes her against the beach’s single boulder.

InPrintBlog_VacationHome now, her colleagues ask, “Was it everything you dreamed, Brendi?”

Brendi exclaims, “It was perfect.” And, as memory shifts to define reality, Brendi believes it so, despite her bruises and scabs.


Trained in creative writing, Tina Hunter works in higher education administration where she spends her days writing eloquent budget requests, scintillating performance evaluations, and delightful emails. She resides in southern Wisconsin.

Barbara Ellis to be in Word of Art 2

Congratulations to all the authors whose work has been selected by artists for the Word of Art 2 exhibition and publication! The authors include Barbara Ellis. Barbara has been an editor and writer for 18 years. She has more than 40 bylined articles in the trade association press. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in English, specializing in American literature.

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Marie Malicki to be in Word of Art 2

Congratulations to author Marie Malicki! Her work has been selected to be in the Word of Art 2 exhibition and publication! Marie is a member of the In Print Professional Writers Organization.  She is an avid reader, caregiver advocate, and road trip enthusiast.  Marie is working on several short stories, and to honor caregivers, a memoir entitled At Twelfth and Marquette.  She resides in Loves Park, Illinois with her dog Bella.

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by Dan Burns

Boots crunch over stalks, irons in hand,
father leading son and pulling dog
into a clearing known for life of another sort.

Skin pale and stretched, covered with goose bumps.
Eyes dry but searching for the slightest glint of feather
across the whitewashed backdrop of morning sky.

Father raises his iron and shoots at the ghost of a bird.
The percussion reverberates musically, endlessly,
and we wait and hope as our stomachs sing their own chorus.

A single bird emerges as if from nowhere,
a fluttering so sweet, grace beyond imagination.
We track its path, father and son and dog. We track its path.

Father raises his iron once more, leading the pheasant into the ether.
He stops, distracted. We watch and listen as the pheasant turns into a speck,
diminished, and we are left staring at the blank palette of life.



Dan Burns is the author of the story collection, No Turning Back, and the novel, Recalled to Life. In addition to writing novels, short stories, and poetry, he also writes screenplays for the big screen. His forthcoming novel, A Fine Line, is a mystery set in his hometown of Chicago.


Two Day Writers Retreat

329 N 3rd St. DeKalb ILIn Print is hosting a two-day writers’ retreat and evening salon on Friday, August 21 and Saturday, August 22 at the Hiram Ellwood House (not the museum, but a private residence) in DeKalb, IL. The house has been meticulously restored and the location offers beauty, history and hospitality.

You can select a spot near a large bay window, settle in a quaint corner, or write at a century-old table lit by the sun through a leaded glass window. There are plenty of outlets, but no wi-fi.

Day Retreats:

  • 8:45 am – 9:15 am Sign-in and share writing goals for the day over donuts, water, coffee or tea.
  • 12:00 pm Includes lunch and discussion about methods for achieving action or surprise within scenes, followed by more time to write.
  • 4:30 pm Gather to discuss the day’s accomplishments.

Evening Salon:

  • 7:00 pm Includes dinner followed by participant readings* in the Music Room.  *Two double spaced pages: Times New Roman 12 pt, max 5 min. reading of current, unpublished work.  A discussion will be held after the readings led by Catherine Conroy (Hovis), MFA Creative Writing, Columbia College Chicago.

Each event is $35 for In Print members ($45 for non-members).  All three events are $95 for In Print members ($105 for non-members), a savings of $10.  Print the registration form here and mail it to:

Catherine Conroy
PO Box 278
Oregon, IL 61061

WaR Review – Die Easy

WAR - Die Easyby Mary Lamphere

The July book club selection was number nine in the International best selling Charlie Fox Crime thriller series. An unusual selection for a book club read, we writers as readers still found value in the choice. Series are HUGE sellers, there’s much to learn from the books and the authors who write them. As writers, we need to step outside our own genre and voice and research the market. This book was an easy read. Quick, action-packed, not particularly believable, but really, fans of action series are looking for escape and this book delivered. We discussed character development, plot, pacing, and logic. The group seemed divided on whether or not they liked the protagonist, Charlie Fox, or bought the nastiness of the antagonist (no spoilers), but agreed that the back story was handled well. As part of a series, it stood on it’s own. This book inspired one member to read the entire series. One more reason to consider writing a series! With the Writers as Readers book club, it’s really less about the reading and more about the discussion. Whether we liked the book or not, we certainly got our money’s worth out of dissecting it

Debbie Deutsch to be in Word of Art 2

Congratulations to all the authors whose work has been selected by artists for the Word of Art 2 exhibition and publication! The authors include Debbie Deutsch! Debbie lives in Freeport, IL. She has been published in several children’s magazines and is now focusing on writing YA books, a middle grade series and children’s picture books.

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