Speakers for the Jot Writers’ Conference Announced!

Author and Illustrator, Laurie Keller

Laurie Keller

Laurie Keller is a children’s book author and illustrator of numerous books including The Scrambled States of America, Arnie the Doughnut and Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners which was Amazon.com’s #1 Editors’ Pick on their Best Books of 2007 List. Her book We Are Growingwon the prestigious Theodor Seuss Geisel award in 2017.

We Are Growing-Laurie KellerWhen Laurie isn’t busy making books or traveling, she enjoys spending time outdoors at her Michigan home, hiking in the woods, playing banjo, cross-country skiing or splashing in Lake Michigan. You can find out more about Laurie at her website, www.lauriekeller.com.

 

 

Author and Editor, Paul Kent Muckley

Paul (Kent) Muckley

Paul Kent Muckley served as a non-fiction editor with Barbour Publishing, Inc., in Uhrichsville, Ohio, for sixteen years before taking an editorial position with Discovery House Publishers in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 2014. He also writes under the pseudonym Paul Kent, with a goal of making the Bible more interesting and accessible to readers of all ages and backgrounds. He has written eight books and contributed to approximately a dozen more.

 

Poet, Emily Van Houten

Emily Van Houten, poet, poetry

Emily Van Houten is a poet and freelance copywriter currently living in Grand Rapids, Michigan after completing her Masters in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature at the University of Durham, England. She writes for Sabotage Reviews and has poems in The Makeshift ReviewTransect Magazine, and Off the Page. If she’s not writing, Emily is traveling by plane, train, or automobile (or bike) to whatever new city calls.

 

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The next Jot Writers’ Conference will be held on Friday, September 15th, 2017 at Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The event is free and no RSVP is required. You can learn more about who we are and why we do what we do on this website.

See you at Jot!

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The Jot Writers’ Conference Returns! 9.9.16

Friday, September 9th, 2016

FREE Admission – Event begins at 7pm

Open to all writers. Rookies. Veterans. And everyone in between.
Open to writers of any genre.

The Jot Writers’ Conference is a biannual, one-night event for writers held each spring and fall in West Michigan. It features short, TED-style talks on various aspects of writing and publishing. Admission is free. Come for the inspiring speakers. Stay for the coffee and the chance to meet other writers.

Or just find a nook in the bookstore and write all evening. Don’t worry. We totally get it. 🙂

LOCATION

Baker Book House
2768 East Paris Avenue
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

GUEST SPEAKERS

Aric DavisARIC DAVIS is the author of seven books: From Ashes Rise: A Novel of Michigan, Nickel Plated, A Good and Useful Hurt, The Black Death: A Dead Man Novella, Rough Men, Breaking Point, The Fort and Tunnel Vision. He is married with one daughter and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he worked for sixteen years as a body piercer; he now writes full time. A punk rock aficionado, Davis does anything he can to increase awareness of a good band. He likes weather cold enough to need a sweatshirt but not a coat, and friends who wear their hearts on their sleeves. In addition to reading and writing, he also enjoys roller coasters, hockey, and a good cigar.

 

 
Sarah Grimm

S. D. GRIMM’S first love in writing is young adult speculative fiction. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency and her debut novel, Scarlet Moon, is slated to be published in October 2016. When she’s not writing or editing, Sarah enjoys reading (of course!), making clay dragons for her Grimmlies store on Etsy, practicing kickboxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu, training dogs, and doing anything outdoorsy with the family. Her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog.

 

 

 

Tom Springer 2015 300dpiTOM SPRINGER is an essayist, journalist, and environmentalist. He has written about nature and outdoor travel for newspapers and magazines such as Backpacker, Michigan Out-of-Doors, and Notre Dame, and his nature-themed commentaries have aired on several National Public Radio programs. His collection of essays, Looking For Hickories: The Forgotten Wildness of the Rural Midwest (University of Michigan Press), was named a Michigan Notable Book in 2009. Springer holds a master’s degree in environmental journalism from Michigan State University. He lives near Three Rivers, Michigan.

An event for poetry lovers coming this February

We’re thrilled to announce a new Jot Writers Conference event! On Tuesday, February 16th, 2016, in partnership with Schuler Books & Music, we’ll be hosting Poetry and Conversation, a free event on the power and beauty of poetry. Here’s the official write-up:

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Poetry and Conversation is a free event for lovers of the written word. Three poets from West Michigan—Matthew Landrum, Kelsey May, Z.G. Tomaszewski—will share their insights on writing and publishing, and will read from their published works.  Attendees will be encouraged to share original poetry at an open mike following the presentations.

Matthew LandrumMatthew Landrum is poetry editor of Structo Magazine. His work has recently appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, RHINO, and The Baltimore Review. His chapbook The Lonesome Savior — translations from the Faroese of Agnar Artúvertin — was published with Cold Hub Press in 2015. He lives in Detroit.

 

 

Kelsey mayKelsey May is a writer and performance poet from Grand Rapids, MI. She has performed poetry in Chicago, Seattle, Detroit, and Washington, D.C. and has been published in Voices and The Maine Review. She also worked and lived in Washington, D.C., volunteering with over twenty non-profits and running weeklong service trips for students. She is currently an undergraduate student at Grand Valley State University. Read more at wordsareaneed.blogspot.com and follow her on social media @kelsey_may_day.

 

 

tomaszewski picAfter a series of ramblings in Vermont, Ireland, and hitch-hiking out west which culminated in a job at Glacier National Park, Montana, Z.G. Tomaszewski is back in Grand Rapids where he works maintenance at the Masonic Temple and is a founding member and events coordinator of Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters and co-director of Lamp Light Music Festival. Tomaszewski will be reading from his new book of poems All Things Dusk (winner of the Hong Kong University International Poetry Prize of 2014, selected by Li-Young Lee).

 

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This event will be held (as you have probably guessed) at Schuler Books and Music located at 2660 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512. The event is completely free and begins at 7pm. Our hopes for this event are to gather poetry lovers and writers in West Michigan for an evening of learning about the craft of writing, drinking excellent coffee from the Chapbook Cafe, and sharing a mutual love for the written word.

This event is in addition to our annual spring Jot Writers Conference, which is usually held in March. More details on that event are coming soon. We hope to see you at Poetry and Conversation!

Andy (for the Jot team)

Grab Your Seat At The Jot Conference Today!

jot generic

Jot is less than one month away! We cannot believe it. I hope you are as excited as we are.

Because of the location change we need you to do us a favor and go and sign up individually.

You can do that HERE.

Again, it’s free per usual! It is on Saturday, September 12th from 6-10pm

Click here for information about the bookstore.

Click here on why we moved for this Jot. 

Click here for the Jot presentation schedule

What can you learn from this years’ Jot? Glad you asked.

You’ll learn how to write like a viking, blog with passion and persistence, edit out those horrible lines that keep breaking your readers’ focus, and about poetry from a poetry editor of Structo Magazine.

Most of all you’ll have a chance to meet with other writers and gain some excitement and momentum to do your own work.

Don’t forget to share on your social media channels!

SIGN UP BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK TODAY! 

Jot is Moving to Three Rivers!

For the past two weeks I promised there would be an update about the fall installment of Jot. It says it all in the title, but we are headed out of Grand Rapids.

First, we should note that the plan is to head back to Baker Book House in the spring. We love Baker. It provides a tremendous environment for the Jot Conference. This change is because we were approached (and had been thinking about holding a conference elsewhere to get to know more Michigan writers) not because we were dissatisfied with anything Baker has done.

So why move?

Conferences, just like writers, need to grow. They need to stretch and try new things. Part of the move to Three Rivers, Michigan is because we’ll have the opportunity to connect with other writers and hold a conference in one of the best used/rare/independent bookstores in the state. It is also the first place that I, Bob Evenhouse, fell in love with reading and dreamed about writing someday. In part, it’s responsible for the Weaklings and the Jot Conference.

I know what some of you are thinking. How far away is it? When is it? Does it cost money now? Why should I make the drive? Your head is swimming. We’ll address some of these questions below. We are always open to feed back here or on our Facebook page.

Where is Three Rivers?

If you head on US 131 South, you’ll run right into it. Once on 131, you’ll turn on about three roads. So if you are directionally challenged, fear not! The address is Lowry’s Books, 22 North Main Street, Three Rivers, MI 49093 and it’s exactly a one hour seventeen minute drive from Baker to Lowry’s.

When is it?

Saturday, September 12th, from 6-10PM. This will give you the morning and afternoon to explore the quaint downtown and get lost in the bookstore.

Why should you make the trip?

For the same reasons we are. One, it’s still Jot, a free one night writers conference. Three Rivers harbors a quaint down town with many shops to explore. There are coffee shops, fair trade stores, and hidden-gem restaurants. Looking for a writer’s day? This is the perfect opportunity.

What is Lowry’s Books and More?

Lowry’s is amazing. I almost wrote that I “could spend hours there” but I’ll be honest. I do spend hours there. When my wife and I leave my kids with my parents and say we’ll be back in thirty minutes, they know that means three hours. I swear there’s a wormhole that opens up and sucks you in. The bookstore has literally hundreds of thousands of books. I’ll post pictures and a video soon, but it reminds me of the wand shop in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone just to give you a visual – endless piles of books to be explored.

So we implore you to join us. As writers we know the importance of time. But we also know the importance of a new adventure, new opportunities, and the thrill and energy they can bring to your work.

Hope to see you there.