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Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010

Council for Wisconsin Writers’ 2009 Contest

Also: Woodland Pattern’s annual marathon benefit

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“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you,” Ray Bradbury said. It is debatable as to whether Bradbury was actually advocating abstinence by choosing the pen as poison, but no matter what you find intoxicating, Wisconsin wordsmiths have at least two ways to stay consumed by composition this month.

There is a Jan. 31 deadline for Wisconsin writers to submit pieces for the Council for Wisconsin Writers’ 2009 contest in the categories of book-length fiction, nonfiction and poetry; short fiction and nonfiction; children’s literature; outdoor writing; and poetry collections. All submissions must come from Wisconsin residents and have been written or published during 2009. Winning pieces will be awarded $500 and authors will receive a weeklong residency at Edenfred in Madison, a place providing creative artists uninterrupted time to work. Specific guidelines and entry information can be found at www.wisconsinwriters.org.

On the last Saturday of January, an annual production currently in its 16th year takes place at Woodland Pattern Book Center. Beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30, and lasting until 1 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 31, the annual “Poetry Marathon Benefit Reading” will host more than 125 performances by poets, writers and thespians. Participants sign up to read five minutes of original work and pledge to raise money to benefit Woodland Pattern programming for the upcoming year.

Last year’s engagement drew more than 500 attendants from around the community and elocutionists from across the country. The 2010 event schedule is packed with creative individuals whose spirit and energy is sure to inspire all literary-minded folks. This vibrant program is an impressive way to be introduced to the fine arts of Milwaukee, and opportunities still exist for reading at, donating to or simply witnessing the lively affair. The Jan. 30 Woodland Pattern gathering is underwritten by a number of local businesses, including Stone Creek Coffee, Milwaukee Community Journal, and Beans & Barley. More information about the marathon and a complete schedule of appearances can be found at Woodland Pattern at woodlandpattern.org/marathon_2010.