I encourage all UPPAA Authors who have published a book in 2015 to apply for this award. This is a legitimate award, the SMA has been around for more than 100 years and the entry fee is only $10.

The Society of Midland Authors is accepting submissions for its annual literary awards, which will honor books by Midwestern authors published in 2015.

Each winner will receive $500 and a recognition award. The judges in each category may also deem one or two finalists as worthy of recognition, and each finalist will receive a commemorative award. These honors will be given out at the awards banquet the second Tuesday in May.

A book may be nominated by its author or publisher. Authors do not need to be members of the Society of Midland Authors in order to enter the contest. Please read the following rules carefully before submitting:

  • An entry form must accompany each book. One copy of the book and one entry form go to each of the three judges in its category. That means a total of three forms per title (three judges, three forms, three books). Books unaccompanied by completed entry forms will not be considered.
  • Each book entry must have a 2015 publication date with corresponding copyright date. The author must either reside in, be born in, or have strong ties to one of the 12 Midland states SMA represents: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin.
  • Each submission requires an entry fee of $10. To pay by PayPal or credit card, please click here. You may also pay by mailing a check to Society of Midland Authors, P.O. Box 10419, Chicago, IL 60610. This payment must identify the book title, author and source of check, so SMA knows which author and book entry to confirm as a paid entry. (You may use the “comments” box to write the information for PayPal. Copy the entry form to go with your snail mail check.)
  • For now, we do not consider e-book originals unless accompanied by a print edition.
  • Books by deceased authors are eligible, providing they meet the other requirements.
  • Submissions must be postmarked by January 9, 2016. We urge early submissions. Send entries to the appropriate judges.
  • To enter this year’s competition, print out the entry form at this link: http://midlandauthors.com/contest_form.html. Include a completed copy with each nominated book. Mail a copy of the form and the book to each of the three judges in the selected category. Do not mail the book to the Society’s P.O. box. Make sure that you enter the book in the proper category. (For example, all children’s books go to children’s categories, rather than Poetry or Biography and Memoir, which are for adult submissions only.) Books submitted to improper categories will be disqualified.
  • If you’d like to confirm that your entry reached the judges, please send a self-addressed stamped postcard with each book submission. Or you can contact Marlene Targ Brill, marlenetbrill@comcast.net, who will verify whether your entry arrived.


Adult Fiction

  • Mark Eleveld, 305 Brooks Ave., Joliet, IL 60435
  • Tony Romano, 23W279 Saint James Court, Glen Ellyn IL 60137
  • Michele Weldon, 1419 Lathrop Ave., River Forest, IL 60305

Adult Nonfiction

  • Connie Fletcher, 521 Tenth St., Wilmette, IL 60091
  • Kim Hiltwein c/o Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave., Evanston, IL 60201
  • Eckhard Gerdes, 1110 Varsity Blvd., Apt, 221, DeKalb, IL 60115

Biography and Memoir

  • Davis Schneiderman, Associate Dean of the Faculty, Center for Chicago Programs, Lake Forest College, 555 North Sheridan Road, Lake Forest, IL 60045
  • Robert Remer, 5840 N. Kenmore, Chicago, IL 60660
  • John Hallwas, 404 S. Edwards St., Macomb, IL 61455

Children’s Fiction

  • Nancy Crocker, 2432 W. 24th St., Minneapolis, MN 55405
  • Barbara A. Binns, Box 1583, Arlington Heights, IL 60006
  • Judith Fradin, 2121 Dobson St., Evanston, IL 60202

Children’s Nonfiction

  • Margaret McMullan, 541 East Scenic Drive, Pass Christian, MS 39571
  • Ilene Cooper, 798 Judson, Highland Park, IL 60035
  • Andrea Warren, 4908 W. 71st St., Prairie Village, KS 66208


  • Jim McGarrah, 120 North Bellaire Avenue #1, Louisville, KY 40206
  • Grace Bauer, English Department, Andrews Hall, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68588-0333
  • Joshua Corey, Dept. of English, Lake Forest College, 555 North Sheridan Road, Lake Forest, IL 60045

We look forward to your submissions.  Thank you and good luck.


Still Sits the Schoolhouse By the Road: Memories of "Good Old Golden Rule Days" in a Rural Two-room Elementary School in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan From 1935 to 1942

Still Sits the Schoolhouse By the Road: Memories of “Good Old Golden Rule Days” in a Rural Two-room Elementary School in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan From 1935 to 1942

I thought some of you might have known our fellow author Frank Bartol, who passed away on November 21 and whose funeral was in Traunik, MI today. In the 1990s, he had a weekly column in the Mining Journal and later for the Escanaba Daily Press. He wrote the history of Traunik, “To This Place They Came: the Traunik Story in Pictures”, “Still Sits the Schoolhouse By the Road: Memories of Good Old Golden Rule Days From 1935 to 1942”, and “A Boy and His Chanticleer,” which Karin Neumann illustrated.

You can view his obituary at:


uppaa_partyFor Immediate Release

Marquette, MI, November 5, 2015—Upper Michigan authors will be getting together to party—virtually—and they want you to join them.

On November 21st, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. over a dozen UP Authors from all ends of the peninsula will be hosting a virtual book party on Facebook. Everyone who loves the UP and loves to read is invited. The authors hope people will visit the Facebook page, join the party, and consider UP-authored books as holiday gifts.

Fun and creative contests will be held every hour of the party with the chance to win free books by favorite UP authors. There will also be fun facts and other information about UP books and authors as well as information on how to purchase their books. Over a dozen individual books will be given away to participants during the party as well as a grand prize book collection to one attendee that is valued at over $200.

You can join the party and drop in at any time by searching on Facebook for UP Virtual Book Party. Facebook friends of authors attending will automatically receive invites to the event, and they are welcome to invite all their own Facebook friends.

The event is being sponsored by the UP Publishers and Authors Association (UPPAA), which since 1998 has worked to help local writers publish and market their books and bring greater awareness to UP Authors.

Gretchen Preston, Vice-President of UPPAA, and author of the popular Valley Cats children’s book series, said the idea to have a virtual book party just makes sense. “In the past, UPPAA has hosted several book fairs, but it takes effort for people to travel to wherever the event is held and the authors all have to travel too. A virtual party allows everyone to attend from home.”

Fellow organizer Carrie Pearson, author of A Warm Winter Tail, added, “We want to use the technology available to us to share our love of reading and the UP not only with people in our backyard but people all over the world who have a UP connection and want to read books from the area. A virtual book party gives us that opportunity.”

UP authors planning to party include Jan Kellis, Kim Allen Wright, Corey M. LaBissoniere, Gretchen Preston, Diana Oman, Jenifer Brady, Donna Winters, Carrie Pearson, Tyler Tichelaar, Laura Smyth, Larry Buege, and Robert Morrison. Their books range from children’s books to romances, historical fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction topics, including religion and history. Any other authors interested in participating will be welcome to join the event.

For more information, contact Gretchen Preston at prestonhillpress@gmail.com, call (906) 360-7608, or visit http://www.uppaa.org.


UPPAA logo, square, flush with bottom

UPPAA logo

Dear UPPAA Members,

Carrie Pearson, Gretchen Preston, Jenifer Brady, and I have been busy planning the virtual book sale we’ve talked about previously.

Following is a description of it and what will be expected of people who wish to participate. It is open to any author who lives or writes about the UP or has a UP author connection so please invite any authors you know who might not be UPPAA members. The more the merrier. Right now this is the plan but we may change the hours or other items once we have a better idea of who wants to participate and how many. Please read all the information below carefully and make sure you understand what is required of you if you wish to participate.

I know it seems complicated, but it’s not really. If you have a Facebook account and know how to make a post, you should be able to participate. Let us know if you have any questions.



Event Date: Saturday, November 21
Time: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST
Place: Facebook
Title: UP Authors Virtual Book Party
Cost per Participant: At least two donated giveaway books or other items plus postage (see details below)
Deadline to Register: October 7

How It Works

The UPPAA Facebook page will create a Facebook event on or about November 7th. The UPPAA Facebook page will then invite all of its Facebook friends to participate in the event. Invited friends will then all be encouraged to invite their friends. This is the snowball effect where ultimately we will end up with thousands of people invited and hopefully dozens at least participating. Even if we only get ten authors to participate and each invites 300 friends, we will have thousands of possible attendees. Remember, your Facebook friends may already have read your books but not another members so you’ll be helping your fellow authors and they in turn will then be introducing their friends to your books. Most of us have Facebook friends across the country and even the world so this can really be an international and not just a UP sale.

How It Will Be Promoted:

  • We will design a special banner for the Event page that will include images of numerous of our UPPAA books.
  • We will send out a press release to the UP media.
  • We will proactively contact radio stations to try to get interviews and other on air publicity.
  • We will post info on the UPPAA website and we will post announcements at Facebook, Twitter, and individual participants can also advertise it however they wish.

Participation Requirements

· Email Carrie Pearson at carrieapear@aol.com that you wish to participate. In your email include:

  1. a jpeg of one book cover you wish to have included in the event banner.
  2. The title of the book you will give away toward the grand prize.
  3. The hour of the party you agree to participate. For example 2-3pm.
  • You must have a Facebook account
  • You should send a Friend request to the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Facebook page prior to November 7th so you are included in the Friend invite.
  • Once you are invited to the Facebook event, you are expected to invite all of your friends, this requires sending an actual individual invite to each Facebook friend, which can easily be done through the events feature on Facebook although it is a bit time-consuming, but the more people we invite, the greater chance for success. Everyone invited via Facebook will get event reminders the day of the event.
  • We ask that you familiarize yourself with how Facebook events work. You may also want to read the 99 cent kindle book on Facebook virtual book release parties, available at: http://smile.amazon.com/Hosting-Virtual-Book-Release-Party-ebook/dp/B00KWQN79I
  • Everyone is asked to hold at least one contest (see explanation below) and select a winner and give a prize to that winner. The prize can be a free paper or ebook version of one of your books or some other book related item such as a T-shirt, poster, CD, etc. having a retail value of $10 or more dollars (a bookmarker doesn’t count as a prize). (You are responsible for determining the contest winner and delivering the item to that person).
  • Everyone is asked to contribute one item also for the grand prize. We will collect a list of the grand prize items to announce before the party begins. Whoever wins the grand prize will then provide us an address and every author can individually mail the individual item to the person.
  • Everyone is asked to commit to at least one hour to be actively involved in the party and to post a minimum of one contest during that time. You may also post links to your books, post interesting UP author and literature facts, post photos or short videos relevant to your books, or whatever else you want that will interest people, encourage participation, and encourage an interest in UP books that will result in book sales for you and your fellow authors. The important thing is we want to keep momentum going for the party every hour so we will create a schedule to make sure we have at least one author and hopefully two or three manning the party every hour. We also encourage you to check in periodically throughout the day because even if you sign up for 10-11 a.m. that doesn’t mean someone interested in your book won’t be posting comments on your posts at 4pm. We don’t have to sit glued to Facebook all day but check in every couple of hours as convenient during the day. The more you post and interact, the more likely you will engage readers who will want to buy your books.
  • Finally, it is advised that we do not respond to or engage with difficult people who might post snide or negative comments or want to argue about something. We want the party to stay fun so do your best not to let anyone put a damper on it.
  • You are asked to mail all prizes as well as books sold as a result of the party within one week’s time to both book buyers and contest winners.
  • We encourage you also to post links to your website or books at Amazon or other online stores to encourage people to buy your books.

Contest Guidelines & Ideas

The book Hosting a Virtual Book Release Party has numerous contest examples in it but here are a couple of possibilities. 1.) You could post a photo, for example of you the author in a funny situation, and then ask everyone to write a funny caption with a 20 minute deadline to do so. Then when the time ends, you pick the winner with the funniest caption. 2.) Tell attendees they have 20 minutes to name the man who the main character marries in your novel titled X. You have 20 people who answer but only 18 get it right. You then at the end of 20 minutes announce the contest is closed. Then you put the 18 names in a hat and draw one and announce that person is the winner.

Once you have selected the winner, when you announce the winner at the Facebook event, ask the person to message you privately with his or her address so you can mail out your prize to the person.

There are lots of other possibilities and ideas for contests as well as other engaging things to post, so we invite everyone to be creative and have fun.

We have the potential to reach readers worldwide in unimaginable numbers by having this party online and if it goes well, we will plan to have more, but we need participation from a lot of authors to make it successful.

Again, if you are interested in participating, please email Carrie (info above) no later than October 1.

Thank you,

Tyler Tichelaar

President, UP Publishers and Authors Association


The Third Annual U.P. Nature Writing Contest, sponsored by North Country Publishing of Skandia and the Falling Rock Café and Bookstore of Munising, will conclude with two evenings of nature writing.

  • September 15, 7 p.m. Falling Rock Café and Bookstore, Munising
  • September 21 7 p.m. Peter White Public Library, Shiras Room, Marquette The Marquette evening is co-hosted by the Marquette Arts and Culture Center.

Winners and entrants will read their nature writings. Kathryn Lund Johnson, U.P. Nature Photographer, will present a U.P. photo show.
The public is invited to attend and read their own nature writings.
For more information, contact sponsors at 906-942-7879 or email northco@up.net


Natureeveningssmall poster

Happy-906-Day-BannerWays to Celebrate 906 Day

  • Take a sauna
  • Buy a friend a pasty
  • Swim in the Great Lakes
  • Give Phil of Phil’s 550 a high five
  • Play a game of Euchre or Cribbage
  • Test your nerves at the Paulding Light
  • Make a toast with some Upper Peninsula brews
  • Pay for the car behind you at the Mackinac Bridge
  • Send a really nice tweet to Vicky Crystal @TV6AMNews
  • Sing “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot
  • Go hiking, kayaking, fishing, stone skipping and all the other things that end with -ing

906 Day continues with great offers from these companies

Join us in celebrating the life of Pat Ryan O’Day, former owner of the Marquette Monthly

Sunday September 6th, 2015 from 4:00 – 6:00pm at Frazier’s Boat House, 270 N. Lakeshore, Marquette, MI.  Parking on Lower Harbor or McCarty’s Cove.

RSVP 906-226-2800.



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