JIM HILL, a local author and a member of the Shiawassee Area Writer (SAW) group, created this masterpiece to serves as the cover of “Winter in the Mitten,” an anthology of Christmas and winter-themed short stories and poetry that will be released on Sunday, Sept. 30. Each of the pieces contributed by the 18 SAW writers relates to experiences that took place in Shiawassee County. Fittingly, Hill’s cover artwork was inspired by one of the typewriters that can be found at Curwood Castle in Owosso.
The writers very much enjoyed creating this collection of stories, and plans are already being discussed to expand the anthology project into a four-part series, which would include “Spring in the Mitten,” Summer in the Mitten” and “Fall/Autumn in the Mitten.” As with this cover, Hill’s drawn typewriter-chair-window scene will frame a photograph corresponding to the theme of the book.
by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
Eighteen Shiawassee County writers are in the final stages of editing a Christmas/winter-themed anthology of short stories and poetry titled “Winter in the Mitten,” which will debut on Sunday, Sept. 30. The 18 writers are all members of the Shiawassee Area Writers (SAW) group, which was formed in May 2017 by Elizabeth Wehman, the author of three published novels and the former editor of The Independent. The group began with eight members and has now grown to include 30 writers.
“This all kind of started on a whim during our Christmas party at my house last year,” shared Wehman. “There were about 20 members in the club then, and I asked them what they thought about putting out an anthology with all of our writers. Everyone was so excited, especially since quite a few of our writers had not had work published before.”
Along with Wehman, the authors of the anthology include Maureen Gilna, Jennifer Porter, Patti Rae Fletcher, Laurie Salisbury, Jodi Gerona, Cyndy Habermehl, Linda Perry, Brenda Stroub, Leland Scott, Doug Cornell, Jason Bullard, Victor Eden, Shawn Gallagher, John Morovitz, Barbara Nickels, Tracy Bannister and Sally Labadie. Little did these writers know, but their fun writing project would soon turn into an all-encompassing tutorial on how to become a published author.
“What started as an idea, soon turned into this huge teaching opportunity,” explained Wehman. “Each author was allowed to submit up to 2,500 words, and the rough drafts were then edited by six of our more seasoned writers. Each rough draft was edited three times, beginning in February, and through that process, the writers learned a lot about writing, publishing and all the intricacies of submitting work and the importance of deadlines. The writers were able to see how their work improved throughout the editing process, which was a great learning experience for everyone. Our writers have come a long way since we started this anthology. It has been a very cool project.”
The book will be unveiled to the world on Sunday, Sept. 30, but lucky mid-Michigan readers will be able to pick up their copies in person at the Durand Union Station Sunday Market from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30, featuring many of the “Winter in the Mitten” contributors. Readers and fans are encouraged to visit the group at the Depot during that time to have their books signed or to pose with photographs with their favorite authors.