History of Writers Ink

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Writers Ink was formed on September 26, 1977 to provide an inexpensive forum for writers and would-be writers to discuss writing techniques, how to sell articles and how to go about getting published. Members are men & women of varying ages, 25 through 94, and come from all walks of life. They are informal and friendly, but nonetheless earnest and dedicated. Some write seriously for publication, while others for personal satisfaction. Their varied vocations, interests and perspectives are mirrored in their subject matter and writing style. Some have had a book or two published, several have seen hundreds of their articles in print, while still others are contributing editors to National publications. There are, however, some still waiting to be discovered.

Some of the original members were: Lorraine Sordahl, Dolores Tichkowski, Sister Mary Julitta, Sister Mary Joanne, Shirley Belleranti, and Shirley Mudrick. Of these, the first three were the actual originators but the others came in shortly thereafter. They have always met at the Bank One building, for which our group is most grateful.  We have had many prominent speakers over the years, some of whom include: Bill Nelson (Milw. Journal), John Gurda (Milw. historian), Elaine Bergstrom, Science-Fiction author, Alan Borsuk, Joel McNally, Gary Markstein, (Milw. Journalists), Roy Reiman, Bob Ottum (Reiman Publ.), Wayne Frank (author and past alderman), Martha Bergland (author of several books) and the list goes on.

Many success stories, too, have come out of our group: Patricia Lorenz (author, lecturer-many published articles in Chicken Soup books as well as Christian periodicals), Sharon Hart Addy (five children's book published), Jack Byrne, (became a Writers Agent after joining), May Thibaudeau (our oldest member in her 90s. Has published histories, one on Frederick Layton, the information of which was requested and is used by the Smithsonian Institution in D.C.), Yarn Spinner Paul Larson, from Arizona, Nancy Allan (had her own column in CNI newspapers for many years), Larry Van Veghel, (Sports writer, published in many periodicals), and Gail Toerpe, who now owns the community newspaper on Washington Island (The Washington Island Observer). Many more of our members have had success and many choose only to write without any thought of being published. We have men, women, young, and senior. We have non-fiction as well as fiction-writers, poets, writers of children's stories and so on. We enjoy the many readings and critiques and are pleased to have so many wonderful speakers. We also have a "brag session," which we call a "Round Table."

Our group is always looking for speakers for Monday nights.  E-mail our President, Gail Toerpe, at Gtoe@aol.com if you know of someone who would like to present a topic.