CLOVER, Vol 14 is HERE!

Norman and I opened the box containing the 14th edition of Clover, A Literary Rag this past Monday.  Fourteen firsts from the finest writers we can gather. We feature poetry and stories from wherever they arrive.

Clover won a Bellingham Mayor’s Arts award in 2017. We have a generous share of resistance writing to make you feel at home..

Get ahead of the game and make your online order with us! Contributors you will receive your copy by post. If you wish more than one you get a break in cost. Please ask.

Want to support your local independent bookstore? We love that option, too. Clover, A Literary Rag will soon to be in Bellingham at Village Books; in Seattle at The Elliott Bay Book Company; and at Aunties in Spokane.



Get to Know Us!

At the Independent Writers’ Studio, I offer two groups for writers: Monday afternoons from 1-3 PM and Tuesday evenings, 7-9 PM.

The room is an invitation to write: a long and much loved red mahogany table, a coffee pot perking, and tea water heating await group members.   Our writers come from all walks of life, and many have found a niche with us.  A calendar is on the wall of the studio on the third floor of the Clover Block building. An old photo of my grandma Anderson presides on the corner chair — she was young in the photo taken sometime before 1900.  Copies of Clover, A Literary Rag and awards and posters from previous Clover events are  evident.

Grandma Alice Anderson

I begin each group with a writer’s exercise — questions — with the directions –choose one or more  or none but write for ten minutes or so.  When time is called and hellos are shared we go around the table reading the answers to the questions.  If a writer chooses not to share, that is fine.

We are not here to force a certain way to  write or a how/to to take part in the group structure. We are here to write and to motivate all of us to bring our writing up a notch — no matter what level you believe your writing is on — it can move demonstrably in a group setting.

I encourage writers to understand his or her process when it comes to writing with the hope of gaining a keen understanding of our muses — when/ where and how to take advantage of the artistic urge to write.

When we finish sharing answers to questions, each person at the table has at least 10 minutes to present a portion of the project he or she is  working on — the range for projects have included non fiction guides, poetry, novel, essay, children’s and young adult fiction, and journaling. Each one brings a copy for me to follow along and/or copies for the group to read along with the writer.

My job is to mentor the process — I am candid and honest and my only goal is to make sure that the writer and I are on the same track. After I respond others in the group do as they may.  The questions and discussions that ensue are insightful.  We are the finest audience for new material — we listen with keen interest.

So come on in and see for yourself — get to know us. The cost is $11 a session and the first time is free.  If you pop in please bring something of yours to share. We love new voices.

Look forward to seeing our ad in Whatcom Watch and on Facebook.


Room 306
Clover Block Building — corner of Commercial and Holly, downtown Bellingham.
Mondays 1-3 PM
Tuesday evening, 7-9 PM






Clover, A Literary Rag comes back to Village Books in Fairhaven, Sunday, September 4th at 4 PM. Vol. 11 of the vibrant locally produced journal contains stories and poetry from over fifty talented writers—a truly international cast. Representing all of them, our September readers showcase what Clover does best! Join us.
Clover, A Literary Rag comes back to Village Books in Fairhaven, Sunday, September 4th at 4 PM. Vol. 11 of the vibrant locally produced journal contains stories and poetry from over fifty talented writers—a truly international cast. Representing all of them, our September readers showcase what Clover does best! Join us.


I recently moved from a huge house to a small house. In an insane real estate market, my old house sold 4 times in 5 months.  The heart palpitating ride landed and although I am not getting in line for another go-round, I am delighted I braved the one I was on.

Outside my window red tailed hawks glide high over pastureland, and the sunsets bring walkers daily.   At night the heavens open to stars and moon, in a quiet world. Yesterday I walked by a thicket of trees that opened onto a perfectly framed Mt. Baker. Wild chamomile sprouted along the way.

In a few days I will travel to Brussels to reunite with my daughters. In the upcoming days I will begin to chronicle this adventure.

Clover, A Literary Rag,  Vol. 11 comes home to Village Books, September 4 at 4 PM.   We will have a fabulous  show, so mark your calendars.

Our popularity grows as do our submissions.  Get yours in today for our next edition. Our submissions ending date for Clover, vol. 12 is September 30th.  For details check our link.



Summertime at IWS

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Summertime at IWS

We meet on Mondays from 1-3 PM–our evening group resets during July.  The week of July 12 we meet on Tuesday evening at 7 PM.

The Independent Writers’ Studio is home of CLOVER, A LITERARY RAG.  For Submissions please follow the link!

Clover_9 cropped cover

CLOVER, A LITERARY RAG, Vol. 9 is available at Threshold Documents in Bellingham and at  the following independent bookstores: Village Books in Bellingham; Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle;Auntie’s Bookstore in Spokane; and The Writer’s Workshoppe in Port Townsend, and Trail’s End in Winthrop, Washington.

You can order a copy of our current (or any!) edition through PayPal or by contacting me at




I have a list of things I want to say:

1.  You are the master of your imagination — the engineer whose job it is to develop a pathway from your experience to an audience.  In your own words.

2.  The Independent Writers’ Studio begins again June 22, that is Monday at 1 PM.  Get excited about your writing.  Wednesday’s group begins at 7 PM.  Hope to see you.

3.  Clover, A Literary Rag, vol. 9 will be out very soon.

4.  Join us at the Chuckanut Writers Conference  Clover, A Literary Rag will be at a foyer table.  Our magazine will be sold at Village Books at the conference site. This happens on June 26!

And  5th but really first I am so happy to be home after a fairy tale excursion in Stresa, Italy. My daughter married there last Saturday. Joy-filled with a Hemingway twist.

Clover, A Literary Rag, Vol. 8, Reading Date

Yesterday I listened to a leafless tree–a small crabapple or cherry tree, perhaps, but a singing tree.  I studied the empty limbs, and saw the fluff of a squirrel’s tail as it lay prone along a branch. Apparently the squirrel was curious, too.

My two little dogs and I stood stalk still, waiting.  Those were chickadee songs that tree was singing, and finally I saw one small bird where I knew a chorus played. I let it be.

A song tree on a January day.

Speaking of gatherings–Clover, A Literary Rag announces one!  Clover is back at Village Books March 15, Sunday, at 4 PM.  Mark your calendars.  We promise a full slate of highly visible writers in full early spring song.  More later.  Just promise to save the date, and shop at Village Books in Bellingham, Washington.

They support birds of all feathers.

PS  Looking for a writer’s group?  Try IWS. We meet weekly. Monday afternoons and Wednesday evening.


clover 7 coverIWS attended the writers Chuckanut Writers Conference at Whatcom Community College this weekend.  Village Books and Whatcom Community College jointly put on the  writers conference.  Hats off to Chuck and Dee Robinson who support writers at the ground level, and give them a garden to grow in.  Anna Wolff from Whatcom College and Paul Hanson from Village Books have done an amazing job again this year.

IWS celebrated Clover, A Literary Rag, vol. 7–its launch timed for the conference opening.  Among our Studio attendees  were: Janet Bergstrom and Jim Milstead from our Monday afternoon writers group and from Wednesday evening: Norman L. Green–printer and assistant editor extraordinaire–my true right arm in Clover; Shelley Muzzy, and J. Jamieson Woods.

I did not get to hear all the faculty at the conference; but I did attend Claire Dederer’s session — memoirs–fiction– memory is fiction.  The hardest stuff to reveal is sometimes a revelation in itself. I loved her writer’s exercise and plan to use it in my groups.   I also enjoyed Thor Hanson’s plenary talk about how the brain sees words based on the physical mechanics of eyeball and optic nerve–traveling information into the sea of brain matter. I found it fascinating to demystify the muse.  I loved Bruce Barcott’s Friday morning talk  — he told us all the tricks of topic selection. Ha!

Last evening Clover, A Literary Rag sponsored an open mic reading hosted by Andrew Shattuck McBride at the Village Inn right across from our favorite bookstore, Village Books.  This event was in conjunction with the writers conference.  Andy did a wonderful job as our emcee, and what fun it was to hear stories and poems from 16 conference attendees.  Delightful to have Dick Harris among us! Especially noted here was an appearance by one of Clover‘s best friend’s, Laurel Leigh, who read from her story “Dearest” in the summer edition of Clover.

Goat Mountain Pizza!  Our food truck on Friday.  I love you guys.

I came away revised and inspired–and eating muffins on a Sunday morning–ready to get on with my own novel revision.

Again thank-you Village Books!

Four Candles

Officially we will celebrate the Independent Writers’ Studio’s birthday at our Clover, A Literary Rag event on Saturday, September 28th at Village Books.  Wish us well.  Join us then for a reading from our Volume 5 of Clover.  The studio is four years old, and is a Recession baby.   She’s up and walking and talking.

The idea of a literary magazine grew out of the groups.  Norman Green and I wanted to highlight the fine work done by those who consistently and faithfully bring their poems and stories to the table.  The idea grew and Clover now gets submissions from some of the finest writers  around–and that  challenges us to a higher bar.cropped-iws-group.jpg

So in a lovely way, we celebrate Clover’s birthday, too.

I believe anyone who has a poem in the heart should have a voice in the world.

Thank-you Wednesday night group.  Thank-you Monday group.  Keep those nouns and verbs coming.

Happy Birthday IWS.



Everything’s Coming Up Clover

IWS steered into 2012 with engines revved. 

 We just finished a fiction writing workshop courtesy of Robert Hodgson Van Wagoner.   Our first ever author-invitational.  He shook things up some.

We received boat passes on the schooner, Zodiac to participate in Bellingham Rendevous courtesy of IWS member Chris Wallace who is chief mate on the schooner.  I’ve never been on a tall ship before and the last time I was on a sail boat I was 15.  I am very excited about this!

Clover, A Literary Rag, vol. 3 is coming out in June in time for the Chuckanut Writers Conference.  Our prayer, at least!  The idea of the conference is to bring writers together, to share and maybe even inspire. 

Submissions are open for Clover, 3 until April 30.  If you have something to submit for this issue now is the time to refine and submit.

And to all friends of our studio, thank-you.  Special thanks to Norman L. Green.  Check out his dream blog.

Cloughmills — February 8, 2012 — Getting Unstuck

I dreamed I  went to a physical therapy appointment.  The waiting room was large and industrial, the way it is with big practices.  Cold.  Most of the patients making due with old chairs, that are unpadded.  These chairs hold the frailest of us.  My doctor’s office has such a waiting room, and I think, how unkind the chairs are, especially for old people who are expected to wait upwards for an hour.  I went up to the partitioned off appointment desk and I can see the treatment rooms and the therapists talking together.  They are waiting for me.  They tell me to not take anything personal with me because of the possibility of theft and their liability.  I have given my ring and earrings and wallet to my mother and dad who have come with me.  They sit quietly in those awful chairs. I try to get through to the therapy rooms where I see the therapists but the appointment lady tells me I have to go around. ‘Going around’ means going down a steep stairs without handrails.  I ask if there is another way.  They tell me to go out and clear around the facility to a door in back.  I agree to do that.  A maze of sidewalks and waiting rooms await me.  I go up and down and around, and I am worried I will miss my appointment.  I finally find a stairs under construction — it is wide and is just planks but it does have a railing.  So I look carefully and realize that it stops at a high arc with two planks leading on down.  The person in charge shakes her head because I hesitate.  So I go along the outside of the building which looks like Old Main on Western’s campus, and I wonder why they make it so difficult for people to get therapy.  I finally get to the therapists.  They remind me about the rings and wallet.

And this to me is about as clear a dream as I have had of late.

Been writing poetry and finally got my Irish story out of the mud.

Kudos to Norman’s dream blog.   And as I write I’m streaming lovely Hawaiian tunes courtesy of KKCR  from Kauai. (Hawaiian tunes make me feel like I’m on an ocean swim) I love giving the surf report to my daughter who lives there.  I am an ocean away.   Mahalo.