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





Program Please

Sunday, Clover, A Literary Rag has a wonderful show at Village Books.  Garrett Sanford is coming from Reno to read with us. We celebrate Laurel Leigh — she is following a new direction and will be leaving Bellingham at the end of the month. If you have not heard her read, you better take advantage of this opportunity.   Paul Hunter joins us from Seattle — his work has been featured on the PBS News Hour.

Jim Bertolino is going to read along with Luther Allen.  Luther hosts a series of themed poetry programs called SpeakEasy in Bellingham. Jim’s books are many and worthy,  Ravenous Bliss among his latest titles. Luther and Jim’s support of Clover, amazing.  Thank you gentlemen.

Christine Kendall is coming from her home in Twisp to read. Gary McWilliams flies back from Alaska and Carla Shafer arrives from a holiday trip from (holy!) Toledo. Abbe Rolnick rolls in from Skagit County and Caitlin Thomson is in the midst of a move.  These writers are dedicated to the craft of of writing. Carla began Chuckanut Sandstone Writers in 1991.  Abbe is at work on a series of environmental mysteries based in her neighborhood. Gary has a new book called Anchor and Pick just out, and Christine’s new book, Resting in the Familiar is getting ready for press. Caitlin co-founded the Poetry Marathon which is now an international event.

Not to forget Jennifer Bullis and Susan Chase-Foster. Jennifer’s completed a manuscript of resistance poetry called The Tongue of Narcissus. Susan’s voice –her very being — allows the muse breath.

A shout out to Village Books — our wonderful hosts! You don’t want to miss out. I’ll see you Sunday, September 10 at 4 at Village Books. Stop by and say hello and prepare for splendicity.



An interesting word: KICKSHAW 1. a tidbit or delicacy  2. showy but without substance

Submissions are open at Clover, A Literary Rag until September 30, 2015. We are celebrating our 10th edition of this wonderful print magazine. Our special winter edition will be out in December. We encourage submissions for poetry, short stories (under 3,000 words unless solicited), and memoir pieces.  Get yours in.  We read carefully — send us your best.  For our Submissions page go here.




clover 9 poster for conference_1Norman L. Green and I  represent Clover, A Literary Rag, and we will be in the lobby of the Chuckanut Writers Conference with goodies at our table.  Please sign up for our open mic reading.   Clover, A Literary Rag is available at Village Books in the conference lobby.  An eclectic mix of poetry and stories, Clover, A Literary Rag includes Northwest  poets and storytellers and writers from across  our country and our world.

IWS is well represented at the conference–this year over half of our members are attending. For IWS,  June means our summer edition of Clover is ready and the conference is at hand.  What an honor to take part in the conference!  The Chuckanut Writers Conference faculty includes people from all aspects of writing–editors poets novelists a blogger  and agents. Sam and Sally Green have both contributed to Clover in the past–it will be fun to see them again.

What fine motivation for all of us attending to bring our writing up a notch–to get inspired and to share our experiences in whatever aspect of writing that draws our time and energies to Whatcom Community College this weekend.

We are indebted to Village Books and Whatcom Community College for hosting the conference.

See you soon!


Denise duMaurier at Village Books

Sentinel duM poster_3 picIf you have heard Denise duMaurier read, you will be at Village Books for this rare opportunity to spend an hour with this world traveling poet/artist/actress.  Her third volume of poetry, SENTINEL, is available at Village Books! SENTINEL was published by the Independent Writers’ Studio and printed by Threshold Documents.

Submissions are open for Clover, A Literary Rag until
April 30, 2015

The best way to submit stories and poetry is through .  If you submit poetry or stories to that works as well.

Our deadline is firm as is our resolve to produce the best volume EVER of Clover.  Volume 9 of the Rag comes out in June, so now is the time to get your words together and sent to us for consideration.



A busy week inside Clover, A Literary Rag–we are happy to announce that patrons in Port Townsend will soon be able to purchase Clover, A Literary Rag at The Writer’s Workshoppe & Imprint Bookstore. Readers in Spokane can soon see what we are about by checking in at Auntie’s. Clover, A Literary Rag, Volume 7 is a great summertime read–stories and poetry from writers based in Washington state with branches that go way beyond its borders. We love independent bookstores, and if you would like to see Clover in a bookstore near you ask for it. And send me a note–I will follow the lead.

Bellingham friends– please ask for Clover at Village Books, they have partnered with us since we started our magazine almost 5 years ago. You will find the magazine on the second follow of Village Books in the poetry and literature section. We will be reading there in late September–stay tuned for more details next week.


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!

Elliott Bay Book Company

Elliott Bay Book Company - Seattle, WA

Clover, A Literary Rag, Volumes 5 & 6 are selling at Seattle’s Elliott Bay Book Company.

Independent bookstores are a writer’s best friend.  If you think outside the box, live outside the box, then shop outside the box.  You will come away smiling.

Located on Capital Hill, Elliott Bay Book Company has over 150,000 titles and houses them on cedar shelves.  Sounds inviting.  Yes, it does

Educate –Inspire — Motivate — Entertain — Introduce — all the things books can do.

Whether you shop for a child or your mother or yourself, shop books at an independent bookseller.  In Seattle, Elliott Bay Book Company is a fine place to start.

We thank them for carrying Clover, A Literary Rag.

Like them on Facebook!