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Barton Sutter

Bart Sutter is the only writer to win the Minnesota Book Award in three different categories: poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. Among other honors, he has won a Bush Foundation Fellowship, a Jerome Foundation Travel & Study Grant (Sweden), a Loft-McKnight Award, and the Bassine Citation from the Academy of American Poets. In 2006, he was named the first Poet Laureate of Duluth. He has written for public radio, had four verse plays produced, and performs as one half of The Sutter Brothers – a poetry-and-music duo. He grew up in Roseau and Jackson Counties and has lived in Duluth for more than 30 years.

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Katya Gordon

Katya Gordon fell in love with the northern forests and Lake Superior when she first moved to Minnesota in 1991. She is a wilderness leader, a Restorative Justice facilitator and trainer, a sailor, small business owner, climate activist, radio show host, wife, homemaker, and mother of two teenage daughters. She lives in Two Harbors.

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Dean Hovey

Dean Hovey is an award-winning mystery author with 11 books in print. His books include three series: Pine County mysteries, Whistling Pines cozy mysteries, and Doug Fletcher Park Ranger mysteries. Hovey’s Family Trees won the 2018 Northeastern Minnesota Book Award for best fiction.

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LuAnn Nies

LuAnn Nies writes contemporary romantic suspense and historical romance. The saying, “You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl,” describes Nies and the women she writes about. Her tales stem from a combination of past experiences and a lot of wishful thinking. She’s been writing since 1996 but has been dreaming up wild adventures her whole life. She resides with her family in east central Minnesota. The women in her novels are country girls, who find themselves in strange predicaments with men, who definitely have the makings of true heroes.

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Frank Weber

Frank Weber is a forensic psychologist who completes assessments in homicide and sexual assault cases. He is the recipient of the MCA President’s Award for his forensic work and has written murder mysteries which have received great reviews from the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press. His work has ranged from assessing murderers chained to the cement floor in the basement of a prison and assessing psychopaths to providing therapy for wealthy professionals who’ve engaged in multiple affairs. He has testified as an expert witness in numerous sexual assault and homicide cases, written seven different treatment workbooks, and in 2015 published a training series for psychologists which has been accredited by the MN Board of Psychology.

He has received the President’s Award from the Minnesota Correctional Association for his forensic work, and recently received an award for excellence in his clinical work. Weber has used his unique understanding of how predators think, victim trauma, and actual court cases to create a thrilling mystery.

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Susan Wardell

Susan Wardell grew up in Saint Paul and graduated from St. Cloud State University in Special Education. She taught preschool and ECFE for many years, but when their youngest graduated from college, she and her husband took the plunge and sold their home in the city and moved to their lake cabin, which is now home. After the birth of their first grandchild, Wardell became inspired to write children’s books. Her passions include advocating for children and working with dogs and cats at their local shelter, Paws and Claws.

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Marie Zhuikov

Marie Zhuikov is a storyteller and poet from Duluth. Her two eco-mystic romance novels, Eye of the Wolf and Plover Landing, are set in northern Minnesota. Plover Landing was nominated for a Northeastern Minnesota Book Award. Her most recent work is Going Coastal: An Anthology of Lake Superior Short Stories, which she edited and co-authored. It earned an honorable mention in the Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards.

Zhuikov’s poems have appeared in several anthologies and community projects, and she is past chair of Lake Superior Writers, a nonprofit arts group in Duluth. Zhuikov has a B.A. in science journalism and an MA in public health journalism. When not writing fiction, she writes nonfiction as a science communicator for the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Program. She is a member of the National Association of Science Writers.

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Naomi Musch

Naomi Musch is an award-winning author who crafts her stories from the pristine, Lake Superior north woods, where she and her husband Jeff live as epically as God allows near the families of their five adult children. Musch is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Lake Superior Writers. Though she has written in a variety of venues on topics ranging from homeschooling to homesteading, her great love is historical fiction. She enjoys roaming around on the farm, snacking out of the garden, relaxing in her vintage camper, and loving on her passel of grandchildren. She would love to meet with and speak to your group.

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Ryan Vine

Ryan Vine’s debut full collection, To Keep Him Hidden, was a finalist for the May Swenson Prize, the New Issues Prize, the Crab Orchard Series, the MVP Prize from New Rivers Press, and — selected by Robert Pinsky — the Dorset Prize. His poems have appeared in numerous publications, including The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Poetry Ireland Review, Verse Daily, and on National Public Radio. His chapbook, Distant Engines, published by Backwaters Press, won a Weldon Kees Award and spent time on the Poetry Foundation’s contemporary best-seller list. He has received The Greensboro Review Robert Watson Poetry Prize, McKnight/ARAC Career Development Grants, an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship in Poetry from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and has been a finalist or nominee for numerous other honors, including the Pushcart Prize. Ryan is associate professor, a member of the Honors faculty and Chair of the English Department at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota.

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Candace Simar

Candace Simar is a Minnesota writer with a passion for history and her Scandinavian heritage. Her Abercrombie Trail Series received awards from the Western Writers of America. Shelterbelts is set in Otter Tail County, Minnesota and received finalist awards from the Willa Literary Awards in Historical Fiction. Her Escape to Fort Abercrombie is geared toward readers from age 12-100.

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