Laura Sweeney, MS/MPA/MFA, facilitates Writers for Life in Iowa and Illinois. She represented the Iowa Arts Council at the First International Teaching Artist's Conference in Oslo, Norway. Her poems and prose appear in sixty plus journals and ten anthologies in the States, Canada, Britain, Indonesia, and China. Her recent awards include a scholarship to the Sewanee Writer's Conference.  In 2021, she received an Editor's Prize in Flash Discourse from Open: Journal of Arts & Letters; Poetry Society of Michigan's Barbara Sykes Memorial Humor Award; and two of her poems appear in the anthology Impact: Personal Portraits of Activism, winner of the American Book Fest Best Book Award, Current Events, 2021 .  She is a PhD candidate, English/Creative Writing, at Illinois State University. 

BOOKS - choose an image & read a blurb

Pandemic Moments: Stories of the 2020 COVID-19 Outbreak

No one expected things to change drastically with the beginning of a new decade. Yet that's exactly what happened. Within a few weeks, the world shut down, life came to a halt, fear permeated the population, existence was threatened, churches closed, social distance and hiding faces behind masks became an everyday experience, and for many, their faith was challenged. Join these 40 Christian authors as they share personal experiences and what they learned during this historic period when

Last Call: The Anthology of Beer, Wine, & Spirits Poetry

Last Call: The Anthology of Beer, Wine & Spirits Poetry Editor James Bertolino has assembled a diverse and exciting collection of poems that articulates all things alcoholic. Within these pages you will discover Odes, poems about writing, poems set in bars, poems in celebration, poems of grief and loss, humorous poems, poems about nature, and much more. Last Call contains 177 poems from poets in 31 states and 4 countries: US, Canada, India, and South Korea. Included among the 159 poets who g

It’s About Time: A Main Street Rag Anthology

Alice Benson lives in La Crosse, Wisconsin, with her partner and their dog, Max. Alice recently retired from a job in the human service field; previously she spent over thirteen years working with a domestic violence program. Her short stories have appeared in Delta Women Ezine,, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Epiphany, Scrutiny Literary Journal, The Gateway Review, and Shooter Literary Journal. Alice’s first novel, Her Life is Showing, set in a domestic violence shelter, was published

In The Words Of Women International: 2016 Anthology

Please note our schedule for the rest of 2016!! Please bring a main, side, appetizer, dessert, drink, or plates/cups/utencils to share! If you are so inclined, bring a modest (less than $10) item for our free giveaway–anyone who brings an item gets to take an item. Let’s keep it fun and writerly themed–journal, pens, prompt books, etc. (It will be set up like a raffle but no money involved). We will eat and hang out; reflect on our year 2016 and look toward the new year!

Farmscape: The Changing Rural Environment

Farmscape is inspired by the community play which documents the contemporary Midwest farmscape. Savor the taste of organic vegetables on a truck on its way to the local farmer’s market, suit up in protective clothing and a mask before you enter a hog confinement operation. Experience the David and Goliath story of an organic farmer up against the economic forces of the 3500 acre agri-business operation next door. In the end, you’ll understand that during the pioneer days, farming completely chan