At the Library 8/17/23

At the Library
by LeAnn Kunz

It is time for another community writing project! The Washington Public Library
has held two projects in the past including the hugely popular Stories From the
Recipe Box, a collection of favorite recipes and the stories, as well as Stories From
the Apron Strings, a recent compilation of local apron anecdotes and photos. These
collections were gathered and put together into a printed booklet that the library
sold as a fundraiser. They are also available digitally through the WPL’s
subscription to Biblioboard, which is on our website at
Hover on the “Read, Listen, & Watch” tab and then choose “Resources For
Writers” and then scroll down to the Discover area and click on “Visit Biblioboard
Our latest community writing project will get you reminiscing about your
childhood. The project is entitled Stories From the Toy Box. Many of us can
remember distinctive toys and games that we played as children. Some of our
experiences are universal and others quite unique. We want to hear your memories
and anecdotes of your toys. Write up a piece of 100-1000 words and submit it and
a photo, if possible, to the Washington Public Library. You can send it to us in
three different ways. Submit to the link
or your can email your submission to or you can
mail your submission to the Washington Public Library, 115 W. Washington St.,
Washington, IA, 52353. The deadline is October 31. I hope to have the printed
booklets available by holiday time.
If you need some inspiration to get you writing, join us for the new season of the
Washington Writers’ Workshop starting on Saturday, September 9 at 10 am. We are
excited to be hosting our visiting writer, Karen Musser Nortman, an Iowan
novelist. Karen Musser Nortman spent 22 years as a secondary social studies
teacher and 18 years as a test specialist for ACT (formerly American College
Testing) before retiring in 2011. Since then, she has written and published nineteen
books in three series: the Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mysteries, the Time
Travel Trailer series, and the Mystery Sisters series. The WPL has several of these
novels available for checkout. Karen and her husband camped for years in a 30-
foot trailer and traveled through over 25 states in their retirement. When he passed
away in 2020, Nortman sold the trailer and bought a 25-foot motor home. She has
continued to camp with friends and a women’s group, the Midwest Glampers.
Karen will give a presentation on the craft of writing during the first hour and we
will workshop writer’s submissions, in any genre, during the second hour. It is sure
to be an interesting and enriching morning.
I hope you will get writing and share your toy stories with the community through
our project. I think there is nothing more valuable than preserving our memories,
distinctive stories that can only be told by you.