Message in a Bottle Reading Series


Message in a Bottle Reading Series

On March 19th, the Midwest Writers Workshop launched the Message in a Bottle Reading Series, hosted at the Blue Bottle coffeehouse in downtown Muncie, Ind. Thirty people – young and not-so-young – including Ball State University students, librarians from Warsaw, IN (they woke at 5:30 a.m. to be on time!), a judge, and a few poets turned out to hear Ivy Farguheson, Cathy Shouse, and Kelsey Timmerman read and discuss recent works.

Ivy, a Muncie Star Press reporter, said that there are only two ways she can fully express herself – dancing and writing.  Since there wasn’t much room to dance at the Blue Bottle, Ivy read a work titled, Caribbean Leftovers. Ivy said that writing for the newspaper is a pretty simple formula and she likes to stretch herself as a writer by getting home and writing fiction every night.

Cathy read excerpts from her book, Fairmount: Images of America. At one time little Fairmount, Indiana, was a “cultural capital.” Who knew? Cathy also shared stories about the town’s favorite sons, James Dean and Jim Davis.  James Dean’s cousin was an important source in her research. She often caught up with him at the local café if she had questions.  Garfield was named after Jim Davis’ crotchety grandfather.

Kelsey read Running with Kenyans about an ill-advised attempt to run a half-marathon with world-class Kenyan runners at 8,000 feet in Iten, Kenya. He got lost, and was passed by an old farmer.  We’re still not quite sure how he made it back.

“The event was exactly what we hoped it would be,” said Jama Bigger, director of the MWW workshop. “It was a laidback Saturday morning filled with laughs, coffee, and good stories. We can’t wait to do it again!”

The Midwest Writers are currently taking suggestions for writers to read at the Message in the Bottle Reading Series. Email your suggestions to

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