On August 22nd, Digital Ninjas Media, Inc. in association with author Heath D. Alberts will be releasing a new anthology titled ‘Rockford Writes‘. The work is a collection of short stories, poetry, and prose by authors who are either natives of Rockford, Illinois, or have resided in the city at any point in their lives. The stories are both historical and fictional, which serves to imbue the work with a unique combination of content that caters to a plethora of tastes.
Within the work are also drawings done by a local artist, Krystina Fuhrer, who stepped in to assist in illustrating one of the stories when the owner of the rights to the turn of the century photographs and drawings could not be reached. Wrapping the whole work is a photograph by local art talent Jeremy Klonicki, whose gallery, MainfraiM, is a mecca for salvage-based artworks and creations.
The work hopes to showcase local talent, as well as bring to mind the fact that Rockford still has something positive to offer up for those who will embrace it. Editor and contributor Heath D. Alberts offered up this positive message on the rear of the work:
“It [Rockford Writes] showcases much of the artistic talent, passion, pride, and dreaming that are still present in Rockford, Illinois to this day. If you enjoy the work, let the contributors know and share it with others. Rockford is a city in flux. With that being said, one may choose to bemoan the issues and uncertainty it faces on the road to its next incarnation. Conversely, one may choose to be a catalyst for change and a new beginning. I’d like to believe that I, and the contributors herein, fall squarely into that second category. Won’t you join us?”
The complete lineup of contributors, and their bios, are:
Heath D. Alberts is the author of four novels (‘Terminal Beginning’, ‘Last Rights’, ‘Photographic Memory’ & ‘Not on the List’), a marketing and business strategy guide geared toward cottage & small business owners (‘Guerrilla Business 2.0’), a collection of short stories (‘A Twist of Fate’), has co-authored an addiction recovery memoir (‘Dave’s Not Here’), and was a contributor to the ‘Secret Rockford’ book project. He is a regular contributor to, and administrator of, The Rockford Blog (author of the ‘Remembrances of Pauline Avenue’ & ‘Rockford’s Own’ series’), as well as the co-founder of Digital Ninjas Media, Inc. A native of Rockford, Illinois, and an avid collector of rare & first-edition books, he now resides in Rockton, Illinois with his wife, Wanda, and his malicious cat.
Ernie Fuhr is a high school teacher in Rockford Public Schools, having lived and worked here since 1991. Mr. Fuhr is originally from Rock Island County, Illinois, where he grew up on his family’s farm. He was formally educated at Western Illinois University with a degree in History & Political Science. He also holds a principal’s certificate, having earned a Master’s degree in Education Administration from Northern Illinois. Ernie has an inquisitive mind and a lifelong passion for reading, writing, and researching. He recently authored a biography of Rockford baseball player Hal Carlson, which was published in the book ‘Winning On the North Side: The 1929 Chicago Cubs’. His work has also appeared in local literary anthologies, ‘Secret Rockford’, and ‘The Rockford Review’. Ernie and his wife Stephanie are the proud parents of two tuxedo cats.
Krystina Fuhrer is a freelance artist based in Janesville, Wisconsin. She achieved her Associate’s degree from UW Rock County and is pursuing her Bachelor’s at UW Whitewater. Though this is her first publication, her works have been shown in several small and local shows, as well as a number of juried shows.
Casandra Goldsmith has been writing in one form or another since she was very young. She has lived in the Rockford area for the past fifteen years. Casandra works in the health care and wellness industry as a Licensed Massage Therapist, and lives with her husband and their two dogs.
Tim Hughes has published opinion pieces, letters to the editor, and music reviews in the Rockford Register Star, the Rock River Times, and the Chicago Tribune. He has written reviews for the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, is the author of a self-published book of poetry, and a children’s book ‘Spanky: the Cat Who Loved Christmas’, which was a publisher’s choice selection two years in a row at the American Library Association’s national convention.
Jeremy Klonicki is a mixed-media artist who lives and works in Rockford. He is the owner of MainfraiM, a custom framing, lighting, and design company, and Fraim and Mortar, a collaborative artist studio based in Rockford. Jeremy’s wide range of work including photography, lighting, and sculpture has been featured in individual and collective shows throughout the Midwest. When he’s not creating in the studio he can be found experimenting in vegetarian cuisine at home with his wife and daughter. You can visit him at www.mainfraim.com.
Kathi Kresol has been researching Rockford’s past for over a decade. She shares these fascinating stories through her column ‘Voices from the Grave’ in the Rock River Times and also through her business, Haunted Rockford. Besides researching, writing, and organizing events, Kathi gives presentation all over Illinois on aspects of Rockford History including Ghastly Crimes and Ghostly Encounters, Haunted Boone County, Haunted Winnebago County, and Rockford’s Hidden History. Kathi is always honored to be able to tell the tales of the families who made Rockford their home.
Jason Leviskas is a lifelong Winnebago County resident. He graduated from Rockford Christian High School, and went on to receive a four-year degree from Rockford College, majoring in Political Science, with minors in Business Administration and Classical Civilizations. He is currently working in the government sector, and in his free time enjoys consulting on political campaigns. He has always loved writing; putting original thoughts of the heart and mind on paper. He considers himself a novice poet, philosopher, photographer, and has even been known to write a good love letter in moments of desire.
“May we all get so lucky as to come across an ‘Octane Girl’.”
Bart ‘Zethen’ Luhman found a passion for writing after writing his first poem in high school. For 15 years, he continued writing and collecting his poems to eventually release them in his first poetry collection. He is a member and contributor to the website AllPoetry.com. His two poetry collections, ‘The Road to Nowhere’ and ‘Return to Flight’ are published by Digital Ninjas Media, Inc.
Jenny Mathews is an artist, mother, teacher, and blogger. She’s written for Houston Chronicle, Zombie Logic Press, and has kept a blog, ‘Bombadee’s Garden’, for almost ten years. She’s illustrated children’s books, run a theater spotlight, been a courtroom sketch artist, played a zombie extra, skated roller derby, been the first lady of a small town, and still considers the most exciting thing she’s ever done to be raising children. She is proud to be from, and currently living in, Rockford.
Terry Stolz is currently a Master’s Candidate in the Written Communication Program at National Louis University (degree to be conferred December 2015). Mr. Stolz’s scholastic achievements include National Louis University’s nomination to the Who’s Who of Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Mr. Stolz’s folktale ‘The Bear and The Hare’, and his poem ‘Blindman’ have been selected by the Mosaic Publication Committee for inclusion in the 2015 MSWC literary anthology. Four of Terry’s Cowboy Poems have been published in the Cowboy Chronicle Magazine. Terry’s poetry has also been published in The Write City Magazine, published by the Chicago Writers Association and its Rockford affiliate In Print. Terry strives to be recognized as an accomplished poet, a respected professor, and published author.
Karna Tecla is the pen name of Rebecca Kojetin, who resides in Rockford, Illinois and began writing in elementary school. Recently retired from teaching, Karna devotes her time to writing and her husband’s trucking business. When not writing, Karna plays the piano and violin, experiments with various crafts, travels, and gardens.
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