Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Autumn in words and photos, plus a contest October 8, 2011

I shot this cover image of pumpkins at Twiehoff Gardens & Nursery in Faribault.

WHEN YOU CONSIDER autumn, what comes to mind?

Pumpkins. Colorful leaves. Crisp nights. Harvest. Those top my list.

Because I’m a magazine writer, I pay attention to seasonal details probably more than your average person. If I want to submit a seasonal story and/or photos, I need to plan a year in advance of publication.

And so I did with the current issue of Minnesota Moments magazine. Inside the just-published fall issue, you’ll find 20 of my photos, all taken last fall.

I’m particularly proud of my 11-image, 5-page photo essay titled “Oh, fleeting days of autumn in Minnesota.” Not only will you find fall scenes from rural Minnesota, but you’ll read copy that is more poetic than straight-forward writing. For example, in the opening paragraph of that photo essay piece, I write:

Autumn slips into Minnesota on wisps of wind whirling wayward leaves onto sun-washed grass. And so summer fades and a new season begins.

You’ll also read my poem, “Preparing for winter, circa 1960,” based on embellished memories of my mother canning and freezing garden produce for the winter ahead.

I enjoy writing poetry that connects to my rural roots. And I’ve been fairly successful in getting published with seven poems printed in five anthologies, one on Roadside Poetry billboards and another recently published in a debut literary magazine. I really ought to write more poetry.

But, I have those magazine articles to work on and blogging and… I’m already pursuing stories for the winter issue of Minnesota Moments.

This contest promo image of Mary Nachicas and Don Anderson comes from Nina Hedin of Glencoe, who blogs at ArtsyNina. We are seeking these types of vintage black-and-white candid photos.

THEN I HAD THIS FABULOUS contest idea, “Snapshots of Love,” for our winter edition. And you know how that goes, when you have the idea you follow through and make it happen.

To summarize, we are seeking vintage black-and-white candid photos on the theme of love. Contest submission also requires a bit of writing—a maximum 75-word paragraph answering this question: “What story does this photo tell me about the theme of love?”

The winner, selected by me and other magazine staffers, wins a $150 prize package comprised of handcrafted greeting cards from Bernie (a former Duluth resident) at Budugalee, a $25 gift certificate from Camp Honeybelle (an etsy shop operated by Nina Hedin of Glencoe), a letter press, vintage graphics fine art print from Bruno Press and a one-year subscription to the magazine.

For “Snapshots of Love” contest details, click here.

For info about Minnesota Moments, with the current cover photo, 23 inside photos, and four stories and book reviews by me, click here.

To check out the ArtsyNina blog, click here. And to shop at Camp Honeybelle, click here.

To read Bernie’s One Mixed Bag blog, click here. To view her card collection at Budugalee, click here.

For more information about Bruno Press, click here. You’ll find a feature story about owner Mary Bruno in the fall issue of Minnesota Moments.

Enjoy! And get your contest entries in to “Snapshots of Love.” Entry deadline is November 15, 2011.

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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