Her tiny childhood home outside of Vesta didn’t have a bathroom or, for a long time, a telephone. On the family’s dairy farm, Audrey walked beans, picked rock, fed calves and cows, and scooped manure.
When she wasn’t in the barn, Audrey played in the grove with her five siblings. Or she biked across the flat open land of spacious skies and stunning sunsets in southwestern Minnesota.
Her writing career began at the Wabasso High School newspaper, The Rabbit Tracks. That led her to pursue a mass communications degree and a writing career. Fresh out of college, Audrey worked as a newspaper reporter and photographer for The Gaylord Hub, where she was fondly called “the cub from The Hub.”
Eventually, Audrey joined the staffs of other weekly and daily newspapers in Minnesota. She also established permanent residence in Faribault with her husband, Randy, where she has lived in the same house since 1984.
After taking time off to raise her three children (she’s an empty nester now and a grandma), Audrey returned to writing. Her work has since been published in poetry anthologies, devotionals, two books, magazines, newspapers, on billboards, on signs along recreational trails and in greeting cards. She is also passionate about blogging and photography.
When she isn’t writing, Audrey loves to read and has achieved a childhood dream of living near a library, only blocks from her house. Her hometown still doesn’t have a public library. But thanks to the efforts of Audrey, several Vesta residents and the co-founder of the Little Free Library, Vesta now has a LFL. The library was established in July 2012 outside the community cafe, where the manager has filled the cafe with shelves full of donated books.
Audrey also enjoys photography, reading, tending flower gardens, touring small towns and rural areas, and shopping at rummage sales and thrift stores.
YOU MAY CONTACT Audrey at this email address: audrey at mnprairieroots.com
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED in purchasing photos featured on Minnesota Prairie Roots, or other photos (Audrey has an extensive file), please email: audrey at mnprairieroots.com Her photos have been purchased, for example, by an ad agency, a New York-based charity, individuals, an author, magazines, newspapers, tourism groups, a gamer, a website developer and more.
Audrey also has experience in proofreading and editing. If you have a project which requires proofing and/or editing, contact her for more information and a quote. Audrey brings a passion for the written word, language, grammar, quality writing and more to projects she undertakes.
AUDREY’S WRITING CAREER includes the following:
- Worked as a newspaper reporter and photographer for The Gaylord Hub; The Sleepy Eye Herald-Dispatch; The Free Press, Mankato; The People’s Press, Owatonna; and The Northfield News.
- Freelance articles published in The Land magazine; The Lutheran Witness; The Lutheran Digest; The Secret Place, Devotions for Daily Worship; Midwest Mix Magazine; and Minnesota Parent (online).
- Southern Minnesota Correspondent for Minnesota Moments magazine. Work with the magazine included writing, photography, editing and proofreading.
- Stories published in the following books: God Answers Prayers Military Edition: True Stories from People Who Serve and Those Who Love Them; Penned from the Heart, Volume XII; and Hidden History of the Minnesota River Valley.
- Poetry published in Poetic Strokes, A Regional Anthology of Poetry from Southeastern Minnesota, Volumes 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7; The Talking Stick, Forgotten Roads, Volume Nineteen (received honorable mention for “Hit-and-Run” poem); The Lutheran Digest (fall 2004 issue); Minnesota Moments (May/June 2009); The Talking Stick, Black & White, Volume 20; Lake Region Review, 2011; The Talking Stick, Nightfall, Volume 21 (one of 130 pieces published out of 278 submissions); Lake Region Review, Two, 2012 (one of 34 pieces published out of 430 submissions); and It’s All One Water (one of 28 pieces published out of 110 submissions).
- Greeting card verses published by Warner Press, Gallant Greetings and DaySpring.
- Blogged for Midwest Mix Magazine and Minnesota Moments magazine.
- Blog posts featured twice on “Freshly Pressed” on the WordPress.com homepage (one of 11 posts selected world-wide from among 315,261 new blog posts published on July 7, 2010, and one of 11 from among 834,622 new blogs posts published world-wide on June 12, 2012); MinnPost’s “Minnesota Blog Cabin;” Minnesota Public Radio’s “News Cut” column by Bob Collins and MPR’s Minnesota Today “Blog Box.”
- Other: Linked to on Minnesota Twins player Joe Mauer’s official Web site for post on his Kemp’s ice cream commercial.
- Spring 2011 winner of the Roadside Poetry Project. Poem posted on four billboards in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
- Highlighted in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio’s Bob Collins in an article published in the March 2011 issue of Minnesota Monthly magazine. Collins referenced only two Minnesota blogs, Minnesota Prairie Roots and Minnesota Brown, in citing sources he reads daily to write his “News Cut” column.
- Creative nonfiction published in The Talking Stick, Black & White, Volume 20.
- Iron Range writer Aaron J. Brown, author of the Minnesota Brown blog, wrote this in a January 11, 2012, post: “MN Prairie Roots, rich with photographs, history and modern perspective about southern Minnesota, is probably the best ‘place’ blog in the state.”
- Photo honors include: first place in the scenery division of the 2003 National Mutual Benefit photo contest; placed in several River Bend Nature Center, Faribault, photo contests with image featured in RBNC 2007 calendar; winner in Thrivent Financial for Lutherans 2011 photo contest with image featured on Thrivent’s calendar; cover photo for Minnesota Moments’ 2011 fall issue; and cover on a music composition book, Four Organ Preludes Based on Common Hymn Tunes by Curtis Lanoue.
- Three poems included in “The Image and the Word 2012” gallery exhibit at the Emy Frentz Arts Guild, Mankato. Poems also included in 2013 and 2014.
- Poem, “Her Treasure,” selected for inclusion in “Poet-Artist Collaboration XI” at Crossings at Carnegie in Zumbrota. Twenty-six of 180 submitted poems were chosen for this exhibit which pairs poetry with art.
- Poem, “Quotes from a survivor,” selected for publication on The Minneapolis StarTribune website and in the August 4, 2012, Variety (print) section in commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the 35W bridge collapse. Readers were invited to submit 35-word poems related to the bridge collapse. Here’s the link: http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/164792906.html?refer=y
- Poem, “Her Treasure,” featured on Northern Community Radio’s “The Beat.” Click here to hear producer Steve Downing read my poem selected for airing on this poetry program.
- Earned honorable mention in fiction competition with “The Final Chapter,” a short story publishing in The Talking Stick 22. St. Paul author John Reimringer judged the fiction finalists, selecting the top three winners. Twenty-five short stories will publish in the anthology along with 29 creative nonfiction pieces and 87 poems. Audrey’s poem, “The Farmer’s Song,” was also chosen for publication in TS 22.
- Two poems selected for publication on signs as part of the first-ever Mankato Poetry Walk and Ride (2013). “Off to Mankato to ‘get and education'” and “The thrill of vertical” were selected from among about 120 submissions during this competition. Doris Stengel, past president of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, and Peter Stein, League of Minnesota Poets youth chairperson, selected the 27 winning poems during blind judging. The poetry signs will be placed along recreational trails in Mankato and North Mankato during the summer of 2013.
- Poem, “Lilacs,” selected as a Work of Merit by the poetry committee in the 2013 Northwoods Art & Book Festival in Hackensack, Minnesota. Fest sponsored by the Northwoods Arts Council.
- “An essay of barn photos & memories” blog post selected for WordPress’ Freshly Pressed on November 30, 2013. WordPress editors daily choose eight posts, from among more than a half million WordPress blogs world-wide, for this honor. Here’s what editor Ben Huberman said about the “barn” post: “You struck a delicate and moving balance in this piece between letting the photos you took speak for themselves, and sharing with your readers the memories and emotions they invoke in you. It’s a lovely, well-executed post that deserves a wider audience.” This marks the third time Minnesota Prairie Roots blog posts have been Freshly Pressed.
- Poem, “Lilacs,” selected for inclusion in Poet Artist Collaboration XIII at Crossings at Carnegie in Zumbrota, Minnesota. Of more than 200 submitted poems, only 26 were selected for this project. Juried artists create artwork inspired by the selected poems. Paired poetry and art are showcased in the gallery during National Poetry Month in April, and into May, with poets and artists honored at a public reception in May.
- “The Farmer’s Wife, Circa 1960” selected for publication in Poetic Strokes 2014, a regional poetry anthology published by Southeastern Libraries Cooperating. Twenty-three poems were chosen from 196 submissions.
- Poem, “Bandwagon,” chosen as a winner in the 2014 Mankato Poetry Walk and Ride and posted at Lion’s Park in Mankato.
- “Hope of the Farmer” picked as a Work of Merit in the 2014 Northwoods Arts Council Art & Book Fair poetry competition.
- “Sunday Afternoon at the Auction Barn” awarded second place (and published) in The Talking Stick, Volume 23, Symmetry, poetry contest.
- Named the Best Local Blog/Blogger in Southern Minnesota in 2014 by the regional arts/entertainment/lifestyle magazine Southern Minnesota Scene. The award came via online nominations followed by online voting.
- Photo, “Fourth of July BINGO Callers,” awarded first place in the People category of National Mutual Benefit’s 2014 Photo Contest.
- Poems, “Class Reunion” and “Wednesday Night Bingo at the Legion,” selected for publication in Poetic Strokes, A Regional Anthology of Poetry from Southeastern Minnesota published by Southeastern Libraries Cooperating in 2015.
- “The Final Amen” awarded honorable mention in creative nonfiction and published in Undercurrents, The Talking Stick, Volume 24, published in 2015. Audrey’s poem, “Centerfolds,” was also published in volume 24.
- Poems, “Confessions in a Grocery Store Parking Lot,” and “Prairie Garden Memories,” published in Voices: Past & Present, The Talking Stick, Volume 25, in 2016.
- Stories and photos published in the 2016 and 2017 Clear Lake, Iowa, tourism guides.
- Earned honorable mention for “A Dinner Date at the Lakeview Drive Inn” photo in a 2015 contest sponsored by National Mutual Benefit.
- Faribault Car Cruise Night photo published on the cover of the 2017 Faribault Visitors’ Guide.
- Stories published on the Visit Faribault website.
- Poem, “The Farmer’s Song,” selected for inclusion in an artsong project by David Kassler of Rochester. Kassler composed music for the poem and six others performed by a chamber choir at two concerts in Rochester in March 2017.
- Poem, “Cornfield Memories” awarded honorable mention in the 2017 Mankato Poetry Walk & Ride competition. Poem posted on a sign along a recreational trail in Mankato.
- “Water Stories from a Minnesota Prairie Perspective” selected as the nonfiction winner in a “We are water” writing contest sponsored by Plum Creek Initiative and Minnesota League of Minnesota Voters in 2017. Story to be published in River Valley Woman.
- Poem, “Ode to my Farm Wife Mother” selected for inclusion in the 2017 Oakwood Literary Journal published by South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D.
- Short story, “Art Obsession,” awarded honorable mention and published in August 2017 in Fine Lines, The Talking Stick, Volume 26. One other short story, two works of creative nonfiction and a poem also selected for publication in this anthology of Minnesota writing by The Jackpine Writers’ Bloc.
- Three photos published in bestselling author Marta McDowell’s book, The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder–The Frontier Landscapes That Inspired The Little House Books. Published by Timber Press in 2017.
- Photo of Hill’s Hardware Hank in Wabasha included in the Our World hardware store exhibit at the Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul.
- Photo included in an exhibit at the National WW II Museum in New Orleans.
- Photo included in a 2017 temporary Laura Ingalls Wilder exhibit at the American Writers Museum in Chicago.