Michigan Hemingway Society

Since 1990, focusing on the Michigan influence in Ernest Hemingway's work,
especially the Nick Adams Stories.
The society holds an annual Hemingway Weekend in Petoskey, MI
each Fall which features speakers, readings, exhibits, and tours
of northern Michigan sites where the Nobel Prize-winning author
spent his boyhood years

The Michigan Hemingway Society held its 22nd annual weekend conference October 14-16, 2011, at the Odawa Hotel in Petoskey.


This year’s writing contest “Hemingway's Waters: Exploring the Depths” was a very popular event with a dozen outstanding entries. Congratuations to the winners. (To read the stories click on the title.)

1st Place: The River's Best by Chris Weston

2nd Place: The Water Scrape by Joseph Meany

3rd Place: Rowing by Jerri Gillette

Contest organizers Diane Fox and Susan Lightcap shown with the winners. Contest Winners
                                                          Diane Fox, Joe Meany, Chris Weston, Jerri Gillette, Susan Lightcap

Click below for the
Thanks to Art Wagner and Susan Lightcap for these pictures.
If you have more for the gallery just sent them to

2012 MHS Fall Conference

There will not be a full weekend MHS Conference in the Fall of 2012. It will likely be just a one day event. Next June MHS will host the 15th Biennial Hemingway Society Conference in Petoskey-Bay View. We encourage you to attend. (see

As all of you must know by now Petoskey and Bay View will be the site of the 15th Biennial Hemingway Society Conference, hosted by the Michigan Hemingway Society. The planning committee and Michigan Hemingway Society board of directors have been working diligently to ensure that we show our guests as much of the Northern Michigan experience as possible.

We are thrilled to be holding our meetings and academic sessions on the campus of the Bay View Association, an intact Victorian Chautauqua community where the Hemingway family members attended various activities. The Hemingway Society has visited many places in the world with connections to Hemingway’s life or to his work, but the participants will never have seen anyplace which is still so much the same as it was during the early part of the 20th Century.

The Victorian ambience, with modern conveniences, can extend to one’s accommodations as well by booking with our partners, The Perry Hotel, The Bay View Inn, or The Terrace Inn, or by renting a cottage on the Bay View grounds. Our friends at the Odawa Hotel are also offering us a conference rate, and there are a few B & B’s in the area, along with all major hotel chains. See the conference web site at or access it through the Hemingway Society page at

While it is too soon for the entire detailed schedule to be complete the major activities have been scheduled. The opening reception will be held at The Perry Hotel on Sunday, June 17, 2012, and afterward everyone will have the opportunity to attend the Bay View Music Festival opening Vespers Concert, a stunning variety program by professional musicians. The city of Petoskey will offer street entertainment and downtown activities on Monday evening to complement the opening of an exhibit and the premiere of a documentary on the history of the Little Traverse Bay area. We will also inaugurate the Hemingway’s Petoskey walking tour based on a ‘trail’ of historic markers and plaques. Our week will provide many tours including one to Horton Bay and a sunset cruise beneath the Mackinac Bridge.

Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Ernest Mainland and the Little Traverse Bay Historical Society, conference attendees will have the opportunity to visit Windemere Cottage. Schedule sign-up sheets will be available during conference registration. Mr. Mainland will also be hosting a benefit reception before the start of our conference as well as auctioning two overnight visits of two nights each at the Cottage Annex. Links for these activities will be available on the conference website .

Other events are still in the planning stages, but there will be something very special offered for the PEN/Hemingway Award fundraiser. The Hemingway Society and Foundation administers the annual PEN/Hemingway Award for the best first book of fiction, an award that is presented at the Kennedy Library in Boston each spring. The Society works closely with the Hemingway collection at the library encouraging excellence in writing, one of the main charters of the organization. The award was founded by Mary Hemingway as a tribute to her husband’s memory and literary legacy. For more information, see the welcome page at

The closing reception and banquet will be on Friday evening at the beautiful Bay Harbor Yacht Club, a very grand facility where Ernest never ate. The Yacht Club is a new Victorian-style structure, but the views of sky and water are those that Hemingway compared to the Bay of Naples. Sunsets seen from there are breathtaking, and an evening of fine food among like-minded friends will be a lovely close to our week in Petoskey and Bay View.

…It does not, however, have to be the close to your Up North experience. On Saturday after the conference ends the Michigan Hemingway Society will offer a tour of Hemingway sites in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Hemingway fished the Fox River and described it eloquently under the pseudonym “The Big Two-Hearted River.” Visits to that area are magical. Our hotel partners have agreed to extend conference room rates for those wishing to stay over for the tour.

Keep watching the conference web site ( for updates, and remember that even if you are a member of the Michigan Hemingway Society you must be a member of the international Hemingway Society to attend the conference. You might consider joining now if you haven’t, so that you will begin receiving The Hemingway Review magazine and the E-mailings that alert members to updates in scheduling or other changes. Scholars and Hemingway aficionados from all over the world are going to be in Northern Michigan in June, 2012. Plan on being a part of this amazing week!

On Saturday, June 23, the Michigan Hemingway Society will offer an optional post-conference bus tour to Seney, Michigan, and other related Hemingway sites in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The proposed all day tour will cross the famed Mackinac Bridge, and then parallel the rail route that Hemingway took from St. Ignace in 1919.

At Seney visitors will have ample time to see the spot where the young Ernest disembarked, the Fox River, and also the exhibits in the museum. Hemingway fished the Fox and described it eloquently as the “Big Two-Hearted River.” A visit to the Seney National Wildlife Refuge (one of the first in the United States) will afford opportunity to see the same wildlife Hemingway saw during his visits to the UP.

The second leg of the trip will be along scenic US 2, which Hemingway and Otto "Toby" Bruce followed westward in 1947 after Ernest's last trip to Walloon Lake and Petoskey. The route is dotted with white sand dunes along the Lake Michigan shore and offers choice photo opportunities. Lunch will be provided, and participants will return in time to dine in their favorite Petoskey restaurant. This trip is open to conference attendees, Michigan Hemingway Society members, and anyone else who is interested. Contact Janice Byrne at if you have questions. Trip registration is now available on the MHS web site

MHS Membership

The MHS membership year runs from January through December, and we encourage you to renew your membership at the beginning of each calendar year. However, if you have not yet sent in your 2011 membership dues, you could still do so and save money on your conference fee this fall. Membership is $20 per calendar year for an individual, or $30 per year for a family (two adults at the same address). We also encourage you to support our organization by becoming a patron at $50 or more per year.

Click HERE for a Membership Form

Mailing List

Paper, printing, and postage costs increase every year. If you can help us by reading your newsletter online at our website ( so that we can cut back on our mailing costs, please let us know. Contact me (Nancy Nicholson – MHS, Box 922, Petoskey, MI 49770 or email if you wish your name removed from the mailing list.

MHS List-Serv

From time to time we offer news or announcements via e-mail on our MHS list-serve, hosted by Michigan Tech and Board Member Jack Jobst. The list-serve may also be used by any member to offer questions, make announcements, or to initiate discussions. If you are not a member of the list and would like to sign up, send an e-mail to In the subject line write subscribe mihemsoc-L

Ernest Hemingway, A Life in Michigan (DVD)

A limited number of these DVD's are still available. The DVD includes Michigan sites of his stories and life, interviews of scholars and family as well as many historical photos. Created by Central Michigan University, Michigan Council for the Humanities, and the Michigan Hemingway Society (a CMU/WCMU-TV/PBS production). To order, please send $25 (includes shipping and handling) to: Nancy Nicholson - P.O. Box 922 - Petoskey, Michigan 49770