Press Clippings: You tried our chili, now devour our latest magazine

The Pioneer Journal is happy to be putting out our beautiful "Fall Home" magazine inserted into this week's edition.

We are part of The Trust Project.

Hats off to Rising Phoenix and Becker Transport for grabbing the top two spots in the Wadena Chamber’s Chili Cookoff competition last week! Huzzah to you for a great effort! Our team here at the PJ obviously has its work cut out for us to unseat you next year!

Devlyn Brooks.png
Devlyn Brooks is the new publisher for the Wadena Pioneer Journal, Perham Focus and Detroit Lakes Tribune.
Vicki Gerdes / Forum News Service

This was my first Chili Cookoff, obviously, and I have to tell you that I had a hoot! What an awesome way to draw folks downtown Wadena and to promote local businesses! I had a great time getting to meet the other business competitors, and also chatting with the folks who came by the Pioneer Journal’s table. Thank you all for taking the time to chat with me! I appreciate your kind comments and your feedback!

I also want to thank our team for turning out to support a great community event. Thank you to Julie Lake, Britanie Rentz and Helen Allee who helped dish up our chili. And here’s a big shout out to Michael Johnson , and his wife, Kelly, who cooked up our batch of chili! Thank you for your hard work and creativity!

Look out Chili Cookoff 2023 we’re sharpening our game for next year! … We have trophy envy!


“Fall Home Magazine”

Also, I’m pleased to report that you will find inserted into today’s Pioneer Journal a really important, premium magazine called the “Fall Home Magazine,” an elegant, 40-plus page glossy magazine that will be inserted into all three of our publications, the Detroit Lakes Tribune, Perham Focus and Wadena Pioneer Journal.

Work on this special publication began months ago when our sales team developed this year’s sales effort, and the editorial team developed the content plans for the magazines. And I’d like to tell you a little more about “Fall Home.”

Our team starts planning the “Fall Home” project months in advance, with our sales team working with our clients to develop eye-popping advertisements with just the right messaging and our content team finding informative home stories that will be entertaining as well. And we accomplished both of those goals in this year’s magazine!


This magazine will be inserted into our Perham Focus and Wadena Pioneer Journal editions that will publish on Thursday, Sept. 29, and into our Detroit Lakes Tribune edition that will publish Saturday, Oct. 1. The magazine’s distribution will occur in concert with the 41st Annual Damien Home Tour, which is a fundraiser for area charities. The tour takes place between 12:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday, and will include tours of some beautiful and unique homes.

This year’s magazine includes great stories such as an interview with Kevin and Joy Reski about the renovation of their historic Cape Cod cottage that includes the famous “bootlegger boathouse,” a conversation with John and Kristi Slininger about the complete renovation of their South Shore Drive home, the story of Eric and Marla learning the ropes as they designed their own home from the ground up, and so much more! You won’t want to put this magazine down!

Additionally, there are dozens of beautiful advertisements from the area’s builders, designers, contractors, home supply businesses and so many more that make this magazine a “must read” for those who are thinking about renovations or new builds, or even if you are a casual home design enthusiast looking for inspiration!

Brooks' Beat
"The inner peace that Jesus promised the faithful pulled us away from our fears of scarcity, a root motivator initiating our domination instinct over others, and helped us to realize that our neighbors were actually part of the same great big body of believers."

Again, this kind of top-notch publication cannot come to fruition without the work of so many people. And so “thank yous” are in order here too!


Thank you to our team for finding such intriguing home-related stories and delivering such compelling reads and beautiful photos, and for your work with our clients to develop such informative advertisements!

And most importantly, I want to thank all of the advertisers who make this annual project possible. We can’t publish such a beautiful, engaging and informative magazine such as “Fall Homes” without your support! Thank you so much for investing in such a fun and entertaining project!

We hope that you support the Damien Society with their fundraising efforts by purchasing tickets to their home tour! It is a great way to support our community!

On behalf of our team, we hope you enjoy the “Fall Home” magazine! Thank you for reading!

Devlyn Brooks is the publisher of the Detroit Lakes Tribune, Perham Focus and Wadena Pioneer Journal, and their associated websites. He can be reached at or at 218-844-1451.

Devlyn Brooks is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and serves Faith Lutheran Church in Wolverton, Minn. He also works for Forum Communications Co. He can be reached at for comments and story ideas.
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