Monday, March 02, 2015

March forth or lose ground

"An artist is always out of step with his time. He has to be."
~ Orson Welles

It struck me that every time a book makes waves, thousands of writers try to ride the same wave, hoping to cash in on the flavor of the month. It happened with Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, and most recently with Fifty Shades of Grey. But as Orson Welles reminds us, we need to create our own waves and not march in lockstep. Find your own voice and maybe others will be emulating your success.

Sermon over. Time to march on with the calendar of outstanding events this month ... and more.
  • The Jax Youth Writers meet on the first and third Thursdays of the month, 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. Kimberly Smith has more information.
  • And in Fernandina Beach, the Nassau County Youth Writers also meet on the first and third Thursdays at the Peck Center at 4:45 p.m. Contact Jim Weinsier for details.
  • River City Writers meet on Tuesday, March 10 at the SE Branch Library off Gate Parkway. The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. and the guest speaker is screenwriter Kelly Fogwell. Her topic is "How to Use Screenwriting Techniques to Strengthen Fiction Writing." Kelly has taught screenwriting at the college level, and has some great tips for writers of fiction. Contact Gregg Golson for more information.
  • Clay County Writers meet on Wednesday, March 18, 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library, 2054 Plainfield Avenue. Group leader Maureen Jung has the details. 
  • Writers by the Sea will gather on Thursday, March 19, 6:30 p.m. at the Amelia Island Museum of History in Fernandina Beach. Barbara Bond will present "The Writing Guide for the 21st Century: Do You Need It?"
  • Novelist Arliss Ryan takes the spotlight for the Ancient City Writers meeting on Saturday, March 21, 10:00 a.m. at St. Augustine's Main Library. Arliss will share her secrets for turning historical research into astounding fiction no reader can resist.
  • A visit to the Ponte Vedra Library on Saturday, March 28 at 10:30 a.m. will bring you to the Ponte Vedra Writers meeting. We welcome editor, writer, and writing coach Mary Ann de Stefano speaking on "From First to Final Draft: Opening the Door." Mary Ann, who edits FWA's official magazine, The Florida Writer, will talk about the various stages of manuscript development, when to go it alone, and when to share your work in progress. 

And in other news:
  • FWA's next mini-conference is on Saturday, March 21 in Plantation, FL in S. Florida. The dual theme of the conference is building suspense and writing female characters. Here's the link for more information. I'm presenting a new workshop on writing thrillers in the morning, and will join Jade Kerrion and Kim Campbell in the afternoon to answer a few questions about how I approach writing my female characters (very carefully). This should be a good one if you'd like to make a weekend of it in sunny S. Florida.
  • The Royal Palm Literary Awards competition is open for submissions through May 15. The deadline for early bird fees was last Saturday, so you (and I) will now pay $40 per entry rather than $30. Still, that's better than $60 per entry fee which kicks in on May 1st.
  • Florida Sisters in Crime meets on Saturday, March 7, 10:15 a.m. at the SE Branch Library, to hear from an arson investigator from the Florida Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigators.
  • NY Times bestselling author Steve Berry will debut his new thriller, The Patriot Game at a fundraiser for the St. Augustine Historical Society Research Library on Thursday, March 26. A reception will precede Steve's presentation and Q & A session, followed by a booksigning. The event takes place from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and tickets are $100 per person, which includes a copy of the book. Contact Bob Nawrocki at 904-825-2333 for more information.
  • Ancient City Romance Writers welcome Salt Run Publishing's Kellie Sharpe as their speaker to their Saturday, March 28 meeting. She will present, "Marketing & Promotion for Authors Who Break Out in a Cold Sweat." The meeting is at 1:00 p.m. at the South Mandarin Branch Library. 
  • Laura Hampton of The St. Augustine Record is looking for a few good freelancers. She's particularly interested in articles on food, health and wellness, gardening and outdoor living, local residents and local charitable organizations and/or religion. If interested, contact Laura at
  • From time to time I'm asked when I'm going to present my Novel in a Day workshop again in our area. It's been more than a year since my last one in Jacksonville, but now I've teamed up with the Florida Heritage Book Festival & Writers Conference to present one as a benefit for the organization. The date is Saturday, May 9 at the Gamache-Koger Student Center at Flagler College. Registration is $89 through April 20, $95 from April 21 to May 1, and $115 at the door. The fee includes a box lunch and a 30-page workbook. Click here for information and registration.
And that's all the news that fits. Don't forget to march to the beat of your own drummer.


Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Short Month-Full Schedule

In celebration of yesterday's Groundhog Day, I'm repeating my call to attend one of the following FWA meetings this month.

  • Tuesday, February 10 is the date for the next meeting of the River City Writers group. They'll assemble at the SE Branch Library at 7:00 p.m. to hear from group co-leader Melissa Kosciuszko who will speak on her journey to traditional publication. There will be group critiques after Melissa's talk. Questions? Direct them to Gregg Golson at
  • The Clay County Writers meet Wednesday, February 18, 6:5 p.m. at the Orange Park Library. Contact group leader Maureen Jung for details.
  • Writers By the Sea (formerly the Amelia Island Writers) will meet an hour earlier this month due to the kickoff of the Amelia Island Book Festival. They'll gather at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 19 at the Amelia Island Museum of History, 233 S. Third Street in Fernandina Beach, to hear group chairperson, Nadine Vaughan Williams present, "Writers in the Storm: Novel Approaches for Turbulent Times."
  • There will be no meeting of the Ancient City Writers group this month since their meeting room has been requisitioned for tax preparation sessions. They will return on Saturday, March 21 with a program on historical research by author Arliss Ryan.
  • Ponte Vedra Writers group leader Vic DiGenti (aka Parker Francis) presents "The Suspense is
    Killing Me," at the Saturday, February 28 meeting. The group meets at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. If you're looking for ways to build more suspense into your stories, this workshop will share some of the secrets bestselling authors—and the late "Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock—use to keep the reader in a constant state of anticipation. 
  • The Jax Youth Writers meet on the first and third Thursday of each month  at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. Contact Kimberly Smith for more information.
  •  Nassau County Youth Writers also meet on the first and third Thursdays, though they meet at 4:45 p.m. at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach. Jim Weinsier has details.
  • And finally, FWA affiliate, First Coast Christian Writers gather at Webb-Wesconnett Library each Thursday at 6:45 p.m.
But wait, there's more:

  • Florida Sisters in Crime welcome Donald Knight CIV NCIS to help separate fact from fiction. They meet at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Regional Branch Library
  • The next FWA mini-conference is set for Saturday, February 14 at the Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore. The Annual Day at the Bay Conference has two tracks: romance and writing about fighting. Visit the FWA website for more information about this and the other 2015 mini-conferences,
  • Speaking of FWA, the RPLA competition is now open for submissions through May 15. It's time to get your best writing out there for judging by your peers. You can't win if you don't enter. Be aware that FWA has instituted a tiered entry fee this year ranging from $30 per entry through February 28, increasing to $40 through the end of April, and jumping to $60 per entry May 1 to May 15. The early bird gets more than a worm, it saves money. Click here for competition guidelines and details.
  • The Friends of St. Augustine's Main Library present "Murder at the Library," a fundraiser, on Sunday, February 22 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person and all are invited. For more information, contact Branch Manager Valerie Mull at 904-827-6940, or FOL President Toni Siriani.
  • The Amelia Island Book Festival, February 19 - 21, kicks off Thursday night with a concert by musician/author Zara Phillips, and continues with writing workshops, a Teen Fest, and the VyStar Reader's Luncheon featuring keynoter Carolyn Curry.
  • Sleuthfest 2015, February 26-March 1, has an all star cast this year, including James Patterson, Dave Barry, and James W. Hall.
  • Write On! The 2015 Writers Conference and Book Fair at South Florida State College, Friday, September 27 in Avon Park. A full day of workshops and a book fair for authors. Contact me for more information.
  • For you history lovers out there, particularly history of Florida, the St. Johns County Public Library System has selected Les Standiford's book, Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean (in the running for the worlds longest book title) as this year's St. Johns One Community, One Book Program. Standiford will be here to discuss his book on Saturday, February 28 at 2:00 p.m. at the St. Johns County Auditorium in the County Administration Building, 500 San Sebastian Way, St. Augustine. As part of the month-long celebration, all  of the branch libraries will have special programs. The Ponte Vedra Library welcomes Dr. Thomas Graham on Monday, February 23, 6:30 p.m., to discuss his book, Henry Flagler's St.   Augustine
  • The Ancient City Romance Writers meet Saturday, February 28 (a popular date for meetings and events, it seems) to hear Elizabeth Sinclair discuss "The Dreaded Synopsis." They meet at 1:00 p.m. at Generation Next Christian Teen Center, 12650 Gillespie Avenue in Jacksonville. 
  • And this just in: Harper Lee's second book will be published this July. Go Set a Watchman is the title of the book she completed in the 1950s and never published. Of course, we all know Ms. Lee as the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, her only published novel to date.

It's a short month, but it's crammed with meetings, conferences and special events. Be sure to put aside time to keep writing. And if you haven't already, please Follow this page.


Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

Thursday, January 01, 2015

A New Beginning

I think you'll agree that 2014 brought some mixed blessings, but now we begin anew. I won't bore you with my long list of resolutions, but instead jump right to the upcoming FWA meetings here in NE Florida. I hope one of your resolutions is to attend more meetings. Maybe I'll see you there.
  • Changes have come to the group formerly known as the Amelia Island Writers. As announced in last month's post, Maggie deVries has stepped down after leading the group for 7 years, and Nadine Vaughan Williams and Nancy Blanton have stepped up to move the group forward. The new Writers by the Sea will meet on the third Thursday of the month, January 15, at 6:00 p.m. upstairs at Cafe Karibo, 27 North 3rd Street in Fernandina Beach. Nadine and Nancy have not only ushered in the changes for a new name and meeting location, they also have their monthly programs scheduled for the entire year. On January 15, Nancy Blanton talks about the critical importance of working with a critique group and giving and receiving positive feedback.
  • The River City Writers will meet at the SE Branch Library at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 13 to hear from award-winning author Debbie Reed Fisher. Debbie's topic is "Writing Dialogue that Sounds Real." For more information contact Gregg Golson at
  • The Jax Youth Writers meet on the first and third Thursday of each month at the popular SE Branch Library. Contact Kimberly Smith for details.
  • The Nassau County Youth Writers also meet on the first and third Thursdays, 4:45 p.m. at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach. Jim Weinsier has the details.
  • The Ancient City Writers group meets at 10:00 a.m. at St. Augustine's Main Library on Saturday, January 17. I'm happy to accept the group's invitation to present the workshop on outlining I did for this year's FWA Conference. I'll provide fresh perspectives on that burning question of whether tis better to outline or not. In my presentation, "To Outline or Not to Outline? That is the Question," I offer examples, testimonials from both sides, and even an alternative outlining scenario using fairy tales as the foundation.
  • The Clay County Writers next meeting is on Wednesday, January 20 ay 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library. Maureen Jung is the group leader. Contact her for more information.
  • The Ponte Vedra Writers group returns for the new year on Saturday, January 24, 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. Marie Vernon and Judy Weber (writing together as Amber Adams) discuss the pleasures and perils of co-authorship in a workshop they call, "Writing 2X2: The Advantages of Co-Authorship." Last year, Marie and Judy published the first in their new Day McKelvey Mystery series, Above the Fold, and will soon release the second, Real Estate is Murder. In their presentation, Judy and Marie will discuss their writing process, and answer questions about how to form a writing team and make it work.
  • FWA affiliate First Coast Christian Writers meet each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
  • Florida Sisters in Crime meets this Saturday, January 3, 10:30 a.m. in meeting room A of the SE Regional Library. If you're writing about the influx of drugs from overseas and researching what's being done to stop the flow of illicit drugs, then you won't want to miss this meeting that focuses on the US Coast Guard's mission to serve and protect us.
  • New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry is the featured author at the Ponte Vedra Library's Book Talk Cafe program on Monday, January 12 at 6:30 p.m. Berry will discuss his latest thriller, The Lincoln Myth, as well as his upcoming Cotton Malone adventure, The Patriot Threat. The program is free and open to the public.
  • Tickets are still available for the Florida Heritage Book Festival's special presentation of bestselling authors Pat Conroy and Janis Owens on Thursday, January 8 at Flagler College's Lewis Auditorium. Visit the FHBF website for details.
  • Ancient City Romance Writers meet on Saturday, January 24 at 1:00 p.m. at South Mandarin Branch Library on San Jose Blvd. The speaker is author Maria Geraci who will present, "Writing Faster and Better." More information here.
  • FWA's first mini-conference of 2015 is on Saturday, January 17 down near Venice, Florida. "Short Shorts" is the title and theme as the workshops focus on writing short magazine articles, flash fiction, and poetry. Click here for the conference program.
Here's hoping all of your New Year's dreams come true.

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

How did it get so late so soon?

If you didn't recognize the title of this post, it's from Dr. Seuss who wrote,
      "How did it get so late so soon?
      Its night before its afternoon.
      December is here before its June.
      My goodness how the time has flewn.
      How did it get so lat so soon?"

If you're like me, the little ditty summarizes how I feel when I see another year has rolled by and I still have so much left on my To Do list. Here's one thing I can check off my list—writing and sending out the final FWA post of 2014. Check out this month's happenings at our NE Florida FWA meetings.

  • There is no meeting of the Amelia Island Writers this month, but look for a new and improved version of the Nassau County writers group coming in January. Maggie deVries stepped down after 7 years as group leader, but area writers have met to plan the incarnation of the group, to be chaired by Nadine Williams and Nancy Blanton. Looks like there's a change of meeting days from Tuesday to Thursday, and possibly a move to a new location. And the group is considering a name change as well, so look for more news in 2015.
  • The Jax Youth Writers will hold a critique session (up to 750 words) on Thursday, December 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. And on December 18, a writing lesson on "Supercharge Your Plotting Skills." Contact Kimberly Smith for details.
  • River City Writers meet on Tuesday, December 9 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. Group leader Gregg Golson will present, "The Use of the Plot Clock for Plotting Your Novel," giving examples of how most successful novels follow the clock's timing. Don't be late for this one.
  • Clay County Writers meet Wednesday, December 17 at 6:16 p.m. at the Orange Park Library. Group leader Maureen Jung says the group will follow-up on last month's effort to write author profiles for the Embedded in Clay group project. She encourages all to bring their profiles—a maximum of 150 words, please.
  • Saturday, December 20 is the day the Ancient City Writers congregate at St. Augustine's Main Library. The meeting begins at 10:00 a.m. and the speaker is Sharon Buck who will present, "Creating Dynamic and Entertaining Book Trailers." Among other highlights, Sharon's workshop covers the 6 components of a great book trailer, how to grab the viewer's attention immediately, and how to create a book trailer for free.
  • FWA affiliate First Coast Christian Writers meet each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library. 
  • And finally, the Ponte Vedra Writers are on holiday this month as group leader Vic DiGenti goes off in search of roast goose and plum pudding.
In other news:
  • Pat Conroy headlines a special event on Thursday, January 8 at Flagler College's Lewis
    Auditorium. Billed as a unique literary presentation titled "Laughter & Literature with a Hint of Southern Charm," the event is presented as a benefit for the Florida Heritage Book Festival. Bestselling author Conroy is editor-at-large for Story River Books, a new South Carolina-based original fiction series. Conroy and Florida author Janis Owens will introduce two Story River Books authors, Mark Powell and Bernie Schein. Tickets are $20 before the event and $25 at the door. They may be purchased online at
  • Florida Sisters in Crime has a new president, Susan Kiernan-Lewis, and a new website. On Saturday, December 6 at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Branch Library, the Sisters (and Brothers are invited, as well) will celebrate the season with their annual Christmas Party. Joining them is Special Agent Sonya Felder of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.
  • Authors Kathryn Bain and Selena Fulton have a booksigning at the Holiday Hearts Gift  & Craft Fair on Saturday, December 6 at Old Plank Road Baptist Church, from 9:00 to 2:00.
  • FWA's first mini-conference takes place Saturday, January 17 in Osprey, Florida. which is south of Sarasota. The focus is on "shorts," as in magazine articles, poetry and short stories, including flash fiction. Click here to see the conference program.
  • In case you haven't heard, FWA's magazine, The Florida Writer, has published its last print edition and is going digital. No special device is required as the magazine will be sent directly to your email inbox where you can read it or download. It's cost-effective for the organization, and allows FWA to publish six times a year instead of only four.
  • You can view all the good times from the 2014 FWA Annual Conference, whether you were there or not, by enjoying the hundreds of photos posted to
That's all for now. See you at a writers meeting this month or in the New Year. Happy writing and Happy Holidays to all.


Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

Friday, October 31, 2014

Make it a November to remember

I returned from the excellent FWA Conference with renewed energy and motivated to complete book three in my Quint Mitchell Mystery series. If you're like me and close to your goals, let me remind you that November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, as it is known. You don't have to write a novel in a month, but please join me in a renewed effort to write more and write better.

And speaking of last weekend's FWA Annual Conference, congratulations go out to a host of NE Florida writers who hauled in a large number of RPLA Awards. This includes the Book of the Year Award to M. W. Gordon, whose book Deadly Drifts took first place in the Thriller/Suspense category (Published), and went on to garner the Book of the Year (Published) award for having the highest total number of judges' points. BTW, Mike was the speaker at last month's Ponte Vedra Writers meeting.

Please congratulate these other RPLA Winners from NE Florida:

General (Pre-Published) FIRST PLACE –BABE by Elle Thornton
Fantasy (Pre-Published) FIRST PLACE – The Jaguar Key The Eternals: Book One by Kate Maier writing as Katherine Starbird
Science Fiction (Published) Second Place – Lifespan by T. J. Silverio
Short Story (Pre-Published) FIRST PLACE – Too Close to the Wind by Marie Vernon
Women’s Fiction (Pre-Published) FIRST PLACE – Merciful Blessings by Lynn Kathleen (Pen name for Nancy Quatrano and Daria Ludas
Historical Fiction (Published) FIRST PLACE – SHARAVOGUE by Nancy Blanton
Novella (Pre-Published) Second Place – The Magic in the Middle by Mark Reasoner
Thriller/Suspense (Published) Second Place – Power Fade by Keith Gockenbach
Thriller/Suspense (Pre-Published) THIRD PLACE – A Lion in Spring by Kenneth R. Overman
Autobiography/Memoir (Published) FIRST PLACE –Meeting Her Match: the Story of a Female Athlete-Coach, before and After Title IX by Debbie Millbern Powers
SECOND PLACE – From the Inside Out by John David Tinny
THIRD PLACE – A Life of Blood and Danger by Daniel J. Hill.
Educational/Informational (Published) Second Place – Schools: A Niche Market for Authors by Jane R. Wood
Sorry, if I left anyone out, but let me know and I'll add you to the list.

Now for the latest on FWA meetings:
  • Amelia Island Writers group leader Maggie deVries is stepping down after 7 years leading the group. She will host one more meeting at the Marina Seafood Restaurant in Fernandina Beach on Tuesday, November 4. The group meets at 6:15 p.m. Please attend the meeting and let Maggie know you appreciate all of her efforts for FWA and Nassau County writers. We're making progress on identifying new leaders and new directions for the group, and will keep you informed of our progress. Thank you, Maggie for all that you've done over the years.
  • Since the River City Writers meeting falls on Veteran's Day and the SE Branch Library is closed, there will be no meeting this month.
  • John Boles will talk about the Hero's Journey at the meeting of the Ancient City Writers, Saturday, November 15, 10:00 a.m. at St. Augustine's Main Library. John's presentation, "The Hero's Journey: The Key to Great Characterization" highlight's the common patterns in stories through the ages, and talks about the eight basic archetypes.
  • The Clay County Writers meet on Wednesday, November 19. The time is 6:15 p.m. and the place is the Orange Park Library, 2054 Plainfield Avenue. Group leader Maureen Jung says this will be a hands-on session on writing/rewriting author bios. Anthology writers are invited to give their 3-minute summary of the Embedded in Clay projects. All writers and advisory board members for this project are encouraged to attend.
  • Writer, editor, and RPLA Award winner Nancy Quatrano visits the Ponte Vedra Writers, Saturday, November 22 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. Nancy has a topic of interest to all writers, "Editing to Sell." She'll talk about the different types of editors and editing, and what every writer needs. Nancy will also address the most common errors writers make, and answer your questions. 
  •  The Jax Youth Writers begin twice monthly meetings in November, meeting on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. Contact Kimberly Smith to climb aboard the Youth Writers bandwagon.
  • The Nassau County Youth Writers meet the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 4:45 p.m. at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach. Jim Weinsier has all the details.

And in other news:

  • Florida Sisters in Crime welcome SJSO Detective Joeffrey Alvarez to discuss "Officer Involved Shooting" at its Saturday, November 1 meeting, 10:30 a.m. at the SE Regional Library. 
  • Kimberly Smith and Amy Maughan will present an 8-week intensive workshop entitled "Harnessing the Narrative Elements," to run from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday in February and April. If interested in signing up or learning more, contact Kimberly at for more information.
  • Congratulations to MJ Hayes on the launch of her new book, A Deaf Child's Silent Concert, a follow-up to her book Emma's House of Sound.
  • The first FWA mini-conference, "A Day at the Bay," is set for Saturday, February 14 (Valentine's Day) in Tampa. As in all the 2015 mini-conferences, this one will have two tracks, and the focus will be on craft and writing exercises, including Romance writing. Visit the FWA website for registration information, or if you'd like to be a presenter.
  • Michael Wiley appears at the Ponte Vedra Library's Book Talk Cafe program on Monday, November 17, 6:30 p.m. to talk about his new suspense thriller, Blue Avenue. The Shamus Award-winning author has a series of PI mysteries set in Chicago, but Wiley's newest novel is set in Jacksonville and introduces detective Daniel Turner. 
Enjoy the fall weather and keep writing.

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Conference Time

The tenth month of the year is always special to FWA members, and it's not because the ghosts and goblins of Halloween come out to play. We all know the FWA Annual Conference takes place in October, bringing with it an opportunity to network with other writers, learn from the pros in a series of craft workshops, pitch your work to the agents, editors and publishers in attendance, and have your WIP critiqued.

This year's "Stars of Florida Writers" conference, October 23 - 26 at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary, is sure to hit all the hot buttons for writers of all levels and genres. It begins with the traditional FWF Celebrity Author Workshop on Thursday as New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick shares writing secrets from conception to publication. And, for the first time, there are Thursday evening workshops, which were free with early registration, but now for only an extra $35 when you register for at least one day of the conference.

Click here for all the latest information on registration, the schedule, and the speakers.

Now, let's move on to the happenings here in NE Florida for the month of October.

  • The Nassau County branch of FWA known as the Amelia Island Writers group, meets Tuesday, October 7 at 6:15 p.m. at the Marina Seafood Restaurant in Fernandina Beach. Contact group leader Maggie deVries for meeting details. She also appreciates RSVPs, so the restaurant staff knows how many tables and chairs to reserve for the meeting.
  • The River City Writers will gather together on Tuesday, October 14 at 7:00 p.m. at Jacksonville's SE Branch Library to hear from horror writer John Maycumber telling us "How to Create Fear in Your Writing." For info, email Gregg at
  • Area editor, writer, and all-around good person Nancy Quatrano takes center stage at the Clay County Writers meeting on Wednesday, October 15, 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library. Nancy's presentation is titled, "How to Build a Writing Platform," and she'll share ways for you to build writing credits, establish a following, and earn cash.Questions? Contact group leader Maureen Jung.
  • Jax Youth Writers will meet on Thursday, October 16 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Regional Library. Group leader Kimberly Smith tells us that going forward, the group of young writers will meet twice a month on the first and third Thursdays. They'll meet again on November 6 for a critiquing session and to work on a group project. If you know of any young writers who might be interested in joining this group, please contact Kimberly, and check out the Florida Youth Writers here.
  • The Ancient City Writers meeting is set for Saturday, October 18 at 10:00 a.m. inside St. Augustine's Main Library. Novelist Ron Whittington will discuss "The Craft of Writing & Marketing in 2014."
  • The Ponte Vedra Writers meeting has been moved from its traditional 4th Saturday of the month schedule to Saturday, October 18 due to the conflict with the FWA Conference. Join us at the Ponte Vedra Library at 10:30 a.m. to welcome novelist M. W. Gordon, author of the Macduff Brooks fly fishing mystery series. Mike is an FWA RPLA award winner, and a former law professor at the University of Florida. His workshop is titled, "Don't Write Like I Write," and reviews the various choices facing writers as they work to publish their finished manuscript, and how each decision impacts the desired outcome.
  • The Nassau County Youth Writers meet the first and third Tuesdays of the month at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach. Email Jim Weinsier for details. 
  • And finally, don't forget FWA affiliate, the First Coast Christian Writers, meeting each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
And in  other breaking news:
  • New Smyrna Beach Book Festival — October 4 - 5, Islander Beach Resort
  • Digital Publishing with Kindle Seminar — October 4, Winter Park Library 
  • Florida Sisters in Crime meets Saturday, October 4 at Dgg Tactical, 8725 Youngerman Court off Blanding Blvd. with a weapons demonstration by CEO Teresa Meares. They will also accept nominations for 2015 officers.
  • Internationally acclaimed author Robert N. Macomber, writer of the Honor series of maritime historicals, will speak at the Ponte Vedra Library at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, October 13. This is a rare opportunity to meet this award-winning author as he lives in S. Florida and spends much of his time lecturing in Europe. 
We'll let Porky Pig sign off for us. Hint: click on the pig.


Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy

This is one of those times when I wish I could clone myself. With the Florida Heritage Book Festival & Writers Conference coming up, I'm on overdrive, and this month's post will be brief. So let's get started.

  • The Amelia Island Writers group meets tonight, Tuesday, September 2nd at 6:15 p.m. at the Marina Seafood Restaurant in Fernandina Beach. Group leader Maggie deVries has a critique session planned. Maggie has more info. Contact her at
  • Next Tuesday, September 9, join the River City Writers at the SE Branch Library at 7:00 p.m. Contact Glenn Golson for more information. 
  • The Clay County Writers assemble at the Orange Park Library Wednesday, September 17 at 6:15 p.m. to hear from author Walter Joseph Schenck. He'll speak on the topic, "How to Turn Research into Effective Narration." Contact Maureen Jung for details.
  • Behind the children's carousel in downtown St. Augustine lurks the Main Library, and that's where the Ancient City Writers will meet on Saturday, September 20 at 10:00 a.m. The guest speaker is Donna Paz Kaufman of Paz & Associates. Donna's topic is "Indie Writers & Booksellers: Partners in Promotion." She'll talk about strategies for getting your book into bookstores.
  • There will be no meeting of the Ponte Vedra Writers this month since it's the same weekend as the Florida Heritage Book Festival. You're invited to instead visit with more than 30 authors at the free Book Festival, Saturday, September 27 at the Flagler College Ringhaver Student Center, 50 Sevilla Street in St. Augustine. Among the authors presenting are Abbi Glines, Jon Jefferson, Mary Kay Andrews, Scott Eyman, Lisa Black, Michael Wiley, Arliss Ryan, John Dufresne, and many more. There will also be a civil rights panel discussing NE Florida's place in the civil rights struggles of the early '60s, and two poetry sessions. Visit the website for more details.
  • The Jax Youth Writers will resume their meetings in October due to scheduling conflicts.
  • The Nassau County Youth Writers meet on the first and third Tuesday at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach. Contact Jim Weinsier for details.
  • FWA affiliate First Coast Christian Writers meet each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
Other meetings and events:
  • It's not too late to register for the Florida Heritage Book Festival Writers Conference. Registration for the critique sessions on Thursday, September 25 closes today, but you still have time to register for the Friday conference and Literary Legends Banquet. Visit the website for all the details.
  • You'll see a familiar face if you visit the Florida Sisters in Crime meeting this Saturday, September 6 at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Branch Library. Rik Feeney will discuss "Book Covers–Designs That Sell Books."
  • Author signings at the Ancient City Romance Writers 2014 Fiction Writers Conference on the Beach, Saturday, September 27, from 11:00 to 11:30, at the Hampton Inn on Beach Blvd. Authors signing include Heather Graham, Elizabeth Sinclair, Delores Wilson, Kathy Bain, and more. More information about the conference can be found here.
  • Frances Keiser's and Jane Wood's popular class, "The ABC's of Publishing a Children's Book," returns to UNF on October 14. Click here for more information.
  • Lynn Sholes, half of the thriller writing team with Joe Moore, speaks at the Ponte Vedra Library's Book Talk Cafe program on Monday, September 22 at 6:30 pm. Lynn will talk about their latest thriller, The Shield, the follow-up to the bestselling novel, The Blade.
  • Not to forget the upcoming FWA Annual Conference, Stars of Florida Writers, October 23 - 26 at the Lake Mary Marriott. This is consistently one of the best writers conferences around. Register now. Details here.
As the white rabbit said to Alice, "I'm late, I'm late ..." so that's all for now.


Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director