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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 gtgolson@comcast.net.
  • 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

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 maggie1948@yahoo.com.
  • 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

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director






Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer of '14 — Passing Quickly


I can certainly see the truth in the old cliche about time passing more swiftly as you age. Seems like summer began only days ago, and here we are with August on the doorstep,  and kids preparing to reenter the classrooms. I guess that makes me officially old.

Not to worry, we can attend the following FWA writers groups to take our minds off the swift passage of time. Enjoy!

  • If you hear a high-pitched hum emanating from Fernandina Beach's Marina Seafood Restaurant around 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, August 5, then you'll know the Amelia Island Writers group is in session and listening to Bill Reynolds. Bill owns High Pitched Hum Publishing, and will talk about his publishing business and answer any question. Contact Maggie deVries, maggie1948@yahoo.com, for details.
  • River City Writers meet on Tuesday, August 12 at 7:00 p.m. inside the SE Branch Library off Gate Parkway. Gregg Golson and Melissa Koscluszko lead the group. Contact Gregg for more information: gtgolson@comcast.net.
  • Rik Feeney makes a return visit to the Ancient City Writers meeting on Saturday, August 16 to talk about audio books and how to add them to your product line. The meeting begins at 10:00 a.m. at St. Augustine's Main Library. Rik is a book coach, speaker and author of more than 60 books, reports and CDs.
  • Orange Park-based writer Dan Briggs joins his fellow writers at the Clay County Writers group on Wednesday, August 20, to present a talk titled, "Confessions of a Writer: Comparing Notes with Colleagues." Because of early voting, the meeting venue has been moved to Vino Java Brew House, 636 Kingsley Avenue, at 6:15 p.m. Maureen Jung has more details. Contact her at mjung@wordspringconsulting.com.
  • You'll want to hear how a nice girl like Linda Foley became entangled in a life of crime. Or
    should we say Dr. Linda Foley. Linda is a forensic psychologist who used her years of on-the-job experiences to write her first mystery, A Taste of Vengeance, featuring, what else?—a forensic psychologist. She will explain how forensic psychology can assist in investigations. Linda is the guest speaker at the Ponte Vedra Writers meeting on Saturday, August 23 at the Ponte Vedra Library. The meeting begins at 10:30 a.m. And because of early voting, the meeting room will shift to the smaller PGA TOUR Conference Room, so come early to get a good seat. 
And thanks to Kimberly Smith for filling in for group leader DiGenti, who will be attending the Killer Nashville Conference.

  • Kimberly will be busy as her Jax Youth Writers group returns to the SE Branch Library. They'll meet from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. on August 21st. She's also added an extra meeting date per month. Beginning next month they will meet the first and third Thursdays, with the first Thursday devoted to group projects and critique sessions. The third Thursday meeting will feature a speaker and writing exercise. Thanks to Amy Maughan for stepping forward to assist Kimberly. For more information, contact Kimberly at kmsmithwrites@gmail.com.
  • Jim Weinsier's Nassau Youth Writers group continues to move forward with special projects and an abundance of enthusiasm. They meet on the first and third Tuesdays at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach. Contact Jim at jimmyfw@bellsouth.net, for time and details.
  • And finally, visit the First Coast Christian Writers each Thursday at their meeting place at the Webb-Wesconett Library at 6:45 p.m. They are an affiliate of FWA.
In other news:


  • Florida Sisters in Crime is celebrating a "Decade of Crime" with two special workshops and luncheon at the UNF Adam W. Herbert University Center on Saturday, August 2nd. New York Times and USA Today bestselling author CJ Lyons is the guest of honor, and presents a workshop titled, "Kills, Chills & Thrills," from 10:00 a.m. to noon. After lunch there will be a workshop on marketing and selling your books. Reservations are no long being accepted, but find out more about Florida Sisters in Crime here.
  • Here's the good news: you still have time to take advantage of the early bird discount for the September 25-26 Florida Heritage Book Festival Writers Conference. The bad news? The discount flies away at midnight tonight. The conference includes Thursday's critique sessions led by Elizabeth Sims and Laura Lee Smith, and Friday's workshops by outstanding pros like John Dufresne, Sims, and Anne Dalton. Friday's conference includes the keynote luncheon with bestselling author Lisa Black. Also check out the Literary Legends Banquet on Friday night where Robin Cook will be honored, along with crime writer John D. MacDonald. If you're independently published, you might be interested in the Festival Marketplace, but hurry, only a few tables remain. Except for the banquet, it all takes place at Flagler College in the heart of St. Augustine.
  • The Stars of Florida Writers converge at the FWA Annual Conference, October 23 - 26 at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary. Register today to take advantage of the early bird pricing, and attend Thursday evening workshops free of charge. There are agents and publishers galore. Great workshops. Critique opportunities, and the Royal Palm Literary Legends Awards dinner. More info and registration here.
Time's a fleeting, so it's time to get back to work. Enjoy one final word about time. 

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director





Monday, June 30, 2014

July Blasts Fourth


Here we go again. Instead of summer doldrums, we're cranking out pages, doing book signings and preparing for upcoming writers conferences. There goes my summer. How about you?

Let's move on, and see what the torrid month of July has in store for us.

  • Hop aboard the Amelia Island Writers train as they depart tomorrow evening, Tuesday, July 1, 6:15 p.m. at the Marina Seafood Restaurant in Fernandina Beach. Author Nadine Vaughan Williams talks about her new series of children's books focusing on America's trains. As usual, group leader Maggie deVries suggests you RSVP so the restaurant can be prepared with the proper set-up. Contact Maggie at 904-321-6180.
  • Moving on to Tuesday, July 8, the River City Writers meet at 7:00 p.m. at Jacksonville's SE Branch Library off Gate Parkway. Co-leader Melissa Kosciuszko (who writes under the pen name M. S. Kaye) presents "Tips on How to Use Word and Pages to Display Your Writing Like a Pro." Contact Gregg Golson for more information. 
  • The Clay County Writers meet Wednesday, July 16 at 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library to hear award-winning romance writer Heather Ashby's take on "First Drafts are Supposed to be Sh**ty." Her workshop will offer inspiration to writers mired down by perfectionism in their early drafts, and also to those afraid to even begin for fear of failure. Navy veteran Heather is the author of the military romance series, "Love in the Fleet," (Henery Press). Group leader Maureen Jung has more details about the meeting.
  • Carol O'Dell addresses the topic of today's growing social media in the Saturday, July 19 meeting of Ancient City Writers, 10:00 a.m. at St. Augustine's Main Library.  In her workshop, "Taking the Confusion Out of Social Media Marketing," Carol reviews the major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and other online connections. You'll learn how to use social media to build a loyal readership and increase sales.
  • If you're struggling with point of view—as many writers do—then mark your calendar for Saturday, July 26 when the Ponte Vedra Writers welcome Vicki Taylor. Vicki, a past president and founding member of FWA, is a 12-time novelist, writing coach and speaker from Tampa. In her talk, "Point of View–Who's Going to Tell Your Story," she'll discuss the differences in POV, and how to select the best POV character for your story. The Ponte Vedra Writers meet from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Ponte Vedra Library, 101 Library Blvd.
  • The First Coast Christian Writers, an FWA affiliate, meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconett Library.
And in other news:
  • If you haven't registered for the FWA Annual Conference, October 23-26 in Lake Mary, now is the time to commit. You can and should be part of the "Stars of Florida Writers" this year as the conference offers more agents, acquiring editors, and publishers, more workshops, including Thursday night workshops, and a whole new slant on how to be a more successful writer. The Thursday night workshops are only for those who register before the July 31 early bird deadline. Find all the details from the workshop schedule and bios to registration information by clicking here
  • And speaking of early bird registration, the Florida Heritage Book Festival Writers Conference also has a July 31 deadline for the two-day conference, September 25-26 at St. Augustine's Flagler College. The first day offers critique workshops in small group settings where you may have your WIP evaluated. Friday's conference offers a full day of one-hour workshops on the craft and business of writing. Among the faculty are bestselling authors John Dufresne and Elizabeth Sims. Another bestseller, Lisa Black, is the keynote luncheon speaker. Visit the website for complete details and registration information, including about the Literary Legends Banquet which honors Robin Cook and John D. MacDonald. You may register for each day individually or take the complete package, which includes the Literary Legends Banquet, the most cost-effective way to enjoy the writers conference.
  • Florida Sisters in Crime has moved its first Saturday meeting to July 12 due to the July 4 holiday. They'll gather at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Branch Library for a planning session targeting the Christmas holiday party and the August 2nd workshop with bestselling author CJ Lyons.
  • The North Florida Writers meet on the second Saturday of the month at noon at the VyStar Credit Union, 760 Riverside Avenue. Guests are welcome.
  • If you're looking for a reason to head south in August, look no further than the Florida Authors & Publishers Association's Fall Conference, August 8 - 9 in Pompano Beach. There are three workshop tracks on Friday the 8th, including Children's Books  with Mark Wayne Adams, Jane Wood, and Jennifer Swanson; Fiction Writing with Vic DiGenti's Novel in a Day workshop, and another track covering Marketing. Today, June 30, is the deadline for early bird registration. Check it out.
That's it for now. If you haven't signed up to Follow this page, do it now, And you might also Like our Facebook page. I'll leave you with a quote from one of my favorite authors.

"People want to know why I do this, why I write such gross stuff. I like to tell them I have the heart of a small boy ... and I keep it in a jar on my desk." ~ Stephen King


Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director




Saturday, May 31, 2014

Make it a summer to remember–write something


I still remember looking forward to those carefree summer months, a vacation from school and homework. Although there's no school or mandatory homework these days, summer still is a favorite time of year. While sun and fun are in the plans, June marks the halfway point in another year, a time to assess the progress on my latest writing project. This June is also a good time to visit one or more of our FWA meetings. Here's what you have to look forward to this month.

  • The Amelia Island Writers are back at Fernandina Beach's Marina Seafood Restaurant on Tuesday, June 3 at 6:15 p.m. Group Leader Maggie deVries will discuss her new historical novel, Amelia Island's Golden Years, Silver Tears. Please RSVP to Maggie at maggie1948@yahoo.com or call her at 904-321-6180.
  • River City Writers meet Tuesday, June 10 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. Group Leader Gregg Golson has details.
  • Visit the Clay County Writers on Wednesday, June18 at 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library. Contact Group Leader Maureen Jung for more information.
  • The Ancient City Writers group is back at St. Augustine's Main Library again, meeting on Saturday, June 21 at 10:00 a.m. Author Elizabeth Sinclair will speak on "Goal, Motivation, Conflict or How to Sustain a Book-Length Work of Fiction."
  • If you're looking for pointers on historical research, join the Ponte Vedra Writers on Saturday, June 28, 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. Novelist Arliss Ryan, author of Sanctuary and Confessions of Anne Shakespeare, presents "How to Turn Factual Research into Astounding Fiction No Reader Can Resist."
  • Kimberly Smith's Jax Youth Writers are taking June and July off. They'll return with a program at the SE Branch Library in August.
  • As always, FWA affiliate First Coast Christian Writers meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
But wait, there's more!
  • If you're looking for ways to inject more suspense into your stories, join Parker Francis, aka Vic DiGenti, at this month's meeting of Florida Sisters in Crime, Saturday, June 7 at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Regional Library. Parker has titled his workshop, "The Suspense is Killing Me," and he'll share some of the secrets bestselling authors use to hook the reader with suspense and keep them in a constant state of anticipation. 
  • Attorney Carolyn Herman has formed the Entertainment & Arts Collaborative of Northeast Florida in hopes of bringing low cost or free legal and business services to creatives along with networking opportunities. They're planning their first information and planning meeting this Monday, June 2nd at Royal Palms Wine and Tapas in Atlantic Beach from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. All interested parties are invited to attend. If you're interested in learning more, email Carolyn Herman
  • The Bartram Trail Branch Library hosts three romance writers in a special program titled "The Art of Falling in Love,"on Saturday, June 7 at 1:00 p.m. Authors participating in the program are Valerie Bowman, Alyssa Day, and Lena Diaz. They'll discuss their books and answer any questions you might have.
  • And speaking of visiting authors, Larry Baker returns to NE Florida with his latest St. Augustine based novel, The Education of Nancy Adams. Although Larry now lives and works in Iowa City, and is honored on the Iowa Literary Walk of Fame, he keeps coming back to St. Augustine as the setting for his novels. Larry will be at the Ponte Vedra Library on Monday, June 23 at 6:30 p.m. as part of the library's Book Talk Cafe program series. He's probably best known for his first book, The Flamingo Rising, which was made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie.
  • FWA's Non-Fiction Mini-Conference is set for Saturday, June 28 at the Hilton/Orlando/Altamonte Springs. Click here for the complete conference schedule.
  • Kaen Hudgins talks about Settings at this month's meeting of the Ancient City Romance Writers. They will gather at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 28 at the very popular SE Branch Library. Visit the website to learn more.
  • And to keep abreast of all the happenings at this year's Florida Heritage Book Festival & Writers Conference, visit the website and sign up for the enewsletter. FHBF has just announced
    a multi-media special author event taking place on Thursday, June 26 at St. Augustine's Southeast Branch Library, 6670 US1 South, at 6:00 p.m. Daniel Wallace is the author of five novels, and his first, Big Fish, was made into a movie by Tim Burton. After a showing of the movie, Wallace will meet the audience and answer questions in a live Skyped interview. A $5 donation would be appreciated.
  • In each of the FHBF enewsletters, you're introduced to one of the Featured Authors or Writers Conference faculty members through a post they've provided for the event's blog. Bill DeYoung is the latest guest blogger. Bill is the author of Skyway: The True Story of  Tampa Bay's Signature Bridge and the Man Who Brought it Down. Read his post here.
  • One last reminder that the Royal Palm Literary Awards competition deadline is fast approaching. The competition closes on June 15, so hurry to get your entries in.

And that does it for our June post. Visit the FWA NE Florida Facebook page (and Like Us) for future updates and news.

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director


Friday, May 02, 2014

What to do and where to go in May 2014



The weather folk tell us the rain will be gone by Sunday, so you can put down your hammers and saws. You won't need to finish work on the ark just yet. But it is a good time to stay indoors and write, and make plans to attend any of this month's FWA meetings. Here's what you can expect in the merry month of May and beyond.

  • Maggie de Vries informs us that the Marina Restaurant will be closed the week following the Shrimp Festival, so the May meeting of the Amelia Island Writers is postponed until June 3rd at 6:15 p.m. Does that make the meeting in July the June meeting? I'm confused.
  • River City Writers leader Gregg Golson is using technology to hook up with his guest speaker, Lee Strauss. Lee is the author of 20 books in various genres including romance, fantasy and YA. Lee will deliver her talk on "Structure and Creating a First Draft" via Skype on Tuesday, May 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library off Gate Parkway.  That's Lee pictured above.
  • The Ancient City Writers have good reason to celebrate this month as they're back at their home base of St. Augustine's Main Library. The library had been closed for nearly three months while undergoing a much needed facelift to its interior and restrooms. Michael Ray King will be there to host the celebration with his talk, "Go Write and You Won't Go Wrong: Writing Your Book in 30 Days." Michael is the author of nine books and a five-time Royal Palm winner. Join him at the new and improved Main Library at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 17.
  • Another Michael Ray will speak to the Clay County Writers on Wednesday, May 21. Michael Ray FitzGerald, Ph.D., will speak on "Journalism, Realism and Writing." Michael is a media historian, journalist and musician who has been chronicling and participating in the Southeast regional music scene for over 30 years. Be there to hear what should be an engrossing talk at the Clay County Library at 6:15 p.m.. Contact group leader Maureen Jung for more information.
  • Do you want to write a children's book and get it published? It's a competitive genre, but many writers and illustrators are doing it successfully. We'll address this topic at the May 24 meeting
    of the Ponte Vedra Writers, 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. Our special panel discussion, "Writing & Publishing Children's Books," features four authors of children's books who have found success via different paths. The panelists are Jules Coffey-Santella, Frances Keiser, Jennifer Swanson, and Jane Wood. Jules, and like Cher and Madonna, she's known by and writes under her first name, has written stories and articles for children's magazines and authored the middle grade chapter book, Daniel and the Jumbies. Fran and her husband founded Sagaponack Books in 1999 as the home press of their jointly-produced Pelican Pete environmental books. Fran is the author and husband Hugh the illustrator. Jennifer is the author of over 20 nonfiction and fiction books for children. She's received numerous awards, and her books in the "How Things Work" series were named to the 2012 Booklist's Top Ten Books for Youth. And Jane is a well-known writer of juvenile fiction with both local and historical ties. She's active in numerous organizations, including the Florida Authors & Publishers Association, and is a frequent speaker at schools. Each of them will share details of their road to writing and publishing books for younger readers.
  • The Nassau County Youth Writers meet on the first and third Tuesdays at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach. Contact James Weinsier for details.
  • The Jax Youth Writers meet on the last Thursday of the month at 6:45 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. Kimberly Smith leads the group. 
  • And, finally, don't forget about FWA affiliate First Coast Christian Writers. They meet each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
And That's Not All:
  • Florida Sisters in Crime welcomes the co-authors of the mystery novel, Above the Fold. Judy Weber and Marie Vernon write pseudonymously as Amber Adams, and will speak on the art of collaboration. You can hear this team-talk tomorrow, Saturday, May 3 at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Branch Library.
  • The Ancient City Romance Writers welcome author Abigail Sharpe to its meeting on Saturday, May 24 at 1:00 p.m. at the SE Regional Library in Jacksonville. Ms. Sharpe's topic is "Writing Tight," not to be confused with "Writing While Tight." A BYOL (Bring Your Own Lunch) precedes the workshop at 12:30 p.m.
  • The publishers of Highlights magazine have extended a 10% discount to FWA members to attend any of its workshops for children's book writers and illustrators. Visit them here for more information.
  • It's not too early to register for the Florida Heritage Book Festival's Writers Conference, September 25-26 in St. Augustine. It's been moved to the heart of the Ancient City at Flagler College, and provides two distinctly different experiences for writers of all persuasions. On Thursday the 25th, register to be part of small group critique workshops. Led by working professionals you will critique up to ten pages of each person's WIP, and receive a written evaluation of your work by the group leader. Friday's conference offers a full day of one-hour workshops covering the craft and business of writing, plus a luncheon keynoted by bestselling author Lisa Black. Click here to read all about it and register. And you can be part of the Festival Marketplace on Saturday, September 27 to sell your books to the Festival crowd. More information here.
  • And speaking of conferences, the annual FWA Conference will be here before you know it. Have you registered for "The Stars of Florida Writers?" As they say, it's bigger and better than ever. Have you submitted your work to the Royal Palm Literary Awards Competition? As my good friend and former neighbor Ben Franklin once told me, "You may delay, but time will not."
That's it for now. Keep your head above water, and to quote Mr. Franklin once again, "Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing."

Have a happy May. I'll see you at THE PLAYERS Championship.
Vic

Victor DiGenti
FWA Regional Director for NE Florida












Saturday, March 29, 2014

April Showers Bring April Taxes


April showers have apparently started early. As I write this the rain has been steady for over two hours. Maybe Mother Nature is celebrating the opening weekend of the new "Noah" movie. Since I'm confined to quarters, it's a good time to update the FWA blog with a new list of area meetings and events.

  • The Amelia Island Writers return to their first Tuesday meeting date, April 1. I'm sure it's a coincidence that is April Fool's Day, as group leader Maggie deVries is sure to have another fine program lined up. They will meet at 6:15 p.m. at the Marina Seafood Restaurant in Fernandina Beach. Please contact Maggie to RSVP at maggie1948@yahoo.com.
  • River City Writers meet Tuesday, April 8 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library off Gate Parkway. They'll hear from Jennifer Shannon, author of Awakenings, about how she used social media to get an agent and get published. She'll also provide a brief tutorial on using Twitter. Contact group leader Gregg Golson for more details at gtgolson@comcast.net.
  • Clay County Writers meet on Wednesday, April 16, 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library. Retired journalist Lamar Thames will speak on "Just the Facts, Ma'am." He'll share some of his secrets for getting the best interviews from your subjects. Contact Maureen Jung for more details.
  • The Nassau County Youth Writers, under the direction of hard-working James Weinsier, meet on the first and third Tuesdays at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach at 4:45 p.m.
  • Ancient City Writers continue to meet at the Anastasia Island Branch Library due to ongoing renovations at the Main Library. They'll meet at 12:00 Noon on Saturday, April 26, to hear from Nancy Quatrano speaking on "Editing for the Sale."
  • And due to conflicts in all meeting spaces at the Ponte Vedra Library, the Ponte Vedra Writers will not meet this month. We'll return on Saturday, May 24 with a special panel discussion on children's books—writing and publishing.
  • Kimberly Smith leads the Jax Youth Writers on the last Thursday of the month at the SE Branch Library beginning at 6:45 p.m. Please contact Kimberly if you're willing to help coordinate the meetings.
  • FWA affiliate First Coast Christian Writers meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
But wait, there's more:
  • The Florida Heritage Book Festival and Writers Conference last week announced this year's schedule of workshops and author presentations, September 25 - 27. Headlined by Literary Legend honoree Robin Cook, the Festival will also honor posthumously master crime writer John D. MacDonald. The Writers Conference will include critiques workshops on Thursday, September 25 and a full day of one-hour sessions on Friday. Featured Authors appearing on Saturday include Lisa Black, Jon Jefferson, Scott Eyman, John Dufresne, Connie Mae Fowler, and many more. Visit the Festival website for details.
  • Mystery author Michael Wiley, one of the Featured Authors at the Florida Heritage Book Festival, is the speaker at the Florida Sisters in Crime meeting, Saturday, April 5 at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Branch Library. Brothers and sisters are welcome. Visit the website for more information.
  • Editor/author Nancy Quatrano (On-Target Words) announces she is doing a fundraiser for Sisters in Crime. She will content edit ten pages of manuscript, either fiction or nonfiction, for $20, half of her regular fee, and donate it all to the local Sisters in Crime organization in celebration of the 10th anniversary this August. If interested, contact Nancy at ontargetwords@gmail.com 
  • April 26 seems to be a popular date. FWA is holding its Writer's Nest Mini-Conference on that date at the Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs. It features multi-million seller Davis Bunn as keynoter. Check it out at http://www.floridawriters.net/FWA_Upcoming_Events.html
  • Closer to home on April 26, Jane R. Wood and Frances Keiser present a workshop on how to publish a children's book. "Oh, the Places You'll Go" will take place from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the Event Hall at the Fair Trade Cafe, 4882 Palm Coast Parkway NW, Palm Coast. The fee is $59. Register at www.getbooksavvy.com, or call Jane at 904-268-9572 for more information.
  • And even closer, Ancient City Romance Writers welcome author Diane Burke to their April 26 meeting to discuss "Gems from the Treasure Chest—Words of Wisdom from Successfully Published Authors." The meeting is from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. More info here.
  • If you're looking for a Beaches critique group, Mary Kohnke says they're looking for a few more writers for the Ponte Vedra group meeting twice a month at the PV Library. If interested, contact Mary via email or by phone: mfkohnke@mac.com or 904-285-3452.
The rain has stopped for now, but even more dire things await: April 15 is income tax deadline. So I'll leave you with this bit of wisdom from Terry Pratchett, who said of death and taxes that taxes are worse, "because at least death didn't happen to you every year."

Vic

Victor DiGenti
FWA Regional Director