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

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,, 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:
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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, 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