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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year 2020


"Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, 'It will be happier.'" ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

And so we say goodbye to another year and look forward to better things in the new year. This missive goes out to all the writers in NE Florida hoping for a fresh start or possibly a continuation of the good things you've accomplished in 2019. Read on to see what the first month of the year has to offer us.
  • The newly reconstituted River City Writers group begins afresh on Thursday, January 9 at their old digs at the SE Branch Library off Gate Parkway. The meeting commences at 7PM, and group leader Linda Feist and I welcome everyone to the first of many meetings. The meeting will be of special interest to anyone working on a memoir, or thinking about writing one, as I present "Life is Like a River: Navigating the Memoir Writing Rapids." We hope to see you there.
  • The Clay County Writers group has a special program of interest to all poets. They'll meet on Wednesday, January 15 at 6:15PM at the Orange Park Library and Lynn Skapyak Harlin and Paula R. Hinton will present "Line by Line: Revising Poetry from Catharsis to Crystallization."  All good writing requires revision, and Lynn and Paula will lead the group through exercises designed to improve your poetry.
  • Yours truly, Vic DiGenti, makes a return engagement to the Ancient City Writers chapter on Saturday, January 18 to disclose the "Seven Secrets to Writing the Thriller." During the one-hour presentation, I'll discuss the seven essential elements of a thriller, identify the differences between mysteries and thrillers, and illustrate the best ways to add tension and conflict. The meeting begins at 10AM at St. Augustine's Main Library.
  • Join the Ponte Vedra Writers on Saturday, January 25 for a walk on the wild side of writing and an exploration of the Erotica market. Dr. Donna Jennings, a licensed Sex Therapist and the author of sex-positive literary erotica, will tell us all about "Writing in the Erotica Market." We meet at 10:30AM at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library.
  • To ring in the new year and the new decade, the Amelia Island Writers will discuss the "All Important First Fifteen Pages" at their Tuesday, January 28 meeting. They will gather at 4PM at Story and Song Bookstore in Amelia Park. 
And in other news ...
  • We're sorry to report the passing of two area writers this month. Lillian Kiernan Brown died on December 4 from natural causes. Lilly, who wrote about her days as a burlesque queen in her memoir, Banned in Boston, was beloved by all who knew her and will be missed by the other Clay County Writers. And Steven Kerry Brown (no relation) passed away on Christmas day after a long battle with cancer. Steve was a licensed private investigator who began his career with the FBI. He was the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Private Investigating and several mysteries. Our condolences to their families.
  • Need a critique group? The Bold City Writers critique group is looking for more members. They meet on the second and fourth Thursday of the month at Panera Bread, 9301 Atlantic Boulevard near Regency Square, at 11AM. Contact group facilitator Rod Sullivan for details.
  • A Gathering of Poets meets twice a month at the Ponte Vedra Beach Library on the first and third Thursday at 2PM.
  • Author Marketing Expert Penny Sansevieri leads a three-part FWA webinar on Amazon marketing over three consecutive Saturdays beginning January 11. Click here for all the details and registration information.
  • The NE Florida Sisters in Crime meets on Saturday, January 4 at 10AM at the SE Regional Branch Library. The guest speaker is retired Fire Command Chief Officer Jeff Lewis.
  • Shutta Crum has written an excellent review of the online service Duotrope, a comprehensive tool helping writers find a publishing home for their stories, novels, nonfiction or poetry. Read all about it here.
  • And speaking of Shutta Crum, she will present a free program titled "Sound, Shape & Sense" on Satuarday, February 8 at the Pablo Creek Library. The program, which begins at 12:30PM, will help attendees understand how to sculpt picture books, poems, and novels into elegant objectsof art. Please RSVP to Eileen Meyer.
And finally, to help you keep your New Year's resolutions, read this quote from Wayne Dyer.

"I've learned over the years that when I go to that place of passion within me, there's no force in the universe that can interfere with my completing a project."

Cheers and Happy New Year!
Vic

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director




Thursday, December 05, 2019

FWA December 2019 Blog Post

In this season of good cheer, let's cheer each other on to another year of good tidings and improved writing. Did anyone complete their 50,000 words last month for NaNoWriMo? If not, you're not alone, but, hopefully, it spurred you on to write more. And to help motivate us, here are this month's NE Florida FWA group meetings:

  • You can look forward to attending the first meeting of the newly reminted River City Writers group next month, on Thursday, January 9 at 7:00PM at the SE Branch Library. Linda Feist has stepped up to assume the group leader's role and rumor has it that she has booked an outstanding speaker for the first meeting. Stay tuned.
  • The Amelia Island Writers host its annual December book chat on Tuesday, December 17 from 4:00 to 6:00PM at Story and Song Bookstore Bistro. Briefly discuss a book or two that has meant something special to you. Click here for more information on the Amelia Island Writers.
  • The Clay County Writers gather together on Wednesday, December 18, from 6:00 to 8:00PM at Mackey's Munchies, 868 Blanding Boulevard in Orange Park. This will be a holiday celebration meeting.
  • There's more holiday celebration ahead when the Ancient City Writers chapter hosts its annual pitch session and networking meeting, Saturday, December 21 at 10:00AM at St. Augustine's Main Library.
  • The Ponte Vedra Writers group celebrated the holidays last month with its Open Mic meeting. The group takes this month off to refuel, hydrate, and returns on Saturday, January 25 with the first in a series of outstanding workshops. 

But wait, there's more:

  • Rod Sullivan leads the Bold City Writers critique group, which meets twice a month at 11:00AM at the Panera Bread on Atlantic Boulevard near Regency Mall. The group is small, and Rod tells us they are accepting more members who write consistently. This the group's Facebook page and its Meetup page.
  • The NE Florida Sisters in Crime chapter hosts its annual holiday social event this Saturday, December 7 at 10:15AM at the SE Regional Branch Library.
  • A Gathering of Poets continues to meet twice a month on the first and third Thursday at 2:00PM at the Ponte Vedra Beach Library. All writers of the poetic persuasion are invited.
  • Romance writers take note: the 2020 Hearts in the Sand Writers Conference, presented by the Southwest Florida Romance Writers, is scheduled for January 31 in Estero, FL (near Naples). Visit the website for more information.
That's it for this month and this year. Happy holidays to one and all!

Vic  



Friday, November 01, 2019

FWA November 2019 Blog Post

Fall is in the air, and the holidays are right around the corner. But the writing marches on, particularly since November is National Novel Writing Month. Join the thousands of others who will be working on—and hopefully completing—a 50,000 word novel in the next 30 days. Details are on the NaNoWriMo website.

And when you're not writing, you can attend one on these NE Florida FWA writers group meetings"

  • Like the weather, there's been a change in the first River City Writers meeting date. As reported previously, the River City Writers group is under new management. Linda Feist has accepted the leadership role, and will launch the meetings on Thursday, January 9 at 7PM at the SE Branch Library. Look for more information next month.
  • St. Augustine's Ancient City Writers chapter is back in business after its annual conference break. On Saturday, November 16 at 10AM, Margaret Nicholson, PhD, will discuss using DNA testing and genealogical research to enrich memoirs and historical fiction. Margaret wrote My Surprise Family: Find Your Ancestry Story as a mystery, a memoir, and a manual. The meeting takes place at St. Augustine's Main Library.
  • Amelia Island Writers will chat with James Bruner, Esq. about how careers influence a chosen genre, successful publishing, and continuation as a series. Tuesday, Nov. 19, 4-6 pm at Story and Song Bookstore Bistro, Amelia Park. ameliaislandwriters.org
  • Love to write, but hate the selling? Then join Nancy Quatrano at the Clay County Writers meeting on Wednesday, November 20 at 6:15PM at the Orange Park Library. In her talk, "Hybrid Marketing 101: Understanding Basic Buzz and Fan-Building," Nancy reveals an alternative path to generating better book sales.
  • It's time to share your best work with your peers at the Ponte Vedra Writers Annual Open Mic meeting, Saturday, November 23 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library. Participants will have at least five minutes to read an excerpt from their WIP or other work— fiction, nonfiction, poetry, etc. The time will be dependent on the number of people signing up to read. If interested, please respond in advance of the meeting and I'll add you to the list of speakers on a first response basis.
And in other news ...
  • A Gathering of Poets meets on the first and third thursday of the months at 2PM at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library. All poets are invited.
  • NE Florida Sisters in Crime meets tomorrow, Saturday, November 2, at St. Augustine's Main Library at 10:15AM. They've invited fingerprint experts from the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office to present forensic details for all mystery writers.
  • Tickets go on sale today for the Amelia Island Book Festival Gala, featuring a star-studded line-up that includes David Baldacci, Sandra Brown, Robert Crais, Margot Lee Shetterly, and Sharon Robinson. The Gala is the festival's major fundraising event, and takes place on Valentine's night in February 2020, at the Omni Amelia Island  Resort. Click here for ticket information.

That's all for now. I have to start on my NaNoWriMo novel.

Cheers,
Vic

Vic DiGenti
FWA NE Florida Regional Director


Monday, September 30, 2019

October 2019 FWA Blog Post

When October rolls in we know FWA's conference is right around the corner. If you haven't already, it's not too late to register for the 18th Annual FloridaWriters Conference, October 17 - 20 in Altamonte Springs. This year's conference features three bestselling authors with two National Guests of Honor— Sherrilyn Kenyon and Jonathan Maberry. Delilah Dawkins is the Florida Writer of the Year. All three will participate in workshops and panels, and Maberry presents the Celebrity Workshop (requires a separate registration) on "The Art of the Pitch."

Check out the schedule and register now.

Meanwhile, happening in NE Florida ...
  • We reported last month that the River City Writers group was in transition and I was searching for a new group leader. I'm happy to say that Linda Feist has stepped up and volunteered to lead the River City Writers. Linda has a good writing background, having been published in three Chicken Soup for the Soul books, in various newspapers and magazines, and she's a six-time RPLA finalist. She plans to return the meetings to the SE Branch Library off Gate Parkway at the original time of the second Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. The first meeting probably won't be until November but watch this space for more details. In the meantime, Linda welcomes your input into the type of meetings you'd like to have and specific subjects to be covered. Email Linda Feist here: feistlyn@aol.com.
  • Clay County Writers return to the Orange Park Library on Wednesday, October 16 (6:15-8:00  p.m.) to hear from Tracy Collins, who will speak about writing and marketing her book, Stumbling into Sobriety: And the Things I learned on the Way Back Up. Group leader Maureen Jung welcomes all area writers to join them on the 16th.
  • The Ancient City Writers group, which always meets on the third Saturday of the month, takes its traditional month off and urges everyone to attend the Florida Writers Conference instead. They'll be back in the game next month.
  • Thinking about writing a flash fiction story? Then plan to attend the Saturday, October 26 meeting of the Ponte Vedra Writers at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library. Darlyn Finch Kuhn leads an exploration of the art of extremely short story-telling, and instructs us how to develop a beginning, middle, and end that leaves the reader satisfied. The meeting begins at 10:30 a.m.
  • The Amelia Island Writers group will have a Halloween-themed open reading on Thursday, October 31 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Amelia Island History Museum. The program is open to the public.
And in other news:

  • The NE Florida Sisters in Crime chapter will have a business meeting on Saturday, October 5 to elect new officers. All members are invited to attend at 10:00 a.m. at the Southeast Regional Library on Deerwood Park Blvd.
  • A Gathering of Poets meets on the first and third Thursday of the month at 2:00 p.m. at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library.
  • And don't forget to register for the Florida Writers Conference, especially if you're an RPLA finalist. 
Cheers,
Vic

Vic DiGenti
NE Florida Regional Director




Monday, September 02, 2019

SEPTEMBER 2019 FWA POST—HURRICANE EDITION



With Hurricane Dorian knocking at our door we all have decisions to make. Some of you may already be on the road to safer harbors. I'll keep this FWA blog post brief so we can proceed with our storm planning. Perhaps this experience will play out in a future book. Good luck.
  • It seems the River City Writers group has been abandoned and is no longer meeting. I hope in the near future to have a new leader in place to regroup and re-energize Jacksonville writers. Stay tuned for more news.
  • Have you always wanted to write a thriller, but didn't know where to begin? Then attend the Saturday, September 14 meeting of the Ponte Vedra Writers. Award-winning author Vic DiGenti will share the secrets to writing a good thriller in his presentation "Writing the Thriller for Fun and Profit." The meeting begins at 10:30AM at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library.
  • The Clay County Writers group gathers together at the Orange Park Library on Wednesday, September 18 at 6:15PM. Maureen Jung has the details. 
  • Travel to St. Augustine on Saturday, September 21 to hear Bob Boese talk about "The Importance of Setting" at the meeting of the Ancient City Writers chapter. The doors of the Main Library open at 10AM.
  • Amelia Island Writers meet Tuesday, September 24 from 4 to 6PM at the Story and Song Bookstore Bistro. Dr. Donna Jennings will discuss blogs, blogging varieties, and writing content.
In other news
  • The NE Florida Sisters in Crime chapter Saturday, September 7meeting has been canceled due to Hurricane Dorian.
  • A Gathering of Poets meets on the first and third Thursday of the month at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library at 2PM. All poets are welcome.
Stay safe everyone, and we'll see you after the storm passes.
Vic

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director


Monday, August 05, 2019

August 2019 FWA Blog Post

"I like middles. It is in middles that extremes clash, where ambiguity recklessly rules."  ~ John Updike

Here's what to expect at this month's NE Florida FWA meetings:

  • The River City Writers meet tonight at 7PM at the Pablo Creek Library. Contact Gregg Golson for details.
  • You're invited to attend the Ancient City Writers meeting gathering together on Saturday, August 17 at 10AM at St. Augustine's Main Library. All in attendance will hear award-winning author Nancy Quatrano discuss "What's So Special About a Series?" Nancy tells us that writing a series makes financial sense since sales are proportionately better, and she'll tell you how to build a series.
  • The Clay County Writers are back in session after a two-month sabaatical. They meet on Wednesday, August 21 at 6:15PM at the Orange Park Library. Author Amy Stewart will be there to talk about her books, her life, and her career. Amy is the author of the Kopp Sisters mystery series, and three popular nonfiction titles.
  • Erik Deckers returns to the Ponte Vedra Writers meeting on Saturday, August 24 to tell us "How to Structure and Write a Nonfiction Book." Erik is a professional blogger who has co-authored books on social media marketing and personal branding. He'll join us at the Ponte Vedra Library on the 24th at 10:30AM.
  • The Amelia Island Writers will meet at the same date and time—the fourth Tuesday of the month at 4PM—but have a new temporary meeting place. The group can be found at Island Art, 18 N. 2nd Street in Fenandina Beach on August 27, and they will discuss programming ideas for 2020.
And in other news ....
  • October is right around the corner, so it's definitely not too early to register for the 18th Annual Florida Writers Conference featuring presentations by bestselling authors Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jonathan Maberry, and Deliah S. Dawson. Maberry is also the Celebrity Writer and will present a full day workshop prior to the conference on October 17.
  • A Gathering of Poets continues its poetic probing on the first and third Thursdays of the month at the Ponte Vera Beach Branch Library at 2:00PM. All writers of the poetic persuasion are invited.
Until next time, keep writing.

Cheers,
Vic

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director



Friday, June 28, 2019

July 2019 FWA Blog Post


"Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you're passionate about something, then you're more than willing to take risks." ~ Yo-Yo Ma


Are you passionate about writing? Are you sitting down each day to add words to a story, essay, or other work because your passion drives you, not because you believe you're going to make the bestseller list? That would be nice, of course, but the reward comes in crafting work that meets the level of your passion.

To that end, FWA brings you ample opportunities to rekindle your passion. Here's what's happening around NE Florida and beyond.
  • Sit in with the River City Writers at the Pablo Creek Library on Monday, July 1 at 7PM. Group leader Gregg Golson will be happy to provide the details.
  • Don't bother traveling to the Orange Park Library to attend the Clay County Writers meeting as they won't be meeting this month. They'll be back next month, so check this space then.
  • Elizabeth Sinclair is center stage at the July 20th meeting of St. Augustine's Ancient City Writers group. Elizabeth is the award-winning author of 27 novels, and will discuss "Research: For Your Novel." She will explore sources ther than Google and how to access them. The meeting kicks off at 10AM at the Main Library.
  • The Amelia Island Writers have retreated to a metaphorical summer camp, according to group leader Marla McDaniel. They will return to business as usual in September.
  • Multi-RPLA award-winning author Ken Pelham travels from his Central Florida home to Ponte Vedra Beach to put us inside a character's head so we know what the character sees, hears, and thinks. It's an important lesson in the often misunderstood and misused point of view, and Ken will deliver the goods in his presentation, "Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Writing in the Fictional Viewpoint." That's Saturday, July 27 at 10:30AM at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library.

And in other news ...

  • The NE Florida Sisters in Crime chapter meets on Saturday, July 13 at 10AM at the SE Branch Library to hear author Susan Slater discuss "The History of Mystery: The Evolution of the Cozy."
  • The Sisters in Crime are inviting you to a very special one-day workshop with bestselling author Victoria Thompson. Thompson is the author of the Edgar and Agatha Award-nominated Gaslight Mystery Series. The event takes place on Saturday, August 3 from 10AM to 4PM at the UNF University Center. The cost is $60 and includes a catered lunch. Click here for details and registration.
  • IngramSpark, BookBrunch, and Publishers Weekly have combined to present the first Selfies Awards for independent writers. The awards recognize adult fiction and will be presented at BookExpo 2020 with the winning author receiving a $1,000 cash prize and $5,000 in advertising support from Publisher's Weekly. Click here for more information.
  • A Gathering of Poets meets on the first and third Thursday of the month at 2PM at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library. All poets are invited. Contact Sharon Scholl for more information.
  • FWA is open for business. You may renew your passion by registering for any or all of the following: the 18th Annual Florida Writers Conference, the 7th Annual Florida Youth Writers Conference, and the Celebrity Workshop with Jonathan Maberry. Information and registration details can be found on the FWA website.

That's all folks. Have a safe and enjoyable July 4th.


Cheers,
Vic 

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director