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.


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.


Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

Friday, May 31, 2019

June 2019 FWA Blog

June may be busting out all over, but so is the heat index. Stay cool, folks, and take advantage of these meetings where the air is conditioned.

  • River City Writers assemble on Monday, June 3 at 7PM at the Pablo Creek Library. Contact Gregg Golson for details.
  • The Clay County Writers are on a forced two-month holiday since the Orange Park Library will be using the meeting room. They will return to their normal meeting dates in August.
  • The Amelia Island Writers revert to childhood as they tackle writing fairytales this month. Jim Weinsier will facilitate the program, Tuesday, June 25 at 4PM at Story and Song Bookstore Bistro in Amelia Park.
  • Author Susan Slater drops in on the Ancient City Writers to present "Plotting: A Moveable Feast," on Saturday, June 15, 10AM at St. Augustine's Main Library. As the author of two mystery series and a creative writing teacher, Susan brings her expertise to talk about story structure. She says, "Know where you're going with your story, but more importantly–how to get there."
  • "Are You Ready to Take Your Pants Off?" is the provocative title of Susan Kiernan-Lewis's workshop at the Ponte Vedra Writers meeting, Saturday, June 22 at 10:30AM at the Ponte Vedra Beach Library. No, her talk isn't about modeling underwear, but instead about the advantages of outlining. The prolific author will introduce an outlining technique that works for any genre of writing.
  • The Amelia Island Writers revert to childhood when they work on writing fairytales at this month's meeting. Jim Weinsier will facilitate the meeting, taking place Tuesday, June 25 at 4PM at the Story and Song Bookstore Bistro in Amelia Park.
And now for the rest of the story:
  • NE Florida Sisters in Crime welcome back Janet Kuchler, aka Janet Cooper, for part two of her workshop, "Fiction? Nonfiction? What to Write? at the Saturday, June 1 meeting at the Southeast Regional Branch Library at 10AM.
  • FWA presents an expanded mini-conference on "Writing Diversely," Saturday and Sunday, June 22-23 at the Hilton Orlando, Altamonte Springs. The various workshops cover writing about diverse characters and cultures. Click here for details, including registration information.
  • The deadline has passed to submit your work for consideration for the Royal Palm Literary Awards competition, but now is the time to sign up for both the Celebrity Workshop with Jonathan Maberry and the annual Florida Writers Conference. Maberry is a New York Times bestselling author and five-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award, as well as a comic book writer. His vampire apocalypse series V-Wars, is in production as an original Netflix series. His Celebrity Workshop will cover "The Art of the Pitch."
  • The Florida Writers Conference features workshops and panel discussions by dozens of authors, including bestselling authors Jonathan Maberry, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Deliah Dawson. The theme this year is Writers at Work, so make sure you find a way to work your way to the conference. Visit the website for all the details.
  • A Gathering of Poets group meets on the first and third Thursdays at 2PM at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library. All poets are welcome. For information, contact Sharon Scholl.
That's it for this month. Cheers,

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

Monday, April 01, 2019

April 2019 FWA Blog

April showers us with a plentitude of educational activities from which to choose. FWA presents the two-day mini-conference, "Marketing 101," on April 27-28 in Altamonte Springs. Join marketing pros Rick Bettencourt, Mary Ann de Stefano, Erik Deckers, and Mandie Stevens for workshops covering everything from Facebook advertising to website building. Read all the details here.

Here in NE Florida, you may select from the following area group meetings:

  • Tonight at 7PM, the River City Writers gather at the Pablo Creek Library to hear from editor Kimberly Smith-Ashley, who will share her thoughts on working with a professional editor and what to expect from the process.
  • Clay County Writers meet on Wednesday, April 17 at 6:15PM at the Orange Park Library. Former police officer Sherrie Clark presents, "Communicating through Storytelling." Sherrie is an author, editor, book coach, and publisher of over 80 books.
  • On Saturday, April 20, the Ancient City Writers welcome award-winning writer Skye Taylor. Skye will address the question of how to hook your reader and keep them turning pages. The group meets at 10AM at St. Augustine's Main Library.
  • Amelia Island Writers celebrates National Poetry Month. Lola Haskins, Honorary Chancellor of the Florida Poets Association., will present "Plein Air, Florida—Woods and Waters," on Thursday, April 23, 4-6 PM at the Island Art Association Educational Building, 18 North 2nd St., Fernandina Beach. Lola will have a selection of her books available for purchase.
  • Thinking of writing a stage play? Then you'll want to know the ins and outs of formatting a play and join Walter Schenk at the Ponte Vedra Writers group meeting on Saturday, April 27 at the Ponte Vedra Beach Library. Walter will present a show-and-tell discussion designed to answer all your questions, starting at 10:30AM.
And in other news:
  • The 18th Annual Florida Writers Conference is now accepting registrations. Nationally prominent featured authors include National Guest of Honor Sherrilyn Kenyon, Florida Author of the Year Delilah Dawson, and National Guest of Honor and Celebrity Workshop presenter Jonathan Maberry. Click here for details.
  • If you've been waiting to submit your work for consideration for a Royal Palm Literary Award, be advised that the submission deadline is April 30. The same deadline applies for the FWA Collection.
  • The 4th Annual I Love Books book fair will be held at the Alachua County Library District Main Branch in downtown Gainesville on Saturday, May 11.
Until next time, keep writing and I'll see you at the library.


Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

Thursday, February 28, 2019

March 2019 FWA Blog

We're marching toward another busy spring season. On March 16, FWA presents a marketing webinar with Dr. Juduth Briles, who was one of the hits of last year's Florida Writers Conference. And for an even more intensive marketing session, you should check out the April 27-28 mini-conference in Altamonte Springs. Let's not forget the 4th annual I Love Books book signing event is scheduled for May 11 and is located in Gainesville this year. Check it out here.

Now for the local news:

  • River City Writers meets on Monday, March 4 at 7PM at the Pablo Creek Library on Beach Boulevard. Contact group leader Gregg Golson for information.
  • The Ancient City Writers are back on schedule with this month's meeting, taking place Saturday, March 16 at 10AM at St. Augustine's Main Library. This month's speaker is author Belea Keeney, and her topic is "Memoirs: So Many Memories, So Little Time."
  • Self-described spiritual activist and student of consciousness teZa Lord will speak to the Clay County Writers on Wednesday, March 20 at 6:15PM. Her topic: "No Matter What, Never Give Up."
  • The Ponte Vedra Beach Library is open once again, and the Ponte Vedra Writers will return to their old stomping grounds this month. The library is accepting applications for meeting rooms next week, and I hope to keep our regular schedule on the fourth Saturday of the month. Our speaker is travel writer Kathleen Walls, who will address, "A Travel Writer in Today's World." Look for a follow-up announcement to confirm the date after the 7th. 
  • The Amelia Island Writers group concludes its memoir focus study and makes plans for April National Poetry Month. They meet on Tuesday, March 26, 4PM at the Story and Song Bookstore Bistro in Fernandina Beach.
And in other news:
  • If you write police procedurals or crime novels, mark your calendar to attend this Saturday's meeting of Northeast Florida Sisters in Crime. Paul D. Schad, retired detective, actor, and Police Technical Advisor, will speak on "Emotional Reactions and Ramifications for Law Enforcement Officers." The meeting is set for 10AM, Saturday, March 2 at the SE Regional Library.
  • Aside from all the FWA events mentioned at the top of the page, submissions are now open for the annual Collections anthology, the Royal Palm Literary Award Competition, and the Florida Writer Magazine. Details may be found here.

Vic Digenti
FWA Regional Director

Friday, February 01, 2019

February: Holidays and More

February only has 28 days, but the month is packed with two Presidential holidays, Valentine's Day, the Chinese New Year, and let's not forget that all-important Groundhog Day... and let's not forget that all-important Groundhog Day. Did I already mention Groundhog Day?

February also brings the Amelia Island Book Festival and the Jax Book Fest, not to mention a full slate of FWA group meetings. And here they are:

  • Gregg Golson has announced that the River City Writers have a new time and place for their meetings. Beginning this month the group will meet on the first Monday of the month (February 4) at 7PM at the Pablo Creek Library on Beach Boulevard. This month's guest speaker is author Tracy Tripp.
  • There will be no February meeting for the Ancient City Writers. The group returns to St. Augustine's Main Library in March for a program on memoir writing.
  • Some authors write one book and consider it a career. Dr. Edward Mickolus has published 35 books and considers it a promising start. Ed is the guest speaker at the Ponte Vedra Writers meeting on Saturday, February 16 at Christ Episcopal Church, 400 San Juan Drive, classroom 113. In his entertaining presentation, "How To Be(come) a Prolific Writer: Tips and Tricks on Writing and Publishing More Often Than You Think You Can," Ed will offer techniques to help increase your productivity. The meeting starts at 10:30AM.
  • The Amelia Island Writers meet on Wednesday, February 20 at 4PM at the Story and Song Bookstore. Author Kathryn Taylor will discuss her new memoir, Two Minus One.
  • Also meeting on the 20th is the Clay County Writers group, 6:15 PM at the Orange Park Library. The group welcomes Sherri Henderson, an author who works in the area of community support and advocacy services for families and individuals with developmental disabilities. She wrote Picture Memories: Understanding Dementia to help her son, who has Down Syndrome, understand his disease.
In other news ...
  • The Northeast Florida Sisters in Crime group meets this Saturday, February 2 at 10AM at the SE Regional Library to hear retired attorney Judith Erwin speaking on "Love Can Kill."
  • The 18th Annual Amelia Island Book Festival, February 14 - 16, offers multiple activities for writers and readers, including conversations by bestselling authors. Visit the website for details.
  • The Jacksonville Public Library presents Jax Book Fest 2019 on Saturday, February 23 at the downtown Main Library. The free event runs from 10AM to 3PM and features presentations and signings by dozens of authors.
  • A Gathering of Poets meets on the first and third Thursday of the month at 2PM at Chabad at the Beaches, 521 A1A North, while the Ponte Vedra Library undergoes repairs.
  • Both the FWA Collections and Royal Palm Literary Awards competitions are open for submissions as of February 1. And don't forget you may also submit to The Florida Writer magazine and the FWA Blog. Visit the FWA website for details.
Our last word goes to Harlan Coben, who said, "A novel, for example, can be cleaned up, altered, trimmed, improved. Life, on the other hand, is one big messy rough draft.”

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Happy New Year 2019

It's a new year and a time for new beginnings. If you resolved to finish your writing project, we have plenty of inspiration for you. Keep reading for information on the NE Florida writing group meetings, and be sure to show up for at least one of them. As Woody Allen said, 80 percent of success is just showing up.

  • The River City Writers group is taking the month off to reorganize and move to a new location. Beginning Monday, February 4, the group will meet at 7PM at the Pablo Branch Library's front conference room. Their first meeting features local author Tracy Tripp. Gregg Golson has more details.
  • The Clay County Writers group is off and running in the new year with a motivational program to help you sell books. Meeting on Wednesday, January 16 at 6:15PM at the Orange Park Library, the group welcomes Armand Rosamilla, a hybrid author who addresses the subject, "Building Readership: Reaching Your First thousand Readers." Armand will talk about podcasts, mailing lists, and social media.
  • Children's book authors will want to head to St. Augustine on Saturday, January 19 for the Ancient City Writers group meeting. Your destination is St. Augustine's Main Library at 10AM. That's when Frances Keiser will expound on "The ABCs of Publishing a Children's Book."
  • The critique group known as the Bold City Writers meets on the second and fourth Thursday of the month at 5PM at the Panera at 9301 Atlantic Blvd. Newcomers are welcome. Contact group leader Rod Sullivan for details.
  • The newly relaunched Amelia Island Writers group meets on Tuesday, January 22 at 4PM at the Story and Song Bookstore in Fernandina Beach. Their mission: to study and write short memoir. Your contact is Marla McDaniel.
  • A freshly revived Ponte Vedra Writers group returns from sabbatical this month reinvigorated and relocated to a temporary new home at Christ Episcopal Church, 400 San Juan Drive in Ponte Vedra Beach. The meeting begins at 10:30AM on Saturday, January 26. Our speaker is author T. M. Jacobs who will teach us how to develop our writing into a business. During his talk, appropriately titled "Writing is Your Business," Jacobs will share some outside the box marketing methods, how to set goals, and how to learn from best sellers. The group will meet in the choir room on the ground floor, and parking is available in the lot or in their parking garage. See the map below and follow the arrows to the choir room. Hymnals will be provided for those wishing to sing.
 And in other news ...

  • The ubiquitous—and appreciated—Nancy Quatrano kicks off the year for the Northeast Florida Sisters in Crime clan talking about how to strengthen a manuscript, especially a mystery, by dissecting "The 13 Problems." The sisters (and brothers) meet Saturday, January 5 at 10AM at the SE Branch Library. All genders are welcome.
  • A Gathering of Poets meets on the first and third Thursday at 2PM. They gather at Chabad at the Beaches, 521 A1A North, until the Ponte Vedra Library opens for business in a few months.
  • Marine journalist Robert Beringer brought the following $2,000 scholarship announcement to our attention if you know of any college students following this career path:
    Have you ever read a boating article in a magazine or online blog and thought to yourself, I could do that! Well here’s your chance. The BWI Scholarship Fund was created to honor undergraduate college students—from any major—who demonstrate a passion for the field of boating media and have a clear career goal to pursue this field. Applications may be downloaded at and will be accepted through January 15, 2019.
And that's all for now, folks, except to wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year.

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director