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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The October Bubble Report

October rolls into our lives tomorrow, and we're still living large inside our respective bubbles. Other than the surprising start of a fall football season that had been in doubt, there's not a lot of news to make me giddy with anticipation. But life goes on. Here's what we know:


  • The 19th Annual Florida Writers Remote Conference is swiftly approaching, October 15 - 18. Enjoy four days of workshops and key sessions with National Guest of Honor Greg Pincus and Florida Writer of the Year Robert Macomber. You can also learn about queries and more from agents, get new writing techniques, and learn from the pros. All from the comfort of your home, and for only $57. If you can't make these dates all the sessions will be available for one month after the conference. Register now and don't miss out on this special deal.
  • Just in time for Halloween, the Clay County Writers welcome horror author Armando Rosamilia for an online event on Wednesday, October 21 at 6:30 p.m. Armando's topic is more than timely, "Oh, The Horror of It All: Writing Horror Stories in 2020." Learn how 2020 will affect the horror genre in years to come, why you should or shouldn’t use 2020 in your writing, and how to write horror as escape. Group leader Paula Hilton tells us the session is free and open to all, but you must register in advance by clicking here. After you register you will receive a confirmation email with details.
  • The Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library—like many area libraries—is now open, but the 
    meeting rooms are still closed for the foreseeable future. But keep your despondent thoughts to yourself because your fearless leader has another exceptional speaker lined up for Saturday, October 24 at 10:30 a.m.  Award-winning author and all-around good guy Ken Pelham will join us from his home in Maitland, FL to educate us on "The Evolution of Genres (And Why It Matters)." Ken calls this workshop, "An entertaining and provocative look at genre fiction, how it responds to the world and evolves, and how it, in turn, changes the world, often in profound and unexpected ways." The Zoom session requires advance registration here, and you will be sent a follow-up confirmation with sign-in details.
  • And join us on November 14 when Margaret Nicholson will discuss, "Enrich Memoirs and Historical Fiction with DNA Testing & Genealogical Research."
  • The Gathering of Poets continues to meet on the back porch of the Ponte Vedra Library at 10 a.m. on the first and third Thursdays of each month. All poets are welcome to join them. They email poems to members and meet to discuss suggestions for change. To add yours, email to sharonscholl527@comcast.net.
And I'll leave you with this that I lifted from Steven Colbert: 

"Quarantine has finally given me time to clean out my garage. I haven't done it, but the time is there."

Cheers,
Vic

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director


 




Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Of Books, Storytelling, Marketing and More

We're approaching month #6 of living in the time of the pandemic.  Some of us are still sheltering in place, others not so much. But writers gotta write. Am I right? And they have to read. A librarian stayed busy assembling a special collection of books. You'll have to enlarge the photo but read them starting at the top left.


Locally, a lot of writing is going on. A tip of the hat to the following authors for their accomplishments:

  • Congratulations to Bob Black who published two books in June. He tells me Age Successfully was published June 3, 2020, and Life 401 was published on June 15, 2020. He had been working on the books for some years and when he went on a 77-day cruise to South America, Antarctica, and the Amazon early January to late March he was able to finish both.
  • Ancient City Chapter award-winning author Jeff Walton's second book has just been released by Sunbrook Publishing. Divine Return picks up where Final Departure left off.
  • Nicholas A. Marziani Jr.'s sequel, Fool's Journey: The Showdown, was released on May 30 by WC Publishing. Journey picks up where Holy Fool, Holy Father left off.
  • N.L. Quatrano and writing partner D.K. Ludas have a new Ebook out of short mystery stories, released on Jul 4 by Twisted Hair Publications.
  • Harlan Rector, author of the recent Once Upon the Corner in Detroit, and Ed Mickolus, author of 36 books, are compiling a collection of micro-memoirs around the theme of Finding Meaning in Life at Any Age. This shared, limited autobiographic project is organized by incidents or periods of life such as childhood, elementary school, high school, adulthood, work experience, marriage/children, career, retirement. Each life period will feature 2-3 incidents or memories from a variety of people, of various ethnicities, ages, religious preferences, and economic pursuits, along with our own memories. Ed and Harlan are looking for contributions of one to five pages. For further information, please contact hrector234@aol.com or edmickolus@hotmail.com.
  • And speaking of the prolific Mr. Mickolus, a former CIA operative, he's added book numbers 37 and 38 to his tally. More Stories from Langley: Another Glimpse Inside the CIA is available from Potomac Books, and America's Funniest Memes—Coronavirus Edition may be ordered from Amazon.
  • Congratulations to Jacksonville author Kathryn Bain. Her novel, Fade to the Edge was selected as one of the finalists for the 2020 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Awards in the Suspense category. Also making the cut is area writer Maggie Toussaint for Dreamed It in the SF/Fantasy and Horror categories. You may see the complete list of finalists and vote for your favorites by clicking here.
  • Patricia Daly-Lipe has published Miami's Yester'Years, Its Forgotten Founder, Locke Tiffin Highleyman, the story of the founding of Miami, and one man's vision of paradise in the early 1900s.
  • Lucy Cortese reports that her writers group, known as TWINKYs, will launch a new children's book on August 4. Do You Know Me? Poems About the Sea is a book of playful poetry, imaginative illustrations, and science facts for children. It highlights sixteen animals to promote a child's curiosity about their natural world. The book will be available on Amazon and in local bookstores.
1Our past Zoom writing workshops have been quite successful, with excellent presentations by Kristin Durfee, Jane Wood, and Charlene Edge. On Saturday, August 22, April O'Leary, the author of five books and founder of O'Leary Publishing, will present "Proven Social Media Book Launch Success Strategies (that cost nothing!)." During her presentation, April will show you exactly what she has done to launch six first time authors to #1 in their category on Amazon this past year. While there are no shortcuts to a successful career as a writer, this is one tool you'll want to have in your book marketing toolkit. Look for the Zoom registration link coming your way in the next few weeks.

I had planned to have another marketing workshop via Zoom, but Tara Alemany, the publisher of Emerald Lakes Books, had serious time constraints. Instead, she offered to share an interview she did with Dave Chesson, a book marketing pro and creator of Kindlepreneuer. In this 48-minute interview, Dave talks about how you can best use Amazon ads to improve your book sales. My thanks to Tara for sharing this interview. Click here to access the interview.

Don't forget FWA's 19th Annual Florida Writers Remote Conference, October 15-18. For only $57, you have access to four days of workshops, plus the Royal Palm Literary Awards Competition.

Here's one final item before I release you to return to your writing life. I will be doing a series of three Zoom workshops for the Jacksonville Public Library. A condensed version of my Novel in a Day workshop, they cover three consecutive Saturdays starting August 29 at 10AM. I've titled the sessions, Storytelling 101, and we'll cover the key elements of the novel, from plotting to characterization, to writing scenes, and more. The workshops are free but you need a JPL library card, which you can acquire online. I'll have more information soon.

Until then, keep in mind these choice suggestions from the Boy Scout Law and remain Helpful, Courteous, Kind, Clean, Cheerful, and Brave.

Cheers,
Vic

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Tips of the Hat & Tips for Writers

It's been two months since my last FWA blog post. Although I've written direct emails to all the NE Florida writers on my list I thought it was time to post online again. As I sat down at my iMac to create this post my mind pulled up one of Willie Nelson's poignant songs, Funny How Times Slips Away. I'm sure you've heard it many times, but I Googled the lyrics and the first stanza seems to have been written for our time in the coronavirus bubble.

Hello there, my it's been a long time.
How am I doing? Well, I guess that I'm doing fine.
It's been so long now, but it seems now it was only yesterday.
Ain't it funny how time slips away.

That's enough maudlin introspection, let's get down to the writing business. The pandemic has closed libraries and prevented our FWA writers groups from meeting since February. In response, we had two Zoom presentations in June—one by Charlene Edge on memoir writing, and one by Jane Wood telling us how to market our books to schools. Both were excellent workshops and well attended.

You'll be happy to know I've scheduled another Zoom meeting for this month, and two more in August.

Some of you may remember Kristin Durfee, who presented a workshop on firearms at the Ponte Vedra Writers group several years ago. I invited Kristin to return and she has agreed to present a new workshop on plotting the novel. Register for Kristin's Zoom presentation, "A Novel Approach: Plotting Your Way to Success," which will be presented live on Saturday, July 18 at 10:30 a.m.
Kristin, who is the author of the Four Corners Trilogy as well as many short stories, describes the workshop this way:
"Plot like a pro and get that novel finished! Learn systematic tips and tricks to set yourself up for success. Attendees will learn how to incorporate outlining in their writing, what research can and should be done prior to starting your story, and some troubleshooting techniques to help if you get stuck. The presentation should leave you with a good framework for how to tackle and complete that first draft."

Here's the invitation to register for this meeting:

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Jul 18, 2020 10:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0vc-qoqj8qHNSQt6468SY-Qni1H_sN7OSv
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

And as I mentioned above, in August we'll have two more Zoom meetings, both focusing on marketing; one using Facebook groups and the other using Amazon ads. Watch this space for more information.

I've heard from a few people who have used their time productively. A tip of the hat to:

  • Ponte Vedra Beach writer Ken Overman. His new book, Intrusions, When God Shows Up in Your Life Unexpectedly has been picked up by CrossLink Publishing, a top U.S. traditional Christian publisher. The book will be out in about 7 months. Congratulations Ken.
  • I also heard from Richard and Lucy Lipari, who decided to use their home alone time to jointly write a mystery novel. Rich wrote to tell me, "We decided to purchase Scrivener when the virus began and we knew we would be homebound. We learned about this software from meetings we attended in Ponte Vedra, and decided to give it a try. We found the program very user friendly and a great organizer. Since we had absolutely no distractions, we started jointly writing a mystery using the program. We began as pantsers but as we were going along, we evolved into plotters. Happy to report, since March we wrote over 75,000 words, 45 chapters, 275 pages. We’re excited now, as we know how the mystery will resolve, and it’s just a matter of writing it down." The novel is titled The Genghis Code. Congratulations to you both.
  • Sharon Scholl has kept her poetry group active since the shutdown by also using Zoom meetings. She invites any and all poets "to join The Gathering's Zoom sessions, we will send the meeting data to whoever requests it at accidentals@comcast.net. Usually the first and third Thursdays of the month at 2 p.m."
  • The Amelia Island Writers are also active. Group leader Marla McDaniel tells me that George Weinstein will be the virtual guest speaker on Saturday, July 25 at 3:30 p.m. Weinstein is a published author and coordinates the Atlanta Writers Group. He will talk about his writing journey and his latest thriller, Watch What You Say. Click here to register for that meeting.
Tell me what's gong on in your writing life, and I'll report it in the next FWA blog post. In the meantime, if you're looking for inspiration, guidance, or a way to productively pass the time, I've assembled a few online sites you might want to check out if you haven't seen them already.
  1. The first is a fun exercise that purports to analyze your writing and tell you what famous writer you write like. I entered the first paragraph of my thriller, Hurricane Island, and was informed I write like Mario Puzo. Oh, to have been as successful as the author of The GodfatherHere's the link.
  2. Stephen King is one of America's favorite (and wealthiest) writers based on the number of bestselling books and films and TV series that have come from his creative mind. CBS is curently remaking The Stand into a limited series. His latest offering, If It Bleeds, gives us four  novellas, including the title story featuring Holly Gibney, which picks up after the conclusion of The Outsider. The four stories are a mixed bag, but I expecially liked Rat, which deals with a writer struggling to write s novel. I thought you might like to watch this YouTube video with King talking about his writing. You can skip the ads after a few seconds, and if you search you'll find other King interviews and talks.
  3. Check out this page if you're looking for writing tips from successful authors. In it you'll learn that John Irving always starts by writing the last sentence on a blackboard. Whatever works, right?
  4. And finally, here's an oldie but goodie from The Writing-World.com listing the Top Ten Mistakes New Fiction Writers Make.
Until next time, stay involved and stay healthy. This thing is far from over. And don't forget to register for the July 18 Zoom workshop with Kristin Durfee.

Cheers,
Vic

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

Thursday, May 28, 2020

What Day Is It?

When I was a child, sometime between the end of the Civil War and the Woodrow Wilson administration, I recall watching a program that always opened with these words: "Hey kids, what time is it?" And the answer was always—say it with me—"It's Howdy Doody time!"

Today, that refrain has changed to "What day is it?" Most of us are stuck inside working from home or staying safe at home, and it's easy to lose track of the days. And since I'm retired, every day seems like a weekend day. But I look forward to the time when we can gather together at libraries for our FWA writers group meetings. However, it looks like June won't be the month for those gatherings.

But I have good news. In June I'll host not one but two Zoom workshops with writing pros addressing valuable topics for writers. Here's what you have to look forward to in June:

  • On Saturday, June 13 at 10:30 a.m. Charlene Edge will present the memoir writing workshop she would have given in person in May. "Open a Vein: Writing Your Memoir and Publishing It"  takes us through the steps Charlene took to write and publish her award-winning memoir, Undertow: My Escape from the Fundamentalism and Cult Control of The Way International.
  • And on Saturday, June 27 at 10:30 a.m., tune in for Jane Wood's presentation detailing strategies for selling your books to schools. "Schools: A Niche Market for Authors" will show us how to contact schools, and what makes a book marketable to schools. Jane has sold thousands of books to schools, so you don't want to miss this.
I'll send out the Zoom meeting link and password the week before each session. There's a limit of 100 people for each of these webinars, so if you're interested you should sign up right away.

And in other news, Rik Feeney, who has done a great job keeping writers connected with Zoom meetings, has scheduled another one for Wednesday, June 3 at 7 p.m. This one is with Linda Hollander, who calls herself the Wealthy Bag Lady. Her topic is "Corporate Sponsorship for Books." She's the author of Corporate Sponsorship in 3 Easy Steps and the CEO of Sponsor Concierge. Here's the link to that Zoom meeting: www.SponsorZoomWithLinda.com


I had asked you to keep me informed of any news on the writing front, and two of you came forth to let me know their books are being published. Congratulations to Kaye Schmitz on the publication of her suspense novel, On Deadly Ground. Also to Melissa Kosciuszko on the publication of her Christian suspense novel, Within A Dream. And thanks to Jack Orth for sharing some of his fine writing with me.

I'll leave you with this quote and image I ran across some time ago and only recently uncovered as I was cleaning my file cabinet. They're both from artist Vincent Van Gogh, but if you replace the word painter with writer you'll see that Van Gogh is talking directly to us.


"If you hear a voice within you saying, 'You are not a painter,' then, by all means, paint, boy, and that voice will be silenced. One must undertake (work) with confidence, with a certain assurance that one is doing a reasonable thing, like the farmer who drives his plow, or like our friend in the scratch below, who is harrowing, and even drags the harrow himself. If one hasn't a horse, one is one's own horse."

Cheers,
Vic

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

Monday, May 04, 2020

Groundhog Day All Over Again

Today marks Day 50 of sheltering at home in the time of the coronavirus. As Dana Carvey's Church Lady might have remarked, "Well, isn't that special?" Of course, it's not that special since most of the country is facing the same Groundhog Day scenario, where the days blend together, separated only by the news we're watching, which also seems pretty much the same, and whatever Netflix series has us glued to the telly.

But there is light at the end of that tunnel. Am I right? Our beaches are open for most of the day now, and the restaurants are slowly allowing a few customers inside. And I hope we're all making progress on our writing projects.

There's little new to report on the FWA Writers Group meetings front, however. All libraries are still closed. All speakers are following the same social distancing guidelines as the rest of us and remaining home, and it might be some time before larger groups of people will feel comfortable gathering for meetings. But not to fret. If you utilize online tools like YouTube, you'll find a wealth of recorded information and workshops by experienced authors. Like this one by British children's and sports novel writer Tom Palmer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUScPnDwzPU. In this ten-minute video, he shows us how to edit a short paragraph, taking us through it step-by-step. You'll find much more on YouTube to educate and entertain you, plus you might make your own YouTube videos and I can report them next time. Just let me know.

Ted Talks and podcasts are two other excellent tools to stretch your brain. If you have a smartphone, there's a good chance it came with a Podcast icon, giving you access to hundreds of fascinating programs covering almost every subject imaginable.

What else is available? Rik Feeney is a popular speaker at writers groups here and around the state. He also leads his own group in Winter Park and arranged for the Penny Sansevieri Zoom workshop last month. BTW, if you missed Penny's workshop on how to sell a truckload of books on Amazon, here's the replay link: https://bit.ly/3aFCz7x

Well, Rik has done it again, and he has orchestrated another live Zoom webinar this Wednesday, May 6 at 7PM with

Rocky and Cheryl Detwiler, authors of the best-selling book, The Samson Effect. They are experts on the Positive Power of Words, have been highlighted on A&E, ABC, ESPN, FOX, and NBC. Reality TV stars and authors, Rocky & Cheryl Detwiler have learned to monetize their message and love helping authors deliver their message to the world by selling more books.
Go online early on Wednesday, May 6th via the link listed below to learn from Rocky & Cheryl, professional coaches, who teach authors how to get paid speaking engagements, create workshops and sell your books in bulk. This webinar is free and open to the public, but space may be limited. Here's the information you'll need to join the meeting:

Topic: Transforming Lives with the Power of Words
Time: May 6, 2020, 7:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
Click below to join the Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86482585218?pwd=SGlndTRaTjZybzRkcXRNT3NBQkhHZz09

Meeting ID: 864 8258 5218
Password: 212330

And here are a few more items of interest:

  • April was National Poetry Month and Loretta Leto is collecting poems for the Mayo Clinic's Humanities in Medicine program. Although April has passed us by, this first week of May honors Florence Nightingale and all nurses, so that's a good theme to work on. The poems are given to health care workers to carry in their pockets. The poems should fit on one page, so no more than 30 lines. Send poems and questions to Loretta at lmleto58@gmail.com.
  • While the RPLA submission period has closed, you may still submit to The Florida Writer and join the team of bloggers. Plus there are many webinars available for viewing. The links may be found on the home page.
  • Here are a few other competitions still open for submissions: The Austin Film Festival has extended its screenplay competition deadline to June 1. Click here for details. 
  • The Masters Review, which bills itself as the platform for emerging writers, has a May 31 deadline for its Flash Fiction Contest, paying a top prize of $3,000. Here's the page with the details.
  • The 35th Annual Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival is seeking submissions of original Fiction, Short Fiction, Poetry, and One-Act plays for its 2020-2021 Writing Contest. Fiction and One-Act Play deadline is October 1, 2020. Poetry and Very Short Fiction deadline is October 15, 2020. For complete guidelines and submission details, please see the website. http://tennesseewilliams.net/contests/  
  • Former NE Florida writer Lorraine Haataia is now a California resident and working to connect writers with her new site, Prolific Writers Life. It's a way to connect with writers and readers, schedule Zoom meetings, and more. Check it out.
I'll leave you with a favorite quote from Mr. Anonymous.

“Make no little plans. They have no magic with which to stir blood and soul, and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work. Remember that our children and grandchildren will do things that would stagger us. Remember that when you create a situation that captures the imagination, you capture life, reason, everything.”  


I'll see you on the other side,
Vic

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

Monday, March 02, 2020

FWA March 2020 Blog Post

No bad puns about Marching toward your writing goals. Instead, we'll charge ahead into this month's group meetings.

  • Judith Erwin discusses the "Basics of Self-Publishing" at the River City Writers group on Thursday, March 12 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Regional Library off Gate Parkway. Judith is a retired attorney who has penned six indie novels and is working on her memoir.
  • This month the Clay County Writers celebrate retiring group leader Maureen Jung's ten years of service and welcome incoming leader Paula Hinton. The celebrants will gather at Mackey's Munchies, a New Orleans style cafe, on Wednesday, March 18 at 6:00 p.m. Mackey's is located at 868 Blanding Boulevard in the Ollie's Bargain Center shopping plaza. Come for the food, the good times, and to thanks and offer your best wishes to Maureen. Paula is also seeking ideas for future meetings.
  • Saturday, March 21 is the day of the Ancient City Writers meeting at St. Augustine's Main Library. Be there when the doors open at 10:00 a.m. to meet Rik Feeney, who will discuss "Creating Your Digital Media Kit."
  • Selecting a title for your book can be agonizing. The Amelia Island Writers hope to make that task easier as they talk about how to choose a title and offer 15 types of titles with examples for each. The group will meet on Tuesday, March 24 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Story and Song Bookstore Bistro in Fernandina Beach.
  • Brad Kuhn returns to the Ponte Vedra Writers group meeting to discuss self-publishing, something he's become well-versed in during his 20 years as a writer, publisher, and publicist. He's titled his talk "Self-Publishing: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." As always, Brad has some good advice to share. The meeting begins at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 28 at the Ponte Vedra Beach Library.
And in other news ...
  • Submissions are open through April 30 for FWA's Royal Palm Literary Awards competition and the 2020 Collection anthology. Make plans to submit your work to either or both of these prestigious outlets recognizing outstanding writing. Click here to visit the pages for details.
  • A Gathering of Poets meets on the first and third Thursday of the month at 2:00 p.m at the Ponte Vedra Beach Library. And congratulations to Poet-in-Chief, Sharon Scholl, on the release of her new chapbook, Seasons. Her poems reflect the various life stages of a long life well-lived. You'll find Seasons available on Amazon.com.
  • Former FWA Conference Florida Writer of the Year thriller author Steve Berry holds forth at the Bookmark in Neptune Beach this Friday, March 6, at 7:00 p.m. He'll reveal some of the secrets behind his new book The Warsaw Protocol.
  • Goodreads is back with its annual Reading Challenge. Reading authors you admire helps you recognize tones and styles that work in each genre, broadens your vocabulary, and helps inspire you to work toward becoming a better writer. Click here to take the Goodreads 2020 Reading Challenge.
    • NE Florida Sisters in Crime meets on Saturday, March 7 at 10:00 a.m. at the Bartram Trail Library. Speaker Nancy Quatrano advises on "The 13 Questions a Writer Should Ask."

"You can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page."  ~ Jodi Picoult

Cheers,
Vic

Vic DiGenti
FWA regional Director for NE Florida





Thursday, January 30, 2020

February 2020 FWA Blog Post

We're charging full speed ahead into the new decade. In February, we can look forward to a trio of national holidays like Valentine's Day, Presidents' Day, and let's not forget Groundhog Day. And then there's the biggest holiday of all, the Super Bowl this Sunday.

It's also time for more FWA group meetings, and here's what you have to look forward to in NE Florida.

  • The River City Writers convene on Thursday, February 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Regional Library off Gate Parkway. Guest speaker Claudia Oltean presents, "Adventures in Writing a Debut Novel." Claudia will discuss her experiences and lessons learned writing her novel, Another Chance to Die, based on her grandfather's exploits during the Prohibition-era.
  • Ancient City Writers chapter takes its annual February holiday due to AARP volunteers helping folks prepare their taxes in the meeting room. They'll be back in March.
  • Writers of mysteries and suspense are in for a treat when award-winning author Michael Wiley holds forth at the Clay County Writers meeting, Wednesday, February 19 at 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library. Wiley has just released the first in a new series, and will address "The Dark Side of the Sunshine State: Writing Noir."
  • Do you want to know more about using Scrivener for your writing? Then head to the Ponte Vedra Writers meeting, Saturday, February 22 at 10:30 a.m. when Michael Carlson presents "Scrivener Basics." The group meets at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library.
  • The Amelia Island Writers meets Tuesday, February 25, 4:00 p.m. at the Island Art Assn. Ed. Bldg., in downtown Fernandina Beach. Dr. Diann Schindler will discuss aspects of podcasting, its importance to writers, and share one of her own episodes as an established podcast host.
  • The Bold City Writers critique group meets on the second and fourth Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at the Panera Bread on Atlantic Boulevard near Regency Square. Contact group facilitator Rod Sullivan for details.
But wait, there's more!
  • Susan Kiernan-Lewis offers smart advice on the outlining process as the guest speaker at the Florida Sisters in Crime meeting this Saturday, February 1 at 10:00 a.m. at the SE Regional Library. Susan asks the rather surprising question, "Are You Ready to Take Your Pants Off?" as the starting point of her talk.
  • A Gathering of Poets meets on the first and third Thursdays of the month at 2:00 p.m. at the Ponte Vedra Beach Library.
  • February 1 marks the start of submissions for the 2020 FWA Collection: Create An Illusion. the Collection is open to works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Click here for more information. 
  • The Amelia Island Book Festival is another big event happening in February. Headlined by David Baldacci and other bestselling authors, the event features a Gala Dinner, writers workshops, and more. Visit the website for details.
  • This year's Florida Heritage Book Festival presents three days of writers workshops on February 20—22 at the Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village. The workshops feature presentations by Craig Pittman, Janice Hardy, Sharon Cobb, Steph Post, Brad Kuhn, Elizabeth Sims, and Rich Wickliffe. Have your writing critiqued on Saturday afternoon. Award-winning journalist and author, Craig Pittman will be honored at the annual Literary Legend Reception on Friday evening. Visit the website for details and pricing information.
Happy trails to you,
Vic

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director