Steve Berry talked about his long road from struggling author to landing on the New York Times Bestseller List. About how he received 85 rejections with five different manuscripts before selling THE AMBER ROOM. His personal tale hit home and many people lined up to talk with Steve and purchase a copy of his latest international thriller, THE ALEXANDRIA LINK.
Vic DiGenti, Chair
Dianne Ell, Co-chair
Terri Ridgell, Book Contest
Darlene Myers, Book Store and Photographer
Karen Harvey, Interviews
Alice Collins & Peter Guinta, Refreshments
Hank & Jan Racer, Lunch
Mary Kohnke & Hazel Piermatteo, Registration
Jim Morgan, Rita Malie & Margie Ann Sauls, Workshop Aides
Carol D. O’Dell & Randy Cribbs
Finalists have been sent on for final ranking by these editors: Barbara Moore (Midnight Ink) for Mystery/Suspense/Thrillers, Julie Doughty (Dutton) for Fiction-General, and Andrew Karre (Flux) for Young Adult. The finalists in each category were:
Who Killed Fidel Castro? - David Pereda
Forty Percent Gray - Mary Kilgore
Charley Gets His Halo - William Barbour
Jess, A Confederate - Leonard Emmel
War Drums of Afghanistan - John Holley
Wolf Girl - Suki Litchfield
Shard of The Dark Star - Gertie Poole
Run Away Home - Karen Harvey (Tie)
Hidden Treasures - Bill Dougherty (Tie)
- Get an early start on the Florida First Coast Writers' Festival's annual contests as they're presently accepting entries for the Josiah W. Bancroft Sr. Novel Contest, the Page Edwards Short Fiction Contest, the Douglas Freels and the Robert Grimes "Good Earth" Poetry Contests and the Writers' Festival Playwriting Contest. Each has different guidelines, so go to http://www.fccj.org/wf for details.
- Mystery Writers of America (MWA), and St. Martin's Minotaur have announced the first annual St. Martin's Minotaur/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition. This contest provides a previously unpublished writer an opportunity to launch his or her career with a major mystery imprint, St. Martin's Minotaur. The winner will receive a one-book, $10,000 contract. Follow this link http://www.minotaurbooks.com/competitions.html for guidelines.
- Do you write stories of intergenerational relationships? The Intergeneration Foundation has announced its 2nd Storytelling Contest which seeks to reinforce and recognize the power of storytelling as a way to connect generations. Whether fiction or non-fiction, the story should illustrate intergeneration needs, connections and understanding, and feature characters from at least two generations. Top prize is $500 and is open to all writers with no entry fee. There's a limit of 600 words. Go to http://www.intergenerationday.org/contest.htm for details.
- Terri Ridgell is the new director of the retitled Amelia Island Book Festival, and she and her committee are making some exciting changes. AIBF is set for October 4-7, and they've already announced the scheduling of Claire Cook (MUST LOVE DOGS) and Tim Dorsey (HURRICANE PUNCH) as their first two featured authors. Look for details on their website, http://www.bookisland.org/.
- And don't forget our own FWA Annual Conference scheduled for November 9-11 at Walt Disney World's Coronado Springs Resort. With more agents, editors and publishers, the conference offers three days of valuable workshops and presentations by authors and publishing professionals. Richard Paul Evans, author of THE CHRISTMAS BOX, THE CAROUSEL, and other bestselling novels, will be one of the two keynoters along with William F. Nolan, noted science-fiction author. Early registration ends on July 31 and the fee jumps from $199 to $229 so get your registration in soon. The complete schedule and details can be found here: http://www.floridawriters.net/Conference/Conf.html
As always, help is close at hand in the form of one of the four Writers' Groups in the area. The Amelia Island WG meets on the first Saturday of the month at 10:00 a.m. although they are considering a change in day/time. The Central Jax WG meets on the second Tuesday of the month at the SE Regional Library at 6:00 p.m. They're taking a summer break in June but return on July 10 with SF novelist Sandra McDonald talking about Building Stories Like a House. The Ancient City WG meets on the 3rd Saturday of the month at 10:00 a.m. at the St. Augustine's downtown library. On the 16th of June author Carol Welsh speaks on Publishing and Promoting Your Book in the 21st Century. And on June 23rd at 10:00 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra WG, noted writing coach and editor Frank Green will discuss the Structure of a Story.
That's more than enough to keep you busy for the next month. Until next time, keep writing and rewriting.
Victor DiGenti, FWA Regional Director