Saturday, August 04, 2007

Lighthouse Book Award Winners

It took nearly six months from start to finish, but the 1st Annual Lighthouse Book Awards competition is now history. Some thirty-five people gathered at the Ponte Vedra Library on Saturday, July 28 to learn the final results. While it may not have had the tradition and glamour of other awards ceremonies, we more than held our own. Recipients were surprised and appreciative, pictures were snapped, and everyone went home feeling a sense of achievement.
Here you see the smiling faces of the prize-winning authors. From left to right: Jeff Swesky, Honorable Mention – Fiction-General; Gertie Poole, Honorable Mention – Young Adult; John Holley, 3rd Place – Fiction-General; Jean Osborn, 2nd Place – Mystery/Suspense; Mary Kilgore, 3rd Place – Mystery/Suspense; Karen Harvey, 1st Place – Young Adult; William Barbour, 2nd Place – Fiction-General; David Pereda, 1st Place – Mystery/Suspense/Thriller.

Other winners not pictured include Leonard Emmel, 1st Place in the Fiction-General category, Bill Dougherty, 2nd Place, Young Adult, and Suki Litchfield, 3rd Place Young Adult. Congratulations to all our winners, and to everyone who submitted an entry. Remember each step gets you closer to your goal.

David Pereda, winner of the Mystery/Suspense prize with his book, Who Killed Fidel Castr0?, drove from his home in Asheville, NC to be with us and claim his prize. This was the second award for Fidel. It was a finalist in the National Indie Excellence 2007 Book Awards. Best of luck to David and the other winners as they move toward publication.
News from the NE Florida Writers Groups

Central Jax WG - Meeting on Tuesday, August 14 at 6PM at the SE Regional Library, WG Leader Judy Connolly welcomes guest speaker Eileen Ann Brennan speaking on Point of View. Everyone is welcome. Contact Judy at for details.
Amelia Island WG - This group now meets on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6PM at the Florida House Inn Conference Room. Group Leader Jim Morgan has the details:

Ancient City WG - This robust group is under new management but still adhering to the motto of Writers Helping Writers. If you missed Sandra McDonald at the May 19 conference, here's your chance. Sandra will be presenting on Plot and other Essential Writing Ingredients at this month's meeting, Saturday, August 18 at 10AM at the downtown St. Augustine Library.

Ponte Vedra WG - The PV WG returns to its regular schedule at the PV Library meeting on the 4th Saturday of the month. This month, August 25 at 10AM, we welcome writer/editor Lynn Thompson who will speak on Editing for Continuity. In her talk, Lynn will illustrate how writers can track the characters, locations and other details in your book and reduce the time spent on rewriting. Lynn has her own writing and editing company and writes regularly for magazines and newsletters. She's also ghostwritten two books.

News You Can Use

  • FWA member Beth Davis reports she has been appointed the Moderator Coordinator for next year's Much Ado About Books festival. She's looking for input to take back to the Library Foundation committee. Contact Beth at if you have any ideas on how to improve the book festival or suggestions for session moderators.
  • Terri Ridgell is the new executive director of the Amelia Island Book Festival, The Nassau County Writers & Poets Society, in conjunction with the festival, is conducting a poetry contest for unpublished poems. There's a $5 per entry fee, but first prize is a $100 gift card. Length is limited to 500 words, and winners will be able to read their poems at the Books by the Beach Party at Sliders Seaside Grill on Friday, October 5th. Contact Belinda or Bob for more information at
  • Speaking of contests, I received an email from Anne Holt, president of the Tallahassee Writers Association, announcing they are now accepting submissions for their annual Seven Hills Contest for writers. Memoirs, short stories, and children's literature entries must be no more than 2,500 words. In the essay category, entries should be 1,000 words or less. Manuscripts must be postmarked by Sept. 30. Please see the TWA website ( for complete contest rules and entry fees.
  • Published authors looking for ways to promote their signing events might want to check out It's a way to find authors and events online. Authors can sign up and list all of their appearances and other events. Book Tour gives each author their own page with photo, bio and book information. You can sign up by going to this address In the interest of fair disclosure, note that using this referral link gives me credit for your signing. This is important since those authors with the most referrals can win a spot on the front page of If you want to see what it looks like, check out my page:
  • Don't forget to renew your FWA membership. This is especially important if you've entered the Royal Palm Literary Competition as you must be a current member to participate in the contest. Go to to renew. Also sign up for the 6th Annual FWA Conference if you haven't done so yet. And don't forget to register for one of the four-hour Signature Presentations on Friday morning, November 9. These sessions will give you new insights into genre, technique, creativity, and the professional side of publishing. For only $40.00, you can be part of one of these four special presentations: 1) How to Successfully Pitch Your Project, led by Janice Pieroni, which will benefit those trying to sell a completed project, or have a firm idea in mind. 2) Jamie Morris hosts a session about the Amherst Writing Method Workshop, which will teach you new ways to approach genre fiction. 3) Find Your Passion. Energize Your Story – Sandra Kischuk demonstrates how to focus your creative energies to help mold your work, and touches on how to incorporate real life experiences into your writing. And finally, 4) an exciting new presentation featuring the two keynote speakers - William F. Nolan (author of Logan's Run) and Richard Paul Evans (author of The Christmas Box). This will be your chance to find out how they succeeded in writing and marketing their best sellers.
  • Finally, we send our condolences to the family and friends of FWA member Cherie Blanton. Cherie, who lived on Amelia Island, passed away unexpectedly last month.

That's it for now. Keep writing, and I'll see you on the book shelves.


Victor DiGenti

FWA Regional Director