New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry will give the keynote talk at the luncheon and also present a workshop on research, backstory, and great beginnings. His new book, The Alexandria Link, debuted at #4 on the NY Times list.
- Last month I wrote that I wanted your success stories and other items of interest to FWA members and area writers. Annette Simon emailed to let me know her picture book for young mimics, Mocking Birdies, was recently named a 2006 ABC Best Book for Children by the Association of Booksellers for Children. Published by Simply Read Books, it was a finalist for the 2006 Writers' League of Texas Teddy (Children's) Award, and also a pick for the American Institute of Graphic Arts' 50 Books/50 Covers exhibit. Congratulations, Annette.
- Nancy Murray also called to let me know her children's book, Gullah, The Nawleans Cat Meets Katrina, will be published in March. Nancy is donating a portion of the profits from her sales to Katrina relief programs. Interestingly enough, the artist she selected to create the many watercolor images for the book is from Pascagoula, MS and now living in a FEMA trailer.
- Speaking of Hurricane Katrina, the Disaster News Network (www.disasternews.net), a 24/7 Web news service, is seeking "engaging writer/photographers with a passion for human-interest reporting." They're looking for freelance journalists to conduct interviews by phone and in the field -- along with photography -- if you are available to travel. To be considered, you'll need a degree in journalism or communications, at least one year of professional experience on a daily newspaper or news service, and have clips they can review online. Send your resume and at least five online examples of your work to: mailto:hr%40disasternews.net or fax them at (410) 884-7353.
- As announced last month, the 21st Annual Florida’s First Coast Writer’s Festival has a new home. It’s moved to the Jacksonville Public Library’s main branch at 303 Laura Street, and is scheduled for March 9 – 11. http://www.fccj.org/wf/ FYI, David Poyer and Lenore Hart will be conducting a special three hour master class in fiction on Friday, March 9, from 9:00 am to noon. http://www.fccj.org/wf/festivals/2007/class.html Winners of the various contests will be announced at Saturday's luncheon. A number of the finalists and winners are from our area, including Rick Maloy, winner of the short story division and a member of my critique group. Congratulations to Rick.
- Much Ado About Books has posted their author schedule for the April 21st event at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. This heralded book festival benefits the Jacksonville Public Library and features over ten New York Times Bestselling authors. Among them will be the keynote panel at the luncheon featuring Sandra Brown, Brad Meltzer, and Adriana Trigiani. Panels are free, but the luncheon tickets cost $40. http://www.muchadoaboutbooks.com/home.cfm.
- James Redfield, author of The Celestine Prophecy , will present and discuss the St. Augustine-filmed version of his book on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the Flagler College Auditorium. It's part of Flagler's spring Writer-in-Residence program. For more information, go to http://www.flagler.edu/writers.
- MargieAnn Sauls, president of the Jacksonville branch of Sisters in Crime, reports that Florida mystery authors Christine Kling, Wreckers' Key, and Bob Morris, Bermuda Schwartz, will be signing books at the Bookmark in Atlantic Beach on Saturday, March 10 at 7:00 pm.
- The deadline for the Writecorner Press Poetry Prize is right around the corner, Feb. 28 postmark, but if you have something ready to go, send 2 copies of unpublished poems, 40 lines max, any style or theme. Type author’s name, address, phone, e-mail (optional) on top of one copy only. The second copy, without identification, will be used in judging. Send short bio. Entry fee: $5 first poem, $3 each additional. Mail to: Writecorner Press, PO Box 140310, Gainesville, FL 32614.
- And last but not least, don't forget that national bestselling author Sue Monk Kidd will be in Jacksonville for a reception and lecture on Thursday, March 8 at UNF's Lazarra Theatre. Kidd's acclaimed novel, The Secret Life of Bees, sold more than 4.5 million copies and stayed on the NY Times Best Seller list for two years. For ticket information, call 904-285-0073 or go to http://www.friendspvlibrary.org/