Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Even More Conference News

If there's a constant in this life it's change. We're faced with change on a daily basis. Sometimes we're happy to see it, other times change rocks our life.
Nothing so drastic as that, but change has come to the May 17 conference in the form of switching out one of the presenters. Unfortunately, Teri Youmans Grimm has had a family conflict and is unable to do her poetry workshop. But as they say, when one door closes, another springs open. We've been very fortunate to recruit Amy Gorelick to take her place. Amy is the Senior Acquistions Editor for the University Press of Florida (UPF). Amy specializes in non-fiction and will provide practical advice on how to catch the eye of an editor and get your book published.
UPF is not part of the University of Florida as some may think, but is the official publisher for the State University System. UPF has published over 2,500 volumes since its inception in 1945 and currently releases nearly 100 new titles each year. Many of the finest books covering Florida history, the environment and culture have been published by UPF.
If you've been wavering about whether to register for the conference or not, now you have a powerful new incentive — the opportunity to hear and speak with a Senior Acquistions Editor at a major press. Another incentive is the approaching deadline for early registration. Remember after April 30, the conference fee increases to $55 for FWA members and $75 for non-members. Go to for all the details including a conference schedule, a list of the presenters and that all-important registration form.

And in other news:
  • FWA will have a table at this month's Much Ado About Books. The literary conference attracts hundreds of readers and writers to hear presentations and panel discussions by such noted authors as Carl Hiassen, Steve Berry, Betsy Carter, William Dietrich, Martin Dyckman, Tim Dorsey, and many more. We'll be located in the Grand Foyer where authors will be signing books giving us maximum exposure. I'll be there most of the day, taking time off to moderate one of the panels, but I could use a little help if anyone is planning to attend and can spare an hour. Basically, we will be using this opportunity to promote the May 17 conference and tell people about FWA. Let me know if you can help.
  • The Ponte Vedra Library is having a Book Fair on Friday, May 16 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. You'll have the opportunity to meet nearly 20 regional authors including Rodney Hurst, Lora Inman, Diane Till, Hank & Jan Racer, Jane Wood—all of whom will be at MAAB this year. Also joining them are Kay Day, Michael Wiley, Arliss Ryan, Pamela Bauer-Mueller, RenĂ© Fix, Jeannine Auth, Carol D. O'Dell, and others. The event is free and open to the public and co-sponsored by the PV Friends of the Library and FWA. I'm told light snacks will also be on hand. Authors will be autographing their books and participating in panel discussions throughout the afternoon. Get there early and grab a cookie before they disappear.
  • Speaking of Michael Wiley, the much-traveled mystery author has another gig this month. Wiley participated in the Ancient City Chapter's Mystery Panel last month as well as spoke about writing the first page at last month's Ponte Vedra Chapter meeting. This time he'll be discussing his debut novel, The Last Striptease, a private eye thriller set in Chicago, at the PV Library's Book Talk Cafe program on Monday, April 21 at 6:30 p.m. The Last Striptease won the Private Eye Writers of America and St. Martin's Press prize for best first private eye novel in 2006.
  • Carol D. O'Dell, author of Mothering Mother: A Daughter’s Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir (Kunati Publishing) is presenting a pair of workshops. The first will be a Query, Synopsis, and Logline Workshop scheduled for May 24 at Mega Bite Coffee Shop in Fernandina Beach. The cost is $85. The other workshop covers proposal writing and is set for June 14, also at Mega Bite. Contact Carol for details at
  • The Royal Palm Literary Award contest is now open for entries. There have been many welcome changes in this year's competition including a new chairman, Terri DuLong, a new evaluation form and a pledge that all evaluations will be returned by the Sunday following the November conference. Go to for all the details.
  • Noted writing coach Lynn Skapyak Harlin is launching another one of her Shanty Boat Workshops for beginning writers starting May 7. The 6-week course costs $100. Follow-up with Lynn at
  • Mystery lovers will love Mystery Florida, June 6-7 at the Lido Beach Resort near Sarasota. The gathering is limited to only 100 people who will have a chance to hear Michael Connolly and rub elbows with Tim Dorsey, James O. Born, Blaize Clement, Bob Morris, Jonathon King, James Swain, and David Hagberg, among others. Find out more at
  • First Coast Christian Writers continue to meet weekly on Thursday evenings from 6:45 – 8:45 p.m. Room 204 at Christ’s Church, 6045 Greenland Road (I-95 and 9A). Visitors are always welcome. For more information:
  • The Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) is meeting on Saturday, April 19 from 1-3, at the Southeast Regional Library, 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd. (904) 996-0325. Young adult author and Newberry Honor recipient, Audrey Couloumbis, will discuss the life of a working writer. For more information, contact Janet Walter at
  • Hettie Jones on The Beat Poets 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6 at the Jacksonville Public Library Main Library, 303 N. Laura Street, Jacksonville. For information and other events call (904) 630-2665 or visit: or
  • First Coast Romance Writers meet on the second Saturday of the month at the West Regional Library: 1425 Chaffee Road. 11:00 a.m. On May 10, Elizabeth Sinclair aka Marge Smith, will discuss "GMC" (Goal/Motivation/Conflict). Marge has written numerous novels for Kensington and Harlequin American and won the National Readers Choice Award in 2006.
  • Every Wednesday: 7:30 p.m.; Bard Society critique group run by Frank Green for the past 25 years. Call 234-8383.
  • Orange Park Writers meet on the first Friday at 7:00 p.m. at the Orange Park Library; Email:

FWA Regional Chapter Meetings

  • Amelia Island Chapter meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at The Florida House Inn, located at 31 South 4th Street in Fernandina Beach. At the April 22
    meeting, they'll hear from editor Beth Mansbridge. She's worked on many books in both the fiction and non-fiction fields and will address the editing questions authors face while writing their short story or book and she will offer tips to become a better self-editor. Contact group leader Maggie Carter-de Vries:
  • The Ancient City Chapter meets on the third Saturday of the month at the St. Augustine Main Library at 1960 N. Ponce de Leon Blvd. This Saturday's meeting at 10:00 a.m. will not have a speaker, but will devote the entire meeting to critiques. If you wish to participate, please contact Mike BonDurant at
  • Ponte Vedra Beach Chapter meeting on Saturday, April 26 is cancelled and everyone is encouraged to attend Much Ado About Books at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. Next month's meeting is on May 24, and the speaker is TBA.
  • River City Writers meet on the second Tuesday of the month at the Southeast Regional Library, 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd. from 7:00-8:45 p.m. The May 13 meeting has been cancelled due to that week's regional conference. Everyone is encouraged to attend the June 10th meeting for a discussion of the hero's journey in literature by Vic DiGenti.

That's it for now. See you on the book shelves,

Victor DiGenti, FWA Regional Director