Monday, December 01, 2008

Holiday Happenings

It's that hectic time of year. Family visits, parties, shopping. But writers can stay connected and keep the focus on their current writing projects by checking out the various FWA meetings in the area this month and coming months.

Also, now is the time to put the finishing touches on your manuscript for the 2009 Lighthouse Book Awards competition. Exact details will be forthcoming, but you have until late February to enter your unpublished manuscript in any of the four categories: Young Adult, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Fiction-General, or Science Fiction/Fantasy. Remember that the top three finalists in each category are judged by an acquiring editor for a traditional publishing house. Look for details soon.

Speaking of competitions, our NE Florida region collected a slew of awards at the FWA Conference RPLA Banquet on Saturday, November 15. Congratulations to the following award winners: Gertie Poole, Jim Morgan, Hank Racer, Linda Eadie, Michael Ray King, Muriel McKinley, Nancy Murray, William Hamel, Jennifer Swanson, Dickie Anderson, Helena Powell, and Vic DiGenti. 

And here's what's happening at our various FWA chapters here in the NE Florida region:
  • NE Florida's newest FWA Chapter is the First Coast Christian Writers led by Dr. Lorraine Haataia. They meet weekly on Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at Christ's Church at 6056 Greenland Road. This week's guest speaker is consultant Steve Waterhouse, author of The Team Selling Solution: Creating and Managing Teams That Win the Complex Sale. For more information about attending these meetings, please contact Lorraine at
  • Ancient City Writers – Because of the Christmas holiday, St. Augustine writers will meet on Saturday, December 6 instead of their normal meeting date of December 20. Starting at 10:15 a.m. at the Main Library in downtown St. Augustine, they will present a panel discussion on the topic of "Writing the Salable Novel." Panelists include Nancy Haddock, La Vida Vampire, William Kerr, author of six adventure/suspense novels, including his latest, Deadly Logic, and historical fiction author Arliss Ryan, The Kingsley House. Karen Harvey will moderate the panel which will be followed by a reception and book signing. Contact Jeff Swesky for information at
  • River City Writers welcome John Boles to their December 9 meeting to discuss character development for fiction and film projects. They meet from 7:00 to 8:45 p.m. at the SE Branch Library located at 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd. off Gate Parkway. For more information, go to
  • Amelia Island Writers meet next on Tuesday, December 16 at 6:00 p.m. at the Florida House Inn at 31 S. Fourth Street in Fernandina Beach. Novelist Cara Curtin will be the speaker. Cara co-authored Fernandina's Lost Island with the late David Tuttle. Contact chapter leader Maggie deVries at
  • Ponte Vedra Writers chapter normally meets on the fourth Saturday of the month at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. Except for this month when we're on holiday. January 24 we'll kick off another season of outstanding programs starting with Nancy Haddock speaking on "Writing for the Paranormal Market." In February, John Byrum, senior editor for University Press of Florida, will be the speaker, followed by Jon Gordon in March who will speak on building your platform. Look for more information later in the month. 
Enjoy the holidays and keep writing.