Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Come What May

Here we are in the middle of the merry month of May, only days away from the 2nd annual Regional Writers' Conference. In the midst of preparing for the conference, and the big Ponte Vedra Book Fair that precedes it, what would you consider to be one of the poorest choices I could make? How about buy a new computer. Not only that, but move from a PC, which I've used since right after stone tools were invented, to a Mac. But all is well now and here is the latest blog update just in time for all the excitement for area writers.

You won't lack for excellent events in the coming weeks. Here are some of the happenings in our area.
  • 3rd Annual Ponte Vedra Book Fair - Nineteen regional authors will share their books and talk about their personal journeys to publication at the Ponte Vedra Library on Friday, May 16 from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. Seven of the authors were recently featured at Much Ado About Books, and they'll sell and sign their books as well as participate in panel discussions. The authors include Jeannine Auth, Lynn Coleman, Kay Day, Victor DiGenti, RenĂ© Fix, Rodney Hurst, Sr., Lora Inman, Mary Kohnke, Rita Malie, Pamela Bauer Mueller, Carol D. O'Dell, Arliss Ryan, Hank & Jan Racer, Diane Till, David Tuttle  Cara Curtin, Michael Wiley, and Jane Wood. The Book Fair is presented by FWA and the Friends of the Library. It's free and refreshments will be served.
  • 2nd Annual Regional Writers' Conference - If you've been reading my past blogs and attending any of the area FWA chapter meetings then you already know all about the conference. It's this Saturday, May 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at THE PLAYERS Community Senior Center in Ponte Vedra Beach. Eighty-plus people are already registered, but if you're just learning about it you can go to to read all the details. Check-in and registration begins at 8:00 a.m. 
  • Book Talk Cafe with Lucy Beebe Tobias - We're back at the Ponte Vedra Library Monday, May 19 at 6:30 p.m. with Gainesville author and gad-about, Lucy Beebe Tobias. Lucy is the author of 50 Great Walks in Florida (University Press of Florida), and she'll take us on a photographic tour of the Sunshine State. So put on your walking shoes and come down and meet Lucy.
 FWA Regional Chapter Meetings
  • Ancient City Chapter has no meeting this month as it's on the same day as the Writers' Conference. Next month's meeting will be on Saturday, June 21 at 10:00 a.m. at the Main Library in downtown St. Augustine. Freelance copy editor and proof reader Beth Mansbridge will offer editing tips.
  • Come to beautiful downtown Fernandina Beach for the next meeting of the Amelia Island Chapter, Tuesday, May 20 at 6:00 p.m. at the Florida House Inn's Conference Center at the corner of Ash and 4th Streets. I'll be filling in for group leader Maggie de Vries who is vacationing in Holland. She also tapped me to be the program speaker and I'll be talking about a fact of life for every published author -- book promotion. I've titled it Book Promotion 101 and we'll look at what every new author needs to do to launch their book successfully, including marketing plans, promotion kits, book signings, collateral materials, mailing lists, and media interviews.
  • Michael Hamilton returns to the Ponte Vedra Chapter on Saturday, May 24 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. Note the new time because of the revised St. Johns County library hours. The library now opens at 10:00 a.m. instead of 9:30, and we'll move our meeting to 10:30 a.m. to give us time to brew the coffee. Mike is a former senior editor with John Wiley & Sons, one of the world's leading business publishers. He'll be advising us on how to get our first non-fiction book published. Among the areas he'll cover are preparing a book proposal, contract negotiation, advances, and contacting agents. 
There's much more going on in the wonderful world of writing, but that's all the time I have. Hope to see you at either Friday's Ponte Vedra Book Fair or Saturday's conference.

See you on the book shelf,

Victor DiGenti
FWA Regional Director