Thursday, April 30, 2009

"All things seem possible in May"
~ Edwin Way Teale

   Teale was an American naturalist, photographer and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who obviously knew a thing or two about the promises of spring. I find that some of my best story ideas come to me while mowing the lawn or working in the garden—if you can call the motley assortment of plants, weeds and tree roots snaking through my lawn a garden. 
   But this month brings a florist's truckload of goodies so read on for news of FWA meetings and other activities of interest to area writers.

NE Florida FWA Chapter Meetings
  • First Coast Christian Writers meets every Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at Christ's Church on Greenland Road. The May 7 speaker is Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Bruce Thomason who will discuss his crime thriller, Body Toll.  
  • River City Writers meets on the second Tuesday of the month at the SE Branch Library off Gate Parkway at 7:00 p.m. Next meeting is Tuesday, May 12. Lynn Thompson is the speaker. Contact group leader Dar Myers for more information:
  • Ancient City Writers this month calls on another ancient writer for its program as Regional Director Vic DiGenti presents a follow-up to his "Great Beginnings" workshop. This time Vic (yes, we ancient writers are allowed to refer to ourselves in third person) continues the novel lesson plan with "How to Avoid Muddled Middles & Dead Ends." We will all gather at the Main Library's meeting room at 10:15 a.m. to hear Vic discuss how to sustain interest to the very end. That's the ancient writer pictured to the right in what seems like ancient days when he had time to relax and read a good book.
  • Amelia Island Writers will convene at the usual time and place—Tuesday, May 19 at 6:00 p.m. at the Florida House Inn in Fernandina Beach. Group leader Maggie deVries can give you the details:
  • We wrap up the month of FWA meetings at the Ponte Vedra Library as the FWA Ponte Vedra Writers  gather at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 23. All of us who dream of seeing our novels on the big screen should take note as John Boles, an award-winning writer, producer, director and actor will discuss "Turning Your Novel into a Screenplay." John has taught writing, film and screenwriting courses for a number of years. He also writes and produces live, interactive mysteries for his own company, Mystery Makers. 
I'll have coffee brewing, you bring the popcorn.

And more for your money
  • If you didn't get your RPLA submissions in the mail yesterday, you missed the cut-off and the entry fee has risen to $40 per submission. Remember you must be a member of FWA to enter the competition, and that the fee jumps to $50 on July 1. The deadline is July 13. Visit the FWA website for guidelines and to become a member.
  • Another reminder about the upcoming FWA anthology, From Our Family to Yours. The deadline for submissions is May 31. This is the first in a new series of collections sponsored by FWA. The theme is family and it can be fiction or non-fiction or poetry with a 1,500 word limit. Like the RPLA, you must be an FWA member to be eligible to submit. This is a great way to get your work published and sold as the books will be sold online and at the FWA bookstore and conferences. Here's the link to submission guidelines.
  • Those of you writing children's books (and there must be many in this area judging by the turnout to hear John Cech last week), you might want to check out the 2009 Moonbeam Childrens Book Awards. The new book awards program, designed to honor the best children's books, authors and illustrators, is accepting entries until August 22nd. Click on the link for guidelines and entry form.
  • UNF's Literary Magazine, Fiction Fix, is now accepting submissions for Fall 2009 for fiction and/or artwork.  Short stories, short short, or novel excerpts may be submitted, but greater consideration will be given to fiction under 3,000 words. 
  • Congratulations to Judy Weber, 1st Place winner in the Mystery category of the recent Do It Write Literary Competition. Another local winner was Linda Eadie
  • More congratulations, this time to Rodney Hurst, It Was Never About a Hot Dog and a Coke, winner of the inaugural Stetson Kennedy Award. Presented by the Florida Historical Society, the award recognized the book for its investigative research "which casts light on historical Florida events."
  • The Anhinga Writers Studio 2009 Summer Workshops, formerly the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings–Writing the Region) is set for July 29 to August 1 in Gainesville. It features Charlaine Harris, author of the popular Southern Vampire Mysteries which were turned into the HBO series, True Blood
  • Apple and iTunes has a new offering—and it's free. You can download 33 podcasts from Roy Peter Clark's book, Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer, read by the author. These range from Nuts & Bolts subjects like "Begin sentences with subjects and verbs," and "Watch those adverbs," to what he terms, Blueprints like "Use dialogue as a form of action." 
That's it for now. I'll leave you with this pearl of wisdom from that great philosopher, Groucho Marx, 

"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book."


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