Saturday, June 06, 2009

"Eighty percent of success is just showing up"
~ Woody Allen

Woody had the right idea, didn't he? The race often goes not to the fastest and strongest, as the hare found out, but to the most persistent. So, as writers, we hold on to our dreams and keep plugging away waiting for success to reward us. This month, you're rewarded with a multitude of opportunities to improve your craft, network with your peers, and learn how to make showing up more rewarding.

NE Florida FWA Chapter Meetings
  • First Coast Christian Writers meets every Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at Christ's Church on Greenland Road.
  • River City Writers will not meet this month. They will return on Tuesday, July 14 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. Contact Darlene Myers for info:
  • Visit the Ancient City Writers at St. Augustine's Main Library downtown to hear Nancy Haddock discuss how to grow a plot from a single sentence. They meet Saturday, June 20 at 10:15 a.m. 
  • Amelia Island Writers will convene at the usual time and place—Tuesday, June 16 at 6:00 p.m. at the Florida House Inn in Fernandina Beach. Group leader Maggie deVries can give you the details:
  • Ponte Vedra Writers meet at their usual time of 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library on Saturday, June 27. This time they'll
    gather to hear from mystery writer Mary Anna Evans talking about FINDING YOUR STORY'S VOICE. Mary Anna reminds us that no two people sound alike.  Most writers recognize the value of bringing  characters alive through pitch-perfect dialogue. She will show us how to bring your story alive by also honing the narrative voices that tell the tale. Show up for this valuable workshop.

And More for Writers
  • Speaking of mystery writers, Elaine Viets is one of the more popular ones with her Dead-End Job Mystery series. The South Florida author will make an appearance at the Ponte Vedra Library on Monday, June 15 at 6:30 p.m. as part of the FOL's Book Talk Cafe program. Elaine actually works the "rotten jobs" she puts her protagonist in with each novel. She'll talk about some of her experiences working everything from sales clerk to telemarketer, as well as her latest book, Killer Cuts, in which amateur detective Helen Hawthorne works as an assistant in a high-end hair styling salon.
  • Remember to register for the annual FWA Conference, Lighting the Way, before July 31 to take advantage of the early-bird rates. Mystery and now SF author James O. Born is the Saturday keynote speaker, and the line-up of workshops is impressive. Click on the above link for details and registration form. Remember, you must be an FWA member to attend.
  • FWA has topped the 900 mark in membership for the first time. New chapters have been added across the state and more benefits are coming. If you haven't joined or logged on the FWA Network lately you should check it out for the latest news and Forums for writers.
  • The SCBWI Jacksonville children's writing group is meeting again on June 20 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. The format of the meeting will be "Meet, Greet & Critique."
  • The Amelia Island Book Festival presents an author luncheon with New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank discussing her novel, Return to Sullivan's Island. Benton will be at the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island on Wednesday, July 15 at 11:30 a.m. Go to the AIBF website for more information and reservations. 
  • The Anhinga Writers' Studio Summer Workshop (formerly the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Writing the Region Workshop) will be held July 29 - August 1 in Gainesville. Along with a noted faculty of writing pros, the conference will feature Charlaine Harris, author of the Southern Vampire Mysteries, popularized on the HBO series, True Blood.
  • The Florida Heritage Book Festival offers all kinds of great opportunities for writers and readers alike. The 2nd Annual Literary Legends Awards banquet is scheduled for Thursday, August 27 at the Sawgrass Marriott Hotel. This year's ceremony honors New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly, pictured at right, noted historian Michael Gannon, and novelist Harry Crews. Each will appear at the dinner, as will Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning who will present the awards. Tickets are available online at the website link above.
  • Also part of the festival is the Florida Heritage Writers Workshop on Monday, September 11 at the Casa Monica Hotel. The day-long conference features many of the authors appearing the next day at Flagler College, including Thomas Cavanagh, T. J. MacGregor, Shawn Bean and M. C. Finotti. Also presenting a workshop on how to get an agent's attention is literary agent Lucienne Diver. Early-bird registration is only $50 before August 14. But it jumps dramatically after that so make your reservations soon as seating is limited to 100 people. Again, you can reserve your seat online and pay via PayPal.
  • The next day's activities are free, except for the Keynote Luncheon with Sen. Mel Martinez A Sense of BelongingOne Man’s Pursuit of the American Dream. The day features author talks, panel discussions, book signings and more by many noted authors including Tim Dorsey, Nuclear Jellyfish, that's him peeking around the bush to the left, young fantasy sensation Nancy Yi Fan, Swordbird, Eliot Kleinberg, Weird Florida, Rick YancyThe Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, and many more. Visit the FHBF website often for schedules and details as it is constantly updated.

That's it for now,