Tuesday, September 15, 2009

No time to fall back

With summer just a reflection in our rearview mirrors, that means the FWA Annual Conference is right around the corner. Have you registered yet? The dates are October 23 - 25 with a special pre-Conference master class on characterization with Margie Lawson on Thursday, October 22. More about that later, but remember two things: first, you must be an FWA member to attend the conference, and second, appointments with editors and agents are beginning to fill up. So go to the Florida Writers Association website for all the details and to register.
Now, about Margie Lawson's master class, Empowering Characters' Emotions. You
don't have to register for the conference to attend the master class, but if you're going to the conference, this class is definitely worth an
extra day. The class is $50 for FWA members and $75 for non-members. All proceeds from this class go to the Florida Writers Foundation to help fight illiteracy, so you'll be helping yourself and helping others learn to read.
Lawson, a practicing psychologist, has been collecting rave reviews from writers across the U.S., in Canada, and in Australia and New Zealand. In the last four and a half
years, she’s presented over 42 full day master classes teaching writers how to add emotional power that hooks the reader viscerally and creates a page-turner. More information can be found online.
One more item before we move on, there will again be a silent auction at the conference to benefit the Foundation. Each region has been asked to gather items to include in the auction. I'd like to put together a gift basket of NE Florida-themed items. Do you have something you can contribute? It might be a special book about our area, food or household product. Think about it and email me at to let me know about your donation.
Now on to this month's FWA chapter meetings:
  • First Coast Christian Writers meets every Thursday night at 6:45 p.m. at Christ's Church on Greenland Road. This week's speaker is author Pete Koerner who will discuss his book, The Belief Formula.
  • River City Writers meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Regional Library off Gate Parkway. Gregg Golson is the new chapter leader and can be reached at
  • Amelia Island Writers meet on the third Tuesday of the month at Fernandina's Florida House Inn at 6:00 p.m. Contact Maggie deVries at for details.
  • Ancient City Writers will hear from writing coach John Boles about how to turn your novel into a screenplay. They meet on Saturday, September 19 at 10:15 a.m. at St. Augustine's Main Library, 1960 N. Ponce De Leon Blvd. John has been a producer, director, editor and actor. Writers will break into critique groups following John's presentation.
  • Ponte Vedra Writers round off the month with a special program of interest to both crime and mystery writers who want the inside scoop from a working police detective. Karen Smith is a detective with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the training coordinator for the Crime Scene Unit. She's been with JSO for ten years and investigated over 200 homicides and more than 3,000 other crimes. If you think crimes can be solved in an hour or less (with time for commercials) then you need to hear Detective Smith. She will use her knowledge of crime scene investigation to tell us the difference between what we see on CSI and Law and Order and real-life investigation. The meeting begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library.
More News for Writers
  • The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) is meeting on
    Saturday, September 19 from 1-3, at the Southeast Regional Library, 10599
    Deerwood Park Blvd, Jacksonville, Florida 32256. (904) 996-0325. Paul R. May will speak on Organizational Strategies for Novel Revision and Robyn Gioia will walk us through using Wikis. SCBWI meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Janet Walter at .
  • Mims Cushing will teach a writing class for writers of all persuasions at THE PLAYERS Community Senior Center in Ponte Vedra Beach. Mims describes it as "Not your eighth grade English teacher's writing class. No pressure, no grades." The class will meet on Wednesday afternoons from 12:30 to 1:30 for four weeks starting October 14. There is a minimum $10 donation which will go to the senior center. Call Mims at 285-5781 or make your reservations at 280-3233.
  • Frank Green continues to set records every week with his long-running critique sessions known as The Bard Society. They meet at 7:00 p.m. at Frank's home. Contact him for details at
  • The University of North Florida's Division of Continuing Education launches another season in their popular Learn Jacksonville personal enrichment programs. Among the dozens of excellent courses (including belly dancing and wine appreciation) are four writing courses of note. Sharon Cobb will teach three 1-day screenwriting courses for beginning, intermediate and advanced writers. John Boles will teach Introduction to Creative Writing, and Carol O'Dell leads a course on memoir writing. And the fourth course? That would be "Novel in a Day," with me as the headmaster. Novel in a Day is an interactive 1-day course taking writers through all the basic elements of novel writing. Held on Saturday, October 27, participants will leave with the outline for their next novel. Click on the link above for details of all the Learn Jacksonville courses.
At the Florida Heritage Writers Workshop last Friday, literary agent Lucienne Diver mentioned America's Next Best Celler Contest. Dorchester Publishing is looking for "the next New Voice in Romance." All genres of romance are welcome, and contestants must publish at least 20 chapters/6,000 words by November 1, 2009 on Textnovel. Voters will select the top ten finalists, with the winning mss receiving a $2,000 advance and publication by Dorchester.

Until the next update, keep writing, and I'll see you in the book stores.