Thursday, February 04, 2010

February FWA Blog

We're entering the busy season for writers with numerous festivals and conferences coming our way in February and March. But every month is busy with six FWA chapters here in NE Florida, so let's get right to it.
  • First Coast Christian Writers meet each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. in room 513 of Christ Church, 6045 Greenland Road. Affiliated with FWA, FCCW is open to all writers. Contact Tracy Redman,
  • River City Writers meet Tuesday, February 9 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Regional Library off Gate Parkway. Group leader Gregg Golson will speak on "The Best of the SCBWI Miami Conference." Several area writers attended the regional children's author conference billed as a "meat and bones" affair. A critique session will follow Gregg's talk.
  • Amelia Island Writers have moved to Books Plus, 107 Centre Street in historic Fernandina Beach, Florida. They meet at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 16. Lucy Beebe Tobias, author of Fifty Great Walks in Florida, will present a program based on her travel book. Contact leader Maggie de Vries for information,
  • Clay County Writers hold their second meeting on Wednesday, February 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fleming Island Library, 1895 Town Center Blvd. Rik Feeney is the guest speaker. Contact Maureen Jung for details,
  • Ancient City Writers usually meet on the third Saturday of the month at 10:15 a.m. at the St. Augustine Main Library, but the IRS folks have booted them out this month. Look for them on March 20, same time, same place.
  • Ponte Vedra Writers meet on Saturday, February 27 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library, 101 Library Blvd. Novelist Arliss Ryan will present a program on "How to Research and Write the Historical Novel." She promises to tell us 15 things every author needs to know to research and incorporate history into an engaging novel. Arliss, pictured at right, is the author of three novels, two of them historicals, including The Kingsley House (St. Martin's Press), and The Secret Confessions of Anne Shakespeare. She's also the author of How (not) To Have a Perfect Wedding. Her short stories have appeared in more than 20 literary magazines.
Also happening this month:
  • Thriller author Vince Flynn kicks off the Savannah Book Festival, February 5 - 7, Friday at 5:30 p.m. at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Savannah.
  • The Florida Chapter of Sisters in Crime meets on the first Saturday of the month, February 6, at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Regional Library. This month's speaker is Michael A. Knox, a forensic consultant and accredited traffic accident reconstructionist. All genders are welcome.
  • First Coast Romance Writers have a full program this month with two speakers. They meet on Saturday, February 13 at 10:15 a.m. at the West Regional Library on Chaffee Road. The first speaker is Dawn Josephsen, who will speak on "Go from Hobby to Profession: Make Your Dreams a Reality." After a business meeting, the group will hear from Terri Odell on"Plotting for Non-Plotters."
  • Amelia Island Book Festival has a full menu of tasty treats starting with the Friday Writers Workshop on February 12 at the Yulee campus of Florida State College. A full day of excellent workshops (including mine on Beginnings, Middles & Ends), plus lunch with keynoters Rick Bragg and Sonny Brewer. Saturday's events include a breakfast with Cassandra King and Janis Owens, a luncheon with keynoter Jeff Shaara, and "A Night with Poppy," featuring Pat Conroy and his daughter Melissa. Of course the free author talks and panels continue all day Saturday at St. Peters Episcopal Church at 8th and Centre Street.
  • Much Ado About Books launches its 15th annual book festival with a five-hour writers workshop presented by New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry and his wife Liz. Together, they will cover key elements in the craft of writing, including the business of writing. The $100 fee goes to the Jacksonville Public Library where the festival is being held.
  • SCBWI meets on Saturday, February 20 at 1:00 p.m. at the SE Regional Library. They will also review the highlights of the Miami Regional Conference and hear from Gregg Golson. Contact Janet Walter at
  • The 4th Annual Do It Write Conference in New Port Richey is scheduled for Sunday, April 11. Tor Books senior editor Claire Eddy is one of the featured speakers. I include this because it's a 1-day conference sponsored by FWA, but also because they picked up the literary competition we started here. If you're looking for another competition before the Royal Palm Literary Competition gets underway, visit them here.
  • And speaking of competitions, the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition has issued its call for entries. The competition has been on-going since 1981 and it offers a total of $2,000 in prizes. Visit the website for details.
  • And finally, my BSP Syndrome (Blatant Self Promotion) requires me to announce that the next two Novel in a Day workshops are open for registration now through the University of North Florida's Learn Jacksonville program. The full-day interactive workshops cover many of the essentials needed to write your novel. See also writing workshops presented by John Boles, Sharon Cobb and Carol O'Dell.
I'll leave you with this choice quote by none other than Abe Lincoln,
"The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who'll get me a book I ain't read."

All the best,

Victor DiGenti
FWA Regional Director