Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Conference Notes & Morel

Time is growing short to register for the 7th Annual Florida Writers Conference — October 22 - 24 at the Orlando Marriott - Lake Mary. Aside from the many workshops, pitch sessions and the RPLA Banquet, don't forget about the Foundation Fundraiser Day with five excellent full-day workshops to choose from, including my Novel In A Day workshop. There's still time to register for both the Foundation Fundraiser Day on Thursday, October 21, and the full conference. The above link will take you to the FWA home page. Scroll down from there to find links to the conference and the Fundraiser Day.

This is a good way to find out if your manuscript is ready for prime time by pitching one of the many agents or acquisition editors available at the conference. You'll find the full list online, but here are a few of the many agents and editors to choose from:

Janell W. Agyeman Marie Brown Associates Literary Services – Adult Nonfiction, Health and Wellness, African American, Latino or African Diaspora History, Cultural Topics, Family and Child Development, Memoirs, Biography, Young Adult Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction (no vampires), Historical Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Series Titles
Robert Brown Wylie-Merrick Literary Agency – Cozies, Contemporary and Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, New Adult Fiction
Amy Burkhardt Kimberly Cameron & Associates – Fiction, Nonfiction, Women’s Fiction, Mysteries, Historical Fiction, Narrative Nonfiction, Memoirs, Lifestyle, Humor, Food, Current Events, Human Nature
Mary Kole Andrea Brown Literary Agency – Young Adult, Middle Grade, Picture Books (No High Fantasy, Sci Fi, Thrillers, or Horror)
Sharene Martin Brown Wylie Merrick Literary Agency – Woman’s, Erotica, Romance, GLBT
Rebecca Melvin Double Edge Press – Christian Themes, Fiction, Nonfiction
Kirsten Neuhaus Kirsten Neuhaus Literary – Narrative Nonfiction, Current Events, International Affairs, Cultural Studies, Strong Female Protagonists, Well-written Fiction
Mary Sue Seymour The Seymour Agency – Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, Romance Suspense, Paranormal Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Romance

The Royal Palm Literary Awards competition always provides an extra shot of adrenaline as we hear the winners in the various categories. Historically, there have been numerous winners from our part of the state. If you're attending the conference, let's put together a couple of NE Florida tables to cheer on our fellow writers. See you there.

FWA Chapter Meetings for October:
  • The First Coast Christian Writers, an affiliate of FWA, meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at Christ's Church on Greenland Road. Contact Tracy Redman at for details.
  • River City Writers meets on Tuesday, October 12 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Regional Branch Library off Gate Parkway on Deerwood Park Blvd. in Jacksonville. Gregg Golson,, has the details.
  • Head to St. Augustine for the Saturday, October 16 meeting of Ancient City Writers, 10:15 a.m. at the city's Main Library on Ponce de Leon Blvd. Author Nancy Quatrano will lead an interactive workshop titled, "Write It Short–Write It Tight." Nancy, who is one of the coordinators for the Ancient City chapter, has published many short fiction pieces in various magazines and anthologies since 1999. She says the program is "geared to empower all writers, regardless of genre, to understand and employ the techniques of writing tight as they might apply to their work. Several notable novelists agree, they write much better novels because they learned to master the craft of writing short, first."
  • The Amelia Island Writers will meet at Books Plus in Fernandina Beach on Tuesday, October 19 at 6:00 p.m. Call chapter leader Maggie deVries at 321-6180 for more information.
  • This month's early voting takes place in many of the branch libraries, affecting the meeting space for several of our chapters. This applies to the Clay County Writers whose meeting on Wednesday, October 20 at 6:30 p.m. has been moved from the Fleming Island Library to McAlister’s Deli, 1615 County Road 220, behind O'Charley's Restaurant in Fleming Island, not far from the library. Chapter leader Maureen Jung, Maureen Jung,, has a special guest speaker this month. He's psychologist Matthew Barrett who will speak on, “Creative Writing for Writers and Storytellers: Brain-based strategies for story-building.” Sounds like a winning combination — a good craft talk and a hot pastrami sandwich.
  • The October 23 meeting of the Ponte Vedra Writers has been cancelled since it falls on the weekend of the FWA Conference. It didn't help that the county booted us out of our meeting room for early voting, and with no deli around the corner, it seemed best to cancel. Take advantage of any of the other meetings taking place this month.
Other Meetings & Events for Area Writers:
  • Author Elizabeth Sinclair will do a hands-on workshop on GMC (Goal, Motivation, Conflict) for the Ancient City Romance Writers, Saturday, October 23 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the SE Regional Branch Library. Guests are welcome. Visit the website for details.
  • Deadline for the First Coast Romance Writers 2010 Unpublished Beacon Contest is this Friday, October, 8. The first 30 pages are required with an optional synopsis. Click here for all the details.
  • The Society for Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) holds its monthly meeting on Saturday, October 16 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the SE Regional Library in Deerwood. Chapter president Janet Walter calls this one a "Meet, Greet & Critique." Bring samples of your work to read aloud. Contact Janet at
  • Bestselling author Michael Connelly headlines the Alachua County Library District Foundation Author Gala on Sunday, November 7 at 5:00 p.m. at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center in Gainesville. If you missed seeing Connelly at last year's Literary Legends Awards banquet, here's your chance.
  • Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, is among the line-up of speakers at the Scribblers' Retreat & Writer's Conference, November 11-13 at the Oceanfront King & Prince Resort on St. Simon's Island.
  • The 2011 Eckerd College Writer's Conference: Writers in Paradise, is set for January 15-23 with a faculty of bestselling authors including Dennis Lehane, Richard Russo, and Michael Koryta.
  • The Tampa Writer's Alliance has issued a call for entries for it's annual Writer's Contest. This is a good way to practice for the next RPLA Competition as they are accepting entries through October 31 in 18 categories.
  • Frank Green continues with the area's longest-running critique session with his weekly hosting of the Bard Society. Contact Frank at
  • The University of North Florida's Continuing Education Department has a number of excellent writing courses scheduled as part of its Learn Jacksonville program. These include Advanced Memoir Writing with Thelma Young, several screenwriting courses with Sharon Y. Cobb, John Boles' Creative Writing workshops, and my newest workshop, Creative Writing: From Manuscript to Publication. For course details, click on the above link then click on View Current Courses to see the entire schedule of classes.

That's it for now. Make your plans to attend one of listed meetings, and maybe I'll see you at the FWA Writer's Conference.

All the best,


Victor DiGenti
Regional Director