Wednesday, January 05, 2011

2011 Resolutions

What are your writing New Year's Resolutions? To finish your book? To write more, procrastinate less? To get better at your craft? Whatever they are, staying involved with other writers and attending more FWA meetings can help you stay on course to achieve your goals. FWA brings together writers seeking common goals and motivates them with monthly chapter meetings offering speakers who will help you move from novice writer to published author.

Here's what's scheduled for January:
  • River City Writers next meets on Tuesday, January 11 at 7:00 p.m. at the Southeast Regional Branch Library off Gate Parkway. Gregg Golson has the details,
  • Barnes & Noble offers opportunities for authors to be published using their digital book system. Learn about it at the Ancient City Writers meeting on Saturday, January 15 at 10:15 a.m. at St. Augustine's Main Library. Brad West, an assistant manager for the St. Augustine B&N store, will fill us in on all things electronic.
  • Maggie deVries leads the Amelia Island Writers chapter, meeting on Tuesday, January 18 at 6:00 p.m. at Maggie's book store, Books Plus on Centre Street in Fernandina Beach. Call Maggie at 321-6180 for more information.
  • Clay County Writers get you ready to write your memoir at their January 19 meeting at 6:15 p.m. at the Fleming Island Library. Lillian Kiernan Brown, author of Banned in Boston: Memoirs of A Stripper, presents "Creating Memoirs from Your Memories," and shows you how to get started recording your own personal history. Brown's memoir chronicled her days as a burlesque dancer, a brief career she started when she was only fourteen years old. Contact Maureen Jung at for details.
  • After a holiday hiatus, I'm reconvening the Ponte Vedra Writers chapter for a Saturday, January 22nd meeting at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. Flagler College Creative Writing Professor Jim Wilson promises an entertaining and interactive morning with his presentation, "Hanging About Under Trees in Thunderstorms." He explains the title with a quote from playwright Tom Stoppard. "I know there are writers who are not going to live long enough to do justice to all the ideas they have, but to me it's like being struck by lightning—and I feel just as powerless to make it happen—even, as it were, by hanging about under trees in a thunderstorm." Dr. Wilson will discuss techniques for fiction writing that will help alleviate the frustration of not having ideas, or of having too many ideas. Bring along pen and paper.
  • The First Coast Christian Writers chapter, an affiliate of FWA, meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at Christ's Church on Greenland Road. Contact Tracy Redman for more information,
And in other news:
  • New York Times best selling author Steve Berry will teach a day-long seminar on the craft of writing as a benefit for the Florida Heritage Book Festival. The workshop, which includes lunch, is scheduled for Saturday, March 5 at the Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village. Morning sessions include the Fours C's of Story Structure, effective dialogue, point of view, and Steve's 10 Rules of Writing. Following the luncheon, where Steve will entertain with stories of his 85 rejections before being published, he'll talk about the business of writing and answer questions. Early Bird registration through January 31 is $80, $100 through March 1, and $110 at the door. If you'd like to sit at Steve's table during lunch, you have to ante up $125. Visit the website to register.
  • And if you can't wait until March to see and hear Steve Berry, he will appear at the Ponte Vedra Library this Monday, January 10 at 6:30 p.m. as part of the Friends of the Library program, Book Talk Cafe. Steve will discuss, sign and sell his newest international thriller, The Emperor's Tomb. The program is free and open to the public with light refreshments offered.
  • FWA is offering a timely and comprehensive 4-hour E-Book Seminar with bestselling author James Swain. Swain is the author of 14 bestselling mysteries, and recently released four original novels as e-books on The books are all listed as Kindle's Bestsellers, and Swain has used this experience to craft a workshop detailing the nuts and bolts of e-book publishing. He'll explain this rapidly growing market and talk about the basics like formatting, cover images, pricing and marketing. And if that's not enough, you'll receive Blueprint for Success, a 48-page notebook giving step-by-step instructions on how to be part of this publishing revolution. The workshop is set for Saturday, January 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 11802 N. Dale Mabry in Tampa. Click here to see more information on Swain's workshop as well as to register.
  • This year's Flagler College Writers-in-Residence series gets off to a roaring start this month with a visit from master storyteller, Pat Conroy. Aside from working with the English and creative writing students, Conroy will speak at 7:00 p.m. at the Flagler College Auditorium on January 11. Other authors in the series include John Dufresne, Stetson Kennedy, Masha Hamilton, and Connie May Fowler. Each of the public talks is free, but tickets are available on a first-come basis. Visit the website for more information.
  • Florida Sisters in Crime meets Saturday, January 8 at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Branch Library. Glynn Marsh Alam, author of the Luanne Fogarty mystery series is the featured speaker. Contact Pam Wells,, with any questions.
  • Howard Denson reports that the North Florida Writers has a new home. They will meet at the Willowbranch Library in Riverside starting Saturday, January 8 at 2:00 p.m. and will hear from Steve Piscitelli, a Florida State College professor and author of 8 books. Write Howard at
  • Author Marianne LaCroix gives a workshop on "Creating Your Online Presence," at the January 22nd meeting of Ancient City Romance Writers. They meet at 12:30 p.m. at the SE Regional Branch Library.
  • Maybe it's a romance thing, but the First Coast Romance Writers, meeting Saturday, January 8 at 10:30 a.m. at the West Regional Library on Chafee Road, addresses a similar topic, "Building Your Online Platform with Websites, Blogs and Social Media."
And don't forget:
That's more than enough to digest as we plunge into 2011.

All the best in the New Year,

Vic DiGenti
Regional Director
Florida Writers Association