Thursday, February 03, 2011

Writers Write

As a world champion procrastinator, I had to keep reminding myself that writers are people who write, not people who like to think of themselves as writers. When I first began writing, I actually made myself a sign reading, Writers Are People Who Write, and taped it above my desk to remind me to keep writing. Attending writer's meetings is a good way to stay engaged and motivated, which is why FWA brings you another month of outstanding programs.
  • River City Writers meets Tuesday, February 8 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Regional Library. Contact Gregg Golson,, for more information.
  • Amelia Island Writers meets at Books Plus on Centre Street in Fernandina Beach. Group Leader and store proprietor Maggie de Vries welcomes author Deborah Cottle, Success Simplified, on Tuesday, February 15 at 6:15 p.m.
  • Clay County Writers convene at the Fleming Island Library on Wednesday, February 16 at 6:15 p.m. to hear from Jan and Hank Racer. The husband and wife author/illustrator team of Marky the Barking Bullfrog, will provide the steps necessary to getting published. They'll discuss how to take your book from manuscript to publication and decide between the various publishing options. Hank is also the author of the YA novels, The River Rats (which took 1st place in the RPLA's) and The River Rats: Riddle Me a Mystery. Contact Maureen Jung,, for meeting details.
  • St. Augustine's Ancient City Writers will not meet this month as their venue will be co-opted by the tax preparers. Their next meeting is set for Saturday, March 19 at 10:15 a.m. at St. Augustine's Main Library. Guest speaker, Vic DiGenti, presents a workshop titled, "Battle Plans for Attacking the Revision Process."
  • Elizabeth Sinclair is an outstanding and multi-published romance author. She's also an excellent speaker, and at this month's Ponte Vedra Writers meeting, Saturday, February 26 at 10:30 a.m., she'll talk about some of the key building blocks of a novel's structure, "GMC — Goal, Motivation, Conflict." GMC will give strong, believable support to your plot and characters while sustaining your narrative through multiple plot twists. Her first romance reached #2 on the Walden Bestseller List, and Elizabeth has gone on to write 17 more with a variety of publishers including Harlequin, Kensington and Medallion Press.
  • First Coast Christian Writers, an affiliate of FWA, has moved its meeting space to the Webb-Wesconnett Regional Library on Chaffee Road, but still meeting each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. Contact Tracy Redman,, for more information.
Also of Interest for NE Florida Writers:
  • Florida Sisters in Crime meet Saturday, February 5 at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Regional Library. Nancy Quatrano, one of the leaders of the Ancient City Writers FWA chapter, has been published in short fiction since 1999. Several of her short stories have won awards, including placing in the 75th Annual Writers Digest Competition. Contact Pam Wells,, with any questions.
  • The official submission guidelines are up for FWA Collection #3 – Let's Talk. All kinds of stories are eligible, as long as it's all dialogue. Kinda tricky, but should be fun. Entries will be accepted through May 15, and, of course, you must be a member to submit.
  • You may still be able to get a spot in the Next Level Craft Intensive workshop presented by award-winning author Joyce Sweeney and Woodstream Writers director, Jamie Morris. Over three days, February 4 - 6, The Next Level: Scene & Structure, will cover POV, writing scenes, strategies for backstory, and creating suspense. Contact Jamie at, 407-644-5163, or Joyce at
  • Amelia Island Book Festival presents a day of writers workshops on Friday, February 18 at the Betty Cook Nassau County Campus of Florida State College/Jacksonville. Cost of the workshop is $85 and includes lunch with keynoter, New York Times bestselling author Susan Vreeland. Saturday's sessions at St. Peter's Episcopal Church campus are free. Click on the link for details.
  • For those of you not attending the Book Festival on Saturday, you have the option of attending the monthly meeting of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) at 1:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Regional Library. Janet Walter has details,
  • Another February 19 option is the Novel In A Day workshop presented by award-winning author Vic DiGenti. The full-day workshop covers all the essential elements of the novel, including plot, characterization, scene and sequel, POV, setting and dialogue. Information and registration details may be found on the University of North Florida's Learn Jacksonville website.
  • Steve Berry's Craft of Writing Workshop is beginning to fill up. Planned for Saturday, March 5 at the World Golf Village's Renaissance Center Resort, the workshop benefits the Florida Heritage Book Festival. Berry will cover the Four C's of Story Structure, effective dialogue, point of view, and more. Cost for the workshop is $100. More information may be found here.
  • The First Coast Romance Writers meet on Saturday, February 12 at 10:30 a.m. at the West Regional Library, 1425 Chaffee Road, to hear from Lani Diane Rich and Lucy March on "Structure in Storytelling." And their Annual Southern Lights Writers Conference is set for March 12 at the Jacksonville Marriott. Details on the meeting and conference are on the website.
  • Lonely crime writers don't have to spend Valentine's Day alone. Come to the Ponte Vedra Library at 6:30 on February 14 to hear Florida Book Award winner Michael Lister. Lister, a former prison chaplain who wrote a series of acclaimed mysteries featuring a cop turned prison chaplain, will talk about his love of writing and his love for the wilds of Florida's panhandle region where he lives.
That's more than enough to keep you motivated this month. I'll leave you with a word of wisdom from the pen of Jack London, "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."


Victor DiGenti
FWA Regional Director