Wednesday, March 02, 2011

New Publishing Models

The world of publishing is changing swiftly from a tree-based, ink platform to a digital one. More and more eReaders are joining the world of Kindles, Nooks, and iPads, with more and more authors becoming independent publishers. While formats and platforms evolve, one constant is the quality of the writing. In order to succeed, the author still needs to tell a good story with compelling characters. One way to stay on top of the shifting sands of publishing while honing your craft is to attend one or more of the monthly FWA chapter meetings, and possibly registering for a writers' conference. Take your pick from the following:
  • River City Writers, meeting Tuesday, March 9 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Regional Branch Library, welcomes Dr. Gigi Morales David. Dr. David is a professor in UNF's Department of Childhood Education and the author of several children's books. Her topic is "Writing for Children: A Call to Create." For more information, contact chapter leader, Gregg Golson at
  • Local author Charles Womack will discuss his new book, Things My Teacher Did Tell Me, at the Amelia Island Writers meeting on Tuesday, March 15 at 6:15 p.m. at Books Plus in Fernandina Beach. Chapter leader Maggie de Vries,, has the details.
  • Come back to the mainland for the next night's meeting of the Clay County Writers, Wednesday, March 16 at 6:15 p.m. at the Fleming Island Library. Author and UNF writing professor Sarah Clarke Stuart will share her experiences with publishers, journalists, social networking, and TV producers during her presentation, "The Fast Track from Query to Publication in 12 Months." She'll talk about how she wrote, published and promoted her non-fiction book, Literary Lost, Viewing the World of Literature through the Lens of Television. Contact chapter leader Maureen Jung with your query,
  • The Ancient City Writers gather at St. Augustine's Main Library on Saturday, March 19 at 10:15 a.m. to hear from FWA Regional Director Vic DiGenti. Vic will address one of the constants in writing — revision. In his workshop, "Battle Plans for Attacking the Revision Process," Vic lays out strategies and tactics designed to help both the novice and veteran writer revise with confidence. Visit the website for details.
  • Romantic suspense and mystery author Maggie Toussaint pays a visit to the Ponte Vedra Writers chapter on Saturday, March 26 at the Ponte Vedra Library at 10:30 a.m. Juggling both mysteries and romances, Maggie knows how important it is to polish your manuscript, and she'll provide seven clues for making your manuscript sparkle.
  • First Coast Christian Writers, an affiliate of FWA, meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library at 103rd and Chaffee Road. On Thursday, March 31, they will host RPLA award-winning authors, Rebekah Hunter Scott and Michael Ray King, who will talk about query letters from the author's and publisher's point of view.
Lots going on for writers:
  • Sleuthfest 2011 starts tomorrow in Deerfield Beach. Presented by the Florida chapter of Mystery Writers of America, it features talks by major authors like Dennis Lehane, Meg Gardiner and SJ Rozan, plus panel discussions, a forensics track, and much more.
  • Also this weekend is the Steve Berry Craft of Writing 5-hour workshop at World Golf Village. Visit the Florida Heritage Book Festival website for details.
  • Playwright David Zellnik hosts a free writers' workshop on developing character and voice this Saturday, March 5 at 1:30 p.m. at the Hippodrome Theatre Cinema in Gainesville. Zellnik, whose play, Serendib, is currently on stage at the Hippodrome, says the "Finding A Voice" workshop contains both lecture and writing components. His play, Yank, opens on Broadway in the fall. More information here.
  • Saturday, March 5 is a busy day for writers. The Florida Sisters in Crime chapter meets that day to hear from Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford. They meet at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Regional Library.
  • Registration is now open for the UNF Writers Conference, August 7 - 9. Along with a day of workshops, the conference offers intensive critique workshops in many fiction genres plus non-fiction and poetry. For the first time, the conference offers a 3-hour seminar on the basics of ePublishing, plus a panel on "How I Got My Agent.". Visit the website for details.
  • March 18 - 20, the Tallahassee Book Festival & Writers Conference features Cassandra King, James Scott Bell, Lee Gutkind and more. Details here.
  • Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) meets Saturday, March 19 at 1:00 p.m. at the SE Regional Library in Deerwood. The topic is eBooks. Contact Janet Walter with questions,
  • In May you can check out several conferences. The Scribblers' Retreat Writers' Conference, May 12 - 14 at the King & Prince Beach & Golf Resort on St. Simon's Island, features bestselling authors Phillip Margolin and Diana Gaboldon, among others.
  • Also in May, Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne presents its Creative Writing Institute, May 22 - 26. Keynoters and lecturers include Susan Hubbard, John Dufresne, and Leonard Nash.
  • A reminder that FWA's "Let's Talk" Collection is open for submissions. The dialogue-only story should prove to be both challenging and fun. Visit the FWA website for guidelines and an example.
  • Florida Sisters in Crime is sponsoring a short-short story contest for members and non-members alike. 75- words max, $5 submission fee, check the website for details.
  • The University of Tulsa's Nimrod International Journal announces its 33rd annual Nimrod Literary Awards. The Awards offer hefty cash prizes for fiction and poetry winners. Click here for details.
FWA Members At Work:
  • Tim Robinson has been invited to be a guest author at the MegaCon SF convention in Orlando, March 25-27. Tim is the author of three fantasy novels.
  • Ken Gorman has published his fourth novel, Compelled.
  • Janie Wilkins has published, Janie's Unbelievable Journey.
  • Sharon Y. Cobb presents the 1-day class, "Blogging for Business & Pleasure," on March 12 as part of the UNF Learn Jacksonville program.
  • Mary Bridgman presents "Market Your Work as a Freelance Writer," at the UNF Learning Center in April.
  • And on April 16, Vic DiGenti presents his next "Novel in a Day" workshop at UNF. Course schedule and details here.
FWA members can send me their announcements of new publications and other accomplishments to share with the cyber world.

That's it until next time.


Victor DiGenti
FWA Regional Director