Wednesday, June 01, 2011

What's Happening in NE Florida?

Thinking about heading to the mountains to cool off? Before you do, check out all the meetings and happenings for NE Florida writers.

  • River City Writers meets on Tuesday, June 14 at the SE Branch Library, Gate Parkway and Deerwood Park Blvd., at 7PM. Contact group leader Gregg Golson,, for details.
  • Publishing coach Rik Feeney talks about "How to Get Published in 60 Days," and other approaches to completing your book project at this month's Clay County Writers' meeting, Wednesday, June 15 at 6:15PM at the Fleming Island Library. Group leader Maureen Jung,, has all the latest info,.
  • Ancient City Writers of St. Augustine have a special guest speaker you will want to meet and hear. Longtime entertainment journalist Leslie Halpern has interviewed hundreds of celebrities as a writer for The Hollywood Reporter, Daily Variety, Just for Laughs, and dozens of other print and online publications. She will discuss how authors can overcome their fear of interviewing important people, and their own fears of being interviewed. The group meets at 10:15AM at St. Augustine's Main Library on Saturday, June 18.
  • Amelia Island Writers meet on Tuesday, June 21 at Books Plus in Fernandina Beach. Gather round the book stacks at 6PM for a discussion of writing and publishing. Contact Maggie deVries for more information,
  • FWA Affiliate, First Coast Christian Writers, meet each Thursday at 6:45PM at the Webb-Wesconnett Branch Library. Contact Tracy Redman,, for details.
  • The final FWA meeting of the month falls on Saturday, June 25 as the Ponte Vedra Writers gather at 10:30AM at the Ponte Vedra Library to hear writing instructor and SF author, Sandra McDonald. Sandra is the award-winning author of three SF novels (Tor Books) and a collection of short stories. She was also a winner in the 2010 Lambda Literary Awards. If you missed last year's UNF Writers Conference, you'll have a chance to hear Sandra's reprise of her packed workshop, "7-7-7 – 7 Skills, 7 Exercises, 7 Minutes," in which she'll share seven essential ingredients for improving your writing in her own masterful way.
Other Writer Meetings:
  • Florida Sisters in Crime meets Saturday, June 4 at 10:30AM at the SE Regional Library. Special guest is Betsy Moore of the Jacksonville Medical Examiner's Office.
  • Writers for children, YA and middle grade readers take note that the Jacksonville chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCWBI) meets on the 3rd Saturday of the month at the SE Regional Library from 1 to 3PM.
  • You're one day late to take advantage of the early bird registration fee for the UNF Writers Conference, August 5 - 7. Beginning today through July 8, the cost increases to $349 for the 3-day conference, which includes a full day of workshops, intense critique workshops in a variety of genres, lunches, an author reception, and a Sunday afternoon epublishing workshop. Check it out here.
  • The Florida Heritage Book Festival recognizes Florida authors Randy Wayne White and Peter Matthiessen with Lifetime Achievement Awards. The duo will be honored at the September 23 Literary Legends Awards banquet at the World Golf Village Renaissance Center, kicking off the 2-day festival. Among the line-up of outstanding authors appearing this year are Robert Olen Butler, James W. Hall. Mary Anna Evans, Les Standiford, Elizabeth Stuckey-French, James O'Neal and many others.
  • FWA's 10th annual conference promises to be bigger and better than ever. SOAR! 10 Years of Reaching New Heights will celebrate the achievements and amazing growth of FWA from a germ of an idea birthed here in NE Florida by Glenda Ivey, to a multi-state organization with more than 1,100 members. Although the conference is set for October 21 - 23, you might want to take advantage of the Florida Writers Foundation special workshop on Thursday, October 20. The FWA Foundation, which supports literacy projects in the state, presents New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry's popular workshop, "Writing Lessons from A Bestseller." Berry's day-long workshop focuses on the craft of writing and covers "The Four C's of Story Structure," effective dialogue, POV, Steve's "10 Rules of Writing," and more. Keep checking the FWA Network and FWA website for details on how to register.
  • Ancient City Romance Writers meet on the 4th Saturday of the month at the SE Regional Library at 12:30PM. Contact Kathy Bain for details,
Kudos to FWA Members:
  • Congratulations to Nancy Murray, winner in the 2011 International Book Awards for YA Fiction for her book, The Night the Elephants Cried – A Story of the Tsunami. The novel is based on a BBC news report of elephants trumpeting three hours before the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami hit.
  • Tony Tymbol announces the first in the Cybil Raven Chronicles series, Cybil Raven: Miracle at St. Rita, will be available as an ebook in early August. Tony and his co-author, Crystal Craven, are offering the short introduction to the series as a free pdf at the website. BTW, Tony is one of the epublishing instructors at the UNF Writers Conference epublishing seminar on Sunday, August 7.
In case you missed my last Novel In A Day workshop at UNF, another is planned for Saturday, June 18. The day-long workshop provides you with all the basics needed for your novel, from plot and structure to character development and dialogue. It's part of the UNF Continuing Education's Learn Jacksonville program. Look for registration information here.

Until next time, keep writing and enjoy life.


Victor DiGenti
FWA Regional Director