Welcome to NE Florida where we skipped right past winter and spring into summer. Or so it seems. Let's use the rise in body temperature as an indication of how things are heating up for area writers. Take a look at this month's FWA meetings followed by news of other writing groups and activities.
- River City Writers meet on Tuesday, April 10 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. Rik Feeney has some excellent advice on how to "Sell Your Book in 30 Seconds: Elevator Speech Basics and Marketing Mechanics that Sell Books." Contact group leader Gregg Golson for more information.
- The Amelia Island Writers assemble around the stacks of Books Plus in Fernandina Beach on Tuesday, April 17 at 6:15 p.m. where group leader and store proprietor Maggie de Vries holds court. Give Maggie a call, 904-321-6180, if you need more information.
- Clay County Writers meet on Wednesday, April 18 at the Fleming Island Library. Major Domo Maureen Jung has details.
- Writers interested in learning more about epublishing will be interested in attending the April 21 meeting of Ancient City Writers, 10:15 a.m. at St. Augustine's Main Library. NE Florida FWA Regional Director Vic DiGenti presents "ePublishing 101," an overview of how digital publishing has changed the publishing landscape and how writers can climb aboard the e-bandwagon.
- Ponte Vedra Writers welcome literary agent and author Holly McClure to the Ponte Vedra Library on Saturday, April 28 at 10:30 a.m. We're putting Holly to work, first as a speaker on the topic of "The Successful Submission." Holly says she'll tell us how to improve the odds of getting accepted; what keeps them reading past the first page and what sends a signal that your book isn't quite ready for prime time. In the next hour Holly will field a group pitch session, hearing your pitches and giving pointers on how to improve. Arrive early if you want to get a seat.
- Learn how to work with the media to get publicity for your books from Brandy Hilboldt Allport, book page editor for The Florida Times-Union, tonight, Tuesday, April 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Children's Book Writers meeting at the SE Regional Library. The group meets on the first Tuesday of the month, and group leaders Jane Wood and Fran Keiser, welcome all children's book writers in the area.
- Marie Vernon headlines this month's Florida Sisters in Crime meeting, Saturday, April 7 at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Regional Library. Marie turned from writing true crime to novels, and she'll discuss her newest endeavor, Graceland Express, which she calls "A crime caper with an Elvis twist." President Pam Wells has more information.
- North Florida Writers will critique manuscripts at their monthly meeting, Saturday, April 14, 2:00 p.m. at the Willowbranch Library. The meeting is open to all.
- First Coast Christian Writers meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at Webb-Wesconnett Library, 103rd and Harlow Blvd.
- First Coast Romance Writers meet the second Saturday of the month, 10:15 a.m. at the West Regional Library on Chaffee Road.
- "Take the Fear & Loathing Out of Twitter" is the title of Kellie Sharpe's presentation for the Ancient City Romance Authors, Saturday, April 28 at Village Bread Cafe at 12:30 p.m.
- It's not too late to register for FWA's Spring Mini-Conference, Saturday, April 21 in Altamonte Springs. Here's the conference flyer with all the details.
- More FWA news: "My Wheels" is the theme for this year's FWA annual Collections. The deadline is May 15 and there's a 1,200 word limit. Read the guidelines and enter today.
- Speaking of deadlines, we missed the 3/31 early bird deadline for entering the Royal Palm Literary Award Competition with a $30 fee. It's now $40 per entry, but you have until June 15 to submit in a wide variety of categories. Winners will be announced at this year's conference, The Magic of the Pen. RPLA details here.
- The FWA Conference kicks off with a daylong seminar by noted crime author R. J. Ellery. "Writing Wrongs: A Workshop on Crime Fiction & Thrillers," Thursday, October 18 at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary. The workshop helps support the Florida Writers Foundation, FWA's charitable arm in support of literacy. Read more about it at Chris Hamilton's FWA Conference Blog.
- And if workshops are your thing, the Florida Heritage Book Festival has an expanded Writers Conference right in our own backyard. With more workshops, acclaimed keynoters, and a new location, it's worth checking out. The Writers Conference has moved to the St. Johns County Convention Center at Renaissance World Golf Village Resort (yes, that's a fancy name for the hotel), starting Thursday, September 13 with two concurrent 3-hour workshops presented by Adrian Fogelin and Sasha ZeBryk. That evening, also at WGV, bestselling author Jeff Lindsay will deliver the opening keynote address. Jeff is the author of the popular Dexter novels which served as the inspiration for the long-running Showtime series. The Writers Conference continues the next morning with a full day of workshops covering the craft and business of writing. More information next time, but all the details can be found on the FHBF website.
- The deadline for the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition is May 15. The competition has a $15 entry fee if submitted by May 1, $20 after that date. There's a $1,500 cash prize for the first place winner plus publication in Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts. Visit the website for more details.
- And finally, there are children's book writers and children book writers. The New York Times reports on the growing trend of kid's as published authors (with the help of their parents).
Keep burning up that word processor,
FWA Regional Director