Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Surge

As school kids we looked forward to summer as a time to put books and homework behind us. Endless play was the rallying cry. While those days are ancient history for some of us, summer is still something special. A time for family vacations, recharging batteries and, as writers, moving forward with our projects and writing plans.

To that end, FWA presents a sizzling line-up of programs in June. Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, there are valuable lessons to be learned. Check out these upcoming meetings:

  • River City Writers meet on Tuesday, June 12 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Regional Library, 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd. Contact Gregg Golson for details. 
  • Ancient City Writers congregate at St. Augustine's Main Library on Saturday, June 16 at 10:15 a.m. to hear from Jamie Williams, Community Relations Manager for the Town Center Barnes & Noble. Jamie will talk about "How to Market Your Book with B&N Booksellers." Contact Judy Weber or Dianne Ell for details.
  • The Amelia Island Writers group meets on Tuesday, June 19 at 6:15 p.m. at Books Plus in Fernandina Beach. Group leader Maggie Carter-de Vries will lead a critique session. Bring your pages and bring a friend. Need more info? Call Maggie at 904-321-6180.
  • Author Marie Vernon relates how she turned an interview with an Elvis fan into her novel, Graceland Express, at the Wednesday, June 20 meeting of Clay County Writers. The meeting begins at 6:15 p.m. at the Fleming Island Library, 1895 Town Center Blvd. in Fleming Island. Group Leader Maureen Jung has details.
  • Ponte Vedra Writers will hear from Michael Hamilton, a former senior editor for John Wiley & Sons, on Saturday, June 23 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. Mike will discuss the various steps necessary in getting your book published, particularly non-fiction books and how to structure a book proposal. 
  • First Coast Christian Writers, an FWA affiliate, meet each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the West Regional Library. Contact FCCW president Lynn Rix for details.
And that's not all!
  • Florida Sisters in Crime meets Saturday, June 2 at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Regional Library. Mystery author Parker Francis is the guest speaker and he tells us how he turned historical fact into fiction in his latest Quint Mitchell Mystery, Matanzas Bay. 
  • Finding success as a writers may seem more like a roll of the dice than talent, but networking is also important. The Tuesday, June 5 meeting of Children's Book Writers addresses "Making Connections," with author/writing instructor/FWA Regional Director Vic DiGenti talking about the opportunities available to writers and how to use them to promote yourself and market your books. They meet at 6:30 p.m. at the SE Regional Library. 
  • Ancient City Romance Writers will present an "Inspirational Writer's Panel" featuring four authors of Christian fiction at their Saturday, June 23 meeting, 1:00 p.m. at the SE Regional Library. Visit their website for more information.
  • Register early for the FWA Conference, The Magic of the Pen, and receive a free gift.
  • Time is running out to enter this year's Royal Palm Literary Awards competition. The deadline is June 15. Find all the submission details here.
  • And speaking of deadlines, the early bird deadline for the July 14 workshop, "E-Publishing – The Future is Now!" is today, May 31. Tomorrow the registration fee increases from $50 to $60 and $75 at the door. The workshop features specifics on how to convert your manuscript to a Kindle e-book, adding illustrations to e-books, what works for cover art and what doesn't, common editing blunders, and one dozen marketing tips to help you sell your ebooks. The workshop faculty includes Sharon Y. Cobb, Vic DiGenti, Rik Feeney, John Simmons, Deborrah Hoag, and Fran Keiser. Presented by the Florida Heritage Book Festival, more information and registration details can be found here.
  • While you're on the FHBF site, check out the schedule of events, including the September 13 & 14 Writers Conference at World Golf Village, which will include workshop sessions by Steve Berry, Adrian Fogelin, William McKeen, Sharon Y. Cobb, Sasha ZeBryk and many more. And if you're a fan of the "Dexter" Showtime series, author Jeff Lindsay, who writes the novels upon which the popular series is based, will keynote the Festival on Thursday evening, July 13. All the details are on the FHBF pages, along with the Literary Legends Banquet, which this year honors Pulitzer Prize-winning crime author, Edna Buchanan. And be sure to check out the Marketplace page for details on how you can sell your books during the festival. It's open to authors, publishers and any business targeting readers and writers.
  • The UNF Writers Conference returns on August 4 & 5, this year concentrating on critique workshops covering many genres. Sunday afternoon's expanded seminar will explore the world of independent publishing. Visit the website for more information. 
  • The Friends of the Ponte Vedra Library present their second annual Book Fair featuring 10 regional authors, Monday, June 18 at 6:00 p.m. Authors and their books include, JulesDaniel and the Jumbles, Dorothy FletcherGrowing Up Jacksonville: A 50s & 60s River City Childhood, Sue KirwanHurricane, Rita MalieSupreme Sacrifice, Karen MoriartyDefending the King – His Life and Legacy, Barbara Sarvis–Too Many Feathers, Bruce ThomasonThe Six O'Clock Rule, Tony TimbolCybil Raven: Miracle at St. Rita, Judith WhiteThe Seventh Etching, and Gary Zeiger–Stingray: You Can't Hide Forever.
  • Children's book authors and illustrators are invited to submit an application to participate in "Written Inspiration: A Children's Book Signing Event," presented by the University of Florida's Harn Museum of Art Store on November 4.  Contact Kathryn Rush, Harn Museum Store Manager, for an application.
Until next time, remember what Jack London said: "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."

Victor DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

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