Sunday, July 01, 2012

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Maybe I'm channeling Johnny Carson here, but it's so hot you can fry an egg on my keyboard. It's so hot I saw a bird use a potholder to pull a worm out of the ground. It's so hot ... enough, already, but here's something I did see on my walk on the beach this morning — 

Now, that's hot. One sure way to beat the heat is to find yourself a really cool place to write and learn new things about writing, publishing, and marketing. Let me suggest a few.
  1. Flagler College's Ringhaver Student Center, Gamache-Koger Theater is a really cool place, particularly the morning of Saturday, July 14 when the Florida Heritage Book Festival & Writers Conference presents "E-Publishing–The Future is Now!" This 3-hour workshop will provide details on how to convert your manuscript into an ebook, with important advice from media and publishing pros. You'll hear about cover art, editing, some technical necessities on the various formats, and, what all digitally published authors want to know, how to market those ebooks. The faculty includes your's truly, Sharon Y. Cobb, Frances Keiser, Deborrah Hoag, Rik Feeney, and John Simmons. The cost is $60 through tomorrow, then it goes up to $75. Fee includes a continental breakfast. Click here for details and registration. 
  2. Full conference registration for the UNF Writers Conference closes July 6. If you wish to join one of the critique workshops in fiction, non-fiction, or screenwriting to evaluate the first ten pages of your work in progress, then you must register and submit your pages and a synopsis by July 6. The conference is August 4 & 5 at the University of North Florida. Full conference registration also includes the Indie Author Seminar on Sunday afternoon. Visit the conference website for all the details.
  3. And it's not too soon to register for the Florida Heritage Book Festival Writer's Conference, September 13 & 14 at St. Johns County Convention Center at Renaissance World Golf Village. On Thursday afternoon, following a boxed lunch, you may select from one of two 3-hour workshops. One on character development with Adrian Fogelin. The other on how to hook, book and keep your audience with motivational speaker Sasha ZeBryk. That evening, Jeff Lindsay, the award-winning author of the "Dexter" novels on which the hit Showtime series is based, will present the opening keynote talk.  Friday offers a full day of workshops on everything from writing historicals and memoirs to creating a blog, from "The Six Essential Cs of Storytelling" with Steve Berry, to "The Ups & Downs of Freelancing" with Leslie Halpern. Plus Florida Book Award winner Diana Abu-Jaber will deliver the luncheon keynote Friday. You can register for both days and Jeff's keynote, both lunches for only $90, if you register by July 31. The price increases to $110 after that, still a bargain. Or you may opt to include Friday night's Literary Legends Banquet where Pulitzer Prize-winning crime author Edna Buchanan will be honored. Also, Ernest Hemingway will be posthumously honored with acceptance by his niece, Hilary Hemingway (who happens to be married to Jeff Lindsay). The cost for the Writers Conference and the Literary Legends Banquet, with author reception, is only $170, going up to $190 on August 31. Check out all the details here.
And now, for the rest of the story.
  • River City Writers meet on Tuesday, July 10 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Regional Library, 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd. Group leader Gregg Golson will discuss "How to Use Travel Writing to Create a Realistic Setting." The group is also working on a join project, co-writing a non-fiction book, Seven Bridges and a Ferry. Gregg says all FWA members are welcome to participate.  
  • The Amelia Island Writers group meets Tuesday, July 17 at 6:15 p.m. at Books Plus in Fernandina Beach. Call Maggie deVries for details, 904-321-6180.
  • Clay County Writers meet the following evening, Wednesday, July 18, 6:15 p.m. at the Fleming Island Library, 1895 Town Center Blvd.  Group leader Maureen A. Jung, Ph.D. presents a workshop entitled, "Writing to Heal: How Words Help Us Recover, Grow and Thrive. Maureen will look at medical evidence on the healing power of writing. Email her at
  • St. Augustine's Ancient City Writers come together Saturday, July 21, 10:15 a.m. at the Main Library. Freelance journalist and biographer Susan D. Brandenburg hits the right notes with her talk, "Taking a Leap of Faith into the Freelance Jungle ... and Surviving." Susan's articles have appeared in Women's World Weekly, Florida Sportsman Magazine, Jacksonville Magazine, and many others.
  • And if you require an additional dose of freelancing advice, particularly on finding markets for articles, essays and short stories, freelancer Mary Bridgman offers advice on "Breaking into Freelancing," Saturday, July 28, 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Writers meeting taking place at the Ponte Vedra Library. By the way, Mary has a more in depth workshop, "Market Your Work as a Freelance Writer," part of the UNF Continuing Education program. Her next offering is this month, July 11 and 18. Details here.
  • As always, FWA's affiliate, First Coast Christian Writers meet each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the West Regional Library. Contact Lynn Rix for details.
But wait, there's more.
  • In lieu of Florida Sisters in Crime's regular meeting, the group will hold its FlSinC Mystery Writing workshop planning meeting on July 7, 10:30 a.m. at the SE Regional Library meeting room. Featured speaker for the August 4 Mystery Writing Workshop is Patricia Sprinkle
  • First Coast Romance Writers hold two workshops on Saturday, July 14 starting at 10:15 a.m. at the West Regional Library on Chaffee Road. Kelly Stone presents, "Empowering Your Muse," at 10:35 a.m. After a lunch break, Jax Cassidy and Jeanan Glazier Davis teach writers how to gain focus and clear their minds for increased productivity in the workshop, "The Writer, Body and Mind."
  • The Ancient City Romance Writers (Motto: You won't find us in St. Augustine) meets Saturday, July 28at 1:00 p.m. at Jacksonville's SE Regional Library. Author Sharon Drane presents, "An Actor Prepares–Becoming Your Character."
  • I recently learned my short story, A Flutter of Wings, is a finalist in the Royal Palm Literary Awards. The competition is closed now, but let me know if you're a finalist in any of the categories and I'll report it in my next post. Of course, we'll all find out if we won at the 11th Annual Florida Writers Conference RPLA Awards Dinner, Saturday, October 20 in Lake Mary. The 3-day conference starts Friday, October 19 and includes the opportunity to pitch to any of the 7 literary agents or publishers, editors and other professionals on hand. Visit the Magic of the Pen Conference web pages for registration information and details on current faculty and programs. 
  • And don't forget thriller writer R. J. Ellory will share his secrets in a daylong seminar benefiting the Florida Writers Foundation. Early Bird registration of $95 for FWA members is tax deductible but does not include the Florida Writers Conference. All you need to know is here.
  • Kudos to Linda Rondeau who received the Selah Award for Best First Novel for Christian Writers. awarded to The Other Side of Darkness. Her second novel,  America II: The Reformation, a futuristic political thriller, will be released this month by Trestle Press under her pen name, L. W. Rondeau.
  • Congratulations to Margaret Brown who received a nice Kirkus Review for her scholarly book on the Vietnam War, That Time, That Place, That War.
If you're an FWA member, I'll be happy to recognize your awards, publishing achievements, etc. in future posts. Send them to me here.

And that will do it for this July 1st offering. Stay out of the noonday sun. Heck, stay out of the sun, period.

I hope to see you at one of the upcoming workshops or meetings. And if you enjoy getting these posts, please click the Join the site button at the top of the page and become a member. Conversely, you may also opt out at any time. Also keep up with FWA news and other writerly projects at our FWA NE Florida Facebook page. Please Like the page and contribute your own posts.


Victor DiGenti
FWA Regional Director