Monday, August 06, 2012

Writers Conference & More

Before I list this month's FWA meeting schedule, you should know that the early bird rates for the Florida Heritage Book Festival Writers Conference expires tomorrow, Tuesday, August 7. This is a high level conference packed with craft and marketing workshops presented by professionals like Steve Berry, Adrian Fogelin, Sasha ZeBryk, Sharon Y. Cobb, and William McKeen. The conference is scheduled for September 13 and 14, but registration with the lower early bird fees ends tomorrow. Thursday only is $40, but increases to $50 after the 7th, and $70 at the door. Friday only is $65, and increases to $75, $100 at the door. Both days include lunch and book signings by the authors. There is also a lower priced combo package available. 

The Festival weekend kicks off with Thursday night's keynote address by Jeff Lindsay, the author of the bestselling "Dexter" novels upon which the hit Showtime series is based. All of this takes place at the Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village. You might consider an overnight stay at the Renaissance since they've given the Festival the incredibly low room rate of $129 per night if you tell them you're there for the Book Festival Writers Conference. This is about half their regular rate.

I've heard that some people have had problems registering and paying online with the PayPal form. If you do, email Marcy Carreras, and let her know you've tried to register and will be sending her a check. Marcy's email address is Her address to send the check is on the registration form.

There's a lot more happening that weekend, including Friday night's Literary Legends Banquet honoring Pulitzer Prize winning author Edna Buchanan, and Saturday's free Book Festival at Flagler College. 

Here's what your local FWA groups have planned for August:
  • River City Writers, led by Gregg Golson, is scheduled to hear Carol O'Dell at its Tuesday, August 14 meeting. However, late word has it that the SE Branch Library meeting rooms are not available that day. Contact Gregg for possible change of venue.
  • Because of early voting at the Fleming Island Library, the Clay County Writers has moved its August 15 meeting to Black Horse Winery, 420 Kinglsey Avenue, Orange Park. Sounds like a plan to me. Group leader Maureen Jung will lead an informal discussion of writing, editing, conferences and more. Maureen says, "If you're new to the group, or haven't attended in a while, this is a good time to connect with others who share your passion for writing." The meeting starts at 6:30, and Maureen would like you to RSVP due to limited space by calling her at 904-298-5714.
  • Carol O'Dell will be a busy woman as she's the guest speaker at the Ancient City Writers chapter on Saturday, August 18, 10:15 a.m. at St. Augustine's Main Library. This time Carol presents a session on the query letter, how to use it to grab the attention of agents and editors.
  • The Amelia Island Writers chapter of FWA returns to Books Plus in Fernandina Beach on Tuesday, August 21 at 6:15 p.m. for a critique session. This is a good opportunity to receive constructive feedback on your work in progress. Call Maggie deVries at 904-321-6180 for more information.
  • If you don't have a website yet, you need to attend the Ponte Vedra Writers meeting, Saturday, August 25, 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. Gary Zeiger is a science fiction author, and head of Tholian Web Productions, Jacksonville company helping customers with web design, printing and ebook services. He'll talk about websites for authors, as well as the entire mix of social media. 
  • First Coast Christian Writers, an affiliate of FWA, meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the West Regional Library. Contact Lynn Rix for more information.

Don't forget to register for this year's FWA Writers Conference, The Magic of the Pen, October 19 - 21 at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary. It's packed with seven agents, eight publishers, and eighteen featured faculty. What a great opportunity to pitch your work. If the idea of networking with strangers makes you sweat, here are five tips for effective networkingClick here for all the conference details. And while you're at it, check out the Celebrity Workshop on October 18 also at the Marriott. Presented by the Florida Writers Foundation, the Workshop features award-winning thriller writer, R. J. Ellory in a full day workshop on crime writing.

  • North Florida Writers will critique manuscripts at its Saturday, August 11 meeting, 2:00 p.m at Tom & Betty's Restaurant at Roosevelt Square. 
  • First Coast Romance Writers meet Saturday, August 11, 10:15 a.m. at the West Regional Library. They welcome Dee Carney and Merrillee Whren who will talk on, "Putting the Sexy in Your Story."
  • JSO Deputy Keith Nazworth is the guest speaker at the Ancient City Romance Authors, Saturday, August 25 at 1:00 p.m. at the SE Regional Library. Visit the website for more info.
  • Frank Green continues his Bard Society critique group every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Contact Frank at
  • Mary Bridgman presents her two night course, "Breaking Into the Freelance Writing Market," at UNF September 25 and October 2. Click here for all the details.
Kudos to FWA Members:
  • St. Augustine FWA member Joan North reports that two of her Flash Fiction stories are RPLA finalists.
  • Donna Kaluzniak has been chosen as science news writer for Jacksonville for
  • Mims Cushing's children's book, The Sleepover Surprise, was selected by the Rotary Club of Sarasota as a gift for young children in the Sarasota School System. They purchased 100 of her books.
  • Congratulations to everyone who made the cut for FWA's "My Wheels Collection." Especially to Marie Vernon and Vic DiGenti, whose stories landed in Julie Compton's Top Ten. 
I grew up reading the mesmerizing stories of Ray Bradbury, author of The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and so many more lyrical tales. Bradbury died last week at the age of 91, but his place is set among the greats of science fiction, including Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert A. Heinlein. Here's a roundup of tributes and clips from And the article in The New York Times Books section announcing his death. 

Remember to 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.

Until next time, keep writing, 

Victor DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

1 comment:

Diane said...

Congratulations, Vic! Look forward to reading your "Wheels" story. -Diane Mutolo