Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's Conference Time

October brings with it your opportunity to attend FWA's Annual Conference, The Magic of the Pen, October 19 - 21 at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary. Before I tell you more about the conference, you should know about a last minute change in the October 18 Florida Writers Foundation Celebrity Workshop. UK author R.J. Ellory had been scheduled to conduct the full day workshop on writing crime fiction, but Mr. Ellory is unable to attend and FWA reached out to another mystery writer to carry on. Thus, yours truly has been tapped to present "How to Write Killer Fiction: An Introduction to Mystery Writing."

If you've always wanted to write a mystery but weren't sure how to get started, here's your chance. In a fast-paced, entertaining workshop, I'll combine easy-to-follow-lessons with writing exercises to help turn your idea into a compelling story.

Early Bird registration ends today, Sunday September 30, and is $95 for FWA members and $115 for nonmembers. Late registration is $115 for FWA members and $135 for nonmembers. The price does include lunch. Click here for more details on the workshop, and click here to register. I'll use examples from my two Parker Francis penned Quint Mitchell Mysteries, Matanzas Bay and Bring Down the Furies, along with other mysteries and suspense thrillers. If you're planning to attend the workshop, bring a synopsis of your mystery WIP, if you have one.

You still have time to register for The Magic of the Pen, FWA's 11th Annual Conference. Attend workshops! Meet agents and publishers! Pitch your book! And find out who the big winners are at the 2012 RPLA Banquet. Two new workshops have been added to the mix: ePub literary agent Saritza Hernandez will cover Genre Bending: The ePub Revolution, and author, editor and writing resources teacher Robert Sanders will help you navigate through the world of children's picture books. Registration ends on October 9, so be sure to sign up soon.

Now here's a look at this month's FWA chapter meetings and other happenings in NE Florida.

  • River City Writers Chapter meets Tuesday, October 9 at 7:00 p.m, at the SE Regional Branch Library on Deerwood Park Blvd. Contact Gregg Golson for information.
  • The Amelia Island Writers meet on Tuesday, October 16 at the Books Plus store in Fernandina Beach, 6:15 p.m. Give Maggie deVries a call for more info: 904-321-6180.
  • Clay County Writers are on the move, leaving the Fleming Island Branch Library behind and transitioning to a new home base at the Orange Park Library. But that doesn't happen until the December 19 meeting. In the meantime, get in the spirit of the temporary venue at Black Horse Winery, 420 Kingsley Avenue. On the 17th of this month, (6:30 - 8:30 p.m.) the group will have two writing exercises plus tips on working with the media. Group leader Maureen Jung reminds those attending that unless ordering a glass of wine, there is a $7.50 charge to cover the cost of the room. 
  • The Ancient City Writers of St. Augustine will not have a meeting this month, instead urging their members to attend the FWA Annual Conference taking place the same weekend as ACC's regular meeting time.
  • Clay County group leader Maureen Jung will be the featured speaker at the monthly meeting of the Ponte Vedra Writers, Saturday, October 27 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. Dr. Maureen (she is a Ph.D., after all) will conduct a different sort of writing workshop demonstrating how writing can ease the pain of loss, illness or injury and promote healing. She'll examine ways to transform "your story" into a stepping stone to a vibrant, healthier you. 
  • FWA's affiliate, First Coast Christian Writers, meets each Thursday evening at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb Wesconnett  Library. 
  • The new Jax Youth Writers of FWA's Youth Writers Program will meet at the SE Branch Library on the 4th Tuesday of each month from 7:00 to 8:45 p.m. It's for young people age 18 and under, so if you know of any young writers be sure to tell them about it. Find out more right here, or contact Kimberly Smith for more information. 

More for writers:

  • Ancient City Romance Authors welcome Deb Smith, editor at Belle Books as the keynote speaker, along with workshop leaders Deb Dixon and Elizabeth Sinclair for their 2012 Fiction Writers Mardi Gras Boot Camp, October 5-6 at Hampton Inn, 430 Beach Blvd, St. Augustine. Visit the ACRA website to register.
  • The Writers Alliance of Gainesville presents "Novel in a Day," a one-day workshop facilitated by Vic DiGenti. It will be held at Gainesville's Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Church, Saturday, October 13 starting at 8:30 a.m. Contact WAG president Wendy Thornton to register. 
  • Clay County Writers is cosponsoring a "Meet the Author/Book Signing" event along with Black Horse Winery on Tuesday, October 23 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Winery owner Kiyoko Fiedler hopes to make this a monthly event featuring four different authors each month. If you're interested in signing on as one of the authors contact Kiyoko at 904-644-8480. 
  • The Friends of the Main Library in St. Augustine present the 1st Friends Book Fair featuring area writers showcasing their work.  The Book Fair is scheduled for Saturday, October 20th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the large meeting room at the Main Library, 1960 N. Ponce De Leon Blvd. Participating authors are Nancy Haddock, Eileen Erickson, Andre Frattino, Kathryn Bain and Lanny Smith.
  • Aside from the Book Fair, Kathryn J. Bain will be signing copies of her books on October 13 from 10:00 - 4:00 at UMC Annual Craft Fair.
  • Caren Umbarger, Florida Book Award Bronze Medal Winner in General Fiction for her novel, Coming To: A Midwestern Tale, will speak at the Ponte vedra Library's Book Talk Cafe program on Monday, October 15 at 6:30 p.m. The program is presented free of charge to the public by the Friends of the Ponte Vedra Library.
  • The 8th Annual Other Words Conference will be held next month, November 8 - 11 at Flagler College and feature panels, readings, workshops and in independent literary book fair. Visit the website for all the details. 

  • And Ill leave you with these words of encouragement from the late writer of the hard-boiled Mike Hammer mysteries, Mickey Spillane:
"If you're a singer you lose your voice. A baseball player loses his arm. A writer gets more knowledge, and if he's any good, the older he gets, the better he writes."

Until next time, I hope to see you at the FWA Conference picking up your RPLA Award.

Victor DiGenti
FWA Regional Director