It's that time of year when everyone approaches their writing with fresh eyes and determination to complete a project or start on one they've been putting off. Like the residents of Lake Wobegon "where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking and all the children above average," we're all feeling pretty good about ourselves right now and looking forward to a great year.
So let's keep that productive feeling going and jumpstart our commitment to become better writers by resolving to attend one or more of FWA's monthly meetings. There are a host of excellent speakers each and every month at the various meetings. Here's what's on this month's schedule:
- River City Writers group meets on Tuesday, January 8 at 7:00 p.m. st the SE Regional Branch Library off Gate Parkway. The group will take a hands-on approach to the subject of "Interviewing Experts." Group leader Gregg Golson will interview Larry Wehner, the chief engineer for the Dames Point Bridge. .
- Amelia Island Writers will meet on Tuesday, January 15 at 6:15 p.m. at Books Plus in Fernandina Beach. Give group leader Maggie deVries a call for more information: 904-321-6180.
- Clay County Writers meet on Wednesday, January 16 at 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library, 2054 Plainfield Avenue. This month's topic is "Who Needs An Editor?" The author panel includes Russell Kamradt, Lillian Kiernan Brown and Lois Fiorelli. Group Leader Maureen Jung has more details.
- St. Augustine's Ancient City Writers meet on Saturday, January 19 at 10:00 a.m. at the Main Library, 1960 N. Ponce de Leon Blvd. Award-ewinning authors Nancy Haddock and Nancy Quatrano provide tips on "Making Yourself Memorable: How to Increase Sales and Readership Through Branding."
- More and more writers are becoming independent publishers, due to the changing environment in the publishing industry. But there's more than one way to become an independently published author, as we'll explore at this month's Ponte Vedra Writers meeting, Saturday, January 26 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. "Independent Publishing and You" presents a panel discussion with four independent authors, printers and publishers who will share their personal journeys and provide tips on how to best take advantage of independent publishing for your book. Panelists include author and writing coach Sharon Y. Cobb, author, publisher and book coach, Rik Feeney, Cheyenne Knopf, Marketing Manager with OnLine Binding, and novelist Judith White.
- The Jax Youth Writers of FWA's Youth Writers Program meets on the 4th Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Regional Library. All youth under 18 are welcome. Contact Kimberly Smith for more information.
- FWA affiliate First Coast Christian Writers meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m, at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
- If you've been looking for a way to boost your writing, why not register for the NOVEL IN A DAY workshop, presented by the Florida Heritage Book Festival on Saturday, February 2nd at Flagler College. Facilitated by Vic DiGenti, the full day workshop is highly-interactive and fast-paced with a number of writing exercises designed to strengthen and motivate all writers. Some of the topics covered include plot and structure, characterization, dialogue, scene structure, beginnings, middles and endings. And more. Presented as a benefit for FHBF, Early Bird registration is $85 through January 10, $95 through January 31 and $115 at the door. Fee includes a continental breakfast and a 30-page workbook. Visit the Florida Heritage Book Festival website for more details and registration information.
- Florida Sisters in Crime meets Saturday, January 5 at 10:00 a.m. at the SE Branch Library wo hear from Forensic Handwriting Expert, Richard Orsini.
- North Florida Writers meet on the second Saturday of the month, January 12 at 2:00 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
- The First Coast Romance Writes also meet on January 12, from 10:15 to 2:30, offering two workshops, one in the morning and one after the lunch break. Visit the website for details.
- Author June Weltman will teach an 8-week adult education workshop on "Writing Mysteries for Children and Teens" at Mandarin High School starting Thursday, January 24 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Registration is from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on January 8, 9 and 10 at Mandarin High. Contact Kathy Cook for information, 904-260-3911, or email June Weltman.
- In place of their annual writers conference, Sleuthfest will present a day of writing workshops at the Hyatt Regency in Sarasota on Saturday, February 16.
- NY Times bestselling author Steve Berry will speak at the Ponte Vedra Library on Monday, January 14 at 6:30 p.m. as part of the FOL's Book Talk Cafe program.
- The Amelia Island Book Festival is hosting its 2013 Membership Launch Party on Tuesday, January 22 at a private home on Amelia Island Plantation. Email them for more information.
- If you admit to being over 57 years of age, the Nimrod International Journal is looking for your submission. To celebrate their 57th anniversary, the University of Tulsa literary magazine is soliciting submissions for its spring/summer issue themed, "Lasting: Writers Over 57." Submissions may be poetry, fiction or creative nonfiction. But there's a short turnaround as the deadline is January 15. Submission requirements here.
- Visit Poets & Writers for a comprehensive listing of writing contests, grants and awards.