Wednesday, February 06, 2013

"Go after it with a club."

Some of you may recognize the title of this post from Jack London's quote, "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." I thought that was an appropriate lead for this post as I was recently asked how to deal with writer's block, and I thought London had the perfect answer.

To keep you inspired, FWA has a full schedule of meetings here in NE Florida plus more events planned for the coming months. For example, the FWA Spring Mini-Conference will be held on Saturday, April 20 in Altamonte Springs. This is a double-barrelled conference with a full day of workshops, the chance to pitch an agent and hear keynoter Adrian Fogelin. And that's only one barrel. The other is my workshop, "How to Write Killer Fiction," held in conjunction with the conference. This is the same workshop I presented prior to last October's FWA Conference with a registration fee of $99. The mini-confernce is only $59 and it includes a continental breakfast and lunch. More information and registration can be found here.

And our NE Florida FWA family is still growing. Kimberly Smith organized and leads Jax Youth Writers, part of the FWA Youth Writers program. Thanks to FWA member James Weinsier, another youth group is in the works. Jim reports the Nassau Youth Writers will meet for the first time on Tuesday, April 16 at Books Plus in Fernandina Beach at 5:00 p.m. The meeting precedes the regular meeting of the Amelia Island Writers FWA group at 6:15 p.m. If you know of any Nassau County youth or want more information, you may contact Jim at

And don't forget submissions are now being accepted for FWA Collection #5 — It's A Crime. The "Queen of Crime" herself, Edna Buchanan, will select her top 10 faves. Visit the FWA website for submission guidelines before you enter.

Here's what's planned for this month's FWA group meetings.

  • River City Writers meets on Tuesday, February 12 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Regional Branch Library off Gate Parkway. Group leader Gregg Golson will be out of town that day and I'll lead the group and present a workshop I call, "Heroes, Mentors & Shapeshifters: Character Archetypes and the Writers Journey."
  • The Ancient City Chapter of FWA will not meet this month due to tax preparers use of their meeting room. They return on Saturday, March 16 at 10:00 a.m. in St. Augustine's Main Library meeting room with authors Jeff Swesky and Michael King presenting, "From Manuscript Page to Printed Page: Publishing from an Insider's Perspective." 
  • Amelia Island Writers meets on Tuesday, February 19 at 6:15 p.m. at Books Plus in Fernandina Beach. Call Maggie de Vries for more information, 904-321-6180.
  • Clay County Writers come together next on Wednesday, February 20 at 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library. Author Linda Schilling Mitchell, Dear Miss Schneider, Please Excuse Walter, presents "Getting the Gig," how to land interviews, articles, book signings and speaking engagements to promote your book. Group leader Maureen Jung has more details.
  • The Jax Youth Writers meets on the 4th Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. the SE Regional Library. All youth under 18 are welcome. Contact Kimberly Smith for more information. 
  • On Saturday, February 23, the Ponte Vedra Writers will gather at the Ponte Vedra Library at 10:30 a.m. to hear Jennie Jarvis discuss "Film Writing Versus Novel Writing." Jennie worked in the film and TV industry before returning to Florida and transitioning to literary writing. She has served as a script analyst, and works as a freelance script consultant. She's currently teaching screenwriting and criticism at Full Sail University and has an MFA in creative writing.
  • FWA affiliate First Coast Christian Writers meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
More for Writers:
  • Mystery author Michael Wiley (A Bad Night's Sleep–St. Martin's Press) is the guest speaker at the Saturday, February 9th meeting of North Florida Writers. They gather at 2:00 p.m. at the Webb Wesconnett Library. More on NFW and the meeting can be found here.
  • Jane Wood and Frances Keiser are presenting "The Business Side of Publishing," a 3-hour workshop at UNF on Tuesday, February 19 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Click here for more information.
  • Ancient City Romance Writers welcome author Brenda Jackson for a Q&A session at their February 23rd workshop. They meet from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. at the SE Regional Library. Visit their website for more information. 
  • Southern Writers Magazine is calling for submissions for its short story contest with a deadline of March 1, 2013. $250 cash prize plus publication. Submission guidelines.
  • Looking for a critique group? FWA member Cheri Roman leads a group that meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. at the Panera at Town Center. They are open to adding a few more members to the group. Contact Cheri if you're interested.
  • Editor Beth Mansbridge also leads a critique group on the first Thursday of each month from 5:00 to 7:45 p.m. at the SE Branch St. Johns County Public Library, 6670 US 1 South. Contact Beth at 904-461-9564 if you have questions.
  • This month the St. Johns County Public Library System presents St. Johns Reads 2013 featuring The Yard by Alex Grecian. A number of special programs built around this historical crime novel will be held at all the St. Johns County libraries, incuding "Murder, Mayhem and a Medical Examiner" by author and forensic death investigator Kent Holloway. Kent will  present his program detailing the facts and fiction of forensic death investigation at 2:00 p.m. on February 2nd at the Southest Branch Library, on February 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Main Library, and at 6:30 p.m. on February 13 at the Ponte Vedra Library. The monthlong event will be capped by a presentation by the author on Saturday, February 23 at the St. Johns County Auditorium, 500 San Sebastian Way. The program is free to the public and starts with a 6:00 p.m. reception followed at 6:30 by the author talk.
  • Rita Malie hosts a live Hay House 60" Online Event to discuss her latest book, Supreme Sacrifice, dealing with family alcoholism. This is part of Children of Alcoholics Week. The free online seminar will be held February 12, 12:00 - 1:00 PST. Contact Rita for more details. 
  • Running Out of Ink is a new webzine focusing on short fiction. They accept short stories of any genre and variety under 2,500 words long. Visit the website for submission guidelines.
  • Black Horse Winery hosts another Meet the Author program on Wednesday, February 27 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Featured authors are Chris Berman, Ace of Aces, Howard Denson, Mowbray and the Sharks, Heman "Doc" Harris, The Forest People: Sasquash Revenge, and Jack Owen,  Palm Beach – An IRREVERENT Guide.
  • And finally, here's a little BSP (Blatant Self Promotion). My other persona, Parker Francis, will sign copies of his latest Quint Mitchell Mystery, Bring Down the Furies, this Saturday at the Barnes & Noble on San Jose Blvd. from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
This may not be simpatico with your typical Valentine's Day sentiment, but it is rule #6 in Kurt Vonnegut's 8 Rules of Writing. He says, "Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful thing happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they're made of."

Until next time, get a tight grip on that club and keep writing.

Victor DiGenti
(aka Parker Francis)
FWA Regional Director