Thursday, August 01, 2013

So much to do. So little time.

Chapters to write. Edits to make. Conferences to attend. And guests are on the way. Somehow, it looks like August may be one of the busiest months of the year, so let's not waste any time. Here's what's happening this month and beyond for NE Florida writers. Dive in, the water's fine.

  • River City Writers meets Tuesday, August 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the S. E. Branch Library. Group leader Gregg Golson can give you more details. Email him at
  • The Ancient City Writers welcome the return visit of Rik Feeney on Saturday, August 17 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Augustine's Main Library (next to the carousel). Rik's topic is "Titles, Covers, & Back Cover Copy Blurbs." He'll talk about these keys to good design and how they help sell your book.
  • Nassau County Youth Writers meet Tuesday, August 20 at 5:00 p.m. at Books Plus in Fernandina Beach. All young writers under the age of 18 are welcome.
  • Adult writers can join the Amelia Island Writers at Books Plus on August 20 immediately following the Youth Writers at Books Plus at 6:15 p.m. Bookstore proprietor Maggie deVries is also the group leader. You may reach her at 904-321-6180.
  • If you're an Orange Park writer, then you'll want to join the Clay County Writers meeting on Wednesday August 21at 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library. Area author Chris Berman presents "Believable Fiction Using Fact-Based History to Build Your Story." Contact Maureen Jung for more details.
  • Jax Youth Writers, under the leadership of Kimberly Smith, meet Thursday, August 22 at 7:00 p.m. at the S. E. Branch Library.
  • FWA affiliate First Coast Christian Writers meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
  • There will be no meeting of the Ponte Vedra Writers at the Ponte Vedra Library this month due to extenuating circumstances involving too much to do and to little time. Please attend one of the other FWA meetings.
But wait, there's more ...
  • It's being called "The Greatest Writers Conference on Earth," FWA's 12th Annual Conference, October 18 - 20, 2013. Perhaps a bit of hyperbole in the title, but FWA's conference always offers quality workshops by qualified professionals. You may pitch to agents, publishers and editors and attend the Royal Palm Literary Awards dinner. Once again held at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary, it's an easy drive of less than two hours and definitely worth the investment of time and money. Register now. Click here for more information.
  • Closer to home and one month earlier is the 6th Annual Florida Heritage Book Festival & Writers Conference, September 26 - 28. The event combines writers workshops, opportunities to meet bestselling authors and much more. The Writers Conference, September 26-27, offers extended 3-hour workshops on Thursday and a full-day of 1-hour workshops on Friday covering both the craft and marketing of writing. Conference registration includes lunches, breakfast on Friday and keynote talks by Andrew Gross and Tim Dorsey. The literary Legends banquet on Friday evening will honor John Jakes, award-winning historical author of mega-selling books like the North and South trilogy and The Kent Family Chronicles. All of this takes place at the St. Johns County Convention Center at Renaissance World Golf Village Resort in St. Augustine.  Here's the conference schedule and registration information.
  • In case you're looking for even more conferences to attend, FAPA, the Florida Authors & Publishers Association, presents its Fall Conference, September 20-21 at the Daytona Beach Resort and Conference Center. More info here.
  • If you haven't made your RSVP already, it may be too late to attend the Florida Sisters in Crime workshop with Georgia author and former police officer Jaclyn Weldon White this Saturday at the S. E. Regional Branch Library. Jaclyn will present two workshops on writing suspense and true crime beginning at 10:30 a.m. with a break for lunch. Contact Pam Wells for additional information.
  • If you're thinking of writing a romance novel you may want to attend the August 10 meeting of the First Coast Romance Writers. The group is holding an open house to acquaint writers with the Romance Writers of America and the First Coast Chapter. It starts at 10:15 a.m. at the Chaffee Road Library. Beth Irwin has the details.
  • The Clay County Writers group teams up with Black Horse Winery once again to present another Meet the Authors program. This one starts at 6:30 p.m. at the winery, 420 Kingsley Avenue in Orange Park, and features authors Russ Kamradt, Sandi Gordon, Sonserra Hayden and Tracy Maxwell.
  • Ancient City Romance Writers welcomes editor Kathleen McMajon on Saturday, August 24 at 1:00 p.m. at (you guessed it) the S. E. Branch Library. Kathleen's subject is "Editing the Way an Editor Sees It, AKA: Don't Shoot the Messenger." Kathy Bain has more info.
  • June Weltman teaches her mystery writing class again, starting September 12 at Mandarin High School. The 8-week course, "Writing Mysteries for Children and Teens," is part of the Duval County School Systems Adult Education program. Email June at about registration details.
  • The Florida Book Awards is accepting entries for this year. Any Florida author with a book published in 2013 is eligible. Check out all the categories and submission details at their website.
Kudos to area writers:
  • Former diplomat and consul John Tinney's memoir, From the Inside Out, has been published by the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training and New Academia Publications.
  • Nancy Murray's newest book, The Madonnas of St. Augustine, is a finalist in the 2013 International Book Awards, and has received the Seal of Approval from the Catholic Writers Guild.
  • Cheri Roman announces the launch of her debut novel, Descent (Book One of the Raphaim Series) with a launch party on Saturday, August 31 at 2:00 p.m. at the Bartram Trail Branch Library.
  • And congratulations to St. Augustine thriller writer Steve Berry. Steve was honored at the International Thriller Writers annual conference with the 2013 Literary Silver Bullet Award.
Time is short so I'll leave you with these short cuts. W. Somerset Maugham said, "There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."

Enjoy the last month of summer, 2013.

Victor DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

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