Wednesday, October 02, 2013

October Rocks

Writers may be forgiven if they give in to flights of fancy and grandiose phrases, so when FWA selected as its conference title, "The Greatest Writers Conference on Earth," it was an understandable piece of marketing hyperbole. That's not to say FWA's 12th Annual Writers Conference, October 18 - 20, won't be great. They usually are, and with so much more to offer this year they just might live up to the title.

As usual, writers may pitch agents and publishers, network with bestselling authors and learn from the pros. Bestselling romance/suspense writer Mary Burton precedes the conference with her day-long Foundation Celebrity Workshop, "Writing Your Book ... The First Step." In the workshop, Mary reveals her real world secrets to writing success. Mary has been dubbed "the queen of modern-day romantic suspense." The workshop benefits the Florida Writers Foundation which helps promote literacy and enhance writing skills throughout the state. Read more about the workshop by clicking here.

The conference also includes all the craft and marketing workshops you could hope for, plus the annual Royal Palm Literary Awards dinner. And for the first time, FWA is holding a youth conference for writers under the age of 18. The deadline for registration is October 9. After that you'll have to register on site. So visit this site for all the information and to register.

Here's what's happening at our FWA NE Florida Writers Groups this month:

  • River City Writers meets this month on Tuesday, October 8 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. Group leader Gregg Golson reports that author Jamie Engle is the guest speaker. Jaime, pictured at right, recently launched her debut novel, Clifford Chase and the Arrow of Light. She'll talk about her writing process and how she's marketing the novel. For more information on this meeting please contact Gregg at
  • Nassau County Youth Writers meets on the third Tuesday of the month, October 15 at 5:00 p.m. at Books Plus in Fernandina Beach.
  • Amelia Island Writers have their meeting immediately following the Youth Writers on the 15th at Books Plus, around 6:15 p.m. Maggie deVries, proprietor of Books Plus, is the group leader.
  • FWA's Clay County Writers group meets on Wednesday, October 16 at 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library, 2054 Plainfield Avenue, behind the Dairy Queen. Group leader Maureen Jung has another intriguing program, "The Art of Book Trailers." Richard Levine discusses the what, why and how of book trailers. 
  • The Ancient City Writers of St. Augustine will not have a meeting this month as they will be attending the "Greatest Conference on Earth" in Lake Mary. They invite you to join them at the conference, and attend the Ponte Vedra Writers meeting on the 26th. While you're waiting, check out their new website created by Sharon Buck.
  • Jax Youth Writers meet on Thursday, October 24 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library to hear FWA Regional Director and mystery author Vic DiGenti (aka Parker Francis) talk about the importance of becoming a good storyteller. Contact group leader Kimberly Smith for more details.
  • First Coast Christian Writers, an affiliate of FWA, meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
  • If you enjoyed Bev Browning's double session on writing humor at last Friday's Florida Heritage
    Book Festival Writers Conference, you'll want to be at the Saturday, October 26 meeting of the Ponte Vedra Writers. Bev returns to present her popular "Shimmer" workshop. Bev says, knowing how to craft a sentence to manipulate response and amplify meaning is a technical amalgamation of art and science. Once mastered, it's the difference between a good piece and a great one. The technique's name, "Shimmer," refers to the transparent layers that create subtle dimension in written work. There will be a few writing exercises so bring your writing supplies, and did we mention there's chocolate involved?  What's not to like?

More happenings for writers:
  • Florida Sisters in Crime meets Saturday, October 5 at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Branch Library to hear from psychologist Linda Willson. Her topic, "The Therapist Goes to Jail — Often."
  • First Coast Romance Writers offer two workshops on Saturday October 12 at the Chaffee Road Library. Catherine Kean conducts the morning session starting at 10:30 a.m. with a workshop on "Figurative Language." She'll show you how to use figurative language to enrich your characters and stories. Catherine hangs around for the afternoon session and is joined by T. Elliott Brown and Caro Carson talking about their radio show for writers and indie publishers. Visit the website for more information.
  • Register for the Ancient City Romance Writers 2013 Fiction Writer's Conference On the Beach, October 25-26 at Hampton Inn St. Augustine Beach. The conference welcomes authors Elizabeth Sinclair, Kathryn J. Bain, Nancy Quatrano and Delores J. Wilson. Visit the ACRA website for more information.
  • If you're looking for a reason to visit lovely Southwest Florida, the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce is hosting Matlacha Authors Days, November 30 and December 1 in Matlacha Park. It's billed as an opportunity "to promote your book, your writing and yourself." Each author will have a chance to talk about, sign and sell their books. There's a per author cost of $75. More details can be found here.
  • Frances Keiser and Jane Wood, aka "Get Book Savvy," announce the start of the Authors Network, a place to network with other writers and have your questions answered by professionals. Their first meeting is Tuesday, October 29 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Applebees in St. Augustine, 225 State Road 312 near US 1. There's a $20 per person cost. Contact Jane at for more information.
  • For those of you who plan ahead and like to travel, novelist, short story writer and creative writing professor John Dufresne will be at the Seaside Institute's Academic Village, February 6 to 8, 2014 for a short story workshop. It's limited to only 12 participants. For more information and to register for the workshop, visit the Seaside Institute's website.
  • And while we're planning ahead, FWA is hosting a two-day Reading Festival in downtown Bradenton on January 10-11, 2014. The event is open to the public and will include workshops, agents/publishers interview, and author readings. Visit the FWA Conference page for details.
I'll see you at the "Greatest Writers Conference on Earth."

Victor DiGenti
FWA Regional Director