Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Make it a December to remember

If you're an unpublished author looking for inspiration to get on next year's book-buying gift list, then visit one of the following area FWA group meetings.
  • River City Writers meet Tuesday, December 10 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library to hear from Ellen Thornton, author  of The Girl Who Swam to Atlantis. Ellen's book was awarded a Bronze Medal by the Military Writers Society of America, and she will speak about writing historical fiction and how she markets her book.
  • The Nassau County Youth Writers meet Tuesday, December 17 at 5:00 p.m. at Books Plus in Fernandina Beach. 
  • There will be no meeting of the Amelia Island Writers this month, but they will return in January in a new location and meeting date, the first Tuesday, January 7 at 6:15 p.m. at the Marina Restaurant.
  • Embedded in Clay is the title of the Clay County Writers anthology project, and it's the subject of the group's December meeting on Wednesday, the 18th at 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library. Each writer will have three minutes to summarize their project and get feedback. Great project! Contact group leader Maureen Jung for more information.
  • Saturday, December 21 at 10:00 a.m. is when the Ancient City Writers Chapter meets at St. Augustine's Main Library. They'll hear from ebook production specialist John Simmons talking about the differences between ebooks and tree books. If you have questions about what's involved with formatting your book, John has the answers. The annual Christmas party follows John's presentation with refreshments, door prize drawings, and lots of books.
  • The Ponte Vedra Writers group will not meet this month due to the holiday. Instead, you are invited to join the Ancient City Writers meeting on the 21st. Join us in January when Richard Levine will kick off the New Year with an eye-opening presentation on book trailers.
  • The Jax Youth Writers will gather the day after Christmas, Thursday, December 26 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. Contact group leader Kimberly Smith for details.
  • First Coast Christian Writers, an FWA affiliate, continue to meet each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
More of interest for writers::
  • An earlier post listed FWA RPLA winners from NE Florida, but we neglected to list the top award—the Published Book of the Year for 2013—which went to J. Rivers Hodge for his novel, The Legend of Anne Southern. Jim, an FWA member and a Jacksonville resident, is married to his writing partner, Brenda. Congratulations to Jim and Brenda for being honored by his peers for his novel, which also took first place for Historical Fiction.
  • FWA is hosting a number of mini-conferences in 2014 starting with the First Annual Mid-Winter Conference West and Reading Festival to be held in downtown Bradenton, January 10 and 11. Click here for all the details.
  • Look for these other FWA events: The Lady Lake Memoir Mini-Conference, February 22, 2014; Southeast Mini-Conference in Plantation, FL on March 29; the 3rd Annual Writer's Nest Mini-Conference at Altamonte Springs, April 26th; a Poetry Mini-Conference on May 17th in the Sarasota/Venice area; the 2nd Annual Nonfiction Mini-Conference in Altamonte Springs, June 28; and the 6th Annual Florida Writers Foundation Celebrity Workshop, October 23 at the Lake Mary Marriott.
  • If you're still looking for a critique group, FWA member Susan Kiernan-Lewis is seeking writing partners for a new group she is forming in Jacksonville. Interested? Contact Susan at
  • Florida Sisters in Crime holds its annual Christmas party this Saturday, December 7 at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Branch Library.
  • The Ancient City Romance Writers will not meet this month.
  • IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association) issued its last call for submissions for the Benjamin Franklin Awards. The deadline is December 31. Visit the website for guidelines and details.
  • The 2013-2014 Los Angeles Book Festival has issued a call for entires to its annual celebration of books deserving more attention. The competition covers most genres and is open to independents and self-published works as well as those from traditional publishers. It offers a $1,500 cash prize and trip to L.A. for the winner. Guidelines can be found here.
And while we hope the holidays are not only bright for all of us, but warm as well, an old Inuit
proverb seems to fit the season: "May you have warmth in your igloo, oil in your lamp, and peace in you heart."

Happy holidays, 

Victor DiGenti
FWA Regional Director