Last Saturday I attended the talk by Alex Grecian, author of The Yard, the St. Johns Reads book for this year. I was struck by Alex's statement that he learned from his father, a published author, that writing is a job you go to every day. Which fits in with a quote by John Gregory Dunne, who wrote that, "Writing is manual labor of the mind. A job, like laying pipe."
So let's prepare ourselves to work at our best by attending writers meetings, conferences and whatever gives us an edge in our jobs. You might first want to consider the April 20 FWA Mini-Conference in Altamonte Springs. There will be a day of workshops on memoir, editing, e-publishing and more. Plus agents to pitch. Or you may sign up for my "How to Write Killer Fiction" full day workshop running simultaneously with the conference. Registration and information here.
While we're talking FWA, submissions are now being accepted for both the Royal Palm Literary Awards and FWA Collection #5, "It's a Crime." The fee for each RPLA entry is $30 through March 31 when it increases to $40. Also, remember Edna Buchanan is the Person of Renown for the FWA Collection and will select her Top Ten faves to be placed at the front of the book.
Here now are this month's NE Florida FWA meetings:
- River City Writers usually meet on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library, but there's a possibility they'll be moving to a new location. So before you head to the library on Tuesday, March 12, contact Gregg Golson for more information.
- Ancient City Writers meet Saturday, March 16 at 10:00 a.m. to hear Michael Ray King and Jeff Swesky present, "From Manuscript Page to Printed Page: Publishing from an Insider's Perspective." Sounds like a good one. Don't be late if you want a seat.
- Amelia Island Writers next meet on Tuesday, March 19 at 6:15 p.m. at Books Plus in Fernandina Beach. The group will hear from Emily Carmain of Noteworthy Editing on the ins and outs of writing the query letter. Group leader Maggie de Vries says they will have a door prize drawing this month and snacks. Call Maggie for more information at 904-321-6180.
- Ask Maureen Jung for details about her Clay County Writers meeting on Wednesday, March 20. They meet at 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library.
- Ponte Vedra Writers chapter meets Saturday, March 23 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. Guest speaker is Dr. Michael Carlson who will present, "Hurting Your Characters." Carlson presented this workshop at last year's FWA Conference to a SRO crowd. If you want to know what realistically happens when you hurt your character—whether by trauma, gunshot, poison, burning, or any other malady—then this is a can't miss workshop.
- Jax Youth Writers of the FWA Young Writers program meet Thursday, March 28 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Regional Library. All youth under the age of 18 are invited. Contact Kimberly Smith for details.
- FWA affiliate First Coast Christian Writers meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
- Florida Sisters in Crime Jacksonville Chapter meets tomorrow morning, Saturday, March 2, at the SE Regional Library at 10:30 a.m. to hear Sharon Buck's talk, "Explode Your Book Sales: 14 Secrets to Selling More Books."
- If you know of a creative young person in Nassau County, James Weinsier has formed another FWA Young Writers chapter he's calling the Nassau County Youth Writers. Their first meeting is Tuesday, April 16 at 5:00 p.m. at Books Plus in Fernandina Beach. The meeting precedes the Amelia Island Writers 6:25 meeting. Contact Jim here.
- Nimrod International Journal, founded by the University of Tulsa in 1956, offers cash prizes for poetry and fiction along with a trip to Tulsa to accept the award and participate in its annual writing conference. There's a $20 entry fee which includes a subscription to the magazine. Check the website for guidelines.
- Ancient City Romance Writers meet Saturday, March 23 at 12:30 p.m. at the SE Regional Branch Library to hear Shannon Greenland and Simoone Elkeles. The topic sounds tasty, "Sweet and Spicy."
- The SF & Fantasy Writers Group of Jacksonville next meets at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13 at the South Mandarin Branch Library. Contact Tim Robinson for more information.