Thursday, January 02, 2014

Make a splash in the New Year

The new year has arrived with a splash, trailing damp footprints and puddles. Perfect weather for staying inside and writing. NE Florida is jumping with meetings and events for writers, so let's get started.
  • Maggie de Vries, the Amelia Island Writers group leader, reports the group has changed the date and location for its monthly meetings. Meetings will now be held on the first Tuesday of the month at 6:15 p.m. at the Marina Seafood Restaurant, 101 Centre Street in Fernandina Beach. This is just two doors down from Books Plus where they had been meeting. This month's speaker is Harold Voyles, author of the play, Shadow of a Man. You don't need to order a meal, but the restaurant needs a head count, so if you're planning to attend please contact Maggie at and let her know you'll be there.
  • Gaby Triana is the author of five traditionally published YA novels. Her newest book, Summer of Yesterday, has been described as Back to the Future meets Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Gaby is the guest speaker at the River City Writers meeting, Tuesday, January 14 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Regional Library. Her topic is "Beefing Up the Narrative During Revision." Contact group leader Gregg Golson for details. 
  • Clay County Writers meet Wednesday, January 15 at 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library. Award-winning SF writer Chris Hejmanowski, M.D. talks on the topic, "Writing is the Easy Part." Chris, whose first novel, Collider, won the 2013 USA Book News Science Fiction/Fantasy Book of the Year, discusses the importance of the editing process, and the all-important marketing process. Group leader Maureen Jung has details.
  • On Saturday, January 18 at 10:00 a.m., St. Augustine's Ancient City Writers welcome Bob Lucas, VP of Events and Professional Development for the Florida Authors and Publishers Association. Bob will talk about "How to Capitalize on Your Writing Strategies for Recognition and Making Money." You'll find the ACW chapter meeting at St. Augustine's Main Library. This meeting will run for 75 minutes.
  • The Jax Youth Writers will meet on Thursday, January 23 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library.  Contact Kimberly Smith for more information.
    Richie Levine

  • Book trailers can help pique a reader's interest, particularly if they're well done. If you're considering producing a book trailer to spur your books sales, then you might want to attend the Saturday, January 25th meeting of the Ponte Vedra Writers. Award-winning filmmaker Richard Levine will demonstrate how book trailers can enhance marketing, showing examples and providing details of what's involved. Richie has been a writer and editor for 25 years. His short films have won awards at the Park City Music Film Festival and the Crystal Reel Awards.  The Ponte Vedra Writers meet at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library.
  • First Coast Christian Writers, an FWA affiliate, meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
But wait, there's more.
  • Florida Sisters in Crime meets this Saturday, January 4, at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Regional Library.  This will be a meet and greet meeting, with members taking 5 minutes each to tell about themselves. More information needed? Contact FSinC President Audrey O'Neil.
  • First Coast Romance Writers meets on Saturday, January 11 at 10:15 a.m. with the first of two workshops. The morning session will be an an overview of the year ahead by President Priscilla Kissinger and board members. The afternoon session features a talk show format to answer the hard questions from writers who want to explore all their publishing options.
  • The Ancient City Romance Authors meet on Saturday, January 25 at 11:30 a.m. at the SE Regional Library to hear from Priscilla Kissinger and Charlee Allden discussing "Critical Emotion in Your Writing."
  • The first FWA Mini-Conference and Book Festival of 2014 takes place next week, January 10-11 in downtown Bradenton. More information here. This will be followed by the Lady Lake Memoir Mini-Conference on February 22nd.
  • Retired Miami/Dade police detective/captain turned crime writer, Marshall Frank, will hold a seminar entitled "So You Want to Write a Book," at the Palm Coast Hampton Inn on Saturday, February 1. More details here.
  • Lynn Skapyak Harlin presents another round of Shanty Boat Workshops starting Wednesday, February 5 and continuing each Wednesday night for six weeks. The workshops are for writers of both fiction and non-fiction and cover a wide variety of craft essentials. For registration or more information, call Lynn at 778-8000, or email her at
  • The North Florida Writers group has moved the time and location for their meetings. They will meet on Saturday, January 11 at noon at the VyStar Credit Union at 760 Riverside Avenue to hear from Dorothy Fletcher talking about her new book, Local History: Lost Restaurants of Jacksonville.
  • Kudos to FWA members Marie Vernon and Judy Weber on the publication of their co-authored murder mystery, Above the Fold. Writing as Amber Adams, the story is set in St. Augustine and is the first in a series.
  • The Amelia Island Book Festival is right around the corner, February 21-22. The Festival includes a writers conference on Friday, with a talk by David Baldacci, and the Readers Festival on Saturday. Visit the website for details.
  • Looking for a critique group? You're in luck because Susan Kiernan-Lewis is forming one. Contact Susan at for more information.
  • Award-winning novelist Vic DiGenti (aka Parker Francis) brings his popular Novel in a Day workshop back to Jacksonville on Saturday, March 1 for the first time in a year. The full day class covers many of the essential ingredients for writing a compelling novel in a fast-paced interactive session. It will be held at the Summer Key Clubhouse. Details and registration can be found on his Parker Francis site.
Until next time, keep writing, and I'll see you on the book shelves.

Victor Digenti
FWA Regional Director

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