Friday, February 28, 2014

Forward March

With thanks to Howard Denson, I'll begin this month's FWA blog post with his quotation: "March will either come in like a line from Spillane or go out like Helen Steiner Rice…or vice versa." 

Looking at tomorrow's weather forecast it seems Helen has the edge as it should be a sunny day with temps in the low 70s. But enough about the weather, there's writing business to attend to. Here's my forecast for March.

  • Gregg Golson and Melissa Koscluszko lead the River City Writers group on Tuesday, March 11. They meet at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library to hear from Nancy Payne-Olewiler who will speak on "Grammar and Punctuation Pointers to Let Your Work Shine." Sounds like a topic many of us would benefit from.
  • The Amelia Island Writers are changing dates once again, but only for this month. They'll meet on Wednesday, March 12, still at 6:15 p.m. at the Marina Seafood Restaurant in downtown Fernandina Beach. The reason for the move is to accommodate the publishers of Heartland Books of Canada, who will present a program on the ins and outs of getting published. Contact Maggie de Vries for reservations and information at, or call 904-321-6180.
  • The Clay County Writers meet on Wednesday, March 19 at 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library, 2054 Plainfield Avenue off Kingsley Avenue. Contact Maureen Jung for details.
  • Memoir guru Patricia Charpentier takes the Ponte Vedra Library stage to address the Ponte Vedra Writers chapter on Saturday, March 22 at 10:30 a.m. Patricia will tell us how to "Write Your Life Stories" in new and innovative ways. If you've ever thought about writing a memoir, then this is the meeting for you.
  • Renovations are under way at St. Augustine's Main Library, and the Ancient City Writers have moved to the Anastasia Island Branch Library, 124 Sea Grove Main Street. They've also moved their meeting date to Saturday, March 22 at 10:00 a.m. and will hear from Cheyenne Knopf, Marketing Manager of Cheyenne will address the business side of writing with her talk, "Financials of Book Selling: A Sales & Income Tax Workshop." Perfect timing as we approach April 15.
  • Kimberly Smith leads the Jax Youth Writers on the last Thursday of the month, 6:45 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. Kimberly is reaching out to find someone to help her lead this group of young writers. Contact her at
  • The Nassau County Youth Writers meet on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 4:445 p.m. at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach. Contact Jim Weinsier for details.
  • FWA affiliate First Coast Christian Writers meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconett Library.
And in other news:

  • The Douglas Anderson Writers' Festival presents "An Evening with Richard Ford," the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Independence Day and Canada. The event is on Saturday, March 8 at 7:00 p.m. at the UNF Andrew Robinson Theater. Tickets are $20. Click here for more information on the writers' festival.
  • There will be featured workshops for the writing community as part of Florida State College's 25th Annual International Conference on College Teaching and Learning. April Eberhardt, who bills herself as a Literary Change Agent, will conduct three workshops on March 24 and 25 at the FSCJ Deerwood Campus. The sessions are "The New Era of Publishing–How to Make It Work for You," "ePublishing: Who, What, Where, When, How–and Why," and "Writing Effective Short Stories." There's also a session on screenwriting, plus two keynote presentations, including one by theoretical physicist and futurist Michio Kaku, PhD. You've seen him on morning television and he'll be at the Sawgrass Marriott on Thursday, March 27 to talk about "The Future." Details and registration at, or contact Jack Chambers at
  • Local author, screenwriter and generally all-around ebullient person, Sharon Y. Cobb, presents two March writing workshops as part of the UNF Learn Jacksonville program. On March 1, "How to Publish You E-book," and "Marketing Your Books" on March 8. Visit the Learn Jacksonville website for registration details.
  • The Florida Sisters in Crime chapter meets tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Regional Library. Brothers, as well as sisters are welcome. Their Book Club meets on the second Friday of the month, 2:00 p.m. at the Panera's at Atlantic and Southside Blvd. They will eat and discuss this month's book club selection, A Time to Live, A Time to Die, by Edith Maxwell. Visitors are welcome.
  • Lynn Shapyak Harlin announces registration is now open for the next Shanty Boat Workshop classes commencing March 26. Contact Lynn for details at 904-778-8000 or email her at
  • The Ancient City Romance Writers welcome author Cheryl Norman as their speaker on Saturday, March 22at 1:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. She'll discuss "Active Voice vs Passive Voice (AKA Show Don't tell).
  • The Florida Authors & Publishers Association holds its Spring Conference on Saturday, March 8 from noon to 5:00 p.m. at Nova Southeastern University in Orlando. The theme of the conference is, "Book Marketing Sizzle! Igniting Your Writing and Publishing Sales. Click here for more information.
And since we opened with a quote alluding to the March weather, I'll end with another climate quote, this one from none other than Mark Twain.

"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company."

Enjoy the first day of spring and Daylight Savings Time. More light to write by.

Victor DiGenti
FWA Regional Director