Saturday, March 29, 2014

April Showers Bring April Taxes

April showers have apparently started early. As I write this the rain has been steady for over two hours. Maybe Mother Nature is celebrating the opening weekend of the new "Noah" movie. Since I'm confined to quarters, it's a good time to update the FWA blog with a new list of area meetings and events.

  • The Amelia Island Writers return to their first Tuesday meeting date, April 1. I'm sure it's a coincidence that is April Fool's Day, as group leader Maggie deVries is sure to have another fine program lined up. They will meet at 6:15 p.m. at the Marina Seafood Restaurant in Fernandina Beach. Please contact Maggie to RSVP at
  • River City Writers meet Tuesday, April 8 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library off Gate Parkway. They'll hear from Jennifer Shannon, author of Awakenings, about how she used social media to get an agent and get published. She'll also provide a brief tutorial on using Twitter. Contact group leader Gregg Golson for more details at
  • Clay County Writers meet on Wednesday, April 16, 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library. Retired journalist Lamar Thames will speak on "Just the Facts, Ma'am." He'll share some of his secrets for getting the best interviews from your subjects. Contact Maureen Jung for more details.
  • The Nassau County Youth Writers, under the direction of hard-working James Weinsier, meet on the first and third Tuesdays at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach at 4:45 p.m.
  • Ancient City Writers continue to meet at the Anastasia Island Branch Library due to ongoing renovations at the Main Library. They'll meet at 12:00 Noon on Saturday, April 26, to hear from Nancy Quatrano speaking on "Editing for the Sale."
  • And due to conflicts in all meeting spaces at the Ponte Vedra Library, the Ponte Vedra Writers will not meet this month. We'll return on Saturday, May 24 with a special panel discussion on children's books—writing and publishing.
  • Kimberly Smith leads the Jax Youth Writers on the last Thursday of the month at the SE Branch Library beginning at 6:45 p.m. Please contact Kimberly if you're willing to help coordinate the meetings.
  • FWA affiliate First Coast Christian Writers meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
But wait, there's more:
  • The Florida Heritage Book Festival and Writers Conference last week announced this year's schedule of workshops and author presentations, September 25 - 27. Headlined by Literary Legend honoree Robin Cook, the Festival will also honor posthumously master crime writer John D. MacDonald. The Writers Conference will include critiques workshops on Thursday, September 25 and a full day of one-hour sessions on Friday. Featured Authors appearing on Saturday include Lisa Black, Jon Jefferson, Scott Eyman, John Dufresne, Connie Mae Fowler, and many more. Visit the Festival website for details.
  • Mystery author Michael Wiley, one of the Featured Authors at the Florida Heritage Book Festival, is the speaker at the Florida Sisters in Crime meeting, Saturday, April 5 at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Branch Library. Brothers and sisters are welcome. Visit the website for more information.
  • Editor/author Nancy Quatrano (On-Target Words) announces she is doing a fundraiser for Sisters in Crime. She will content edit ten pages of manuscript, either fiction or nonfiction, for $20, half of her regular fee, and donate it all to the local Sisters in Crime organization in celebration of the 10th anniversary this August. If interested, contact Nancy at 
  • April 26 seems to be a popular date. FWA is holding its Writer's Nest Mini-Conference on that date at the Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs. It features multi-million seller Davis Bunn as keynoter. Check it out at
  • Closer to home on April 26, Jane R. Wood and Frances Keiser present a workshop on how to publish a children's book. "Oh, the Places You'll Go" will take place from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the Event Hall at the Fair Trade Cafe, 4882 Palm Coast Parkway NW, Palm Coast. The fee is $59. Register at, or call Jane at 904-268-9572 for more information.
  • And even closer, Ancient City Romance Writers welcome author Diane Burke to their April 26 meeting to discuss "Gems from the Treasure Chest—Words of Wisdom from Successfully Published Authors." The meeting is from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. More info here.
  • If you're looking for a Beaches critique group, Mary Kohnke says they're looking for a few more writers for the Ponte Vedra group meeting twice a month at the PV Library. If interested, contact Mary via email or by phone: or 904-285-3452.
The rain has stopped for now, but even more dire things await: April 15 is income tax deadline. So I'll leave you with this bit of wisdom from Terry Pratchett, who said of death and taxes that taxes are worse, "because at least death didn't happen to you every year."


Victor DiGenti
FWA Regional Director