Here we go again. Instead of summer doldrums, we're cranking out pages, doing book signings and preparing for upcoming writers conferences. There goes my summer. How about you?
Let's move on, and see what the torrid month of July has in store for us.
- Hop aboard the Amelia Island Writers train as they depart tomorrow evening, Tuesday, July 1, 6:15 p.m. at the Marina Seafood Restaurant in Fernandina Beach. Author Nadine Vaughan Williams talks about her new series of children's books focusing on America's trains. As usual, group leader Maggie deVries suggests you RSVP so the restaurant can be prepared with the proper set-up. Contact Maggie at 904-321-6180.
- Moving on to Tuesday, July 8, the River City Writers meet at 7:00 p.m. at Jacksonville's SE Branch Library off Gate Parkway. Co-leader Melissa Kosciuszko (who writes under the pen name M. S. Kaye) presents "Tips on How to Use Word and Pages to Display Your Writing Like a Pro." Contact Gregg Golson for more information.
- The Clay County Writers meet Wednesday, July 16 at 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library to hear award-winning romance writer Heather Ashby's take on "First Drafts are Supposed to be Sh**ty." Her workshop will offer inspiration to writers mired down by perfectionism in their early drafts, and also to those afraid to even begin for fear of failure. Navy veteran Heather is the author of the military romance series, "Love in the Fleet," (Henery Press). Group leader Maureen Jung has more details about the meeting.
- Carol O'Dell addresses the topic of today's growing social media in the Saturday, July 19 meeting of Ancient City Writers, 10:00 a.m. at St. Augustine's Main Library. In her workshop, "Taking the Confusion Out of Social Media Marketing," Carol reviews the major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and other online connections. You'll learn how to use social media to build a loyal readership and increase sales.
- If you're struggling with point of view—as many writers do—then mark your calendar for Saturday, July 26 when the Ponte Vedra Writers welcome Vicki Taylor. Vicki, a past president and founding member of FWA, is a 12-time novelist, writing coach and speaker from Tampa. In her talk, "Point of View–Who's Going to Tell Your Story," she'll discuss the differences in POV, and how to select the best POV character for your story. The Ponte Vedra Writers meet from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Ponte Vedra Library, 101 Library Blvd.
- The First Coast Christian Writers, an FWA affiliate, meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconett Library.
- If you haven't registered for the FWA Annual Conference, October 23-26 in Lake Mary, now is the time to commit. You can and should be part of the "Stars of Florida Writers" this year as the conference offers more agents, acquiring editors, and publishers, more workshops, including Thursday night workshops, and a whole new slant on how to be a more successful writer. The Thursday night workshops are only for those who register before the July 31 early bird deadline. Find all the details from the workshop schedule and bios to registration information by clicking here.
- And speaking of early bird registration, the Florida Heritage Book Festival Writers Conference also has a July 31 deadline for the two-day conference, September 25-26 at St. Augustine's Flagler College. The first day offers critique workshops in small group settings where you may have your WIP evaluated. Friday's conference offers a full day of one-hour workshops on the craft and business of writing. Among the faculty are bestselling authors John Dufresne and Elizabeth Sims. Another bestseller, Lisa Black, is the keynote luncheon speaker. Visit the website for complete details and registration information, including about the Literary Legends Banquet which honors Robin Cook and John D. MacDonald. You may register for each day individually or take the complete package, which includes the Literary Legends Banquet, the most cost-effective way to enjoy the writers conference.
- Florida Sisters in Crime has moved its first Saturday meeting to July 12 due to the July 4 holiday. They'll gather at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Branch Library for a planning session targeting the Christmas holiday party and the August 2nd workshop with bestselling author CJ Lyons.
- The North Florida Writers meet on the second Saturday of the month at noon at the VyStar Credit Union, 760 Riverside Avenue. Guests are welcome.
- If you're looking for a reason to head south in August, look no further than the Florida Authors & Publishers Association's Fall Conference, August 8 - 9 in Pompano Beach. There are three workshop tracks on Friday the 8th, including Children's Books with Mark Wayne Adams, Jane Wood, and Jennifer Swanson; Fiction Writing with Vic DiGenti's Novel in a Day workshop, and another track covering Marketing. Today, June 30, is the deadline for early bird registration. Check it out.
FWA Regional Director