Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Conference Time

The tenth month of the year is always special to FWA members, and it's not because the ghosts and goblins of Halloween come out to play. We all know the FWA Annual Conference takes place in October, bringing with it an opportunity to network with other writers, learn from the pros in a series of craft workshops, pitch your work to the agents, editors and publishers in attendance, and have your WIP critiqued.

This year's "Stars of Florida Writers" conference, October 23 - 26 at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary, is sure to hit all the hot buttons for writers of all levels and genres. It begins with the traditional FWF Celebrity Author Workshop on Thursday as New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick shares writing secrets from conception to publication. And, for the first time, there are Thursday evening workshops, which were free with early registration, but now for only an extra $35 when you register for at least one day of the conference.

Click here for all the latest information on registration, the schedule, and the speakers.

Now, let's move on to the happenings here in NE Florida for the month of October.

  • The Nassau County branch of FWA known as the Amelia Island Writers group, meets Tuesday, October 7 at 6:15 p.m. at the Marina Seafood Restaurant in Fernandina Beach. Contact group leader Maggie deVries for meeting details. She also appreciates RSVPs, so the restaurant staff knows how many tables and chairs to reserve for the meeting.
  • The River City Writers will gather together on Tuesday, October 14 at 7:00 p.m. at Jacksonville's SE Branch Library to hear from horror writer John Maycumber telling us "How to Create Fear in Your Writing." For info, email Gregg at
  • Area editor, writer, and all-around good person Nancy Quatrano takes center stage at the Clay County Writers meeting on Wednesday, October 15, 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library. Nancy's presentation is titled, "How to Build a Writing Platform," and she'll share ways for you to build writing credits, establish a following, and earn cash.Questions? Contact group leader Maureen Jung.
  • Jax Youth Writers will meet on Thursday, October 16 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Regional Library. Group leader Kimberly Smith tells us that going forward, the group of young writers will meet twice a month on the first and third Thursdays. They'll meet again on November 6 for a critiquing session and to work on a group project. If you know of any young writers who might be interested in joining this group, please contact Kimberly, and check out the Florida Youth Writers here.
  • The Ancient City Writers meeting is set for Saturday, October 18 at 10:00 a.m. inside St. Augustine's Main Library. Novelist Ron Whittington will discuss "The Craft of Writing & Marketing in 2014."
  • The Ponte Vedra Writers meeting has been moved from its traditional 4th Saturday of the month schedule to Saturday, October 18 due to the conflict with the FWA Conference. Join us at the Ponte Vedra Library at 10:30 a.m. to welcome novelist M. W. Gordon, author of the Macduff Brooks fly fishing mystery series. Mike is an FWA RPLA award winner, and a former law professor at the University of Florida. His workshop is titled, "Don't Write Like I Write," and reviews the various choices facing writers as they work to publish their finished manuscript, and how each decision impacts the desired outcome.
  • The Nassau County Youth Writers meet the first and third Tuesdays of the month at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach. Email Jim Weinsier for details. 
  • And finally, don't forget FWA affiliate, the First Coast Christian Writers, meeting each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
And in  other breaking news:
  • New Smyrna Beach Book Festival — October 4 - 5, Islander Beach Resort
  • Digital Publishing with Kindle Seminar — October 4, Winter Park Library 
  • Florida Sisters in Crime meets Saturday, October 4 at Dgg Tactical, 8725 Youngerman Court off Blanding Blvd. with a weapons demonstration by CEO Teresa Meares. They will also accept nominations for 2015 officers.
  • Internationally acclaimed author Robert N. Macomber, writer of the Honor series of maritime historicals, will speak at the Ponte Vedra Library at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, October 13. This is a rare opportunity to meet this award-winning author as he lives in S. Florida and spends much of his time lecturing in Europe. 
We'll let Porky Pig sign off for us. Hint: click on the pig.


Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy

This is one of those times when I wish I could clone myself. With the Florida Heritage Book Festival & Writers Conference coming up, I'm on overdrive, and this month's post will be brief. So let's get started.

  • The Amelia Island Writers group meets tonight, Tuesday, September 2nd at 6:15 p.m. at the Marina Seafood Restaurant in Fernandina Beach. Group leader Maggie deVries has a critique session planned. Maggie has more info. Contact her at
  • Next Tuesday, September 9, join the River City Writers at the SE Branch Library at 7:00 p.m. Contact Glenn Golson for more information. 
  • The Clay County Writers assemble at the Orange Park Library Wednesday, September 17 at 6:15 p.m. to hear from author Walter Joseph Schenck. He'll speak on the topic, "How to Turn Research into Effective Narration." Contact Maureen Jung for details.
  • Behind the children's carousel in downtown St. Augustine lurks the Main Library, and that's where the Ancient City Writers will meet on Saturday, September 20 at 10:00 a.m. The guest speaker is Donna Paz Kaufman of Paz & Associates. Donna's topic is "Indie Writers & Booksellers: Partners in Promotion." She'll talk about strategies for getting your book into bookstores.
  • There will be no meeting of the Ponte Vedra Writers this month since it's the same weekend as the Florida Heritage Book Festival. You're invited to instead visit with more than 30 authors at the free Book Festival, Saturday, September 27 at the Flagler College Ringhaver Student Center, 50 Sevilla Street in St. Augustine. Among the authors presenting are Abbi Glines, Jon Jefferson, Mary Kay Andrews, Scott Eyman, Lisa Black, Michael Wiley, Arliss Ryan, John Dufresne, and many more. There will also be a civil rights panel discussing NE Florida's place in the civil rights struggles of the early '60s, and two poetry sessions. Visit the website for more details.
  • The Jax Youth Writers will resume their meetings in October due to scheduling conflicts.
  • The Nassau County Youth Writers meet on the first and third Tuesday at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach. Contact Jim Weinsier for details.
  • FWA affiliate First Coast Christian Writers meet each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
Other meetings and events:
  • It's not too late to register for the Florida Heritage Book Festival Writers Conference. Registration for the critique sessions on Thursday, September 25 closes today, but you still have time to register for the Friday conference and Literary Legends Banquet. Visit the website for all the details.
  • You'll see a familiar face if you visit the Florida Sisters in Crime meeting this Saturday, September 6 at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Branch Library. Rik Feeney will discuss "Book Covers–Designs That Sell Books."
  • Author signings at the Ancient City Romance Writers 2014 Fiction Writers Conference on the Beach, Saturday, September 27, from 11:00 to 11:30, at the Hampton Inn on Beach Blvd. Authors signing include Heather Graham, Elizabeth Sinclair, Delores Wilson, Kathy Bain, and more. More information about the conference can be found here.
  • Frances Keiser's and Jane Wood's popular class, "The ABC's of Publishing a Children's Book," returns to UNF on October 14. Click here for more information.
  • Lynn Sholes, half of the thriller writing team with Joe Moore, speaks at the Ponte Vedra Library's Book Talk Cafe program on Monday, September 22 at 6:30 pm. Lynn will talk about their latest thriller, The Shield, the follow-up to the bestselling novel, The Blade.
  • Not to forget the upcoming FWA Annual Conference, Stars of Florida Writers, October 23 - 26 at the Lake Mary Marriott. This is consistently one of the best writers conferences around. Register now. Details here.
As the white rabbit said to Alice, "I'm late, I'm late ..." so that's all for now.


Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director