Friday, October 31, 2014

Make it a November to remember

I returned from the excellent FWA Conference with renewed energy and motivated to complete book three in my Quint Mitchell Mystery series. If you're like me and close to your goals, let me remind you that November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, as it is known. You don't have to write a novel in a month, but please join me in a renewed effort to write more and write better.

And speaking of last weekend's FWA Annual Conference, congratulations go out to a host of NE Florida writers who hauled in a large number of RPLA Awards. This includes the Book of the Year Award to M. W. Gordon, whose book Deadly Drifts took first place in the Thriller/Suspense category (Published), and went on to garner the Book of the Year (Published) award for having the highest total number of judges' points. BTW, Mike was the speaker at last month's Ponte Vedra Writers meeting.

Please congratulate these other RPLA Winners from NE Florida:

General (Pre-Published) FIRST PLACE –BABE by Elle Thornton
Fantasy (Pre-Published) FIRST PLACE – The Jaguar Key The Eternals: Book One by Kate Maier writing as Katherine Starbird
Science Fiction (Published) Second Place – Lifespan by T. J. Silverio
Short Story (Pre-Published) FIRST PLACE – Too Close to the Wind by Marie Vernon
Women’s Fiction (Pre-Published) FIRST PLACE – Merciful Blessings by Lynn Kathleen (Pen name for Nancy Quatrano and Daria Ludas
Historical Fiction (Published) FIRST PLACE – SHARAVOGUE by Nancy Blanton
Novella (Pre-Published) Second Place – The Magic in the Middle by Mark Reasoner
Thriller/Suspense (Published) Second Place – Power Fade by Keith Gockenbach
Thriller/Suspense (Pre-Published) THIRD PLACE – A Lion in Spring by Kenneth R. Overman
Autobiography/Memoir (Published) FIRST PLACE –Meeting Her Match: the Story of a Female Athlete-Coach, before and After Title IX by Debbie Millbern Powers
SECOND PLACE – From the Inside Out by John David Tinny
THIRD PLACE – A Life of Blood and Danger by Daniel J. Hill.
Educational/Informational (Published) Second Place – Schools: A Niche Market for Authors by Jane R. Wood
Sorry, if I left anyone out, but let me know and I'll add you to the list.

Now for the latest on FWA meetings:
  • Amelia Island Writers group leader Maggie deVries is stepping down after 7 years leading the group. She will host one more meeting at the Marina Seafood Restaurant in Fernandina Beach on Tuesday, November 4. The group meets at 6:15 p.m. Please attend the meeting and let Maggie know you appreciate all of her efforts for FWA and Nassau County writers. We're making progress on identifying new leaders and new directions for the group, and will keep you informed of our progress. Thank you, Maggie for all that you've done over the years.
  • Since the River City Writers meeting falls on Veteran's Day and the SE Branch Library is closed, there will be no meeting this month.
  • John Boles will talk about the Hero's Journey at the meeting of the Ancient City Writers, Saturday, November 15, 10:00 a.m. at St. Augustine's Main Library. John's presentation, "The Hero's Journey: The Key to Great Characterization" highlight's the common patterns in stories through the ages, and talks about the eight basic archetypes.
  • The Clay County Writers meet on Wednesday, November 19. The time is 6:15 p.m. and the place is the Orange Park Library, 2054 Plainfield Avenue. Group leader Maureen Jung says this will be a hands-on session on writing/rewriting author bios. Anthology writers are invited to give their 3-minute summary of the Embedded in Clay projects. All writers and advisory board members for this project are encouraged to attend.
  • Writer, editor, and RPLA Award winner Nancy Quatrano visits the Ponte Vedra Writers, Saturday, November 22 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. Nancy has a topic of interest to all writers, "Editing to Sell." She'll talk about the different types of editors and editing, and what every writer needs. Nancy will also address the most common errors writers make, and answer your questions. 
  •  The Jax Youth Writers begin twice monthly meetings in November, meeting on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. Contact Kimberly Smith to climb aboard the Youth Writers bandwagon.
  • The Nassau County Youth Writers meet the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 4:45 p.m. at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach. Jim Weinsier has all the details.

And in other news:

  • Florida Sisters in Crime welcome SJSO Detective Joeffrey Alvarez to discuss "Officer Involved Shooting" at its Saturday, November 1 meeting, 10:30 a.m. at the SE Regional Library. 
  • Kimberly Smith and Amy Maughan will present an 8-week intensive workshop entitled "Harnessing the Narrative Elements," to run from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday in February and April. If interested in signing up or learning more, contact Kimberly at for more information.
  • Congratulations to MJ Hayes on the launch of her new book, A Deaf Child's Silent Concert, a follow-up to her book Emma's House of Sound.
  • The first FWA mini-conference, "A Day at the Bay," is set for Saturday, February 14 (Valentine's Day) in Tampa. As in all the 2015 mini-conferences, this one will have two tracks, and the focus will be on craft and writing exercises, including Romance writing. Visit the FWA website for registration information, or if you'd like to be a presenter.
  • Michael Wiley appears at the Ponte Vedra Library's Book Talk Cafe program on Monday, November 17, 6:30 p.m. to talk about his new suspense thriller, Blue Avenue. The Shamus Award-winning author has a series of PI mysteries set in Chicago, but Wiley's newest novel is set in Jacksonville and introduces detective Daniel Turner. 
Enjoy the fall weather and keep writing.

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director