Thursday, January 01, 2015

A New Beginning

I think you'll agree that 2014 brought some mixed blessings, but now we begin anew. I won't bore you with my long list of resolutions, but instead jump right to the upcoming FWA meetings here in NE Florida. I hope one of your resolutions is to attend more meetings. Maybe I'll see you there.
  • Changes have come to the group formerly known as the Amelia Island Writers. As announced in last month's post, Maggie deVries has stepped down after leading the group for 7 years, and Nadine Vaughan Williams and Nancy Blanton have stepped up to move the group forward. The new Writers by the Sea will meet on the third Thursday of the month, January 15, at 6:00 p.m. upstairs at Cafe Karibo, 27 North 3rd Street in Fernandina Beach. Nadine and Nancy have not only ushered in the changes for a new name and meeting location, they also have their monthly programs scheduled for the entire year. On January 15, Nancy Blanton talks about the critical importance of working with a critique group and giving and receiving positive feedback.
  • The River City Writers will meet at the SE Branch Library at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 13 to hear from award-winning author Debbie Reed Fisher. Debbie's topic is "Writing Dialogue that Sounds Real." For more information contact Gregg Golson at
  • The Jax Youth Writers meet on the first and third Thursday of each month at the popular SE Branch Library. Contact Kimberly Smith for details.
  • The Nassau County Youth Writers also meet on the first and third Thursdays, 4:45 p.m. at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach. Jim Weinsier has the details.
  • The Ancient City Writers group meets at 10:00 a.m. at St. Augustine's Main Library on Saturday, January 17. I'm happy to accept the group's invitation to present the workshop on outlining I did for this year's FWA Conference. I'll provide fresh perspectives on that burning question of whether tis better to outline or not. In my presentation, "To Outline or Not to Outline? That is the Question," I offer examples, testimonials from both sides, and even an alternative outlining scenario using fairy tales as the foundation.
  • The Clay County Writers next meeting is on Wednesday, January 20 ay 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library. Maureen Jung is the group leader. Contact her for more information.
  • The Ponte Vedra Writers group returns for the new year on Saturday, January 24, 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. Marie Vernon and Judy Weber (writing together as Amber Adams) discuss the pleasures and perils of co-authorship in a workshop they call, "Writing 2X2: The Advantages of Co-Authorship." Last year, Marie and Judy published the first in their new Day McKelvey Mystery series, Above the Fold, and will soon release the second, Real Estate is Murder. In their presentation, Judy and Marie will discuss their writing process, and answer questions about how to form a writing team and make it work.
  • FWA affiliate First Coast Christian Writers meet each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
  • Florida Sisters in Crime meets this Saturday, January 3, 10:30 a.m. in meeting room A of the SE Regional Library. If you're writing about the influx of drugs from overseas and researching what's being done to stop the flow of illicit drugs, then you won't want to miss this meeting that focuses on the US Coast Guard's mission to serve and protect us.
  • New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry is the featured author at the Ponte Vedra Library's Book Talk Cafe program on Monday, January 12 at 6:30 p.m. Berry will discuss his latest thriller, The Lincoln Myth, as well as his upcoming Cotton Malone adventure, The Patriot Threat. The program is free and open to the public.
  • Tickets are still available for the Florida Heritage Book Festival's special presentation of bestselling authors Pat Conroy and Janis Owens on Thursday, January 8 at Flagler College's Lewis Auditorium. Visit the FHBF website for details.
  • Ancient City Romance Writers meet on Saturday, January 24 at 1:00 p.m. at South Mandarin Branch Library on San Jose Blvd. The speaker is author Maria Geraci who will present, "Writing Faster and Better." More information here.
  • FWA's first mini-conference of 2015 is on Saturday, January 17 down near Venice, Florida. "Short Shorts" is the title and theme as the workshops focus on writing short magazine articles, flash fiction, and poetry. Click here for the conference program.
Here's hoping all of your New Year's dreams come true.

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director