Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Writers Are People Who Write

For years I had a sign over my desk that read WRITERS ARE PEOPLE WHO WRITE. It wasn't that I was linguistically challenged and required help defining the word "Writers." No, I admit to being a world class procrastinator, and the sign was a not so subtle reminder that unless I was actually writing I wasn't a writer, just a person with a wannabe writer. Sure, I could talk a good game about what I was planning to write, or convince myself I was in the research phase of my next book while I was reading or watching the squirrels frolic beneath the bird feeder. But unless I was writing, I was only a person who wanted to write.

Mystery novelist Elizabeth George may have said it best when she ascribed her success to "bum glue," the ability to keep your bum in the chair and write. Now that my bum is in the chair, I think I'd like to get on with writing this post.

Here's what's happening this month at our NE Florida FWA meetings:
  • Journalist and children's book author Stephen Kindland is the guest speaker at the April 14 meeting of the River City Writers. They'll gather at the SE Branch Library at 7:00 p.m. to hear Stephen share his experiences as a self-published author, providing specifics about the costs and pitfalls of hiring a publishing company versus the benefits of using a free self-publishing service. Contact Gregg Golson for more information.
  • If you've ever been asked "Where do you get your story ideas?" then you'll want to hear what Michael Ray FitzGerald has to say on the subject. FitzGerald will speak at the April 15 meeting of Clay County Writers, 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library, on the topic, "Spotting Good Story Ideas: They're Probably Right in Front of You." FitzGerald has written hundreds of articles for business journals and other publications on the topics of music, film and culture. Group leader Maureen Jung has more details. 
  • Writers by the Sea meet Thursday, April 16 at the Amelia Island Museum of History on 3rd Street in downtown Fernandina Beach. A social time starts at 6:00 with the meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. Area thriller writer Chuck Barrett will speak on the topic of "Publishing Alternatives: What is Print-On-Demand?" A number of small support/critique groups will meet following the presentation.
  • In what may be a first, having four FWA meetings in one week, the Ancient City Writers chapter meets on Saturday, April 18, 10:00 a.m. at St. Augustine's Main Library (corner of US 1 and San Carlos). Rik Feeney talks titles in this presentation he calls "Great Book Titles: Make Them Marketable and Memorable." Rik will tell us why your title is so important, and how to test its Internet impact.
  • POSTPONED TO SATURDAY, MAY 2ND   As though to prove you can't get enough of a good thing, Rik Feeney makes a return visit to the Ponte Vedra Writers meeting on Saturday, MAY 2. Come to the Ponte Vedra Library for the 10:30 a.m. meeting to hear Rik ask the burning question, "Audio Books — Have You Heard the Latest?" Rik will share the benefits of adding audiobooks to your product line, and how to do it yourself or even have a pro do it for nothing. Contact Vic DiGenti for more information about this meeting.
  • The Jax Youth Writers meet on the first and third Thursdays of the month, 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. Kimberly Smith has the details. 
  • The Nassau County Youth Writers also meet the first and third Thursdays of the month at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach at 4:45 p.m. Contact Jim Weinsier for more information. 
And now for the rest of the story:

  • FWA's 4th Annual Writer's Nest Mini-Conference is set for Saturday, April 25 at the Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs. Workshops will cover screenwriting, writing the YA novel, POV, and taking your writing to the next level, among others. Click here for all the details.
  • April 30 is the deadline for both the FWA Collection and FWA Youth Collection. The 2015 Adult Collection, Volume 7, comes with the theme "Revisions, Stories of Starting Over" and will include 60 short pieces written by FWA members. Your submission may take the form of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. This year's Person of Renown, Marie Bostwick, will select her top ten favorites. The word limit is 1,200 words. Visit the webpage for all the entry guidelines.
  • The FWA Youth Collection, Volume 2, has a similar theme of "Starting Over." Click here for entry guidelines.
  • Submissions for the RPLA competitions close on May 15. Everything you ever wanted to know about this year's competition can be found right here.
  • Calling all mystery writers! There's a new mystery writers group in St. Augustine called Murder Ink, and they're searching for new members. They meet on the first Thursday of each month, 5:30 p. m. at the St. Johns County's SE Branch  Library on US 1 and SR 206. That's Thursday, April 2 this month. Contact Kurt McGill for more info.
  • Florida Sisters in Crime meets Saturday, April 4 at 10:15 a.m. at the Jax SE Branch Library to hear Deputy Director Penelope Knox from the local branch of the U. S. Marshall's Service. Ms. Knox will explain the difference between reality and fiction as it pertains to the duties of the U. S. Marshall's Service.
  • Lynn Harlin kicks off another in her series of Shanty Boat Writers Workshops that will meet each Saturday afternoon from April 11 to May 16. The workshops are for both beginning and more seasoned writers, and run from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. Contact Lynn for more info.
  • Nancy Quatrano, editor, author, writing coach, has put out double call for short story entries. The first is for Christmas stories to be included in Snowbird Christmas, Volume 3. Word count from 1,000 to 3,000 words, and stories may be either fiction or non-fiction, but must be heart warming and G rated. Deadline is April 18. The second call is for mysteries set on the East Coast, any state that touches the Atlantic Ocean. Word count from 1,500 to 3,500, and submission between June 10 and July 10. There is no entry fee. Contact Nancy at for more details.
  • Congratulations to Holly Bebernitz on the publication of Road to Briarwood, part two of the Magnolia Arms Chronicles. Holly will have a book launch party at Heavenly Chocolate Creations, 4251 Lenox Avenue, on Saturday, April 25 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Sounds tasty. 

And that's all the news for the month of April, 2015. Remember, Writers are people who write.

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

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