Thursday, September 29, 2016

It's Conference Time

With over 70 workshops, panels and other sessions, keynoter John Gilstrap, the Royal Palm Literary Awards Banquet, and much more, this is one FWA Conference not to be missed. Check out the list of faculty members, including agents, editors and publishers waiting to hear your pitch, then click here to register for the 15th annual FWA Conference. You won't be disappointed.

And because we want as many NE Florida writers as possible to attend the conference, both the Ponte Vedra Writers and Writers by the Sea groups will not have meetings this month. I'll be at the conference presenting two workshop sessions. I hope to see you there. Here's what the other area writers groups have planned for this month.

  • The River City Writers will meet on Tuesday, October 11 at 7:00 p.m. in Room D of the SE Branch Library. Group leader Gregg Golson will present "The Ten Commandments of Self Editing," how to ensure your writing is ready to be submitted to an agent or publisher.
  • The Ancient City Chapter welcomes Marge Smith, who writes as Elizabeth Sinclair, on Saturday, October 15 at St. Augustine's Main Library. Her topic is "First Chapters Count" and she will explore all the facets of a dynamic beginning that will keep the reader turning pages. It will answer the burning question of "Where do you begin?" Library doors open at 10:00 a.m. and the meeting begins at 10:15 a.m.
  • The Clay County Writers have a fun and helpful session planned for the Wednesday, October 19 meeting at the Orange Park Library, 2054 Plainfield Avenue. In "The Heart of the Story," writers are invited to pitch their story to the group in 50 words or less. They'll receive valuable feedback to help them hone their messages to readers. Group leader Maureen Jung reports the group is also holding a book sale on Saturday, October 15 from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. at the Community Commons Classroom in Penney Farms. She invites everyone attending the meetings to donate their gently used books on writing, editing, reading or speaking. Proceeds will go toward the group's Embedded in Clay anthology project. For more information, contact Maureen.
  • FWA affiliate First Coast Christian Writers meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Oakleaf Christian Fellowship on Lake Gray Boulevard.
  • There will be no meeting of Writers by the Sea in October so that everyone is able to attend the FWA Annual Conference in Altamonte Springs that week. In November, the group meets at the normal time on the third Thursday, at the Amelia Island Museum of History.
  • Again, the Ponte Vedra Writers are also taking a break this month, but will return on Saturday, November 12 with a workshop on how to break in to the publishing scene by novelist and short story writer Laura Lee Smith.
Around the area
  • Florida Sisters in Crime meets Saturday, October 1 at 10:15 a.m. at the Bartram Trail Library, 60 Davis Pond Boulevard, to hear from private investigator Steven Brown. Visit the website for more information.
  • Don't forget to register for the FWA Foundation's Celebrity Workshop with bestselling author Tosca Lee. Or select a separate Foundation workshop with author John Rehg. Both full day workshops precede the annual Conference on Thursday, October 20. You'll want to arrive early anyway since the conference kicks off Thursday evening with five outstanding sessions.
  • A Gathering of Poets meets on the first and third Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. This is a working group of poets, so bring four extra copies of your poems.
  • Speaking of the Ponte Vedra Library, the library's Book Talk Cafe program will feature noir novelist Michael Wiley discussing his latest Daniel Turner thriller, Black Hammock on Monday, October 17 at 6:30 p.m.
And that's all the latest in the neighborhood until next month. Don't forget the FWA Conference, October 20 - 23, and for those of you who are finalists in the RPLAs, I wish you the best of luck. If you're not sure who the finalists are, you can see them here.


Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director
2017 Conference Chair
October 19 - 22, 2017

Friday, September 02, 2016

Stormy Weather

I'm one of those people who find good quotes to make a point. With the passing of tropical storm Hermine, it seemed appropriate to find a storm related quote, and I found several that fit.

"There some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm."
~ Willa Cather

Or what about this one?

"I never waited for my Irish Cream Coffee to be the right temperature, with a storm happening outside and my fireplace crackling ... I wrote every day, at home, in the office, whether I felt like it or not. I just did it."
~Stephen J. Cannell

It looks like NE Florida was spared once again, so let's hope all future storms fall into the metaphor category. And now on to September highlights.

  • The Ponte Vedra Library is holding its semi-annual book sale the fourth weekend of the month, necessitating a move of the Ponte Vedra Writers meeting to Saturday, September 10 at 10:30 a.m. Award-winning writer Sandra McDonald will explore the evolving publishing world and the many options available in her workshop, "Picking Your Publishing Platform." Remember the meeting is on the second Saturday this month, not the fourth.
  • River City Writers meet Tuesday, September 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. Contact Gregg Golson for more information.
  • Writers by the Sea meets on Thursday, September 15 at the Amelia Island Museum of History at 6:00 p.m. Graphic novelist and illustrator Michael Regina presents "How Art and Illustration Can Help Sell Your Story." Please contact Nadine Vaughan-Williams for more details.
  • Learn how to write an effective press release at the Saturday, September 17 meeting of the Ancient City Writers chapter of FWA. Nancy Quatrano will educate us on writing "Press Releases that Work." The group meets at the St. Augustine Main Library at 10:00 a.m.
  • Maureen Jung and the Clay County Writers will focus on their anthology project, as well as learn "How to Write a Summary." Join the crowd at the Penney Farms Community Commons Classroom, Wednesday, September 21 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Contact Maureen if you need directions.
  • FWA affiliate, First Coast Christian Writers, meet each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Oakleaf Christian Fellowship on Lake Gray Boulevard.

And in other news:
  • The Florida Heritage Book Festival & Writers Conference, September 15 - 17, offers a diverse schedule of workshops and events for both writers and readers. Over 30 award-winning authors, workshops and critique groups, plus receptions honoring Stetson Kennedy and Elaine Konigsburg. Click here for more information and to register.
  • Each year on the Thursday preceding the FWA Conference, the FWA Foundation presents a
    day-long "Celebrity Workshop." This year you may opt to join award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee in a fast-paced workshop covering everything from writing unforgettable characters to creating gut-wrenching scenes. Her workshop is titled "10 Secrets of a New York Times Bestseller." Tosca is the bestselling author of The Progeny of a Queen, Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and The Books of Mortals Series. You also have another Foundation Workshop choice this year as John Rehg presents "From Nursery Rhyme to Novel: Singing Your Story Structure." John's presentation will run from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Tosca's from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 20. Each one is $89. Visit the site for more information.
  • Florida Sisters in Crime welcome Lt. Chase Mathews from the U.S. Navy Rescue Swimmers School to their Saturday, September 10 meeting. The group meets at 10:15 a.m. at the SE Regional Library.
  • A Gathering of Poets meets each first and third Thursday at 2:00 p.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library.This is a workshop group so bring four extra copies of your poems. Contact Sharon Scholl with any questions.
  • Ancient City Romance Writers present its annual conference, September 9 - 10 at the St. Augustine Beach Hampton Inn. Spend the weekend at the beach with authors Jade Lee/Kathy Lyons and Cindy Dees. Deb Werksman, editor from Sourcebooks Casablanca will keynote and take pitches. Click here for details.
  • If you have a one page short story, there's a contest for that. Visit this site for details, but hurry, the deadline's September 12.
One more storm quote before I clean up my yard.

"I pass my life in preventing the storm from blowing down my tent, and I drive in the pegs as fast as they are pulled up."
~Abraham Lincoln

Happy peg pounding,

Vic DiGenti
FWA NE Florida Regional Director
2017 FWA Conference Chair