Monday, October 31, 2016

November FWA Blog Post

Over 450 people attended the 2016 FWA Conference this month, many of them from the NE Florida area. If you missed it, you missed a good one, but you can make up for it by attending one of the FWA Focus Days, formerly known as mini-conferences. The first one is scheduled for April 29 in Altamonte Springs, and the focus is on Character-Driven Stories. But definitely put the 2017 Conference on your calendar, October 19 - 22, as the new Faculty Chair is planning a bunch of innovative sessions and new features.

Congratulations to all the RPLA winners. I hope you were one of them, but be sure to congratulate any of the writers you may know as these are the best of the best.

And now for the November meeting news:

  • The River City Writers offers the perfect prescription for ridding yourself of the election blues since the meeting falls on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. Linda Schilling Mitchell tells the story of how she developed her popular coloring book, Colorful Florida in a talk she calls, "Thinking Outside the Box for Writers." And maybe outside the lines as well.
  • Laura Lee Smith knows a thing or two about rejections and what it takes to catch the attention of editors and agents. Laura's acclaimed novel Heart of Palm came after a series of rejections, and many short stories published in literary magazines. Laura will discuss her writing and publishing process and lay out a step-by-step strategy for "Breaking In" to the publishing scene. She's the special guest speaker at the Ponte Vedra Writers meeting on Saturday, November 12 at the Ponte Vedra Library. The meeting starts at 10:30 a.m.
  • Wondering what a writing platform is and how to build one? Nancy Quatrano will tell you to put away the hammer and nails, and start thinking about your brand and reputation. Nancy is the guest speaker/author/editor at the Wednesday, November 16 meeting of the Clay County Writers to discuss "How to Build a Writing Platform." The meeting starts at 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library.
  • Writers by the Sea meets on Thursday, November 17 at the Amelia Island Museum of History at 6:00 p.m. The topic is "First Aid for High Risk Writing," and editor Heather Whitaker can help writers not only improve their writing, but also their chances of success. She's a developmental editor and writing coach and has worked with bestselling authors Julianna Baggott, Jon Jefferson and Laura Lascarso.
  • The Ancient City Writers chapter of FWA will gather together Saturday, November 19 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Augustine's Main Library. Heather Ashby is an award-winning military romance writer who served in the U.S. Navy. Heather tells us "The First Draft is Supposed to Stink," and advises writers to "turn off your internal editor while you're writing."
  • FWA affiliate First Coast Christian Writers meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Oakleaf Christian Fellowship on Lake Gray Boulevard.
And in other news:
  • The Okefenokee Heritage Center in Waycross, GA is looking for 5 or 6 writers for a book signing this Sunday following the presentation of awards and a reception honoring winners of the Writer's Guild Contest. If interested, please contact Elizabeth Welch at, or phone 912-285-4260.
  • Florida Sisters in Crime meets Saturday, November 5 at 10:00 a.m. at the Bartram Trail Branch Library. The guest speaker is Candace Gerding, retired State Probation/Parole Officer.
  • A gathering of Poets meets on the first and third Thursday of each month at 2:00 p.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. Bring four extra copies of your work to be critiqued by the group.
  • The Friends of the Ponte Vedra Library will present noted author Les Standiford at the Monday, November 14 Book Talk Cafe program. Les will talk about and sign his latest nonfiction book, Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles. The program starts at 6:30 p.m.
  • November is National Novel Writing Month. Can you write a novel in a month? If you'd like to give it a try, visit the official website for all the details, from how it works to tracking your progress to getting daily pep talks. Good luck, and let us know how you did.
That's all folks. Have a great writing month, and enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday.

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