Tuesday, January 05, 2016

New Year—New Start

As I write this first post of the New Year, I'm remembering 2015 like it was last week. The meetings, conferences, the writing and getting published—were all part of the FWA experience. And we have more to look forward to in 2016, with exceptional speakers at our area meetings, a mini-conference in St. Augustine, and much more.

Here's how we start the year in January:

  • The River City Writers, under the management of group leader Gregg Golson, will meet on Tuesday, January 12 at the SE Regional Library off Gate Parkway. The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. Contact Gregg for details.
  • Saturday, January 16 is the date for the Ancient City Writers to meet at the Main Library, US 1 and San Carlos in St. Augustine. Doors open at 10:00 a.m. for a program on book promotion for indie writers. Mandie Stevens and Tawdra Kandle will talk about the best ways to promote your books using social media, branding, and book events.
  • Dr. Maureen Jung, leader of the Clay County Writers, invites everyone to the 6th anniversary celebration of their groups existence. The writers will meet on Wednesday, January 20, 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library for an update on their on-going anthology project, "Embedded in Clay: An Anthology in the Making." Maureen will also lead a focusing exercise designed to turn ideas into smart goals.
  • Writers by the Sea gathers at the Amelia Island Museum of History in Fernandina Beach on Thursday, January 21 at 6:00 p.m. The featured speaker is poet Jean Vincennes, presenting "A Poetry Primer: Expressing the Lyricist Within." This will be followed by breakout groups.
  • First Coast Christian Writers, an affiliate of FWA, meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
  • Divergent. The Fault in Our Stars. The Hunger Games. Harry Potter. All  of these hugely
    popular films began as bestselling Young Adult books, which is why so many writers are penning YA novels. Among them are S. E. Green (aka Shannon Greenland) and Lynne Matson, two successful writers who have successfully mined the YA vein. They'll present the workshop "So ... Why YA?" at the Ponte Vedra Writers meeting on Saturday, January 23, 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. Shannon and Lynne will answer many questions about the YA market and writing for teens, including Do I have to love teens to write for them? What are the boundaries with sex and language? and Can I use "big" words in a teen novel? Should be a good one. 
In other news:
  • The first FWA Mini-Coference of 2016 takes place in our backyard, Saturday, February 27 at the Flagler College Ringhaver Student Center. The conference features full day workshops on Chracter Development and the Publishing Process, with half-day sessions covering Magazine Writing, Romance Writing, YA and Advanced Writing. The latter workshop is one I'm doing titled "The Intuitive Writer." Visit the website for registration details.
  • Florida Sisters in Crime meets Saturday, January 9 at 10:15 a.m. at the SE Regional Library to  hear from a crime scene analyst from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
  • Ancient City Romance Authors welcomes award-winning writer Kathryn J. Bain to their January 23rd meeting. Kathryn presents her interactive workshop, "Catch Them from the Start," on opening lines. The meeting begins at 12:30 with BYOL (Bring Your Own Lunch) and networking, with the workshop starting at 1:00.
  • Write It Now: Books & Short Stories is a free writers conference set for Tuesday, January 26 at the Anastasia Island Branch Library in St. Augustine. Four local writers will offer their insights on writing stories of any length. The authors are Amy Atwell, Katelin Maloney, Nancy Quatrano and Lauren Tomlinson. Nancy Haddock will moderate the program, which begins at 1:00 p.m.
  • If you're in South Florida late next month, consider attending SleuthFest 2016 in Deerfield Beach, February 26 - 28. Presented by the Florida chapter of Mystery Writers of America, this year's SleuthFest features keynote speaker CJ Box, and guests of honor P. J. Parrish and Valerie Plame Wilson.
  • Florida Authors and Publishers Association, in conjunction with OnLine, present a Jacksonville conference, "Marketing Yourself and Your Book," Saturday, January 30 at FSCJs South Campus. The conference provides insights into marketing, graphic design, web design and more. Click here for details.
Here's wishing everyone a most successful New Year.

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director