Tuesday, May 30, 2017

June 2017 Blog Post

Though we're about to enter the lazy, hazy days of summer, there's nothing lazy about a writer on deadline. Let's get started.

  • The River City Writers group meets on Tuesday, June 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library. Group leader Gregg Golson reports that they will continue their journey through the "Writing Great Fiction" songbook. This meeting will discuss characters and dialogue.
  • The Ancient City Writers return to the St. Augustine's Southeast Branch Library for its Saturday, June 17 meeting. Award-winning author Elizabeth Sinclair will discuss using all five senses on a writer's literary palette. Library doors open at 10:00 a.m.
  • "Marketing for Writers" is the topic for this month's Clay County Writers meeting, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m at the Orange Park Library on Wednesday, June 21. This will be a group discussion and an overview of the Embedded in Clay anthology project. Please note that in June and July the group will meet at the Panera Bread at 661 Blanding. RSVP to Maureen Jung if you're planning to attend.
  • Writers by the Sea meets Thursday, June 22, 6:00 p.m. at the Nassau County Library. Award-winning author S. R. Staley will present "Writing Historical Fiction that Sizzles."  Note, the group will not have a meeting in July. Contact group leader Nadine Vaughan-Williams for more information.
  • Jennifer Swanson is the award-winning author of over 25 nonfiction books for children. Jennifer will offer ideas for "Capturing an Editor's Attention through Innovation" at the Saturday, June 24 meeting of the Ponte Vedra Writers. You can join them at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library.
And in other news ...
  • Register early for the upcoming Florida Writers Conference, October 20 - 22,  and we'll throw in Thursday evening's Writer Boot Camp sessions free of charge. Early registration ends July 31.
  • While you're registering, go ahead and sign up for the Celebrity Workshop on Thursday, October 19. David Morrell has been called "A master of the modern action novel," and it's a rare opportunity to learn from one of the all-time great writers. This day-long workshop calls for a separate registration since it's a benefit for the Florida Writers Foundation.
  • A Gathering of Poets meets on the first and third Thursdays of every month at the Ponte Vedra Library at 2 p.m. and new poets are very welcome.
  • Florida Sisters in Crime meets this Saturday, June 3 at the SE Branch Library. The meeting starts at 10:00 a.m. Retired police officer Paul Schad will explain some of the psychological and health issues affecting police officers and their families.
  • First Coast Romance Writers gather on Saturday, June 10 at the West Regional Branch Library to hear Kerri Nelson's workshops on creating a pitch and producing multiple novels in one year. The meeting begins at 10:00 a.m.
  • John Dufresne leads a two-day writers workshop at the Lakeside Inn in Mt. Dora on September 29-30. Click here for details.
  • The Amelia Island Book Festival and the Florida Authors & Publishers Association have teamed up to present a half-day workshop on "DIY Book Publishing." The workshop is scheduled for Saturday, June 17 at FSCJ-Nassau Center. Visit this page for details.
Until next time, keep writing and use sunscreen.

Vic DiGenti
FWA Executive VP

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

May 2017 Blog Post

We're surging through another year, already in the fifth month of 2017. FWA has been riding this fast-moving train with Focus Day Conferences—there's another coming May 20 in Boca Raton—confirming plans for the annual conference and scheduling area group meetings.

This is what local FWA group leaders have planned for you here in NE Florida.

  • Join the River City Writers Tuesday, May 9 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library for a double-barreled program. First Melody Lorbeer (she writes as Melody Delgado) will share her journey to publication and how she chose her protagonist. Next the group continues working their way through Writing Great Fiction, part of the Great Courses program. This one is titled "Call Me Ishmael—How to Introduce Characters."
  • On Wednesday, May 17, author Paula Hinton joins the Clay County Writers to address "The Resilient Writer." Writers are often sensitive creatures—sometimes too sensitive, and swayed by bad reviews and rejection slips. Paula will help focus the group on what it takes to continue to write amidst the challenges life brings us. Paula is a writer of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, whose work has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion, as well as many literary magazines. Her YA novel, Little Miss Chaos, was short-listed in the William Faulkner–William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. The group meets at the Orange Park Library at 6:15 p.m.
  • Writers by the Sea will gather at the Amelia Island Museum of History on Thursday, May 18 at 6:00 p.m. This month's program features a panel discussing "Writing for Children, YA and New Adults: What is the Difference?" The panelists are Frances Keiser, Jane Wood, Diane Harper and Jim Weinsier. Contact group leader Nadine Vaughan-Williams for more information. 
  • The much-traveled Ancient City Writers group returns to St. Augustine's Southeast Branch Library, 6670 US 1 South, for its May 20 meeting. Join them at 10:00 a.m. when author/editor Nancy Quatrano discusses "Writing to the Point: We Only Have 5 Seconds to Make It." Nancy's interactive presentation will focus on learning tight writing skills by employing good word choices and sentence structure, not more words.
  • Memoir writers take notice: Writer and editor Alison Nissen is the featured speaker at the Ponte Vedra Writers meeting, Saturday, May 27 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. Alison, who is the head of 3 Dog Tales Productions, a ghostwriting and editing service, compares writing a memoir to assembling a quilt. In her presentation, "Quilting Your Memoir, One Memory at a Time," Alison tells us, "Our memories are not revealed to us in chronological order but rather stitched together in cascading colors and textures. Likewise, our memoirs need not be written in epic form from beginning to end, rather, they can be collected into small, vibrant accounts of our experiences. Using sensory details, we bring to life these short vignettes to create a beautiful depiction of our lives, one memory at a time."
And in other news —
  • FWA'a May 20 Focus Day Conference places the Focus on E-Books with workshop sessions covering everything from formatting to cover design, from platform options to marketing of e-books.   The day-long conference will be held at Lakeside Terrace in Boca Raton. Visit the website for all the details and registration information.
  • At the same date and location, FWA will present its first Youth Focus Day. This conference targets middle grade and high school student writers, and covers flash fiction writing, cover design and live critiques. 
  • Speaking of critiques, this year's Florida Writers Conference will offer several critique options. Freelance editor JoSelle Vanderhooft will conduct three small group critique sessions during the conference. There's no extra fee, but advance registration is required since there's limited seating. When you register for the conference you'll receive an email providing all the details. The second option is a one-on-one 25-minute critique of up to 10 pages of your WIP. You may select either JoSelle or editor Chantelle Aimee Osman. The cost is $45. Look under the Opportunities page for details, and check out the entire conference schedule if you haven't already. 
  • Nancy Quatrano has an active speaking schedule this month. She will speak at the Florida Sisters in Crime meeting this Saturday, May 6 at 10:00 a.m. at the SE Branch Library. Nancy's topic is "Book Marketing: Ten Things You Need to Know."
  • The Masters Review has partnered with PEN America and Poets & Writers for its current flash fiction contest for emerging writers, which is deadlined May 31, 2017. Top prize is $2,000 and publication in PEN America. Visit this page for guidelines.
  • St. Augustine author Nancy Haddock covers two topics for the First Coast Romance Writers, meeting at the West Regional Branch Library on Chaffee Road, Saturday, May 13 at 10:00 a.m. First, Nancy explores what makes enduring series characters memorable. Her second presentation covers "Kind, Effective Critiquing."
  • A Gathering of Poets meets on the first and third Thursdays of every month at the Ponte Vedra Library at 2 p.m. and new poets are very welcome.
And so another month of writerly activities has been recorded, and I move on to other things. Maybe I've been watching too much cable news, but this month's quote seemed most appropriate.

"Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation."
~ Henry Kissinger

Cheers everyone,

Vic DiGenti
FWA Executive Vice President
FWA Regional Director
2017 Conference Faculty Chair