Friday, July 28, 2017

But it's a dry heat ...

Having recently returned from visiting family east of Los Angeles, and being advised it was going to be hot, in the mid-90s, I reminded them that we were from Florida. "At least you won't have the terrible humidity we have in Florida." We've always heard that it's the humidity and not the heat that makes us uncomfortable, but unfortunately we found California to be just as humd as Florida, at least where we were encamped.

That's all apropros of nothing other than saying "there's no place like home," and here I am back at the keyboard working on multiple writing projects—with the air conditioning blasting and the ceiling fan spinning. And still finding time to update you on our FWA writers groups, and other writing activities in the area.

  • The River City Writers will no doubt continue working its way through the Great Courses "Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques," a 24-part lecture series by James Hynes, novelist and writing instructor. The group meets on Tuesday, August 8 at 7:00 p.m. at the Southeast Branch Library off Gate Parkway.
  • The Clay County Writers will meet on Wednesday, August 16 at 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library. Author Rick Maloy will discuss how to engage your readers and keep them turning pages in his talk, "What if ..." Rick says "Experiences are the foundation of storytelling, but not the walls."
  • Writers by the Sea presents a panel on blogging at its Thursday, August 17 meeting, which begins with a social at 6:00 p.m, followed by the pogram at 6:30. The panel discussion, "Blogging for Authors: Why and How?" is facilitated by Dr. Donna Jennings, and features a panel of local authors. The group meets at the Amelia Island Museum of History, 233 S. Third Street in Fernandina Beach.
  • The nomadic Ancient City Writers chapter is finally back home at St. Augustine's Main Library. They meet on Saturday, August 19, 10:00 a.m. to hear from book reviewer Anne Payne.
  • Former CIA operative Terrence Williams will slip unobtrusively into the Ponte Vedra Library to speak at the Ponte Vedra Writers meeting on Saturday, August 26. Williams now writes spy thrillers that are seemingly "ripped from the headlines." His latest, Zero Day, deals with cyber warfare with China. His talk is titled, "So You Want to Write Spy Thrillers. How's Your Tradecraft?" Be there on time for the 10:30 a.m. meeting because people are watching.
More not so fake news:
  • You missed the early bird registration deadline, but the Florida Writers Confeence is still one of the best buys of the year. More than 70 workshops and panels, the opportunity to have your work critiqued, and pitch acquiring editors from St. Martin's Press, Harlequin Romance, Tor Books, as well as top literary agents. And once you're registered you can have your books sold in the conference bookstore, now under the skillful hands of Joanne Sinchuk, proprietor of Murder on the Beach Books, voted a Top Ten Florida Bookstore. Click here for conference details.
  • Speaking of the conference, both David Morrell, National Guest of Honor, pictured above, and Florida Writer of the Year Steve Berry, have generously allowed us to auction off a character's name to be used in one of their short stories or novels. You might have your name immoirtalized if you have the high bid. But, of course, you have to be present to bid.
  • Morrell is presenting the Celebrity Workshop on Thursday, October 19, a full day craft of writing session he's titled, "Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing." The Celebrity Workshop benefits the Florida Writers Foundation and requires a separate registration, but this is a rare opportunity to learn from a master of the craft. Visit the website for details.
  • First Coast Romance Writers will be welcoming New York Times and USA Today best seller Brenda Jackson speaking on “And the Beat Goes On” to their August 12, 2017 meeting from 10am to 2:30 pm, at the West Regional Library located at 1425 Chaffee Road S, Jacksonville,Fl, 32221. Visit for more information.
  •  A Gathering of Poets meets on the first and third Thursdays of the month at 2:00 p.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. New poets are welcome.
  • The Amelia Island Book Festival has just announced a blockbuster lineup for the February 15 - 18 event that includes appearances by Lee Child, Adriana Trigiani, Karen Slaughter and more. 
  • The Florida Heritage Book Festival kicks off September 22 with a writers conference, followed that evening with a reception honoring the 2017 Literary Legend, Steve Berry. The free book festival on September 23 at Flagler College includes appearances by Ann Kidd Taylor, James O. Born, Tim Dorsey, and many more.
Stay cool, and enjoy the rest of the hot, rainy summer.

Vic DiGenti
FWA Executive Vice President
2017 Faculty Conference Chair