Wednesday, February 28, 2018

March FWA Post

As we plow through another year, month by month, here's the latest writerly news for March 2018.

  • There's still room for more authors at FWA's I Heart Books Festival here in Jacksonville on Saturday, May 19 at the Schultz Center. Click here for all the details.
  • Once a book is published, every author begins looking for an agent or publisher. Chuck Sambuchino, the man who literally wrote the book on how and where to find an agent, will present a full day workshop on Thursday, October 17—the day before the start of the 2018 Florida Writers Conference—titled "Everything You Need to Know About Agents, Submissions, Queries, and First Pages." This Celebrity Workshop requires a separate registration fee from the conference, and benefits the Florida Writers Foundation.
  • The first Focus Day of 2018 is scheduled for Saturday, April 28 at the Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs. The focus is on craft featuring the following workshops: Dan Alatorre on Pacing, Jade Kerrion on Arcs, Tracie Roberts, Tropes, and Jennifer Siddoway on World Building/Setting. Register here.
And now for the rest of the story:
  • The River City Writers group meets on Tuesday, March 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Regional Branch Library off Gate Parkway. Contact Gregg Golson for more information.
  • The Ancient City Writers chapter returns to St. Augustine's Main Library on Saturday, March 17 to hear Rik Feeney talk about "Media Gratification: What Works Best for You?" The library doors open at 10:00 a.m., and that's when you can enter the meeting room to hear Rik discuss the many marketing opportunites available to writers.
  • Wednesday, March 21 is the day the Clay County Writers will gather at the Orange Park Library to hear from journalist and travel writer Kathleen Walls. Kathleen will speak on "How to Turn Your Article into a Book." Kathleen is the editor and publisher of American Roads and Global Highways blog. The time for the meeting is 6:15 p.m.
  • "The Author's Digital Footprint" is the subject of a talk by Mark Ezra Stokes and Dr. J. at the meeting of the Writers by the Sea FWA group. The presentation will teach writers how to drive readers to their work and your website using social media. The meeting kicks off at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 22 at the Amelia Island Museum of History in Fernandina Beach.
  • Rik Feeney tumbles from St. Augustine to the Ponte Vedra Beach Library on Saturday, March 24 as the guest speaker at the Ponte Vedra Writers meeting. The program begins at 10:30 a.m. and Rik will cover the many aspects of Kindle Publishhing, from writing your book to the cover, pricing, and the Kindle set-up.
But wait, there's more:

The Florida Heritage Book Festival presents two fundraising events worth noting and attending. 
  • Author Patrick Smith's son, Rick, presents a one-man show about his father and the experiences that led him to write his award-winning novels, with special emphsis on A Land Remembered. The show combines Rick's quirky brand of humor with stories, videos, photos, and music. "Patrick Smith's Florida is A Land Remembered" is scheduled for Friday, March 23 at 7:00 p.m. at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. The cost is only $10 for individuals, or $20 for families. Tickets are available at the door, or online soon at
  • And on Saturday, April 14, Janice Hardy will present a full day workshop titled "How to Turn Your Idea Into a Novel." If you attended last year's Florida Writers Conference you may have attended one of Janice Hardy's workshops. She came away with one of the highest evaluation scores from those attending her sessions. The hands-on interactive workshop runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and costs $85, which includes lunch. Details as to the St. Johns County location will be released soon.
  • A Gathering of Poets meets on the first and third Thursdays of the month at 2:00 p.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. They will present a reading at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11 at the Neptune Beach Library in honor of Poetry Month.
And that's all there is for now. Here's to your writing success,


Vic DiGenti
FWA Executive Vice President
FWA Regional Director for Northeast Florida

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

February Blog Post

There's no time like the present to make your future plans. If you're a published author I know your number one interest is selling books. FWA provides you with an excellent opportunity for book sales right here in Jacksonville. On Saturday, May 19, the annual I (Heart) Books event will be held at the Schultz Center from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The event is limited to only 75 authors and includes a brunch. There are still a limited number of openings available. Click here for details.

October is still months away, but the 17th Annual Florida Writers Conference is shaping up to be
another outstanding event for writers of all persuasions. We've landed Linda Fairstein as our National Guest of Honor and Heather Graham as the Florida Writer of the Year. And Florida Poet Laureate Peter Meinke will join us, as well.
We're excited to announce that the Celebrity Workshop will be presented by Chuck Sambuchino. For years, Chuck was the face of Writers Digest's guides to agents, editors and publishers. He's still the go-to expert on getting an agent, and on Thursday, October 18 he will present "Everything You Need to Know About Agents, Submissions, Queries, and First Pages." Remember this requires a separate registration fee as it's a benefit for the Florida Writers Foundation. Information and registration may be found here.

And now for the February FWA meetings:

  • River City Writers meets on Tuesday, February 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library off Gate Parkway. Contact Gregg Golson for details.
  • Writers by the Sea meets on Thursday, February 15 at 6:00 p.m. at the Amelia Island Museum of History. Author Darryl Bollinger will speak on an unusual and mysteruus topic he calls, "When You Say Nothing at All."
  • Ancient City Writers will not meet at St. Augustine's Main Library in February due to AARP hijacking their meeting room to offer tax assistance to the public.
  • Clay County Writers assemble on Wednesday, February 21 at the Orange Park Library. The time of the meeting is 6:15 p.m. and group leader Maureen Jung has details.
  • Are you ready for a laugh? Do you want to write humor? Then come to the Saturday, February 24 Ponte Vedra Writers meeting at the Ponte Vedra Library. Longtime humor writer and professional blogger Erik Deckers presents "10 Professional Humor Writing Secrets." The chuckles begin at 10:30 a.m.
And in other news:
  • Arson investigator Detective David Young presents an inside look at the world of arson investigations at this Saturday's Florida Sisters in Crime meeting. The group gathers at the SE Branch Library at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 3. Arrive early to claim your own hot seat.
  • The Amelia Island Book Festival has "something for everyone" that begins with the Gala Face-Off Dinner on February 15. Four bestselling authors, including Lee Child and Karin Slaughter, meet in an "engaging and scintillating face-off exchange." Steve Berry serves as the Face-Off moderator. Visit the website for more details.
  • FWA's first webinar of the year should be of interest to all published authors. The subject is "How to Make Money with Your Books." Jonathon (JK) Miller is the webinar host. The price is only $10 for FWA members and $15 for nonmembers. You'll need a computer with internet access and speakers to hear the audio. Visit the web page for details.
  • John Capouya leads the University of Tampa's Creative Writing MFA program. He's also the author of Florida Soul: From Ray Charles to KC and the Sunshine Band.  He will be at the Ponte Vedra Library on Monday, February 26 at 6:30 p.m. to talk about hs book. BTW, John will also present one of the Thursday evening Boot Camp sessions at this year's Florida Writers Conference.
Until we meet again, here's a quote that most writers can identify with:
“My mind is a raging torrent flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.”
~Hedley Lamarr, Blazing Saddles


Vic DiGenti
FWA Executive Vice President
NE Florida Regional Director

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

January 2018 Blog Post

Happy New Year! A new year brings all kinds of new possibilities for writers. FWA continues to lead the way with new programs, Focus Days, and book sale opportunities. Below is a list of area goups meetings in Northeast Florida, along with more news you can use.

  • River City Writers meet on the second Tuesday of the month at the SE Branch Library off Gate Parkway. Visit with them on January 9 at 7:00 p.m., and email Gregg Golson for details.
  • The Ponte Vedra Writers meet next Saturday, January 13 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. Special guest speaker is Darlyn Finch Kuhn, author, poet, and producer of video book trailers. If you've thought about turning your memoir or life experiences into a novel, this is the workshop for you as Darlyn tells us to "Change the Names and Make Stuff Up." She will show us how to convert family and friends into characters even they won't recognize, and how to ramp up the drama to make the story even more compelling.
  • The Clay County Writers will meet on Wednesday, January 17 at 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library. Howard Denso asks this important question: "Is Your Verb Tense Slipping Into Darkness?" Howard will discuss the pitfalls of shifting verb tenses along with chracterization and research. You may contact group leader Maureen Jung for more specfics.
  • Writers by the Sea meet on Thursday, January 18 at 6:00 p.m. at the Amelia Island History Museum. Group leader Dr. Nadine Vaughan D'Ardenne will present "Binge-Worthy Story Telling: A Revolution in Writing," disecting the story telling in binge-worthy TV series like Game of Thrones and Stranger Things and how writers can learn from them.
  • Head to St. Augustine's Main Library for the Saturday, January 20 meeting of the Ancient City Writers. Doors open at 10:00 a.m. and author and editor Belea T. Keeney will address the five major mistakes writters need to avoid.
And in other news ...
  • Two Jacksonville critique groups are working together: Serivilous Panerians and the Townie Critics have formed a critique group alliance, providing greater scope and flexibility for both groups. They will facilitate three meetings per month — two in person and a third via Skype. They are accepting new members. The SPs will host in person meetings on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, 5 pm at the Town Center Panera in Jacksonville. The TCs will host the Skype meeting on the third Sunday of each month at 1pm. Writers are welcome to attend one or all meetings, as best suits their needs. Contact Cheri Roman or Krys Fenner for additional information.
  • Florida Sisters in Crime meet this Saturday, January 6 at 10:00a.m. at the SE Regional Branch Library to hear from former NCIS agent Jeff Walton. Jeff is the author of the novel Final Destination: Death, and will provide an inside look at the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the world of counterintelligence.
  • FWA will present two Focus Day conferences this year. The first, Focus on Craft, is set for Saturday, April 28 in Altamonte Springs. And Focus on DIY Marketing on Saturday, June 23, also in Altamonte Springs.
  • And speaking of conferences, the 2018 Florida Writers Conference, October 18 -21, is coming together nicely. If you haven't heard, bestselling author Linda Fairstein is the National Guest of Honor, and Heather Graham, another bestselling author, the Florida Writer of the Year. Also in attendance as one of the faculty members will be Florida Poet Laureate Peter Meinke. More details will be posted shortly on the FWA website.
  • FWA's 3rd annual I (Heart) Books event is set for Saturday, May 19 at the Schultz Center here in Jacksonville. This multi-genre book signing event brings together both readers and writers. The event is free for readers, and limited to only 75 writers. Click here for more information.
  • The Florida Writer is FWA's official magazine, and starting with the February 2018 issue it will be available in a grayscale print version as well as digitally. There is a charge for the print version. More information can be found here.
  • Lee Child, the author of the hugely popular Jack Reacher action novels, will headline next month's Amelia Island Book Festival. Child will be part of a gala author dinner at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort on February 16. Click here for details.

Not to discourage you from writing books, but I'll end with this quote from that great philosopher, Homer Simpson:

"Books are useless! I've only read one book, To Kill A Mockingbird, and it gave me absoluteely no insights into how to kill mockingbirds."

Vic DiGenti
FWA Esecutive Vic residet