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

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