Tuesday, June 01, 2021

FWA June 2021 Post

After many months of living under a dark cloud, sunlight has finally burst through bringing with it fresh hopes and promises of normalcy. Most of our libraries have opened the doors to their meeting rooms, and life is returning to normal. So, let's see what the immediate future has in store for NE Florida writers.

  • Change has become a way of life in the past year, and it continues with the Clay County Writers. Melanie Pronia has accepted the group leader position in place of the departing Paula Hilton. Thanks to Paula who had a brief tenure at the helm before everything was shut down last March, and thanks to Melanie for stepping up. She is the author of six novels and has moved quickly by first securing a new meeting venue and scheduling her first meeting. The group will meet for an introductory session on Wednesday, June 16 at 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Senior Center, 414 Stowe Avenue. Contact Melanie for more information about the meetings. Her email address is
  • St. Augustine's Ancient City Writers will hold its first in-person meeting at the Main Library on Saturday, July 17. Rik Feeney will address "Media Kits That Work." More info next month.
  • The River City Writers group will kick off its in-person meetings in September. Watch this space for more news.
  • Some of you have been regular participants in the Zoom sessions I've presented for the past year, and all are invited for my last scheduled virtual meeting on Saturday, June 26, at 10:30 a.m. Award-
    winning author Nancy Cohen will show us how easy it is to turn our books into audiobooks using the Amazon ACX program. Audiobook sales are booming and you can be among authors streaming their books out to thousands of eager listeners. Nancy, who will be part of the faculty at this year's Florida Writers Conference, is the author of the Bad Hair cozy mystery series. She's written 16 books in that series, as well as fantasy romances and nonfiction. Use the following link to participate in the June 26 meeting.  Meeting ID: 835 8210 5785Passcode: 183545
  • Amelia Island Writers group meets Tuesday, June 29, 3-5 pm, at the Story and Song Bookstore in Amelia Park. Award-winning historical fiction authors Nancy Blanton and JR Sharp discuss "Methods in Research." They write historically with confidence backed by meticulous attention to detail. This program is applicable to any genre, as we strive to be accurate in our settings, backstory, and with our characters.
And in other news ...
  • If you want to write modern romance that makes the readers blush, you might want to join Rik Feeney's Orlando Area Zoom meeting tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m. Author AJ Robinson will discuss the different levels of erotic and power exchange and which are right for you, as well as what to avoid. Use this link to join the Zoom meeting:
  • Also tomorrow night, FAPA, the Florida Authors & Publishers Association, presents "Designing Your Book Like A Pro" with publisher/designer Ginger Marks and designer/artist Elizabeth Babski. Email FAPA President Pat Stanford at if you wish to attend.
  • And speaking of FAPA, they will hold their annual conference, FAPACon 2021, next month, July 30-31 at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace. Steve Berry is a keynoter, and the FAPA Book Awards dinner will be that Saturday evening. Click here for details.
  • Kudos to prolific author Edward Mickolus on the publication of his 43rd book, I Matter Too! Finding Meaning in Your Life at Any Age. This is volume two in the series he co-authored with Harlan Rector.
  • FWA's Florida Writers Conference is back, celebrating FWA's 20th Anniversary with 75 workshops and panels, eight agents, and new offerings like a poetry slam, a First Night Meet the Agents Panel, Elevator Pitch Training, and more. Visit the site for more information and registration details. 
Enjoy your summer!


Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Writers, May the Force Be With You

Using a popular movie quote as the title of May's blog post may seem a bit over the top, but the more I thought about the task writers face and the long, hard road to success (for most writers) the more I realized it takes a special force to keep plugging away. Look at the obstacles that some of the most successful writers faced to reach their lofty perch. Dr. Seuss has been in the news for all the

wrong reasons lately, but the beloved children's author and artist almost gave up. He'd been rejected by 27 publishers and was on his way home to burn his latest rejected manuscript when he ran into an acquaintance, who happened to be an editor of children's books. When asked about what he was carrying, Seuss (Ted Geisel) told him it was a children's book no one wanted to publish and he was going to burn it. His friend insisted on seeing it. The rest is history as the book was published to rave reviews and Seuss went on to write more than 60 children's books. This may have been serendipity, since, as Seuss later said, "If I'd been walking on the other side of Madison Avenue, I'd be in the dry cleaning business today." Still, other writers like J. K. Rowling, Agatha Christie, and John Le Carre were rejected multiple times and kept writing and submitting. So, take heart and keep on keeping on because the force is with you.

Here are this month's highlights:

  • A website is one of the most important tools in a writer's toolbox, and I've invited tech wizard Nate Hoffelder to show us how to improve our author websites. "DIY Author Websites: From Blah to Boss" is the title of Nate's Zoom presentation on Saturday, May 29 at 10:30 a.m. Here's how Nate
    describes his presentation: An author’s website is their online office and storefront, but it doesn’t have to be a stodgy one. In this session, you will learn how, with just a little work, you can rapidly transform your author website from blah to boss. A good website doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars; your site can be as simple as a single page and still present a professional face to reviewers and help you connect with fans. It all starts with knowing what you want to do, and why. In this session authors will learn:
    • Tools and third-party services they can use (for free) to build their site
    • How to revamp an existing blog to turn it into an author website
    • What to put on the home page to win over new readers
        Use this link to join us on Saturday, May 29 at 10:30 a.m. The Waiting Room doors will open at 10:20 a.m. All are invited.
Meeting ID: 829 9454 7970
Passcode: 913701
  • Admittedly, most of you won't read this in time, but tonight Rik Feeney will present his first in-person meeting of the Orlando Area Writers Group at the University Club in Winter Park. The subject: "Page to Stage: Read Your Writing for Perfomance." Performer and acting coach Jennifer Gregory will discuss how to best read your work to an audience. While we won't all be rushing to Winter Park for this presentation, Rik is also making it available via Zoom. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, May 5, and here's the link to join:
    Meeting ID: 853 6407 3400
    Passcode: 783088
  • FWA has announced the Royal Palm Literary Awards are now officially closed. Hopefully, you were able to submit your work for the competition in time, and we'll report the area winners after the October Florida Writers Conference and the RPLA Banquet. 
  • And we're happy to report that the 20th Annual Florida Writers Conference is back on track with a solid line-up of old favorites like face-to-face meetings with agents, 75 workshops and panels, plus new offerings like elevator pitch training, and RPLA Readers Theater. Here's the link for info and registration.
  • Author Nancy Cohen is our guest speaker next month. The celebrated author of the Bad Hair Mystery series will tell us how to convert our print and ebooks into audiobooks to reach a wider audience. Look for more information and the Zoom link in my next blog post.
And in other news ...
  • The Amelia Island Writers group gathers next on June 29 at the Story & Song Bookstore to hear Nancy Blanton and JR Sharp discuss Methods in Research.
  • We're sorry to report the loss of another of our area writers. Doris Manukian, who was a longtime attendee of the Ponte Vedra Writers group, passed away on April 14. Doris had a long and eventful life and will be missed.
  • There's news of another passing of sorts. I was saddened to learn that after 14 years the Florida Heritage Book Festival is calling it quits. FHBF Board President Debra Rhodes Gibson sent out the
    announcement last month with highlights of the history of this fine event, which was birthed by a band of visionaries who believed the nation's oldest city was the perfect place for a book festival. Led by retired elementary school teacher and principal Kathy Dvornick and Margot Pope of the St. Augustine Record, the idea blossomed into a successful festival that attracted hundreds of authors, recognized annual Florida Literary Legends like Michael Connelly, Edna Buchanan, Carl Hiassen, and Michal Gannon, and raised nearly $100,000 for St. Johns County Friends of the Library groups, Bookmobiles, and more. Dvornick became the first Executive Director of FHBF and I signed on as Co-Director soon after and helped grow the festival with the day of writers workshops and the Literary Legends Banquet. There's an unwritten expiration date on all events, of course, so I offer thanks to the many volunteers who worked tirelessly over the past 14 years to make the FHBF a success.  
And since I began with Dr. Seuss I'll end with one of his most famous quotes.
    "You're off to great places. Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way."


Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

April Brings Showers of Possibilities


If you're a writer you know how important it is to take advantage of every opportunity to improve your craft. Much of it comes from continued writing and reading, but learning from our peers also provides benefits. And this month brings us even more of those special opportunities. Read on.

  • Join us in welcoming FWA Executive VP Arielle Haughee (pronounced Hoy) for this month's NE Florida Zoom workshop. Arielle is an editor, author, and consultant, and owner of Orange Blossom Publishing. She will present a session aimed at demystifying two of the major indie publishing
    platforms: KDP and IngramSpark. They offer similar services but have different benefits. In this workshop, Arielle will compare publishing costs, user-friendliness, book options, publishing requirements, and distribution. You'll learn which service is better for experienced indie authors, who provides better distribution for bookstores and libraries, and how to get started on each publishing platform. Previously an elementary teacher, Arielle is the author of The Complete Revision Workbook for Writers, the children’s books Grumbler, Joyride, and Pling’s Party, and the editor of the How I Met My Other anthology series. Use the link below to access the meeting on Saturday, April 24 at 10:30 a.m. Meeting ID: 820 6285 6008 Passcode: 539126
  • Last month, we teamed up for a joint meeting with the Orlando Area Writers Group and group leader Rik Feeney presented a session on "Creative Writing Techniques." In exchange for his presentation, Rik demanded reciprocity and we agreed that I would be his guest for his meeting on Wednesday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m. My presentation will be "Seven Secrets to Writing the Thriller." During my talk, you'll learn the basic conventions of this popular genre, how thriller writers keep readers on the edge of their seats. To participate in this hour of thrilling talk, just use the following link. Meeting ID: 890 8678 1161 Passcode: 195493
  • A Gathering of Poets continues to meet outside in the Ponte Vedra Beach Library gazebo overlooking Bird Island. Poets gather on the first and third Thursday of the month at 2:00 p.m. Contact Sharon Scholl if you're interested in joining the group. Email her at
  • The Amelia Island Writers will hold a special workshop on "How to Build Your Author Platform" on Thursday, April 22 at 12:00 noon at the Story and Song Bookstore Bistro. Nanette Najimy of Beansprout Productions will give an overview of effective ways to build or strengthen your author platform. Registration is limited; social distancing required. Contact Katherine Hoehn to RSVP:
  • First Coast Christian Writers meet on the third Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at Jacksonville's Maranatha Church.
And in other news:

  • We're saddened to report that prolific local author, and all-around nice guy, Walter J. Schenk, Jr. passed away on March 31. Walter wrote in many genres including poetry, stageplays, fiction, and nonfiction, winning multiple awards for his many projects. In 2018, he won FWA's Dahris Clair Memorial Award for his play, Hamlet, Reimagined. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, April 15 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph's Historic Old Church at 4214 Loretto Road in Jacksonville.
  • Find out how the pandemic has impacted how books are published, sold, and discovered during a special webinar panel discussion sponsored by IngramSpark. You may register for the April 14 presentation, "Covid-19 & The Book Publishing Industry: A Year in Review" by clicking here.
  • Also on April 14 at 6:30 p.m., the Amelia Island Book Festival offers a free online presentation by bestselling author Steve Berry about his new Cotton Malone thriller, The Kaiser's Web. Registration is required. Find it here.
  • The 2021 Royal Palm Literary Awards competition is nearing its cutoff point. Although the submission deadline is April 30, there is a limit of 500 submissions, and we have been alerted that they are getting close to that number. If you have a book, story, poem, or screenplay you had planned to enter, then there's no time like the present. Here's the link to register.
  • The Authors League Fund has announced that money is available for struggling writers hit by the unexpected financial impacts of the past year. Writers experiencing hardship due to illness, COVID-related income loss, recent storms, and power outages, or other difficulties are encouraged to apply. Eligibility guidelines and a link to the application form are at
  • The Florida Author Project has opened a competition for indie-published books by Florida authors. The novel should be in either adult or young adult genre, written by a Florida resident, and available in either ePUB or PDF file. Visit the site for more details.
  • Paula Hilton served as group leader of the Clay County Writers for only a few months (replacing the inestimable Maureen Jung) when Covid shut things down. She has spent more time this past year with her family out of state and has decided she can no longer lead the group when it returns to in-person meetings. This leaves a void in Clay County that needs to be filled. If you live in Clay County and wish to see this group remain viable, I encourage you to contact me and we'll discuss the responsibilities of a group leader.
  • Congratulations to retired naval officer and Fernandina Beach resident R. W. Herman for his newly released book, The Unopened Letter,  a coming-of-age book set during the Vietnam War.
  • And kudos to Patricia Daly-Lipe on her historical, Miami's Yester'Years: It's Forgotten Founder, Locke Tiffin Highleyman. The book chronicles Highleyman's efforts at turning a swampy wilderness into a paradise.
Next month we'll welcome tech guru Nate Hoffelder talking about how to take your author website to the next level. Until then, I hope to see you at one of this month's Zoom sessions.


Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

Thursday, March 04, 2021

March Gladness

We're approaching the one-year anniversary of Pandemic Pandemonium, and I hope there's nothing but good news ahead. My wife and I have joined the ranks of the fully vaccinated and are counting the days until we can travel to visit loved ones again. That's one reason why I titled this blog post "March Gladness." The other reason is that we've continued to meet monthly via Zoom and receive excellent instruction and motivation to help us with our writing. As you'll see below, we have more great Zoom sessions in the months ahead, and I'll provide a hat tip to several of you who have been so productive during these months. So, read on.

  • Tune in on Saturday, March 20 at 10:30 a.m for an eclectic session with Rik Feeney. Rik will present "Using Creative Techniques to Develop Story Ideas." We're billing this as a joint meeting of the Ponte Vedra Writers group and Rik's Orlando Area Writers group. Here's Rik's description of his presentation: What can you do to give your book some pizazz, a sense of uniqueness; literally
    make it stand out from the crowd? It has been said that “…there is nothing new under the sun. It has been already in the ages before us.” (Ecclesiastes 1:4-11). It is only the unique spin your imagination puts on the topic that will draw the reader’s interest. In this talk, author, book coach, and speaker, Rik Feeney will show several creativity techniques you can use to kick your writing up a notch and make your books truly unique. After the presentation, we'll have some Q&A time so please come willing to share your ideas on creativity with other writers and authors. 
        As always, our waiting room doors will open at 10:20 a.m., and once the meeting begins we ask that you please mute your microphone. Here's the link to participate in the meeting:
Meeting ID: 825 9094 1347
Passcode: 430670
  • We have two more outstanding Zoom meetings scheduled for April and May. On Saturday, April 24, FWA Executive VP Arielle Haughee (Hoy) will bring her expertise to the topic "KDP or IngramSpark: Which is Right for You?" And for those of you thinking about creating or upgrading your author website tech guru, Nate Hoffelder will present "DIY Author Websites: From Blah to Boss." Nate's scheduled for Saturday, May 29. Watch this space for details of these meetings in coming blog posts.
  • Most of our NE Florida FWA groups are still hibernating because our libraries have still not opened their meeting rooms to the public. One exception is the Amelia Island Writers group. On March 30, 3-5 pm at Story and Song Bookstore, the group holds its first general meeting of the year, aptly named First Impressions, with the topic being 15 Title Types. Several authors will discuss how they arrived at their titles. Due to space restrictions still in place, rsvp to Lee Ann at by March 25.
  • A Gathering of Poets continues to hold socially distanced meetings on the first and third Thursdays of the month at 2:00 p.m. in the gazebo behind the Ponte Vedra Beach Library. Contact Sharon Scholl at for more information.
  • The First Coast Christian Writers group is making a change to meet once a month on the third Thursday of each month. The time (7:00 p.m) and location (Maranatha Church) remain the same.
  • Jacksonville Public Library presents another Writer's Lab series, this time with author M. M. Schill. She will present a four-part Zoom workshop on selling genre short fiction. The series begins Saturday, March 13 and you can register here.

Competitions and Opportunities

  • I hope many of you are submitting your work to this year's Royal Palm Literary Awards competition. This is a great opportunity to have your work judged and receive valuable insights from the judges' rubrics. The deadline is April 30, the same deadline holds for the annual FWA Collection. This year's theme is Footprints. Visit the new FWA website for all the details.
  • The Masters Review Anthology is open now through March 28, offering a $1,000 prize to ten finalists. Visit this page for details.
  • The Women's National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter, is holding an Agent and Pitch event called Virtual Pitch-O-Rama 2021 on Saturday, April 10 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Click here for details. And if you have a short piece of fiction or nonfiction ready they also have a literary contest open until the end of the month. Herre's the web page.
  • Craft Literary has announced another short fiction contest for unpublished works up to 5,000 words. The deadline is May 2. There is $2,800 in prize money and a $20 submission fee.

    A Tip of the Hat
    While some of us have been binging on Bridgerton and Yellowstone (so a friend tells me) others have been busy completing and publishing their books. A tip of the hat and an atta-boy to these writers.

  • Melissa Kosciuszko (writing as Melissa Koslin) co-wrote a Christian romantic suspense novel with her former agent, Mike Nappa. Publisher Revell is offering a limited number of free copies in exchange for an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads. The novel, Never Miss, involves a former CIA sniper and bioterrorism. Contact Melissa at if you're interested.
  • Retired US Navy officer, physician, and prolific author Bill Yancey has published another novel. Exploded View: Nightmare Cruise takes us aboard the luxury liner Marilyn Monroe for a voyage that turns deadly.
  • Dr. Debora G de Farias has published Standing Tall, historical fiction about a woman who beats the odds to become Argentina's first female physician.
  • Neuropsychologist Dr. Norman Plovnick published a concise and easy-to-read guide to better mental health, AIYOBI: Act In Your Own Best Interest—Five Principles to Live by Because There is No Future in Staying the Same (Windrusher Hall Press).
Congratulations to these and all the other productive writers in NE Florida. Let me know if you have a recently published book and I'll highlight it in a future blog post. Until then, stay safe and keep writing.


Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

February 2021Blog Post

We're charging ahead toward the new normal, whatever that proves to be. Virtual sessions have taken the place of in-person meetings for the most part, and we'll continue to provide you with high level speakers and workshops until we meet again. Here's what's on the February schedule via the Ponte Vedra Beach Writers:

  • We welcome award-winning author E. J. Wenstrom on Saturday, February 27 at 10:30 a.m. E. J. will be sharing tips on creating and managing your author newsletter. Who should have a newsletter? How can you tell if it's working? What if I'm not published yet? In this presentation, E. J. answers common author questions about newsletters and more. With a focus on a realistic approach to make a newsletter work for you, this introduction to newsletters for authors will explore what to put in your newsletter, offer an orientation to the tools available, how to grow it, and how to tell if it's working, so you can hit "Send" with confidence. E. J. Wenstrom believes in complicated heroes, horrifying monsters, purple hair dye, and standing to the right on escalators. Her award-winning fantasy series Chronicles of the Third Realm War features a mashup of mythology, folklore, and a little chaos. It starts with the 2016 RPLA Book of the Year Mud. Copy and paste the following link to join us on the 27th.
         Meeting ID: 837 8421 3396 Passcode: 736644

And in other news ...

  • Both the Royal Palm Literary Awards and the Collection anthology are now open for submissions for you early birds. They will both close on April 30, or 500 entries for the RPLA, whichever comes first. Footprints is the theme for this year's Collection. The RPLA submission process has been streamlined to make it easier and quicker to enter. Visit the new FWA website to learn more about submitting your work. You'll have to login to the Member Center first and then select either RPLA or FWA Collection from the Quick Links on the right hand side. 
  • And speaking of the RPLAs, Chris Coward, the esteemed RPLA Chair, is always looking for judges. If you've been an RPLA winner in the past or have a good writing background, please consider being a judge. You may choose from the wide range of categories you're interested in judging. Here's the link to the judge-preference survey.
  • A Gathering of Poets holds socially distanced gatherings on the first and third Thursdays of the month at 2:00 p.m. on the gazebo behind the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library (where we will one day return for our in-person meetings). Contact Sharon Scholl at for more information.
  • Rik Feeney's Orlando Writers group hosts author Nancy Cohen on Wednesday, February 10 at 7:00 p.m. for a Zoom meeting. Nancy will explain how to turn your book into an audiobook using the ACX service. All are invited to participate by using this link:

Meeting ID: 865 7207 2199 Passcode: 188099

  • If you can't get enough of Rik, then you'll be glad to know he is the March 20 guest speaker, discussing Creative Writing Techniques. Watch this space for more details next month.
  • Some of you may be familiar with Dave Chesson and his website Kindlepreneuer. Dave is a marketing whiz and has a number of free resources for writers (plus many paid ones, of course) and not long ago he added an article about the pros and cons of traditional publishing and using an agent versus independent publishing. And he added a list of 30 publishers authors without agents may consider. View that article here.
  • On the local front, Edward Mickolus wants you to know that his latest book, Spycraft for Thriller Writers, is now available on Amazon.
  • The Jacksonville Public Library System presents another Lit Chat on Thursday, February 11 at 6:00 p.m. You can register to visit with Alexander Smalls, a true renaissance man, winner of Grammy, Tony, and James Beard awards. A visionary chef and co-owner of two Harlem restaurants, The Cecil and Minton's, Smalls will discuss his new cookbook, Meals, Music and Muses. Sounds like a tasty way to spend the evening. Click here to register for the Lit Chat with Alexander Smalls.
That will do it for this month's FWA Blog Post for NE Florida writers. Feel free to share with your writer friends who may not be on the mailing list. Stay well and keep writing.


Vic DIGenti
FWA Regional Director

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Welcoming A New Year

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day." ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

We enter the new year looking for a fresh start, moving on from what has been a historically horrible year in so many ways. I hope 2021 allows you the opportunity to write many chapters in your book. And I will continue to bring you meaningful workshops to assist you in becoming a better writer. Here's what's in store for this month:
  • Have you ever thought about the sound and shape of the words you're writing and the impact they make on the reader? You'll gain a whole new appreciation for language when you attend Shutta Crum's Zoom presentation on Saturday, January 23 at 10:30 a.m. In "Sound, Shape & Sense: The Work of Our Words," Shutta will lead us in the study of creating soundscapes (music) with our words by taking a deep look at literary techniques and mentor texts. Sound will be explored in terms of how
    it intensifies voice, enhances characterization, and expands setting. Shape will be looked at in terms of how words and white space grace the page to further understanding. And sense will be studied in the way word choice amplifies the historical and cultural aspects of our work. Shutta Crum is the author of three novels, thirteen picture books, one volume of poetry, numerous individually published poems, and many magazine articles. And, currently, she is a regular blogger for the Florida Writers Association website. Here's the link to join the meeting:
  • Rik Feeney offers another fascinating workshop on Wednesday, January 13 at 7:00 p.m. "!0 Ways to Know You're About to Be Hacked" is the topic of computer expert S. Lamar Barnett. He says the three things to be learned by his presentation are 1) How can I prevent system breaches? 2) Can I rely on my antivirus software to prevent malware infection? And 3) How can I tell if my system has been breached? Join Rik and Lamar with this link: Meeting ID: 870 6605 6351 Passcode: 610223
  • Next month, on Saturday, February 27, we'll share virtual space with RPLA Book of the Year winner E. J. Wenstrom who will present "Newsletters for Writers." More on that next month.
And in other news ...

  • The Amelia Island Writers group has announced it will hold quarterly meetings this year instead of its usual monthly meetings. They will still be held at the Story and Song Bookstore and begin at 3:00 p.m. The first meeting will be on Tuesday, March 30, and discuss choosing a title. Visit the group's website for more information.
  • Tonight at 6:30 p.m. the Tampa Writers Alliance presents bestselling author Steven James discussing "Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules." You may join his workshop by following the link on this page.
  • On Tuesday, January 12 at 7:00 p.m. the Jacksonville Public Library presents an online chat with historian and New York Times bestselling author Taylor Anderson. Anderson is the author of the Destroyerman series, a series of alternate history novels. You must register in advance to participate in this Lit Chat by clicking here.
  • And finally, Margaret Nicholson is seeking another writer to join the online critique group she facilitates. The group is open to all genres and had been meeting in person until Covid-19 reared its ugly head. For more information contact Margaret at

Here's to next chapters. Cheers,


Vic DiGenti, FWA Regional Director

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

A Socially Distanced December

"The ear tends to be lazy, craves the familiar and is shocked by the unexpected; the eye, on the other hand, tends to be impatient, craves the novel and is bored by repetition." ~ W. H. Auden

Athletes and artists know that repetition leads to greater skill, but the sameness of these stay-at-home days can open the door to boredom if we're not careful. This is why the merry month of December will be a time to count our blessings and look to the future. And like your favorite high school teacher, I'm giving you the month off to start counting.

There are no indications that the libraries in either Duval, Clay, or St. Johns Counties will allow meetings in the coming months, so we'll be Zooming into the New Year.  I haven't scheduled a December Zoom workshop, but we'll pick it up again on Saturday, January 23 with award-winning novelist, picture book author, and poet Shutta Crum presenting "Sound, Shape & Sense: The Work of Our Words." More on that fascinating topic next month.

And some groups have managed to meet with safe, social distancing, like the Amelia Island Writers meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 4-6 pm at Story and Song Bookstore, Fernandina Beach. Attend and listen for book tips, or participate by sharing a book or two that held special meaning for you this year. RSVP required due to space planning and capacity. Reserve to Lee Ann,, by Sunday, Dec. 13.

The Gathering of Poets group is also conducting in-person meetings on the first and third Thursday of the month at 2PM on the back porch of the Ponte Vedra Branch Library. Masks and social distancing observed. Contact Sharon Scholl if you're interested in joining the group.

Until next year, here's wishing you a safe and happy holiday season.


Vic DiGenti
FWA NE Florida Regional Director