7 Rx for writers, book tours, fiction contest (Write Stuff 0414)





Writing News for the Sunshine State

& the Solar System


Editor: Howard Denson

April 2014

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In This Issue:


Nancy Beeler to give NFW a prescription for writers Apr. 12 at Riverside VyStar

Larry Baker goes on book tour for “The Education of Nancy Adams”

BookMark to host Suzanne Rindell Saturday, Apr. 5

April showers mean good news for FWA – Vic DiGenti

E.M. Koeppel Short Fiction Contest Annual Deadline: Postmark April 30

La Caroline, The Rock Opera” to help Jax celebrate sesquiquadricentennial of French colony

Journalist: Joe Friday was half right when he said, “Just the Facts, Ma’am” (Clay Writers)

Stuff from a Writer’s Quill — Anaïs Nin

Stuff from Hither and Yon

FWA news about meetings, contests, and workshops

Prize-winning workshop to start new series of classes beginning Mar. 26

The Wrong Stuff – Howard Denson

Writers Born This Month

Meetings of NFW and Other Groups

Useful Links

Need someone to critique a manuscript?

The Write Staff


Nancy Beeler to give NFW

a prescription

for writers Apr. 12 at Riverside VyStar


.The North Florida Writers will hear Nancy Beeler speak about “A Prescription for Writers” at the Apr. 12 meeting. The meeting will be at the VyStar Credit Union at 760 Riverside Ave.(next to the Fuller Warren Bridge and Saturday’s Riverside Arts Market). The meeting, which is free and open to the public, will begin at noon and end before 3 p.m.


A retired Registered Nurse, she graduated with a degree in nursing from the University of Nevada in 1972. Her first position was the director of nursing in a large nursing home. As she worked, she had many experiences that begged to be put down on paper. Most of her career centered on positions as the director of nursing. Later, she worked as a home health nurse, which ultimately led to her first upscale assisted living home for the elderly.


She learned that she had much to say as a result of her varied, full-spectrum immersion in nursing over the years. Her unique perspective on the living conditions of the elderly found its way into print. Her remarkable recall aided her in writing stories about her years of nursing, as well as detailed recollections from her childhood.


Born in East Tennessee, she loved to write as a child and became the editor of her high school newspaper. She lives with her husband of 57 years in Jacksonville, has five children, thirteen grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. They have traveled extensively throughout the world and the USA, much of which she has written about.


Her books include “The Maverick Caregiver” (which takes the reader on a journey into her own private hell, allowing the reader to share some of the experiences she lived while providing care to the elderly); “Mama, Are You Listening?” (which revolves around a little girl – a small Tennessee town, a host of colorful characters that tell her life story); and “Street Nurse / Roadrunner” (about her ten-year sojourn as a home health nurse as  it takes the reader on an unforgettable ride into the private lives of the poor, the elderly, and the terminally ill). Her upcoming book is “Wings of Mourning.”


She has been nominated for CHARACTER OF THE MONTH with USA Television Network and she has a script agent in California. Besides being a member of the North Florida Writers, she is also a member of the Gulf Coast Writers Association, for which she has served as president, vice president, and press agent.

Her website: http://connellybooks.com/about_the_author.html


For the critiques, someone other than the author of respective works will read aloud the submissions (up to 20 double-spaced TYPED pages of prose, and reasonable amounts of poetry or lyrics). Authors may not defend their work, but they may attach questions they would like answered (e.g., “Is the scene on the beach convincing?”). Authors should listen to the words and rhythms of their creations.


Future meeting dates and locales:


May 10 –  noon, Riverside VyStar – Speaker: Andy Rojas

June 14 –  noon, Riverside VyStar – Speaker: TBA



Larry Baker goes

on book tour

for “The Education

of Nancy Adams”

Award-winning Iowa author Larry Baker will be reading from his new novel “The Education of Nancy Adams” in stops that will take him from the Midwest, to Virginia, and eventually to Florida.


The national release of his new novel, “The Education of Nancy Adams,” is June 1, but his publisher is offering early sales of signed copies. Use link below.


Nancy Adams” is the story of a woman living in her dead parents’ house in 1996. She is about to go to work at the Florida high school from which she graduated twenty years earlier. Her new boss was her teacher back in 1976, a man she adored when she was seventeen and he twenty-seven. He is married now, she is a childless widow. Her own education is about to begin again as she enters an adolescent world of hormones, rumors, and teenage drama, where students are sometimes more mature than their teachers, and where she finally learns the truth about the man she thought she loved.


Baker’s first novel, “The Flamingo Rising,” was a Barnes and Noble finalist for the Great New Voices Award for 1997. It was also a Los Angeles Times “Top 100” selection for 1997. In addition to being adapted by Hallmark for a television movie in 2001, “Flamingo was selected by the Iowa Center for the Book to represent Iowa in 2010 at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. That year also brought another honor for “Flamingo,” its inclusion on the American Library Association’s “Banned Books” list.


His second novel, “Athens/America,” was even more controversial, turning Iowa fact into fiction in a story that has provoked a wide range of responses. Love it or hate it, as some do, Athens has become, in the words of one bookstore publicist, a “cult classic.”


“A Good Man” was his third novel. It was recognized by the Southern Independent Booksellers Association as a nominee for “Book of the Year” in 2010.


Baker was honored in 2011 by his addition to the Iowa Literary Walk of Fame in Iowa City. He thus joined other Iowa writers such as James McPherson, Marilynne Robinson, Frank Conroy, and Jane Smiley.


“Nancy Adams” will not be sold on-line, so his appearances will be rare opportunities to get a copy and meet the author. His publisher says, “If you want a real book from a real writer you have to go to a real library.”


Sales of “Nancy Adams” were allowed in two independent bookstores in Iowa starting Mar. 1. But they are selling the hardcover version only (200 copies printed--period.) The national release in June (and the sales on the publisher website) are paperback only.




BookMark to host

Suzanne Rindell

Saturday, Apr. 5

Owner Rona Brinlee says The BookMark (220 1st St., Neptune Beach) will host Suzanne Rindell, author of "The Other Typist" on Saturday, Apr. 5, at 7 p.m. when she will talk about her novel, “The Other Typist,” now in paperback.


In the New York City of 1923, two young women meet while working as typists for the police department, recording the confessions of thieves and murderers. At first glance, they couldn't seem more different from one another. Rose Baker is plain, rule-bound, and prudish. Odalie Lazare, on the other hand, exudes the glamour and excitement of the Jazz Age. Yet these two will be drawn together into a vortex of obsession, deception, and murder.


This gripping debut has been compared to "Notes on a Scandal" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley." "Historically rich and darkly mysterious, this is "Gone Girl" meets "The Rules of Civility", with a chilling ending that's open to interpretation."


"The Other Typist" has been optioned for a film by Fox Searchlight with Keira Knightley set to produce and star in the adaptation.


Ms. Rindell is a doctoral student in American modernist literature at Rice University. This is her first novel. Born in New Mexico and raised in northern California, she lives in New York City and is currently working on a second novel.


For more information, call Ms. Brinlee or staff at 904.241.9026, or email any questions to bkmark@bellsouth.net. Website: http://www.bookmarkbeach.com.



April showers mean good news for FWA


We’ve gone through March Madness, but now we face the one of the kindest months (or cruelest, according to T.S. Eliot) with April. Funny how time slips away. It’s time to update the FWA blog with news of monthly meetings and announcements of upcoming events. You’ll find the blog post here. Or you can go here, http://fwapontevedra.blogspot.com. Same results.


E.M. Koeppel Short Fiction Contest Annual Deadline: Postmark Apr. 30

The clock is ticking toward Apr. 30, the postmark deadline for entering this year’s E.M. Koeppel Short Fiction Contest sponsored by Writecorner Press. The first-place winner will receive $1,100, while Editors’ Choices awards of $100 each may be given to other selected entries. Writecorner Press also selects about 10 pieces as Stories of Distinction and lists the authors and titles and on the awards page.


The guidelines say the stories must be unpublished and no longer than 3,000 words long. Individuals may enter as many stories as they wish. There is a $15 fee for one story, with an additional $10 fee for each additional story; checks or money orders should be made payable to Writecorner Press. Fees are used to pay awards and site expenses. Since no email submissions are accepted, entrants must send their submissions by regular mail to Writecorner Press, P.O. Box 140310, Gainesville, FL 32614.


Entries may be done in any style and on any theme. To help with the anonymous judging, entrants should send one title page with the author's name, address, phone number, email address, and short bio. The second copy, which will go to the judges, should only include a title page with title only. The judges will be individuals who have themselves been award-winners for their writing. Read complete guidelines and review past winners at www.writecorner.com.  


Winning stories will be published on the literary site.  After publication, writers retain all rights. 


Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but entrants should notify the contest as soon as an entry is accepted elsewhere.


The winning short story and editors' choices are eligible to be published on http://www.writecorner.com and for inclusion in the permanent website writecorner.com anthology. Winners are usually announced by early summer.

See the complete guidelines and enter by mail.


La Caroline, The Rock Opera” to help Jax celebrate

Sesquiquadri-centennial of French colony

It’s a big thing when you blow out an additional birthday candle each year, and Lady Jacksonville will have to take a very deep breath as she prepares to celebrate the 450th birthday of Fort Caroline. You can warm up with “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” before you seriously try to pronounce “sesquiquadricentennial.” (That’s SES-qui-QUAD-ri-CEN-tenn-ial.) You will need to know the word this region was home for thousands of years for the Timucuans of American Indians, but, on June 29, 1564, French Huguenot Capt. Rene Goulaine de Laudonnière arrived and founded Fort Caroline/La Caroline in New France,

now Jacksonville, FL (later a.k.a. the Gateway to Florida, the Bold New City of the South, and Florida First Coast). That was before the Lost Colony. It was after one of the early settlements at Pensacola (wiped out by a hurricane).


Nonetheless, the French protestants were proud to call La Caroline the “First Colony of Europeans” in America.  St. Augustine was founded the following year in 1565 and was able to call itself the “first PERMANENT colony of Europeans in America.” For 30 years, St. Augustine celebrated its history with Paul Green’s “Cross and Sword,” which was eventually named Florida’s official play.


Inspired perhaps by the spirit of Green, but also emulating the rock operas “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “The Who’s Tommy,” playwright Jennifer Chase has joined forces with composer/musician John E. Citrone to capture drama of Fort Caroline.


A “La Caroline” Rooftop Fundraiser Dinner and performance will be on Wednesday, May 7, at the Museum of Science & History.


The “Rooftop Gala” promises a delightful evening featuring improvisational performances from the “La Caroline” cast (in character), while they serve audience members French cuisine prepared by Little Family Crêpes, wine poured by the Ordre des Chevaliers Bretvins, along with a chance to meet Ms. Chase. Tickets are $60 PP at http://www.artful.ly/store/events/2263   


A July 4th Summer Spectacular (from June 30 to July 4) will feature a collaborative workshop of La Caroline at the Theâtre Universitaire in Nantes, France. This event is produced in  collaboration with Bob Destiny, music director and renowned protégé of Billie Holiday, playwright and director, who will facilitate a pre-premiere week-long collaborative workshop with a multi-city American cast paired with French musicians. 


Interested persons may join the La Caroline Tour of Nantes, France (June 28 -July 5) by booking space now for the exclusive tour of Jacksonville’s first Sister City, Nantes, one of the loveliest cities in France.  The tour will depart June 28 and return: July 5.  The tour will feature exclusive visits and excursions to the area’s finest cultural and gastronomic venues paired with wine caves, chateâux, an array of art and architectural tours, culminating with the July 4th Summer Spectacular presentation of “La Caroline” at the Theatre Universitaire. The tour guide is Nantes native and Jacksonville resident, Lucie Dauteur Little. Cost: $1999 (Airfare not included; tour limited to 10) – Reserve Now (1st come, 1st served) Contact: Lucie Dauteur Little :  thelittlefamilycrepes@yahoo.com


After the workshopping and refinements, “La Caroline:  The Rock Opera” will have its Premiere Performances at The MOSH Oct. 14-17. Tickets may be bought now at https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/profile?id=9319&donate=1 or at http://www.themosh.org.   


To watch interviews with cast, and playwright  and composer:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNg2jj3x6IE   &   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2j-m5gaLftw


Journalist: Joe Friday was half right when he said, “Just the Facts, Ma’am”

For the April meeting of the Clay County Writers, chapter leader Maureen Jung says journalist and newspaper editor Lamar Thames is asking the group to remember the old TV show, “Dragnet,” where Sgt. Joe Friday delivered his classic line, “Just the facts, ma'am.” As Lamar points out, Sgt. Friday was only half right. He will elaborate on his perspective in a talk entitled

“'Just the Facts, Ma'am': The Basics of the Interviewing.”


The talk will be Wednesday, Apr. 16, from 6:15 to 8 p.m. in the meeting room of the Orange Park Public Library (2054 Plainfield Ave., off Kingsley Ave. just behind the Dairy Queen).


Facts are just the beginning. In any interview, you want your central questions answered, and you want much more than that. You want to capture the flavor, the flair, the excitement (or sadness or whatever the emotion) of the interview. How do you conduct interviews that give you what you need?


As with so many other questions, the secret to becoming a proficient interviewer is: “Practice, practice, practice.” Thames’ talk will focus on the most important thing to know about interviewing; how to put your subject at ease before you start the interview; having a flexible

plan for conducting the interview.


Clay County’s favorite newspaper editor, Thames brings a wealth of experience to our writing group and to the “Embedded in Clay” anthology project. He spent 25 years with the Florida Times Union, from 1995 to 2008, when he served as editor and general manager of My Clay Sun, following 12 years as a FTU news editor and assistant editorial page editor. He relocated to this area following stints with newspapers in Junction City, Kan.; Jackson, Miss.; and Lakeland, Fla. Find out more at: www.lamarthames.com; www.wanderingtourist.com


“Embedded in Clay” is the working title for the FWA/CCW anthology project. Ms. Jung says, “Those interested in contributing to the Clay County anthology project should contact me with your questions. We’ll have time for a brief discussion about the anthology following the March 19 meeting.”




from Hither

and Yon

Click on each link to go directly to the story.



There’s no jot of shame

in leaving the books

on your shelf unread



Christopher Howse notes that a survey finds that a typical house in the United Kingdom has 138 books, with at least half of them unread. Instead of growling that we are all going to hell in a hand-basket, he finds advantages in not actually reading books. You don’t break the spine, you don’t get greasy fingers on the pages, and, if you pick your nose, you don’t… Well, check it out at



Turning the page, U.S. soldiers

home from war

rebound through writing


In the last 10 years, putting the experience of war into written language has emerged as a popular form of therapy for growing numbers of veterans, according to Justine Browning. http://www.nationofchange.org/turning-page-us-soldiers-home-war-rebound-through-writing-1394294378  


Readers, editors recognize

(or recognise?) divide between

American and British English


When publications serve readers in the U.S. and in the U.K., editors and writers walk a tightrope as they decide which style and expressions they will use, according to Jojo Malig . They may have to change the spelling of “recognize” to “recognize” to satisfy readers in the U.K.  Each area also has its own peculiar idioms.



Not the 50 books

you must read

before you die


A prominent Briton was gassing on about how young people in the U.K. need to read 50 books a year. That suggestion prompted Iain Hollingshead to come up with 50 books that no one should ever read. Yes, he has managed to say something snarky about each book, including several that you thought were worthwhile. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/8408894/Not-the-50-books-you-must-read-before-you-die.html


When you have to say

‘fiddlesticks’ to avoid

shocking your mum…


With a doctorate in Medieval Studies and Linguistics, Kate Wiles impresses her mother by writing an article about one of the effing four-letter words in English. Or perhaps her mother really didn’t care when the word came into the English language to mean u-no-wot. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-wiles/on-the-origin-of-fuck_b_4784565.html?utm_hp_ref=books


Interview with

‘Detour Trail’ author

Joy V. Smith


Do you think that an interview will help your book sales and give your readers a greater understanding of what you are about? If so, check out Author Alliance and see what they have done with Joy V. Smith’s work. “Detour Trail” is set in Zane Grey territory, but she writes much science fiction. http://www.authoralliance.net/category/readers-lounge/author-interviews  


Gideon’s Screenwriting Tips:

So Now You’re a Screenwriter…


J. Gideon Sarantinos gives tips to Improve your screen writing and boost your career. Along the way, he says you will find seven different types of critics or story analysts, including the literalists, the judges, the regurgitators, the hijackers, the nullifiers, the Gestapo, and the ramblers. Any writers in other fields have probably encountered similar individuals.  http://gideonsway.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/which-type-of-story-analyst-are-you/


8 pronunciation errors

that made the English

language what it is today


David Shariatmadari’s column in The Guardian explores the peculiarities in pronunciation of English, touching upon such matters as rebracketing, metathesis, syncope, epenthesis, velarisation, affrication, and folk etymology. People used to refer to brids in the sky and talk about riding on hroses. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/11/pronunciation-errors-english-language


Automatic approval

for weak study

on robot journalism


In an article in The Columbia Journalism Review, Ryan Chittum complains that poor reporting accepts a flimsy report as gospel. Initial reporting was that the sky is falling and that most journalists could be replaced by robotic programs that generate copy. He agrees that machines will take over some tedious pieces, but the programs are limited in what they can do.  http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/the_machine_age.php


Why Spec Scripts Fail:

The “Wrylie” (Parentheticals)


Stewart Farquhar says, “The terms Wryly, Wrylie or Wrylies, according to screenwriting legend, stems [sic] from the overuse of parenthetical instructions by writers who openly direct on the page. Any form of direction, actor or otherwise, is now frowned upon unless it is unclear from the dialogue, situation or subtext, what is happening and to whom.”



The Digital Paradox: How Copyright

Laws Keep E-Books Locked Up


Hilmar Schmundt examines a problem: “Books that traveled around the world via interlibrary loan in the 20th century paper era are safeguarded locally in the Internet age. Indeed, it is the sheer ease with which electronic publications can be sent around the world that is now resulting in their being locked up behind digital bars. The book doesn't go to the reader, the reader comes to the book -- just like in the 19th century.” http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/how-copyright-laws-prevent-easy-sharing-of-e-books-a-961333.html#ref=nl-international


Ten best



The editors of The American Scholars have listed the ten best sentences in English, with their selections ranging from those by F. Scott Fitzgerald, to Toni Morrison, to Dickens, and others. Tip of the hat to Frank Green of the Bard Society for locating these. He especially recommends that the suggestions from readers should be checked out. http://theamericanscholar.org/ten-best-sentences/#.UzhMk01OXMM




The Wrong Stuff: This Month’s

Findings of a




Follow the link below to find where often sane and sensible writers (and editors) have stumbled in their writing:


http://howarddenson. webs. com/theforensicgrammarian. htm


A paperback collection, “The Wrong Stuff: Findings of a Forensic Grammarian,” is available online at Amazon.com and Barnes & Nobel’s website. Go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D3PF180.



Stuff from

a Writer's Quill

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.


-- Anaïs Nin





Born This




To check out the names of writers who were born this month, go to this website:

 http://howarddenson. webs. com/birthdaysofwriters. htm


The list includes novelists, poets, playwrights, nonfiction authors, writers for the small and silver screen, and others.


Looking for your favorite writer? Hit “find” at the website and type in your favorite’s name. Keep scrolling to find writers born in other months.


With misgivings, the list generally omits lyricists (to avoid the plethora of garage-band guitarists who knock out a lyric in two minutes to go with a tune). Often lyricists are accomplished in other writing areas and may cause their inclusion (e.g., Bob Dylan, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter).


Unfortunately, some writers fret about identity theft and will only say they were born in 1972 or whenever. Typically that means they don’t get included on a “born this day” list. Recommendation: Writers may wish to create a “pen birthday”; that way, their names stay on the public’s radar.


If you see that we have omitted a writer, give us his or her name (and preferably a way to verify the belly-button day).




Want to read an ebook

but don’t have

a Kindle or Nook ereader?


Most readers are still relying on old-fashioned books (which don’t need batteries), but they may still feel unsettled when an ebook arrives. They don’t have a Kindle, Nook, or a generic reader. What are they to do?

Rick Maloy has a recommendation: “For those who prefer electronic books, but don't have a stand-alone e-reader, you can turn your PC, Mac, tablet, phone, whatever, into an e-reader by downloading an app.” The Kindle app from Amazon is available by clicking the following link:


For the Barnes & Noble Nook, this link should do the trick:



Maloy says that other e-readers (like Sony) will have instructions on their websites on how to get the app onto your preferred machine.


NFW suspends

dues indefinitely

The North Florida Writers has suspended its membership dues for an indefinite period. The treasury has stabilized at a comfortable level, and the NFW does not have any appreciable expenses. Members suspected we could go without dues for a couple of years and perhaps more. During this period, anyone may attend and participate in the monthly meetings. (Even with dues, writers were free to attend a few meetings to see if the NFW would suit their needs.)




of NFW and

other groups

For a listing of meetings of the NFW and other groups in Northeast Florida, click here http://howarddenson.webs.com/meetingsofunfothers.htm






Writers, poets, and playwrights will find useful tools at http://howarddenson.webs.com/usefullinksforwriters.htm.



Need someone

to critique

a manuscript?


If you have a finished manuscript that you want critiqued or proofread, then look for someone at http://howarddenson.webs.com/potentialcritiquers.htm





President: Howard Denson (hd3nson@hotmail. com)

Vice President: Joyce Davidson (davent2010@comcast. net)

Secretary: Kathy Marsh (kathygmarsh@bellsouth. net)

Treasurer: Richard Levine (richiea.levine@gmail.com); 5527 Edenfield Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32277


Presidents Emeritus: Frank Green, Dan Murphy, Howard Denson, Nate Tolar, Joyce Davidson, Margaret Gloag, Richard Levine, Bob Alexander, JoAnn Harter Murray, Carrol Wolverton, Margie Sauls, Stewart Neal.