Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System Editor: Howard Denson
February 2016
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In a rough way the short story writer is to the novelist as a cabinetmaker is to a house carpenter. – Annie Proulx
In this issue:
Amelia Island Book Festival is celebrating
Stuff (and links) from hither and yon
* Reflections on Herman Wouk
* Wouk is a very rare 20th Century Jewish writer
* Book of Hate: The Bold Attempt to Demystify Hitler's 'Mein Kampf'
Friends in Fernandina Find Funds for the Library
FWA news from Vic DiGenti
Writers Born This Month
REGULAR POSTINGS: Keep up with the NFW on our Facebook page. . .Meetings of NFW and Other Groups. . .Useful Links. . .Need someone to critique a manuscript?. . .The Write Staff
Amelia Island is known as the island of eight flags. The island could also be known as the island of amazing festivals. This coming weekend is the 15th annual Amelia Island Book festival, Feb. 18-20, a festival that has grown and changed as the times demand.
Steve Berry has been a supporter of and participant in the festival from its very earliest days and the early days of his successful writing career. As honorary chairperson, Berry has coordinated this year's focus - An Amelia Island Encounter-Action, Thrills and Mystery. All proceeds go toward the Festival's long-standing commitment of promoting literacy to the students of our Nassau County Public Schools.
For the three days of the festival, a collection of New York Times, USA Today and Internationally bestselling authors will share their talent and ideas as well as signing books. Authors include Steve Berry, Greg Iles, Andrew Gross, Janice Gable Bashman, Brenda Jackson as well as regional and local writers.
It all starts with the Kick-off Luncheon featuring a keynote address by NYT bestselling thriller writer, Andrew Gross, set for Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, noon to 2 p.m. at the Ocean Clubhouse on the Amelia Island Plantation.
Teens Scenes are free events happening on Thursday evening, Feb. 18, 2016, from 6 to 8 p.m. Middle and high school students can choose from among four offerings designed especially for young people and presented by noted authors.
On Friday, Feb. 19, at FSCJ-Nassau Campus in Yulee, Steve and Elizabeth Berry are conducting their highly sought after, Lessons from a Best-seller Writers Workshop.  

The Festival's signature fundraising event, the Author Face-off Gala will be held Friday at6 p.m. at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort ballrooms. Ticket holders will be in for a memorable evening when some of the most celebrated thriller authors in America-Steve Berry, Greg Iles, Andrew Gross, and Janice Gable Bashman meet face-to-face in an engaging and scintillating exchange.
The climax of the Festival's events is the Author Expo/Readers Extravaganza. It offers a scintillating day for all ages with more than 100 noted authors of all genres. With FREE admission and free parking, the Expo runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Fernandina Beach Middle School Campus. 
For a complete listing of all the authors who are coming or to get details for each event, directions and to purchase ticket or make a donation, visit, or call 904.624.1665
Click on the links below to read each article.

Reflections on Herman Wouk

Morton Landowne writes in The Tablet that the first novel he ever read was by Herman Wouk. Now, 60 years later (and at age 100), Herman Wouk is publishing yet another one.
Wouk is a very rare 20th Century Jewish writer
Another article on Wouk, this one by Adam Kirsch, asks: “Why is it. . .that the American Jewish writers who were most successful, whom we now regard as classics, did not make success their theme? On the contrary, they generally wrote about failure, alienation, neurosis, and guilt—to the point that these subjects came to seem stereotypically Jewish in American culture. If the American Jewish story is, on balance, a very happy one, why are our books so miserable?”
Book of Hate: The Bold Attempt to Demystify Hitler's 'Mein Kampf'
Martin Doerry and Klaus Wiegrefe explore the controversy caused by an “academic” edition of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.” The new edition, from the Institute of Contemporary History (IfZ), annotates the lies and distortions that Hitler used to come to power, but the mere publication of the book has enraged many opponents of anti-Semitism. A copyright expires 70 years after the death of an author, so the world is likely to see more editions of the book.
The 2015 National Jewish Book Awards Winners
Jonathan Zalman writes that Shulem Deen, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, and Laura Amy Schlitz are among the winners of the 2015 National Jewish Book Awards.
James Jones $10,000 Fellowship Contest for First-time Fiction Novelists: Entries Close 15 March
Can’t afford to take time off for any writing? You may wish to explore some grants and scholarships out there. Here’s one named after the late James Jones, a writer-in-residence at the University of Florida.
Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library (FOL) was awarded grants from the Florida Humanities Council (FHC) that will fund two free public programs at the library's new Community Room this spring.
Saturday, March 5 (10:00 am - noon): 
"Tell Your Own Story" by Caren Neile, PhD.
Discover your own personal narrative skills with an award-winning storyteller/professor as your guide.  Many will remember Dr. Neile as the talented MC of the FOL's first "Storytelling Slam" held in the fall of 2014.  She will be back to lead a dynamic, interactive workshop that provides insights and tips on great storytelling - as well as entertaining and instructive stories.  Everyone has a story and telling it effectively is a skill useful to all occupations and situations.
Thursday, April 28 (6:00 - 7:00 pm): 
"Florida Cattle Ranching: Five Centuries of Tradition" by Bob Stone.
Explore and celebrate the history and culture of the nation's oldest cattle ranching state from the colonial period to the 21st century.  Stone, a folklorist and media-producer based in Gainesville, is the recipient of the 2011 Florida Folk Heritage Award.  He is co-curator of the award-winning travelling exhibition "Florida Cattle Ranching" and author of the catalog book, published under the auspices of the Florida Cattlemen's Foundation. This fascinating multi-media presentation will explore the unique foodways, crafts, occupational folklore, cowboy poetry and rodeo culture of Florida's cowboys.
Both programs are free and open to the public. Reserve your space at the Fernandina Beach Library, 25 N. 4th Street, or call 277-7365.
FOL, with a membership of over 400, is a non-profit group established to assist and promote the Fernandina Beach Library through fund-raising and public programming.  FHC is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities which funds and coordinates statewide public humanities programs and publications that explore the people, places, and ideas that shape our state.

A staged reading Directed by Sinda Nichols Sunday

February 28th at 6 pm 

Cast: Catherine West Holly Gutshall Cynthia Riegler Jo-Ann Leimberg Dave Gowan And Ron Kurtz 

Live Ink Theatre Ensemble
Our Voices, Your Imagination Presents a Staged Reading of The Clean House, by Sarah Ruhl (MacArthur Fellowship) 
The Clean House was nominated for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. This whimsical, romantic comedy is full of oddball humor, fantasy and soap opera craziness. Neurotic sisters, a Brazilian housekeeper on a quest for the perfect joke, and a most unlikely couple head over heels in love, keep this play springing surprise after surprise on the audience. The Clean House won the 2004 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and was chosen by Entertainment Weekly as one of the top 10 theatrical productions of 2006. This staged reading will be followed by a lively talkback with the cast.
Live Ink Theatre Ensemble performing staged readings of lively and thought provoking plays. Our Voices, Your Imagination For more information please contact: Sinda Nichols at or follow us at FB Live Ink Theatre
At Amelia Musical Playhouse 
1930 Woodrow Drive 
Tickets - $10 - Available online at or call box office at904-277-3455 
Feb. rolls on, so don’t miss out on the three big meetings and the “Write Stuff” Mini-Conference coming up this month.
Saturday, Feb. 13 – Ponte Vedra Writers met to hear from writing instructor and author Daniel Powell on a hot topic, “Building the Killer Hook: How to Get—and Keep—Your Audience’s Attention.” 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library.
Wednesday, Feb. 17 –  Clay County Writers heard from Ron Whittington on “How to Improve Book Sales Using Social Media.” Meetings start at 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library.
Thursday, Feb. 18 – Writers by the Sea meets at the Amelia Island Museum of History in Fernandina Beach and group leader Nadine Vaughan Williams will lead an exploration of the Hero’s Journey as used by George Lucas when he wrote Star Wars. 6:00 p.m.
The Write Stuff Mini-Conference
NE Florida plays host to the first FWA mini-conference of 2016, and it’s mini in name only. The day is packed with eight outstanding workshops, two full-day and four half-day sessions. 
The full-day workshops cover a comprehensive overview of the publishing process by newly-elected FWA President Cheyenne Knopf.
Larry Leech leads the other full-day session on characterization. Larry will show us how to create three-dimensional characters your readers will love. 
The conference also presents two half-day sessions in the morning and two different ones after lunch. Bestselling romance writer Shannon Bell covers the hows and whys of romance writing, one of the most popular genres in the publishing world. If you’re looking to expand your earnings as a freelance writer, the other morning workshop should appeal to you. It features journalist Sharon Ward Keeble explaining how to write outstanding magazine articles and what it takes to be a successful freelance journalist.
After lunch you can select from either of these workshops: “The Intuitive Writer” or “Writing Fiction for Young Adults.” My workshop, “The Intuitive Writer,” is aimed at writers looking for an edge to boost their writing skills and eliminate common mistakes. Serena Schreiber provides an inside look at writing for the young adult market in the other afternoon session.
The Basics:
When: Saturday, Feb. 27. Check-in at 8:30 a.m.
Where: Ringhaver Student Center at Flagler College
Registration Fee: $89 for FWA members, $109 for non-members. Note: members may bring a non-member guest for only $54.50
Click here for more information and registration 
Registration includes a continental breakfast, boxed lunch and snacks, as well as workshop handouts.
Don’t miss out on this great conference. Online registration closes on Feb. 25, but you may register at the door.
-- Vic DiGenti, FWA Regional Director. Websites:

To check out the names of writers who were born this month, go to this website:
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.
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).
Writers, poets, and playwrights will find useful tools at
You may join us at any time on Facebook. Webmeister Richard Levine has changed the privacy setting of the NFW from Closed to Public. That way, you can check out our group at your leisure.

To begin, click on:

Later on, if you are in the process of simplifying your e-life and want to leave us, you may do so at any time by clicking on
If you have a finished manuscript that you want critiqued or proofread, then look for someone at Check out their entries on the website to see if they suit your needs. They include the following: Robert Blade Writing & Editing (; Frank Green of The Bard Society(; JJ Grindstaff-Swathwood (; Brad Hall (; Joseph Kaval (; andRichard Levine (
President: Howard Denson (
Vice President: Joyce Davidson (
Secretary: Kathy Marsh (kathygmarsh@bellsouth. net)
Treasurer: Richard Levine (
Presidents Emeriti: 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.