The Electronic Write Stuff

 Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System

North Florida Writers * Apr. 2007 * Editor:  Howard Denson


In this issue:

Much Ado About Books Speakers Boast a Bonus of New York Times Best Sellers

FWA Region Slates One-Day Conference on May 19


Berry Also Speaking in Fernandina Beach on Apr. 12

Prize-Winning Workshop to Start New Series of Classes

Quote from a Writer's Quill – Emily Dickinson

NFW to Meet at 2 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 14

Says Yahoo to Yaddo

Writers Born This Month: Maya Angelou, Wordsworth, Eudora Welty, Charlotte Bronte, Shakespeare, Annie Dillard, and many others

Fiction, Memoir, Poetry Writing Workshops in Europe 2007

Calendar of Events



With hundreds of millions of books in print between them, three top-selling authors - Sandra Brown, Brad Meltzer and Luanne Rice - will be featured on the "Red Carpet Writers" luncheon panel at the 2007 Much Ado About Books annual literary celebration on April 21.

Brown's work spans nearly three decades, highlighted by more than 50 New York Times best sellers, including Chill Factor which debuted at #1 on The New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list. Her other recent best sellers include White Hot, Hello, Darkness, The Crush, Envy, The Switch, The Alibi, Unspeakable and Fat Tuesday, all of which have jumped onto one of the top five spots on the Times best seller list. Her new novel Ricochet was released in August 2006.

Meltzer's recent #1 New York Times best seller The Book of Fate (September 2006) keeps readers on the edge of their seats, as have his numerous other top-selling novels including The Tenth Justice, The First Counsel and The Zero Game. No stranger to the red carpet, this versatile writer is also the co-creator of the television show Jack & Bobby - as well as the author of critically-acclaimed comic books Identity Crisis and Justice League of America.

Rice's February 2007 release of The Edge of Winter rewards fans with yet another moving novel of love and family. Rice has written over 21 novels, including best sellers such as Sandcastles, Summer of Roses, True Blue, and Safe Harbor. Her works are frequently adapted for television by networks such as TNT (Crazy In Love), Hallmark (Silver Bells), CBS (Blue Moon), and Lifetime, which released a summer drama series based on Beach Girls.

Much Ado About Books tentative schedule includes:

Pre-Event Authors Day in Schools - Friday, April 20, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Notable authors go on-site to area public schools to discuss their craft with students and autograph works.

Much Ado About Books Main Event - Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Attendees at the free day-long event at the
Prime Osborn Convention Center can interact with more than 30 attending authors, including 12 featured on the New York Times best seller list. There will be book signing opportunities and a variety of free author panel sessions covering subjects such as self-help and Florida history as well as literary genres ranging from mystery to children's literature. The Children's Chapter, an interactive area designed with kids in mind, will offer crafts and story times.

Keynote Luncheon Panel - Saturday, April 21, 12:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Brown, Meltzer and Rice headline this candid, interactive panel while guests dine among the event's other featured authors. Guests will also have the opportunity to get books autographed by panelists following lunch. Luncheon tickets are $40 and are now available.

Past authors who have spoken at Much Ado About Books have included James Patterson, David Halberstam, E.L. Konigsburg, Rick Bragg, Bob Schieffer, Diane Rehm, Pat Conroy and many more. For more information, please call (904) 630-1995 or visit

Saturday, April 21, 2007 - FREE

Saturday Luncheon, April 21, 2007 - Tickets required

Saturday After Lunch, April 21, 2007 –FREE





New York Times best-selling author Steve Berry will keynote a one-day conference presented by the Northeast Florida chapters of Florida Writers Association (FWA). Titled Shift Your Writing into High Gear, the conference takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, at the Ponte Vedra Library.


The conference includes the following workshops:


Screenwriter Sharon Cobb on Writing the Hollywood Thriller; Sandra McDonald on The Perils of Plot; Dr. Darien Andreu on The Long & Short of Short Story Writing: Suddenly Short is More; Queries, Outlines, Proposals, Oh, My! with memoir author Carol D. O’Dell; Steve Berry on Back Roads & Fast Starts, a look into how Berry conducts his research for his international thrillers and how to write opening chapters that keeps the reader turning the page; Jumpstarting the Revision Process with editor Camille Cline; in Tension Headaches, thriller authors Lynn Sholes and Joe Moore provide tips on how to build more tension into your books; and finally, agent Susan Graham will discuss The Top Ten Reasons Why Agents Say No and How to Avoid Them.


Early-bird registration through April 30 is only $40 for FWA members and $60 for non-members. After April 30, the conference fee increases to $50 for FWA members and $75 for non-members. Ten-minute one-on-one appointments are also available with any of the presenters except Steve Berry for $20 per session. The fee includes a box lunch, morning and afternoon refreshments, and an invitation to the May 18 Book Fair. The Book Fair will feature author panels, a question and answer session with agent Susan Graham, and book signings.


Advance registration is required. Information and the registration form may be found at


The Northeast Florida region of the Florida Writers Association also sponsored the Lighthouse Book Awards, a competition for unpublished novels. The competition has been closed after reaching its maximum limit. For information on the conference or the book contest, contact FWA NE Florida Regional Director, Vic DiGenti, at






Author Steve Berry will appear at The Florida House Inn in Fernandina Beach from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Apr. 12.

As the finale of this year's One Book One Community (1B1C) program, the event will be free and open to everyone who has read Mr. Berry's novel, The Templar Legacy.


At the start of the One Book, One Community [1B1C] season, the author, a resident of southeast Georgia, spoke at a fundraiser for the Friends of the Library of Fernandina Beach. During that Q & A event, Mr. Berry expressed his desire to have "a good talk about the last few chapters of t The Templar Legacy."


Since that time, Mr. Berry's most recent novel, The Alexandria Link, has reached #2 on the New York Times List of Bestselling Hardcover Fiction. The Alexandria Link is the second in a planned series of "Cotton Malone" thrillers which started in 2006 with The Templar Legacy.


For more information, contact Chris Twiggs with Friends of the Library of Fernandina Beach at (904) 415-3097.




A writing workshop on a shanty boat docked on the Trout River is beginning a new series of classes in April, according to freelance writer and editor of Closet Books, Lynn Skapyak Harlin, leader of the workshop. 


Shanty boat Writers Workshop is designed for beginning writers who would like to learn new techniques, or seasoned writers who would like to refresh these skills to improve their writing. Fiction and nonfiction writers are welcome. Topics include: Creating believable characters, Tips for Improving Dialogue, Elements of Plot, How 'Show rather than Tell' works toward clarity in all forms of writing and many other writing and submission tips.

Members of recent classes have won awards in the contests of the Florida First Coast Writers' Festival and other national awards. 

The evening session meets every Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m., starting Apr. 11, 2007, and the cost of the workshop (limited to 10 students) will be $100 for six weeks

All new workshop writers before attending a workshop must write and submit an introductory essay according to workshop guidelines.

For more information on sessions forming or to reserve a space, call Ms. Skapyak Harlin at 778-8000 or e-mail her at





Quotes from a Writer’s Quill 

If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry.

– Emily Dickinson



 The North Florida Writers will meet at the Webb Westconnett Library at 2 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 14.  The library is located at the corner of 103rd Street and Harlow Boulevard.

NFW President Joyce Davidson says, “The May meeting will feature guest speaker Caryn Suarez.  For those who don't know her, she is highly motivational and inspiring.  I believe, if she could push you to your writing desk, she would.”



Iowa Short Fiction Prize winner Sohrab Fracis, a past speaker for the NFW, has recently been invited to be an artist in residence this summer at the legendary artists' community of Yaddo, in upstate New York.  He says, “It’s very exciting, and atop-notch validation for the novel-in-progress that I’m working on, so I'm thrilled.”



1--Leonard Bloomfield (1887) and Milan Kundera (1929); 2--Hans Christian Andersen (1805), Émile Zola (1840), and Edward Dorn (1929); 3--George Herbert (1593); John Banim (1798) and John Burroughs (1837); 4--Bettina von Arnim (1785), Henry Bataille (1872), Marguerite Duras (1914), and Maya Angelou (1928);

5--Booker T. Washington (1856) and Arthur Hailey (1920); 7--William Wordsworth (1770) and William Ellery Channing (1780); 8--John Fante (1909) and Barbara Kingsolver (1955); 9--Fisher Ames (1758), Charles Baudelaire (1821), and Paule Marshall (1929);

10--Joseph Pulitzer (1847); 11--Mark Strand (1934); 12--Alan Ayckbourn (1939); 13--Jonathan Carver (1710), Nella Larsen (1891), Samuel Beckett (1906), Eudora Welty (1909), and Seamus Heaney (1939); 14--René Boylesve (René M. A. Tardiveau) (1867), James Branch Cabell (1879), and Bruce Sterling (1954);

15--Henry James (1843), Bliss Carman (1861), Giovanni Amendola (1882), and Jeffrey Archer (1940); 16--Grace Livingston Hill (1865) and Kingsley Amis (1922); 17--Samuel Austin Allibone (1816), David Gravson (Ray Stannard Baker) (1870), Isak Dinesen (1885), and Thornton Wilder (1897); 18--Henry François Becque (1837); 19--Etheridge Knight (1933);

20--Louis Bertrand (1807); 21--John Capgrave (1393), Charlotte Brontë (1816) and Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw) (1818); 22--Henry Fielding (1707), Jrrgen Engebretsen Moe (1813), Vladimir Nabokov (1899), and Jan de Hartog (1914); 23--William Shakespeare (1564), Margaret Avison (1918), J. P. Donleavy (1926), Rod McKuen (1933), and Barry Hannah (1942); 24--Robert Michael Ballantyne (1825), Marcus Clarke (1846), and Robert Penn Warren (1905);

25--Giuseppe Marc' Antonio Baretti (1719), Clarín (Leopoldo Alas) (1852), Walter De La Mare (1873), Ngaio Marsh (1895), and Darcey Steinke (1962); 26--Robert Herrick, U.S. (1868), Alice Cary (1820), Bernard Malamud (1914); 27--Ulysses S. Grant (1822), C. Day Lewis (1904), and Gilbert Sorrentino (1929); 28--Charles Cotton (1630);

30--John Crowe Ransom (1888) and Annie Dillard (1945)


Three new Summer Writing Workshops in Florence, Barcelona and Dublin are being offered in the areas of fiction, memoir and poetry. The workshops are taught by award winning authors, Sue Woolfe (fiction and memoir) and Kirpal Singh (poetry).
The Writing Workshops in Fiction, Memoir and Poetry share in common a focus on the importance of the writer's journey and how to keep it vital and growing. The workshops encourage writers to delve into their deepest emotions and insights and explore transformation, metaphor and the innate structures of their writings. Classes are open to writers of all levels of experience.
Fiction Writing Workshop in Florence: July 13 - 22
Instructor: Sue Woolfe, Best Selling Author of Fiction and Essays and Professor of Creative Writing, Sydney University. The fiction writing workshop is focused on exercises that help writers to open up to inspiration and sharpen their instincts. 
Memoir Writing Workshop in Barcelona: July 21 – 30 
Instructor: Sue Woolfe, Best Selling Author of Fiction and Essays and Professor of Creative Writing, Sydney University. The memoir writing workshop is intended to help each individual find the story that reveals her/his mind and heart through personal narrative.
Poetry Writing Workshop in Dublin: July 29 – Aug. 7 Instructor: K. Singh, Award winning Poet and Essayist, Professor of Creativity, University of Singapore. The workshop will explore techniques by which our poetic imaginations
can be more fully made alive to the intense emotions, thoughts and
dreams that lie within and without. Writers will stretch their creative musings with  exercises in imagery, sense perception, tone, and musicality.
Class size is limited. Reserve your space in advance. Classes meet 3.5 hours per day. You can obtain 3 University credits for taking any of these workshops.
For more information, go to or call 1-866-217-1980 (Toll-Free)
1-212-922-1555.  E-mail inquiries may be sent to
Fiction Writing Workshop in Florence
From $1,900 (including tuition and 9 night accommodations)
Memoir Writing Workshop in Barcelona
From $1,850 (including tuition and 9 night accommodations)
Poetry Writing Workshop in Dublin
From $2,150 (including tuition and 9 night accommodations)
$100 off Poetry Workshop by mentioning
reduction POE-654 -- Limited time only.
For more information:




 If you are writing a story or poem, you will need some expert feedback -- the sort that you will receive at a meeting of the North Florida Writers.  You won't profit from automatic praise that a close friend or relative might give or jealous criticism from others who may feel threatened by your writing.

 The NFW specializes in CONSTRUCTIVE feedback that will enable your manuscript to stand on its own two feet and demand that it be accepted by an editor or agent. Hence, you need the NFW. The North Florida Writers is a writer's best friend because we help members to rid manuscripts of defects and to identify when a work is exciting and captivating.

 If you want to check to see if your dues are current, contact the treasurer at Membership is $15 for students, $25 for individuals, and $40 for a family. (Make out checks to WRITERS.)

 Won't you join today?

 The following is an application. Mail your check to WRITERS, Box 21, FCCJ North, 4501 Capper Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32218.


 St. address___________________________________________

 Apt. No. _____________________________________________

 City ________________State _____ Zip _________________

 E-mail address(es) ___________________________________




 When you attend a meeting of the North Florida Writers, you eventually discover that NO ONE has ever died while his or her manuscript was being read and critiqued. You may be ready to face the ordeal yourself. . .or, reading this, you may wonder what exactly takes place during a critiquing.

First, you pitch your manuscript into a stack with others' works-in-progress. Then one of the NFW members hands out each piece to volunteer readers, taking care NOT to give you back your own manuscript to read.

 Second, as the reading begins, each author is instructed NOT to identify himself or herself and especially NOT to explain or defend the work. The writer may never have heard the piece read aloud by another's voice, so the writer needs to focus on the sound of his or her sentences.

Third, at the finish of each selection, the NFW members try to offer constructive advice about how to make the story better. If a section was confusing or boring, that information may be helpful to the author.

 The NFW will listen to 10 pages (double-spaced) of prose (usually a short story or a chapter).



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