Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System

North Florida Writers * March 2008

Editors: Howard Denson and Janet Vincent


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In This Issue:

Southern Lights Writers' Conference Set Mar. 28-30

Rodney Hurst to Speak to FCCJ North on Mar. 19 and NFW on Apr. 12

No 'Motion Sickness' Pills for Shanty Boat Writers' Workshop

FCCJ North to Host POW!'s Basics Writing Conference on Mar. 29

Tallahassee's Seven Hills Retreat Apr. 2-6 to Feature Rambo Creator

Writing Today Conference Honors Walter Mosley as "Grand Master"

Allentown, Pa. Slates Writers' Conference

Flynn Novelette Available on Podcast

North Florida Writers Meetings and Calendar of Events for March 2008 -- Janet Vincent

Quote from a Writer's Quill -- William Faulkner

Writers Born This Month -- Dr. Seuss, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Flannery O'Connor, Phillip Roth, John Updike, and many others


Southern Lights Writers' Conference Set Mar. 28-30

First Coast Romance Writers, a chapter of the Romance Writers of America, is hosting the 15th annual Southern Lights Writers Conference Mar. 28-30 in Jacksonville at the Marriott at Southpoint. 

Editor/agent appointments will be available with representatives from Berkley, St. Martin's Press, Ellora's Cave/Cerridwen Press, the Highlands Press, the Axelrod Agency, the Knight Agency and Caren Johnson Literary Agency. 

New York Times best-selling author Suzanne Brockmann is the keynote speaker on Saturday, March 29. 

Education sessions will be provided via a craft track and a career track. A "cold read" session will give attendees a chance to receive immediate feedback from published authors. Other popular sessions include Friday night's "pitch practice" and a Q&A session with a distinguished panel of editors and agents. 

For more information, go to


       Rodney Hurst, author of It Was Never Just about Coffee and a Coke, will speak to the FCCJ North academic community at 11 a.m. Mar. 19 in Room E-235. At 2 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 12, he will speak to the North Florida Writers at the Webb Wesconnett Library (103rd St. and Harlow Blvd.). The public is invited to attend both events.

       The hardcover book (ISBN # 978-1-59594-201-2) will cost $27.95, and the softcover edition (ISBN 978-1-59594-195-4) has a price of $14.95. To order, go to <> . 

When he was eleven years old, he accepted the invitation of his American History teacher Rutledge Pearson to join the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP, he could not have guessed at the enormous impact it would have on his life, Jacksonville history or the Civil Rights Movement. All of this has gone into his book from Wingspan Press of Livermore, Calif. 

The book recounts the events leading up to and the fallout from the bloody events of Aug. 27, 1960, in downtown Jacksonville when black youth who had been staging sit-in demonstrations at downtown lunch counters were set upon by 200 whites wielding ax handles and baseball bats. Played down locally, the event gained national attention and thrust Hurst and the Youth Council into the spotlight of the Civil Rights era. 

No 'Motion Sickness' Pills for Shanty Boat Writers' Workshop

Dramamine won't be necessary if you sign up for a writing workshop on a shanty boat docked on the Trout River from March 12 to April 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, according to free lance 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 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 <> .

FCCJ North to Host POW!'s Basics Writing Conference on Mar. 29

      North Campus of FCCJ will host a basics writers' conference Saturday, Mar. 29. The event is sponsored by POW! (Promoting Outstanding Writers) and FCCJ North (4501 Capper Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32218). 

      This writers' conference is designed to help novice writers and advanced writers who need help in publicity. Speakers will include publishers, editors, promotional info, and more. A full slate of speakers will be given at the POW! website ( <> 

      With one exception, the event will be free to high school and college students who produce a current student ID. The session with D.L. Havlin session is not included. In addition, members of POW! may attend free. 

      The general public will pay $20 for an early bird rate for the entire day, while walk-ups will be charged $40 for the day. Tickets may be ordered online or checks or money orders may be sent to POW! The Dennis Havlin session will be $75 and is not included in Conference pricing. 

      Registration will start at 9:30 a.m. Three workshops an hour will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

      For more information, go to the above website and click at the top of the ACTIVITIES section- Upcoming Conferences. Calls may also be made to (904)-268-6229, or e-mail inquiries may be sent to <> . 

Tallahassee's Seven Hills Retreat Apr. 2-6 to Feature Rambo Creator

The 2008 Seven Hills Retreat, sponsored by the Tallahassee Writers Assn., will feature writing experts Michael Martone, Ron Franscell, and Chuck Dowling, along with luncheon speaker David Morrell, creator of Rambo, First Blood. The retreat will be held Apr. 2-6 at the Killearn Country Club.

Dowling is the author of To Keep Our Honor Clean and many other novels and publications, besides being a past president of the Florida Writers' Assn. Franscell has written Angel Fire and The Deadline. Martone, who has written many books of short fiction, is the director of creative writing at the University of Alabama.

For complete information, go to the website, <> . 

Writing Today Conference Honors Walter Mosley as "Grand Master"

The 28th annual Writing Today Conference will honor Walter Mosley as its 2008 Grand Master at the conference Mar. 7-8 at Birmingham-Southern College.

For full information about the conference, go to <> .

Mosley has been compared to Dashiell Hammett and Chester Himes. Best known for his popular mysteries featuring private investigator Easy Rawlins, Mosley transcends the conventional bounds of fiction writing. The New York Times Book Review called him "a literary artist as well as a master of mystery." The Boston Globe hailed him as "one of the nation's finest writers." His first Rawlins novel, Devil in a Blue Dress, was made into a film starring Denzel Washington. 

Other books in the series include the New York Times bestsellers Bad Boy Brawly Brown, Black Betty, A Red Death, A Little Yellow Dog, Cinnamon Kiss, Little Scarlet, and, most recently, Blonde Faith.

Mosley's other works include the Fearless Jones novels Fear Itself and Fear of the Dark and the novels RL's Dream and Fortunate Son, which Library Journal said "deserves to be on the shelves of every library." His short fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Esquire, Playboy, and GQ. One of the stories in Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned won an O.Henry Award, and the book became an HBO film starring Laurence Fishburne. In 2007, he released This Year You Write Your Novel, a nonfiction guide for writers, and this spring, Black Classic Press will publish Tempest Tales, his homage to Langston Hughes' classic Simple stories.

Mosley is an active voice for the African-American community in the ongoing effort for racial equality. In his essays and nonfiction, he examines ways that the African-American perspective can contribute to political, economic and social progress in America. Among his many awards, he was honored in 2004 with the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Allentown, Pa. Slates Writers' Conference

A writers' conference will be held Mar. 28-29 in Allentown, Pa., at the Four Points Sheraton, 3400 Airport Rd. It is sponsored by the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers' Group. Rachel Thompson says the conference will cover poetry, fiction, nonfiction, children's literature.

The keynote speaker will be Jonathan Maberry (Ghost Road Blues). Other conference faculty will include Katherine Ramsland (The Criminal Mind), Tim Esaias of Seton Hill University, T. L. Higley (Marduk's Tablet), Ann E. Michael of DeSales U.), Elvira Woodruff (Fearless), Larry Fox (Confused Lawyer's Field Guide to the Courthouse).

Agents who will appear include Ann Boyle (Wylie-Merrick Agency), Stephany Evans (Fine Print Literary Management), Jaimee Garbacik (The Literary Group International); Erin Niumata (Folio Literary Management), Cherry Weiner (Cherry Weiner Literary Agency). 

Attendees will hear these editors: Karen Syed (Echelon Press) and Juliet Grames (The Overlook Press).

For more information, contact: Ms. Thompson at <>  or go to the website


Dawn, and Sunset, and the Colours of the Earth, the Hugo-nominated novelette by Michael F. Flynn, is available now on a podcast:

#93 Dawn,Sunset & the Colors of the Earth Michael Flynn <> <> 

(It takes a while to get to the story, so you might want to hit "Play" and then move the runner to 32:00, since you may not want to listen to the rest of the podcast.)  

This intriguing story is told from multiple points of view.  (The story incorporates fictional forum posts that Flynn invited regulars on his AOL SF Authors folder to write, and he used two of them by Electronic Write Stuff writer Joy V. Smith: "Pagadan" and "Velvet.")  It appeared originally in the Oct./Nov. 2006 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine and then in Year's Best SF 12, edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer.

North Florida Writers Meetings and Calendar of Events for March 2008 


First Saturday, Mar 1, 11 a.m.; POW Monthly Meeting; Borders Books, Southside Blvd.; 

First Saturday, Mar 1, 10:30 a.m.; Sisters In Crime; Southeast Library; 

First Monday, Mar 3,  7 p.m.; Orange Park Writers; Orange Park Library; Email: 

First Tuesday, Mar 4,  7 p.m.; POW Open Mic; Coffee Roasters, 9965 San Jose Blvd #8; 

Every Wednesday:  7:30 p.m.; Bard Society; Frank Green 234-8383; 

Every Thursday, 6:45 p.m.; Christian Writers Group; Christ's Church, 6045 Greenland Rd, Rm 204, near I-95 & 9A; Email:

First Thursday, Mar 6,  7 p.m.; POW St. Augustine; Starbucks, Palencia; <> 

First Thursday, Mar 6,  2 p.m.; Gathering of Poets, Ponte Vedra Beach library; discussions, speakers, Email:

Second Saturday, Mar 8,  2 p.m.; North Florida Writers; Wesconnett Library; 

Second Saturday, Mar 8,  3 p.m.; First Coast Romance Writers; Jacksonville West Region Library; 

Second Tuesday, Mar 11, 7 p.m.; FWA River City Writers; Southeast Library; Speaker: John Boles, screen writer; Email: 

Second Tuesday, Mar 11,  6:30 p.m.; POW Poetry/Short Story Crits; Barnes & Nobles, 11114 San Jose Blvd.; 

Second Friday, Mar 14,  7 p.m.; POW Open Mic; Borders Books, Southside Blvd; to read your work, call Caryn 904-268-2669

Third Saturday, Mar 15,  10 a.m.; FWA Ancient City Writers Group; St. Augustine Library downtown; Speaker: Rik Feeney (How to Write a Book in 60 Days);  Email: Jeff Swesky at 

Third Saturday, Mar 15,  1 p.m.; Screen & Children's Book Writers & Illustrators; South East Library; Email Janet Walter 

Third Tuesday, Mar 18,  6 p.m.; FWA Amelia Island Writers; Florida House; Speaker: Terry Ridgell, novelist; Email 

Third Thursday, Mar 20,  2 p.m.; Gathering of Poets; Ponte Vedra Beach Library; Email: 

Fourth Saturday, Mar 22, 10 a.m.; FWA Ponte Vedra; Ponte Vedra Library; 

Fourth Monday, Mar 24,  6:30 p.m.; Book Talk Caf?; Friends of Library; Ponte Vedra Beach Library; Speaker Charles Martin (Chasing Fireflies); <> 

Fourth Tuesday, Mar 25,  6:30 p.m.; POW Poetry/Short Story Crits; Borders Books, Southside Blvd.; 

Fourth Thursday, Mar 27,  4 p.m.; FWA River City Writers; Southeast Library; email 

Fourth Friday, Mar 28,  7 p.m.; POW Open Mic; Borders Books, Southside Blvd.; <> 

Every Wednesday,  7:30 p.m.; Bard Society, Frank Green 234-8383;  Email: 

First Thursday, Apr 3,  2 p.m.; Gathering of Poets; Ponte Vedra Beach Library; email:

First Thursday, Apr 3,  7 p.m.; POW St. Augustine; Starbucks, Palencia; 

First Saturday, Apr 5,  2 p.m.;10 a.m.; POW Monthly Meeting; Borders Books, Southside Blvd; 

First Saturday, Apr 5, 10:30 a.m.; Sisters In Crime; Southeast Library; 

First Monday, Apr 7,  7 p.m.; Orange Park Writers; Orange Park Library; Email:

Second Tuesday, Apr 8,  7 p.m.; POW Open Mic; Coffee Roasters, 9965 San Jose Blvd #8; To read, call Caryn 904-268-6229; 

Second Tuesday, Apr 8, 7 p.m.; FWA River City Writers; Southeast Library; Speaker: Charisse Phelps (Point of View); Email:

Second Saturday, Apr 12,  2 p.m.; North Florida Writers; Wesconnett Library; Speaker: Rodney Hurst, former councilman, Civil Rights writer; <> 

Second Saturday, April 12, 11 a.m.; First Coast Romance Writers, West Regional Library;

Other Events of Interest to Our Writers:

Mar 28-30; First Coast Romance Writers annual Southern Lights Conference; $165/$190 (members, non-members); Jacksonville Marriott, Salisbury Rd; $87 hotel; Pitch Practice, Workshops on networking, writing craft, and cold readings w/critiques from authors; Appts with Editors and Agents; Book Fair, and more.

Mar 29; 9:30 ? 2:00 p.m.; POW Writers Nuts & Bolts Conference; Free to POW members, $20 Early Bird, $40 at door; Ramada Inn, Hartley Rd; Education for Novice and Published writers; Workshops and Promotional information; meet with Publishers, Editors; registration and info at <> 

Amelia Island Book Festival; Oct. 3-5, 2008. BOOK SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Mar 31, 2008. Guidelines at

We added TWO new writers' groups to our calendar. Brief description and contact info follows:

First Coast Christian Writers meets every Thursday, 6:45 p.m. at Christ's Church, 6045 Greenland Road Rm 204. Meetings open with a speaker and works are critiqued. They are looking for speakers; contact VP of Education, Mary McCormack: <>  if you wish to speak. The website is under construction; announcement coming on the opening.  Contact Lorraine Haataia, if you want more information.

Gathering of Poets meets 1st and 3rd Thursdays, 2 p.m. at Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library. Bring a poem if you want to read and receive critiques. Members also share information on poetry contests, upcoming events, etc. A spring poetry workshop will be announced soon; keynote speaker Lynn Skapyak Harlin, leader of Shanty Boat Writers. Contact Carolee Bertisch, for further information.

Note: If you have any special events or items to be added to the calendar or mentioned in future newsletters, please send details to me:


Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency. . .to get the book written. If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the Ode on a Grecian Urn is worth any number of old ladies. -- William Faulkner


1--Lytton Strachey (1880), Ralph Ellison (1914), Robert Lowell (1917), Howard Nemerov (1920), and Richard Wilbur (1921); 2--Janos Arany (1817), Theodor Seuss Geisel or Dr. Seuss (1904), Tom Wolfe (1932), and John Irving (1942); 3--Colonel Fred Burnaby (1842), Edward Thomas (1878) and James Merrill (1926); 4--James Ellroy (1948); 

5--Frank Norris (1870); 6--Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806), Johan Bojer (1872), and Gabriel García Márques (1928); 7--Luther Burbank (1849) and Georges Perec (1936); 9--William Cobbett (1763), Vita Sackville-West (1892) and Mickey Spillane (1918);

10--Pedro Antonio de Alarcón (1833), John Rechy (1934); 11--Douglas Adams (1952); 12--Jack Kerouac (1922), John Clellon Holmes (1926), Edward Albee (1928), Randall Kenan (1963); 13--L. Ron Hubbard (1911); 14--Théodore de Banville (1823), Algernon Blackwood (1869);

15--Johann Jakob Breitinger (1701) and Paul Johann Ludwig von Heyse (1830); 16--G. A. Bredero (1585), Camilo Castelo Branco (1825), and Alice Hoffman (1952); 18--Wilfred Owen (1893) and John Updike (1932); 19--Philip Roth (1933); 

20--Thomas Cooper (1805), Henry Ibsen (1828) and Louis Marie Émile Bertrand (1866); 24--Joel Barlow (1754), Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919), and Ian Hamilton (1938); 23--Sir Thomas Chapais (1858);

25--Alexander Ivanovich Herzen (1812), Flannery O'Connor (1925); 26--Edward Bellamy (1850), A. E. Housman (1859), Serafín Álvarez Quintero (1871), Robert Frost (1874), Joseph Campbell (1904), Tennessee Williams (1914), and Gregory Corso (1930); 27--Michael Bruce (1746), Budd Schulberg (1914), Denton Welch (1915), and Louis Simpson (1923); 28--William Byrd (1674), Alexandre Herculano de Carvalho e Araújo (1810), Nelson Algren (1909), Mario Vargas Llosa (1936), and Russell Banks (1940); 29--Alexander Chalmers (1759);

30--Paul Verlaine (1844) and Sean O'Casey (1880); 31--Octavio Paz (1914), John Fowles (1926), and John Jakes (1932).