Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System * Jan. 2009

Editor: Howard Denson



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In This Issue:

NFW To Hear Mystery Writer, Non-Fiction Author

Deadline Extended for Novel Contest

Bellday Poetry Prize Winner to Get $2,000

From Vic Digenti of Florida Writers' Assn.

Prize-Winning Workshop to Start New Series of Classes

Quote from a Writer's Quill – Barbara Tuchman

Writers Born This Month – They wrote of laws of robotics, lords of rings, aphorisms and the weather, beating hearts, and rabbit holes and potions



Suzanne Hicken, a mystery writer and non-fiction author, will speak at the Jan. 10 meeting of the North Florida Writers. She will speak at 2 p.m. Saturday in the meeting room of the Webb Wesconnett Library (corner of 103rd Street and Harlow Boulevard).

A graduate of Florida Junior College at Jacksonville, the University of North Florida, and the University of Arizona, she wrote a murder mystery set in Quebec in the 40’s. After retiring, she wrote Children of the Hemisphere, about her pet peeve. She objects to the name America being given to all of the land in the New World.



The novel contest deadline for the Florida First Coast Writers' Festival has been extended to Groundhog Day (Feb. 2). On this day, the critter emerges from its hole and, if he doesn't spot a manuscript from you, you will have another year of publishing inactivity.

The final round judges will be novelists David Poyer and Lenore Hart.

Entrant Guidelines and Checklist

This contest welcomes unpublished, original manuscripts of all genres of fiction.

Each entry requires a $45 entry fee.

Make checks payable to First Coast Writers’ Festival, indicating “Novel Contest” in the For line of the check.

Mail entries to Writers’ Festival Contests, 4501 Capper Road, Jacksonville, FL 32218, ATTN Dr. Dana Thomas.

Each entry should be typed, double-spaced, with numbered pages.

Entries should include two copies of the manuscript’s first 100 (or so) pages.

Entries should not be the author’s only copy as the Festival does not return eliminated entries or accept responsibility for entries lost in the mail.

Entries should be accompanied by a logline, summarizing the novel in one or two sentences, and a brief present tense narrative summary.

Include a biosheet, written in third person, listing entrant’s name, address, phone number and e-mail address, along with the title of the manuscript(s) and the first line of the entry. Follow this information with a brief (two to three sentences) biographical statement.

Florida Community College employees and Writers’ Festival Planning Committee members are not eligible to enter the contest.

This contest is not a critique service; however, the final entries will receive written evaluations from Poyer or Hart.

First Place will bring a monetary prize of $700 and serious consideration from a major publishing house. Second Place will yield the writer $200, while Third Place will be worth $100.



Bellday Books says Mar. 16 will be the deadline for its annual prize for the winning book of poems by an individual author. The winner will receive $2,000 and 25 copies of the book.

The contest final judge for 2009 will be Linda Gregerson, the author of four poetry collections: Magnetic North (2007), Waterborne (2002), The Woman Who Died in Her Sleep (1996), and Fire in the Conservatory (1982). She teaches creative writing and Renaissance literature at the University of Michigan. She has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Poetry Society of America, and the Modern Poetry Association, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Humanities Center, and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Magnetic North was a finalist for the National Book Award, and she won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for Waterborne.  She is also the author of two volumes of literary criticism and her essays on lyric poetry and Renaissance literature appear in many journals and anthologies.

Contest Rules:

--Submit a manuscript of 60-90 pages of original poetry in any style in English. The manuscript must not have been published in book or chapbook, but may contain poems that have appeared in print or on the Internet.  Entries may consist of individual poems, a book-length poem or any combination of long or short poems.

--Submitted manuscript must contain 2 title pages: Name and contact information should appear on first title page only. Name should not appear anywhere else in the manuscript.

--Manuscript should be typed, single-spaced, paginated, and bound with a spring clip.

--Include a table of contents page, but do not send an acknowledgements page.

--Enclose an SASE for announcement of the winner.

--Manuscript cannot be returned.

--Postmark deadline: March 16, 2009.

--Include a check or money order for $25 reading fee, payable to BELLDAY BOOKS.

--Bellday Books reserves the right not to select an award winner, in which case all reading fees will be refunded.

CONTEST MAILING ADDRESS: Bellday Books, Inc., P.O. Box 3687, Pittsburgh, PA 15230.




After too much holiday fare, I finally broke away from the hypnotic pull of the non-stop bowl games to update the FWA blog. It's filled with details about area chapter meetings to help renew your energy and exercise your writing muscles. Plus there's news of writing courses and contests.

All you need to do is go to ======================================================================


A writing workshop on a shanty boat docked on the Trout River is beginning a new series of classes in January 2009, according to freelance writer and editor of Closet Books, Lynn Skapyak Harlin, leader of the workshop.

Day sessions and an evening poetry workshop will also be forming.

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 Jan. 14-Feb. 18, 2009, and the cost of the workshop (limited to 10 students) will be $100 for six weeks.

Day sessions and an evening poetry workshop will also be forming.

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

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




Without books, history is silent, literature deumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. – Barbara Tuchman



1--Francis Bacon (1561), Edmund Burke (1729), Arthur Hugh Clough (1819), E. M. Forster (1879), J. D. Salinger (1919), and Joe Orton (1933); 2--Abdülhak Hamid (1852), Isaac Asimov (1920) and Leonard Michaels (1933); 3--J. R. R. Tolkien (1892);

5--Khristo Botev (1848) and W. D. Snodgrass (1926); 6--Carl Sandburg (1878), Alan Watts (1915), E. L. Doctorow (1931); 7--Zora Neale Hurston (1903?) and Robert Duncan (1919); 8--Wilkie Collins (1824), Peter Taylor (1917), Charles Thomlinson (1927), Elvis Presley (1935), and Leon Forrest (1937); 9--Hayyim Nahman Bialik (1873), Simone de Beauvoir (1908), Herbert Huncke (1915), William Meredith (1919), and Judith Krantz (1928);

10--Robinson Jeffers (1887) and Philip Levine (1928); 11--Alan Patton (1903) and Ellery Queen co-author Manifred B. Lee (1905); 12--Jack London (1876) and Haruki Murakami (1949); 13--Horatio Alger (1834) and Edmund White (1940); 14--John Dos Passos (1896), Tillie Olson (1913), Dudley Randall (1914), and Yukio Mishima (1925);

15--Peter Christen Asbjrrnsen (1812), Martin Luther King Jr. (1929), and Ernest Gaines (1933); 16--Conte Vittorio Alfieri (1749), Robert W. Service (1876), Laura Riding (1901), Anthony Hecht (1923), William Kennedy (1928), and Susan Sontag (1933); 17--Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600), Benjamin Franklin (1706), Charles Brockden Brown (1771), Anne Brontë (1820), and Nevil Shute (1899); 18--A. A. Milne (1882) and Jon Stallworthy (1935); 19--Jacques Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (1737), Michel Bibaud (1782), Per Daniel Amadeus Atterbom (1790), Edgar Allan Poe (1809), Patricia Highsmith (1921), J. D. Salinger (1929), Patricia Highsmith (1921), George Macbeth (1932), and Julian Barnes (1946);

20--Henry Bernstein (1876) and George Burns (1896); 21--Isaac Hawkins Browne (1705) and Joaquín Álvarez Quintero (1873); 22--Lord Byron (1788), August Strindberg (1849), Maurice Henry Hewlett (1861), and Joseph Wambaugh (1937); 23--Derek Walcott (1930); 24--William Congreve (1670), Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732), Charles Egbert Craddock (Mary Noailles Murfree) (1850), and Edith Wharton (1862);

25--Robert Burns (1759), W. Somerset Maugham (1874), Virginia Woolf (1882), and Gloria Naylor (1950); 26--Florent Chrestien (1541), Achim Arnim (1781), Samuel Hopkins Adams (1871), Jules Feiffer (1929); 27--Lewis Carroll (1832), Mordecai Richler (1931), and D. M. Thomas (1935); 28--António Feliciano de Castilho (1800); 29--Anton Chekhov (1860) and Colette (1873);

30--Walter Savage Landor (1775), Adelbert von Chamisso (1781), and Richard Brautigan (1933); 31--Zane Grey (1875), John O'Hara (1905), Thomas Merton (1915), Norman Mailer (1923), and Kenzaburo Oe (1935).



Every Wednesday: 7:30 p.m.; BARD SOCIETY; Frank Green 234-8383; Email<>

Every Thursday, 6:45 p.m.; FIRST COAST CHRISTIAN WRITERS GROUP; Christ's Church, 6045 Greenland Rd, Rm 204, near I-95 & 9A; Email:<>

Second Saturday: 2 p.m.; NORTH FLORIDA WRITERS; Webb Wesconnett Library;<>



Membership is $15 for students, $25 for individuals, and $40 for a family. (Make out checks to WRITERS.) Mail your check to WRITERS, c/o Howard Denson, 1511 Pershing Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32205.

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