The Electronic Write Stuff

 Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System

North Florida Writers * June 2007 * Editors:  Howard Denson and Janet Vincent


In this issue:

June Meeting of NFW for Critiques

Get Involved by Networking – Janet Vincent

Calendar of Events – Janet Vincent

90 Manuscript See the Light in 1st Contest – Vic DiGenti

Quote from a Writer's Quill – W. H. Auden

Writers Born This Month: Larry McMurty, Gwendolyn Brooks, William Butler Yeats, Dorothy L. Sayers, and many others



The June 9 meeting of the North Florida Writers will focus on critiques. The meeting will be held at 2 p.m. at the Webb Westconnett Library (corner of 103rd Street and Harlow Boulevard).

Diane Barton, a mystery writer, is scheduled to speak to the group on Sept. 8.






Do you sometimes feel “out of the loop“ or unaware of happenings in the writing world? Do you often hear, after the fact, of an event and wish you had known in time to attend? How many times have you said, “I’m glad I went,” after a meeting you actually attended?


Most writing “how-to” articles include networking as one of the necessary activities we need to market our work or find new markets. Getting started is often the hard part; I, too, hesitate to attend an event I’ve never seen before. But a friend would help overcome those jitters. Why not call a friend from our group to attend a meeting or event with you? It’s easier to go when you know someone. He or she would appreciate the opportunity to network, too.


Check out this list of area writing events in June. With so many events scheduled; there’s bound to be something of interest to most writers. Perhaps you could share at our next meeting what you learned at the event. We might get a few ideas to inject new vigor into our meetings and group activities!


I hope to continue working the events calendar. If you know of a group or event that I haven’t included, please email me with event, address, and date so I can include it next time. Until then, Keep Writing! Janet Vincent





June 12: 6 – 7:45 p.m. : FWA Central Jax Speaker Meeting

Southeast Library 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd


June 12: 6:30 – 9 p.m. : POW! Short Story/Poetry Critiques

Barnes & Noble 11114 San Jose Blvd; Open to Public;

E-mail if you wish to read works


June 15: 7 – 9 p.m. POW! Open Mic Reading work for critiques

Borders Books Southside Blvd; Open to Public

E-mail if you wish to read works


June 16: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. : FWA Ancient City meeting

St. Augustine Library Downtown


June 16: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. : POW! Toastmasters Meeting

Mandarin Library, San Jose Blvd @ Orange Pickers Rd

E-mail if you wish to speak


June 16: 1 – 2:30 p.m. : POW! Monthly Meeting

Mandarin Library, San Jose Blvd @ Orange Pickers Rd


June 23: 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. : POW! Journey to EmPOWerment

Ramada Inn Mandarin; yoga, workshops, lunch, more $65 non $35

Members; Volunteers see conference free

Email: for info and tickets


June 23: 10 a.m. : FWA Ponte Vedra Meeting Speaker Frank Green

Ponte Vedra Library 100 Library Blvd


June 26: 6:30 – 9 p.m. : POW! Short Story/Poetry Critiques

Borders Books, Southside Blvd Open to Public, +15 age

E-mail if you wish to read works


June 28: 4 – 7:45: p.m. : FWA Central Jax Critiques

Southeast Library, 10599 Deerwood park Blvd


June 30: 1 – 3 p.m. : POW St. Augustine

St. Augustine Downtown Library


July 7: 10 a.m. : FWA a.m. Amelia Island Meeting and Critique

Fernandina Beach Police Dept; Lime St Jim Morgan


July 7: 10:30 a.m. : Florida Sisters In Crime Speaker & Critiques

Southeast Library 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd



Frank Green’s Bard Society meets every Tuesday evening for help on writing issues. Contact Frank: 904-398-5352 or


Two contest deadlines coming up soon:


The Writer Magazine Short Story Contest, not to exceed 2,000 words Fee: $10; pays $1000, $300, and $200 to 3 winners. Deadline is June 30. Website:; Contest link at bottom right column for rules & entry form


Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Essay Contest, 500 words on MRK; deadline July 1 Forms, Schedule: http://writingtheregion ; Info: Sarah Bewley MRK Writers Workshops, Gainesville July 25 – 29; winners announced. Details for the Workshop on the same website.


Another area event of interest:


Nov. 9 – 11 POW! Awards Weekend, Ramada, Mandarin. They are now booking Workshop Presenters. NFW group won award for our anthology in 2006 Email Caryn: Website:


Any omissions purely unintentional; if you have information about other groups’ events,

please e-mail Janet Vincent: I’ll be sure to include that info in my next report. Thank You!


Janet Vincent has been a member of NFW since June 2005. She was recently appointed as co-editor of NFW newsletter, The Write Stuff, and writes authors interviews for e-zine, Eloquent Stories. An avid camper, she travels the USA searching for travel, inspiration, and human interest articles.






Florida Writers’ Association Regional Director


The first Annual Lighthouse Book Awards was a major success as well with more than 90 entries in three different categories. We announced the finalists in each category to the delight of those entrants who were attending the conference. Here you see Terri Ridgell, the contest chair, providing details of the contest.


Finalists have been sent on for final ranking by these editors: Barbara Moore (Midnight Ink) for Mystery/Suspense/Thrillers, Julie Doughty (Dutton) for Fiction-General, and Andrew Karre (Flux) for Young Adult. The finalists in each category were:



Who Killed Fidel Castro? - David Pereda
Forty Percent Gray - Mary Kilgore

The Dachshund Caper – Jean Osborn

General Fiction

Charley Gets His Halo - William Barbour
Jess, A Confederate - Leonard Emmel
War Drums of
Afghanistan - John Holley

Young Adult

Wolf Girl - Suki Litchfield
Shard of The Dark Star - Gertie Poole
Run Away Home - Karen Harvey (Tie)
Hidden Treasures - Bill Dougherty (Tie)


Note that there's a change from our earlier announcement of the finalists. We recently learned of a violation of one of the rules in that an entry had already been published. Jean Osborn's The Dachshund Caper moves into that position. We've also decided to award an Honorable Mention in each category since these three authors were within several points of the top finishers.


We're pleased to recognize the following Honorable Mention recipients:


Jeff Swesky in General Fiction for Such A Dreamer, Eugene Orlando for his Young Adult entry, The Last Days of Camelot, and Ann McAllister Clark in the Mystery category for her entry, A Bone in Her Teeth.

Congratulations to all the finalists and Honorable Mention recipients. We will hold an awards ceremony later in the summer so stay tuned for that announcement.


The day before our conference, eighteen area authors participated in the 2nd annual Ponte Vedra Book Fair. During the afternoon, the authors sold their books and took part in a series of panel discussions. The Book Fair was sponsored by FWA and the Ponte Vedra Branch Library.

Even though our conference and contest are behind us, you should keep looking for opportunities to showcase your talents and improve your skills. Check these out:

As always, help is close at hand in the form of one of the four Writers' Groups in the area. The Amelia Island WG meets on the first Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. although they are considering a change in day/time. The Central Jax WG meets on the second Tuesday of the month at the SE Regional Library at 6:00 p.m. They're taking a summer break in June but return on July 10 with SF novelist Sandra McDonald talking about Building Stories Like a House. The Ancient City WG meets on the 3rd Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. at the St. Augustine's downtown library. On June 16, author Carol Welsh speaks on Publishing and Promoting Your Book in the 21st Century. And on June 23 at 10 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra WG, noted writing coach and editor Frank Green will discuss the Structure of a Story.


Quote from a Writer’s Quill

Poetry is the clear expression of mixed feelings.

-- W. H. Auden 


Writers born in june

1--William Wilfred Campbell (1858?) and John Masefield (1878); 2--Marquis de Sade (1740), Grace Aguilar (1816), Thomas Hardy (1840), Barbara Pym (1913); 3--Konstantin Dmitrievich Balmont (1867), Allen Ginsberg (1926) and Larry McMurty (1926); 4--Robert Fulgrum (1937);

5--Federico Garca Lorca (1898), Cornelius Ryan (1920), Margaret Drabble (1939), Spalding Gray (1941), and Ken Follett (1949); 6--Thomas Mann (1875), Maxine Kumin (1925), and Harry Crews (1935); 7--Elizabeth Bowen (1899) and Gwendolyn Brooks (1917); 8--Sara Paretsky (1947); 9--Patricia Cornwell (1956);

10--Sir Edwin Arnold (1832), Louis Couperus (1863), Saul Bellow (1915), and Maurice Sendak (1928); 11--Josephine Miles (1911) and William Styron (1925); 12--Djuna Barnes (1892) and Anne Frank (1929); 13--Giuseppe Cerutti (1738), Fanny Burney (Frances d'Arblay) (1752), William Butler Yeats (1865), Dorothy L. Sayers (1893); 14--Jerzy Kosinski (1933) and John Edgar Wideman (1941);

15--Edward Channing (1856) and Amy Clampitt (1920); 16--Joyce Carol Oates (1938) and Erich Segal (1927); 17--Carl Van Vechten (1880), John Hersey (1914), and Ron Padgett (1942); 18--Gabriello Chiabrera (1552), Leonid Nikolaevich Andreev (1871), Philip Barry (1896), and Geoffrey Hill (1932); 19--Annibale Caro (1507), Laura Z. Hobson (1900), Tobias Wolff (1945), and Salman Rushdie (1947);

20--George Hickes (1642), Hans Adolph Brorson (1694), Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1743), Lilian Hellman (1905), and Vikram Seth (1952); 21--W. E. Aytoun (1813), Jean Paul Sartre (1905), Mary McCarthy (1912), and Ian McEwan (1948); 22--Erich Maria Remarque (1898), Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906), and Octavia Butler (1947); 23--Irvin S. Cobb (1876) and Jean Anouilh (1910); 24--Henry Ward Beecher (1813), Ambrose Bierce (1842), and Brooks Adams (1848);

25--Robert Erskine Childers (1870), Josephine Tey/Gordon Daviot (1896), George Orwell (1903), and Nicholas Mosley (1923); 26--Bernard Berenson (1865), Pearl Buck (1892), and Frank O'Hara (1926); 27--Vernon Watkins (1906); 28--Giovanni Della Casa (1503), Luigi Pirandello (1867), Floyd Dell (1887), and Eric Ambler (1909); 29--Willibald Alexis (Georg Wilhelm Heinrich Hring) (1798) and Antoine de St.-Exupry (1900);

30--Thomas Lovell Beddoes (1803).




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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