THE
WRITE
STUFF

Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System
http://www.northfloridawriters.org/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/NorthFloridaWriters/
Editor: Howard Denson
July 2016

STUFF FROM A WRITER’S QUILL


I wish I had a formula, I wish I had a way of proceeding that would be kind of, you know, this is what Chapter One is always like, and this is what Chapter Two is always like.  But it isn’t.  I just have to plunge into it.  And it’s usually the one . . .  that the voice of sanity and reason is telling me not to write.  It’s usually that one that I end up writing.      —Margaret Atwood

In this issue:

Stuff (and links) from hither and yon

·         Why most academics will always be bad writers          
·         Can campuses produce good writers or is it a lost cause?
·         How to Write a Novel, Explained by a Booker Prize-Winning Novelist
·         How to Use Real People in Your Writing Without Ending Up in Court
·         Publishing Can Break Your Heart
·         Here’s how your favorite classic novel made a computer feel

The next quarterly meeting of the N.F.W. will be Aug. 13 at Avondale Watson Realty

Amelia writers to hear about “Fun in Different Genres” at July 21 meeting

BookMark welcomes Bowen, Finder, and Berry

FWA blog for Northeast Florida

Clay Writers focus on techniques to critique

REGULAR POSTINGS: Writers Born This Month. . .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


STUFF FROM HITHER AND YON

Click on the links below to read each article.
Why Most Academics Will Always Be Bad Writers


Noah Berlatsky, a freelance writer and independent scholar, declares that no one should be surprised if much scholarly writing continues to be mediocre and confused. http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Most-Academics-Will-Always/237077

Can campuses produce good writers or is it a lost cause?

This opinion piece explores some of the same territory as Berlatsky’s piece above. It points the blame on the Academic Power Dialect (which may teach students to churn out papers, theses, and dissertation, but fail to make good writers of them). It argues that most student writing isn’t worth reading a day, year, or decade later. The language has been defended by Fowler, Orwell, Cowley, and others, but ivy-covered departments turn up their noses at grammar.

How to Write a Novel, Explained by a Booker Prize-Winning Novelist DBC Pierre, as told to John Doran. DBC Pierre is the penname for Peter Finley, who has lived a fast life of pleasure, drugs, and fast cars. One day, however, he started to write a novel (not having attempted one before), and the completed manuscript “Vernon God Little” went on to win Booker Prize for fiction, becoming the third Australian-born author to be so honored. He also won the Whitbread First Novel Award, becoming the first writer to receive a Booker and a Whitbread for the same book. The book also won the Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman Prize for comic literature at the Hay Festival in 2003 and earned the author a James Joyce Award from the Literary and Historical Society of University College Dublin.

How to Use Real People in Your Writing Without Ending Up in Court

Helen Sedgwick, the author of “Self Publisher’s Legal Handbook,” explores the pitfalls of using real persons, even if thinly disguised, in your work. She says, “Writers face three big risks when using real people in their writing: defamation, invasion of privacy, and misappropriation of the right of publicity.”


Publishing Can Break Your Heart

A flood of bad luck has kept Helen DeWitt’s “The Last Samurai” out of print. Christian Lorentzen wonders if a new edition will finally cement her place as one of the great American novelists. The article states, “At the core of ‘The Last Samurai’ is the notion that most people don’t meet their potential because the culture teaches them to assume there are things they just can’t do. The central example is Ludo reading Homer in the original Greek. ‘The Greek alphabet looks more daunting than it really is,’ DeWitt said.”

Here’s how your favorite classic novel made a computer feel.  Adi Robertson discusses how big data meets high school English classes—and Harry Potter. MIT has a program that analyzes works according to their plot devices. It tracks happy/sad events in a binary method to reveal the ups and downs of the classics, plus Rowling’s work.


THE NEXT QUARTERLY MEETING OF THE N.F.W. WILL BE AUG. 13 AT AVONDALE WATSON REALTY

The next quarterly meeting of North Florida Writers will be Saturday, Aug. 13, at 2 p.m. in the meeting room of the Riverside-Avondale Watson Realty branch (on the corner of Herschel and San Juan).

The meeting will be devoted to critiquing and general discussion of the organization.

AMELIA WRITERS TO HEAR ABOUT “FUN IN DIFFERENT GENRES” AT JULY 21 MEETING

Amelia Island’s Writers by the Sea will hear Paul Hayden discuss "Having fun in different Genres” at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 21. Hayden will share how he writes adventure, intrigues and so much more. This presentation will be at the Amelia Island Museum of History (233 S. 3rd St., Downtown Fernandina Beach, FL 32034).
Born in New Jersey, Hayden lives in Jacksonville. He is a graduate from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Besides writing, he enjoys painting, crafts, and volunteer activities; and is a long-time surfer and environmentalist with a deep love of nature.
He has written a novel “The Nonconformist,” his autobiography “Chicken of the Sea,” and a children’s book, “Byron the Lonely Christmas Tree.”  

For more information, check out the group’s FaceBook page.

BOOKMARK WELCOMES BOWEN, FINDER, AND BERRY

Owner Rona Brinlee says The BookMark (220 1st St., Neptune Beach 32266) will be hosting these authors during July:

Brenda Bowen, Enchanted August (Penguin Books), Tuesday, July 19, 7 p.m.
Joseph Finder, Guilty Minds (Dutton Books), Sunday, July 24, 3 p.m.
New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry (The 14th Colony), will join Finder for the Sunday afternoon event.    

For more information, go to http://www.bookmarkbeach.com or email the store at bkmark@bellsouth.net ; (904) 241-9026.

FWA BLOG FOR NORTHEAST FLORIDA

July means that it’s too darned hot to be outside, so it’s time to retreat full time to the air-conditioned comfort of your keyboard. If you want to confer inside with fellow writers, then check out meetings of the River City Writers, the Clay County Writers, Writers by the Sea, the Ancient City Writers, and the Ponte Vedra Writers.

For more information, contact Vic DiGenti, FWA Regional Director, at www.fwapontevedra.blogspot.com or www.parkerfrancis.com

CLAY WRITERS FOCUS ON TECHNIQUES TO CRITIQUE


The Clay County Writers are tipping their hats to the Shanty Boat Writers group and trying out the critique tips from Lynn Skapyak Harlin at the meeting Wednesday, July 20, in the meeting room of the Clay County Library (on King Street, just behind the Dairy Queen.

For more information, contact leader Maureen Jung or go to the Facebook page,

 WRITERS BORN THIS MONTH

To check out the names of writers who were born this month, go to:
http://howarddenson.webs.com/julywritersbirthdays.htm

The list includes novelists, poets, playwrights, nonfiction authors, writers for the small and silver screen, and others.

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).

SOME USEFUL LINKS

Writers, poets, and playwrights will find useful tools at http://howarddenson.webs.com/usefullinksforwriters.htm


NEED SOMEONE TO CRITIQUE A MANUSCRIPT?

If you have a finished manuscript that you want critiqued or proofread, then look for someone at http://howarddenson.webs.com/potentialcritiquers.htm. Check out their entries on the website to see if they suit your needs.

They include the following:

Robert Blade Writing & Editing (rmblade@aol.com);

Frank Green of The Bard Society (frankgrn@comcast.net);

JJ Grindstaff-Swathwood (jgswathwood@gmail.com);

Brad Hall (variablerush@gmail.com);

Lynn Skapyak Harlin (lyharlin@aol.com);

Joseph Kaval (joseph.kaval@gmail.com);

Richard Levine  (http://hiddenowl.com/Contact%20form.html).

THE WRITE STAFF

President: Howard Denson (hd3nson@hotmail. com)

Vice President: Joyce Davidson (davent2010@comcast. net)

Secretary: Kathy Marsh (kathygmarsh@bellsouth. net)

Treasurer: Richard Levine (http://hiddenowl.com/Contact%20form.html).


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.