7 On Gilmore talk, Shanty Boat workshops, and all that writing jazz  (Write Stuff 0513)
Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System
www. northfloridawriters. org * Editor: Howard Denson * May 2013
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In This Issue:


NFW to hear Tim Gilmore May 11 at Webb Wesconnett

Prize-winning workshop to start new series of classes

BookMark to host novelist Joshua Henkin on May 2

First Coast Romance Writers offers ½ day workshop with NYT best-seller Alyssa Day

First Stetson Kennedy Festival scheduled May 11

Clay FWA to hear Tim Gilmore and Sohrab Homi Fracis

FWA news about meetings, contests, and workshops

Stuff from a Writer’s Quill E.B. White

Need someone to critique a manuscript?

The Wrong Stuff – Howard Denson

Stuff from Hither and Yon

Writers Born This Month

NFW suspends dues indefinitely

Meetings of NFW and Other Groups

Useful Links

The Write Staff


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NFW to hear Tim Gilmore

May 11 at Webb Wesconnett


The North Florida Writers will hear poet-nonfiction writer Tim Gilmore speak on May 11 at 2 p.m. Saturday, at the Webb Wesconnett Library (corner of 103rd Street and Harlow Boulevard, to the east of I-295). The public is welcome to attend.


Tim Gilmore is the author of This Kind of City: Ghost Stories and Psychological Landscapes (2012) andGhost Compost: Strange Little Stories, illustrated by Nick Dunkenstein (2013). He is the creator of Jax Psycho Geo (www.jaxpsychogeo.com). His two volumes of poetry are Horoscopes for Goblins: Poems, 2006-2009 and Flights of Crows: Poems, 2002-2006. His audio poetry album Waiting in the Lost Rooms is available at http://eat-magazine.bandcamp.com/album/waiting-in-the-lost-rooms. He teaches at Florida State College at Jacksonville. His book Stalking Ottis Toole: A Southern Gothic will be out in September 2013.


For the critiques that follow the speaker, someone other than the author of respective works will read aloud the submissions (up to 10 double-spaced TYPED pages of prose, and reasonable amounts of poetry or lyrics). Authors may not defend their work, but they may attach questions they would like answered (e.g., “Is the scene on the beach convincing?”). Authors should listen to the words and rhythms of their creations.


Future meeting dates and locales:


June 8 – 2 p.m., Webb Wesconnett

July 13 – 2 p.m., Webb Wesconnett

Aug. 10 – 2 p.m., Webb Wesconnett


Prize-winning workshop
to start new series of classes


A writing workshop on a shanty boat docked on the Trout River is beginning a new series of classes starting Wednesday, May 1, 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., and the cost of the workshop (limited to 10 students, with only a few seats left) will be $125 for six weeks.


Before attending a workshop all new workshop writers 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 lyharlin@aol.com


BookMark to host novelist

Joshua Henkin on May 2


Joshua Henkin, an award-winning novelist and short story writer, will be at The BookMark on Thursday, May 2, at 7 p.m. Owner Rona Brinlee says Joshua Henkin’s latest book is “The World Without You” (also available in paperback).

The New York Times Book Review describes “The World Without You” as "insightful, poignant and pointed. Henkin move[s] elegantly from one perspective to another. Although the cast is large you get to know them deeply, like real people, Henkin brings them to a moving resolution that feels authentically possible. “The World Without You” shows how loss forces people to reconceive of themselves, a painful but necessary transformation."

The story begins on July 4, 2005, and the Frankel family is descending upon their beloved summer home in the Berkshires. They have gathered to memorialize Leo, the youngest of the four siblings and an intrepid journalist killed on that day in 2004, while on assignment in Iraq. But Leo's parents are adrift in a grief that's tearing apart their forty-year marriage, his sisters are struggling with their own difficulties, and his widow has arrived from California bearing a secret. Here award-winning writer Joshua Henkin unfolds this family story, as, over the course of three days, the Frankels contend with sibling rivalries and marital feuds, with volatile women and silent men - and, ultimately, with the true meaning of family.


Henkin is the author of the novels Swimming Across the Hudson (a Los Angeles Times Notable Book) and Matrimony (a New York Times Notable Book). His stories have cited for distinction in Best American Short Stories, and broadcast on NPR's Selected Shorts. He directs the MFA Program in Fiction Writing at Brooklyn College.


First Coast Romance Writers

offers a ½ day workshop

with NYT bestselling author Alyssa Day


A half-day workshop with New York Times best-selling author Alyssa Day will be offered Saturday, May 11, at the West Regional Library (near Chaffee and I-10). The workshop, entitled “Romantic Times Recap,” will start at 10:15 a.m. She will tell about her experiences at the Romantic Times convention in Kansas City.


Alyssa Day won the 2012 RT Award for Best Paranormal. She will also give the scoop on what publishers are talking about.


Alyssa Day is the pen name (and she says “the dark and tortured alter ego”) of RITA award-winning and RWA honor roll member author Alesia Holliday. Her novel “Heart of Atlantis,” is a nominee for 2012 best paranormal novel of the year by Romantic Times/RT Book Club, and she is a finalist in FCRW’s own National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards.


As Alyssa, she writes the New York Times best-selling “Warriors of Poseidon” paranormal series and the “League of the Black Swan,” paranormal romance series. As Alesia, it is said that she writes comedies that make readers snort things out of their noses. She is the author of the award-winning memoir about military families during war-time deployments: “Email to the Front.” She says she is a diehard Buckeye who graduated summa cum laude from Capital University Law School and practiced as a trial lawyer in multi-million dollar litigation for several years before coming to her senses and letting the voices in her head loose on paper. She lives somewhere near an ocean with her Navy guy husband, two kids, and any number of rescue dogs. Her website is www.AlyssaDay.com, Twitter.com/Alyssa_Day, or Facebook.com/AuthorAlyssaDay.


First Stetson Kennedy Festival

scheduled May 11


The first annual Stetson Kennedy Folklife Festival & Floridiana Show will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Gainesville’s Matheson Museum (513 E. University Ave.).


Events and lectures free and open to the public. The festival will feature music by Florida Folklife legends Dale Crider, Willie Green, and Frank Thomas.


For more information, go to http://www.mathesonmuseum.org.


Clay FWA to hear Tim Gilmore

and Sohrab Homi Fracis


The FWA Clay County Writers have invited members and the public to hear Tim Gilmore, Ph.D. “Writing About Place: How to Let the Local Haunt You” Wednesday, May 15, from 6:15 to 8 p.m. at Orange Park Library (2054 Plainfield Ave., off Kingsley Ave., behind the Dairy Queen).


Gilmore says place can play a dramatic role in a story, whether the genre is fiction or nonfiction. Too many authors neglect the power of place to bring their stories to life. He will explain how to explore, research, and appreciate local places, and how to translate one’s exploration into writing.


He emphasizes that the extraordinary exists in the ordinary, and if writers can learn to see what’s right around them, they can open their vision to the magical.


Every place where people have lived for some time has secrets, mysteries, things it wants to hide, according to Gilmore. Places are more than the sum of the people who live in them; places have their own personalities. “To write vividly about a place,” he says, “you have to get to know it, just as you have to learn about a person, to create a believable character.”


He calls this type of writing about place “psycho-geography… the psychology of geography. It’s the exploration of the profound and usually unconscious psychological effects places have on us.”


On June 19, Sohrab Homi Fracis, author of “Ticket to Minto,” will speak about writing as a second career. Fracis received a technical-oriented education in India, worked in the field for several years before deciding he wanted to write literary fiction.


Future Meet the Authors” are scheduled for 2013: May 21, June 11, July 9, Aug. 13, Sept. 10, and Oct. 8, at Black Horse Winery, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Contact Clay FWA president Maureen Jung (mjung@wordspringconsulting.com)  to participate.


Clay County Writers is sponsored by the Florida Writers Assn. Monthly meetings (the third Wednesday) are devoted to presentations by speakers and authors discussing areas of their expertise. The programs focus on the art, craft, and business of writing.


FWA news about meetings,

contests, and workshops


Victor DiGenti, the regional director of the Florida Writers Assn., gives readers the FWA Blog post about meetings, contests and workshops for NE Florida writers. Click here to access the blog.


Showalter’s ‘Big Bend’

due for summer release


“The Big Bend” by Gary Showalter is scheduled to be released as an audio book some time in July and will be available through Amazon, Audible.com and iTunes. He has posted a sample from the first chapter of the novel on his home page at www.garyshowalter.com. “Hog Valley,” “Twisted Key,” and “Lonesome Cove” should follow “The Big Bend” over the next eighteen months.




Stuff – Forensic Grammar




Follow the link below to find where often sane and sensible writers (and editors) have stumbled in their writing:

http://howarddenson. webs. com/theforensicgrammarian. htm


A paperback collection, “The Wrong Stuff: Findings of a Forensic Grammarian,” should be available in May.



from Hither

and Yon


Click on each link to go directly to the story.


I’m a self-publishing



John Winter posed for his author picture, but friends told him he looked like a slightly more effeminate vesion of Truman Capote. He opts to use the pix anyway, launches his book as an indie author, and. . .and. . .and he’s still waiting for something to happen, anything.



The Chestnut Diet:

How to Cut Clichés

out of Your Writing


Columns about reducing clichés in our writing may be a dime a dozen, but Kathy Shaidle says it’s time to throw the trite expressions out with the bathwater.



Words let software

date Medieval writing


Based on the appearance of popular words or phrases, new software can tell when medieval British documents were written. Researchers with the Centre for Medieval Studies and the Documents of Early England Data Set (DEEDS) Project needed software that could decipher their database of about 10,000 British charter and property documents, which are all from approximately 1066 until the 1400s, with the majority being from 1100 to 1300.



A day in Ben Kane’s life

as a historical novelist


Ben Kane went from being a full-time vet and aspiring writer, to being a vet who is actually published, and finally to a full-time writer with a busy schedule. Check out his coping mechanisms.



John le Carré: A glimmer

of hope amid the darkest vision


Allan Massie says the background to John le Carré’s novels has always been amoral, but in “A Delicate Truth,” the all-powerful state has torn up the rule book.



Native languages

of America…and Texas


The Caddo tribe (of eastern Texas) gave us the word for Texas (“friend”). On the Texas page, you can track the words of the Apaches, Comanches, the Wichita tribes, and others.



Shirley Temple’s

strange loot


Now that Shirley Temple is 85, Matt Weinstock examines the impact of her autobiography and her films. He says, “But ‘Child Star’—published twenty-five years ago, and lamentably out of print—doesn’t register as an autobiography so much as a little-girl classic that ought to be shelved alongside ‘Anne of Green Gables,’ ‘Little Women,’ and Laura Ingalls Wilder.”



From the AP Stylebook:

How to Obscure


Debra Saunders notes that the Associated Press has changed its stylebook to reject the term “illegal immigrant.” She says: “Make no mistake about this decision. Whatever prompted the change, its practical effect is to delegitimize those who have called for tougher enforcement of U.S. immigration law.” News media are using the term “undocumented immigrants” instead.



The Slow Death

of the American Author


Scott Turow is distressed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to “to allow the importation and resale of foreign editions of American works, which are often cheaper than domestic editions.” Authors don’t receive royalties for sales of used books. The case revolves, in part, around foreign editions of textbooks, which worked their way into the U.S. market as used books. In theory, a negative ruling by the court could have spelled the end of centuries-old used book stores in the country.



The Age of

the Essay


Paul Graham says that practically everything you were taught about English composition, about essays, is wrong. He says, “…[I]f you want to write essays, you need two ingredients: a few topics you've thought about a lot, and some ability to ferret out the unexpected.” http://www.paulgraham.com/essay.html


Sham journals

scam authors

in the sciences


Declan Butler says that con artists are stealing the identities of real journals to cheat scientists out of publishing fees. Butler says, “The crooked websites are masquerading as Archives des Sciences, a multidisciplinary journal founded in 1791 and published by the Society of Physics and Natural History of Geneva (SPHN) in Switzerland; and Wulfenia, a botany journal published by the Regional Museum of Carinthia in Klagenfurt, Austria.”



Break the rules

to become a best-seller


Rob Eager, author consultant and founder of Wildfire Marketing, says the old rules for successful authors no longer work. Instead, he has come up with five successful marketing strategies, including “Created a free resource that was featured for 21 days on more than 350 radio stations.




for Hitler


Charles Taylor writes about how eminent historians defended Holocaust denier David Irving in the name of free speech and scholarship. Irving sued Deborah Lipstadt for saying in ‘Denying the Holocaust’ that Irving was “Hitler partisan wearing blinkers” who distorted, skewed and manipulated evidence and documents “in order to reach historically untenable conclusions.” Irving lost the libel case’s initial verdict and subsequent appeals. The court case was then the subject of Lipstadt’s book “History on Trial.” http://www.salon.com/2005/02/07/lipstadt/


John le Carré

Has Not Mellowed

With Age


Dwight Garner quotes one editor about novelist John le Carré: “He’s a brilliant writer for whom spies are merely subject matter…. Calling him a spy writer is like calling Joseph Conrad a sea writer, or Jane Austen a domestic-comedy writer.” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/21/magazine/john-le-carre-has-not-mellowed-with-age.html?_r=0


Book World: Philip F. Gura’s

‘Truth’s Ragged Edge:

The Rise of the American Novel’


The Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Michael Dirda reviews Philip F. Gura’s book, “Truth’s Ragged Edge,” which examines many early 19th Century American novelists’ largely forgotten work. These include George Lippard’s “The Quaker City,” W.S. Mayo’s “Kaloolah,” Frank J. Webb’s “The Garies and Their Friends,” and Elizabeth Stoddard’s “The Morgesons.” These often provided riveting reads since they included “violence, seduction, incest, serial murders, insanity, betrayal and revenge, personality disorders, orgies and much that is simply very, very strange. Yet all these appealingly lurid plot elements underpin complex examinations of class and caste and race and spiritual angst.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/book-world-philip-f-guras-truths-ragged-edge-the-rise-of-the-american-novel/2013/04/17/36a50f3e-a39a-11e2-82bc-511538ae90a4_story.html


David Mamet joins DIY trend

as self-published ebooks top charts


Playwright David Mamet has decided to go the indie publishing route, emulating Rachel Van Dyken, Jackie Collins, and James Frey. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/apr/18/self-publishing-davidmamet


Why read

old books?


Victor Davis Hanson, a columnist and professor of classics, argues that the old books teach us valuable lessons about how to survive in an often ungrateful world. He says, “Classical literature really does remind us that the problem is usually caused by doing the opposite, once we have arrived, of what we once did to get there.”





Stuff from

a Writer's Quill


A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.


– E.B. White



Need someone

to critique

a manuscript?


If you have a finished manuscript that you wished critiqued or proofread, then look for someone at http://howarddenson.webs.com/potentialcritiquers.htm.


Writers Born

in May


To check out the names of writers who were born this month, go to this website:

 http://howarddenson. webs. com/birthdaysofwriters. htm


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


Looking for your favorite writer? Hit “find” at the website and type in your favorite’s name. Keep scrolling to find writers born in other months.


With misgivings, the list generally omits lyricists (to avoid the plethora of garage-band guitarists who knock out a lyric in two minutes to go with a tune). Often lyricists are accomplished in other writing areas and may cause their inclusion (e.g., Bob Dylan, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter).


Unfortunately, some writers fret about identity theft and will only say they were born in 1972 or whenever. Typically that means they don’t get included on a “born this day” list. Recommendation: Writers may wish to create a “pen birthday”; that way, their names stay on the public’s radar.


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).


NFW suspends

dues indefinitely


The North Florida Writers has suspended its membership dues for an indefinite period. The treasury has stabilized at a comfortable level, and the NFW does not have any appreciable expenses. Members suspected we could go without dues for a couple of years and perhaps more. During this period, anyone may attend and participate in the monthly meetings. (Even with dues, writers were free to attend a few meetings to see if the NFW would suit their needs.)



of NFW and

other groups


For a listing of meetings of the NFW and other groups in Northeast Florida, click here http://howarddenson.webs.com/meetingsofunfothers.htm






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






President: Howard Denson (hd3nson@hotmail. com) 

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

Secretary: Kathy Marsh (kathygmarsh@bellsouth. net)

Treasurer: Richard Levine (RichieL@clearwire. net); 5527 Edenfield Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32277


Presidents Emeritus:  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.