Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System
Editor: Howard Denson
November 2016

When I split an infinitive; god damn it; I split it so it stays split.
– Raymond Chandler
In this issue:
Stuff (and links) from hither and yon
1.      Translating Shakespeare? 36 Playwrights Taketh the Big Risk
2.      3 Kick-Ass Methods to Fix a Broken Screenplay Scene
3.      Dario Fo, Whose Plays Won Praise, Scorn and a Nobel, Dies at 90
The N.F.W. to Hear novelist Fracis in Nov.
BookMark Welcomes Kids, Business, and Authors during November
Amelia Writers to explore first aid for high risk writing 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17
FWA blog for Northeast Florida
Clay Writers to learn about First Aid for Writer
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
Click on the links below to read each article.
Translating Shakespeare? 36 Playwrights Taketh the Big Risk
Jennifer Schuessler explores a project involving the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which has asked playwrights to render Shakespeare’s play into modern language without distorting the meaning. Partly, they hope to “reach” young people. Actually, the text of the Bard’s plays has been regularly edited or changed. If actors are any good, they will get the text across, perhaps with the help of body language.
3 Kick-Ass Methods to Fix a Broken Screenplay Scene
Alex Bloom says, “Never go with the obvious choice and give your characters the chance to make real choices in a scene too. Once you have the most exciting, interesting, cinematic version of a scene, add it to your script.” Read his article to see how you reach that stage.
Dario Fo, Whose Plays Won Praise, Scorn and a Nobel, Dies at 90
Dario Fo has been called “a cross between Bertolt Brecht and Lenny Bruce. A and, as Jonathan Kandell fleshes out his obituary, you see that Fo also resembled Saul Alinsky. He managed to offend practically everyone: the church for his complaints about their defects, the Sicilians for even suggesting there was an organization called the Mafia down there, the police for being corrupt. In the U.S., he is perhaps best known for the play, “Accidental Death of an Anarchist,” which was about a suspect being thrown off a police building . . . or a deranged individual who suddenly thought he could fly.
The Nov. speaker for the North Florida Writers will be Sohrab Homi Fracis, whose new book is Go Home (Knut House P), a novel about the dangerous anti-immigrant rage during the backlash after the Iran hostage crisis. For 2016, the last meeting will be Saturday, Nov. 12, in the meeting room of the Riverside-Avondale Watson Realty branch (on the corner of Herschel and San Juan). The meeting will start at 1 p.m.
Fracis is the first Asian American to win the Iowa Short Fiction Award, juried by the legendary Iowa Writers’ Workshop, for his collection, TICKET TO MINTO: STORIES OF INDIA AND AMERICA (U of Iowa P). It was re-published in India and Germany. He was Visiting Writer in Residence at Augsburg College and Artist in Residence at Yaddo.
Publishers Weekly said his stories “reflect a wide range of influences—from the somber realism of Somerset Maugham to the hip, colloquial humor of Junot Diaz.”
His timely new novel GO HOME is the story of Viraf, a Parsi foreign student in Delaware, who in the turbulent wake of the Iran hostage crisis can't distinguish his redneck oppressors from his Deadhead neighbors. It’s also the story of a world that is nevertheless slowly coming together.
NPR commentator Deepak Singh calls it "a beautiful novel about leaving home and moving to America, old world to new, and the courageous spirit of beginning a new life." Author of Le Divorce and co-scriptwriter of The Shining, Diane Johnson, adds: "I read Go Home with great pleasure and lots of empathy for the displaced and somewhat mystified but always lovable Viraf and his misadventures in America."
Susan Muaddi Darraj, winner of the American Book Award and the Grace Paley Prize, writes, "While Fracis sets the novel during one of the most turbulent decades in both India's and the United States' history, his writing also offers insight in today's tense climate. Beautiful prose, wise and witty."
Read more about Sohrab and GO HOME on his web site
Afterward, Fracis will move to the Jax by Jax event in Riverside, open and free to the public, where he will read from Go Home at 3:30, 4:30, and 5:30 in Sunday Tattoo Gallery (2774 Park Street).
The meeting will also feature critiquing.
Members have voted on two measures important to the organization:
First, they reinstated dues, but at a reduced rate of $20 a year (for all previous categories). The dues will begin with the 2017 calendar year.
Second, the NFW decided to go from quarterly meetings to six meetings a year beginning in 2017: January, March, May, July, September, and Nov..
Owner Rona Brinlee says The BookMark (220 1st St., Neptune Beach 32266) will host Stephanie Dray, Laura Kamoie, kids’ activities, Steven Johnson, business, and Sohrab Homi Fracis. Steve Berry will also show up to lend support to a couple of the writers.
Story Time with "Miss Pat", Saturday, Nov. 12, 9 a.m.
For November, the Story Time theme will be food, as "Miss Pat" will read from two new books, Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes, by Kimberly and James Dean (HarperCollins) and If You Give a Mouse a Brownie, by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond (HarperCollins). Story time is perfect for children ages 3-8, and is taking root as a new BookMark tradition. "Miss Pat" knows how to strike the perfect balance between focus and frivolity
And then the fun for kids (of all ages) continues with a Coloring Hour with Drew Trevlyn, beginning at 10 a.m.  Drew is a local artist and traumatic brain injury survivor.  He has partnered with Wolfson's Children's Hospital to help patients there heal as he did. For every coloring kit sold, one will be donated to the hospital.
Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie, America's First Daughter (William Morrow and Co.) Saturday, Nov. 12, 7 p.m.

In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson's eldest daughter, Martha "Patsy" Jefferson Randolph--a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy. Local favorite Steve Berry will be on hand to introduce these visiting authors. 
Steven Johnson, Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World (Riverhead Books), Monday, Nov. 21, 7 p.m.
In his latest examination of history and innovation, New York Times bestselling author Steven Johnson explores how pursuits born from wonder and delight have led to essential breakthroughs in computing, communication, and connecting the world. This book is divided into six sections--Fashion and Shopping, Music, Taste, Illusions, Games, and Public Space--illuminating how major changes were spurred in each area.  According to Johnson, the history of play is the history of innovation, and he shows that the world we know now is a product of past explorers, musicians, ghost-makers, scientists, and everyday people's desires for novelty, delight, wonder, and amusement.
Small Business Saturday, Saturday, Nov. 26 all day 
The Saturday after Thanksgiving--Saturday, Nov. 26--is both Small Business Saturday and Indies First The BookMark is happy to join small businesses across the country to celebrate the 7th annual Small Business Saturday, and bookstores in particular for the 4th annual Indies First celebration.  This day is dedicated to supporting local businesses that help create jobs, boost the economy, and preserve neighborhoods.  For information on how to get double rewards from American Express, go to "shop small."  
Sohrab Homi Fracis at Nov.26 book signing
Local author Sohrab Fracis will be here from noon - 2 p.m.  to sign copies of his new novel Go Home, the story of a Parsi foreign student in Delaware.  National Book Award winner Bob Shacochis writes: "At the heart of Sohrab Homi Fracis's poignant new novel is the question of one's place in the world, the answer never more ambiguous or fragile than for the immigrant or exile, when a person's condition of homelessness is in transition, neither here nor there... in Go Home, assimilation, sometimes a wretched exercise, can also be a hilarious and uplifting affair."
For other information, go to the bookstore’s website at or email the store at; 904.241.9026.
The Writers by the Sea meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, Amelia Island Museum of History (233 S. 3rd Street, Downtown Fernandina Beach, FL).  The speaker will be Heather Whitaker, Editor and Writing Coach, who will talk on “First Aid for High Risk Writing.” She says that excellent editing may do more than save your book from the dust bin. It carries the possibility of projecting your work to first-class acclaim.
Her approach to the editing process is not limited to improving your manuscript and increasing its chances of success. She also helps her clients become better writers along the way.   Beginning at 6:00pm, announcements and introductions are facilitated by our own Donna Jennings, whose newly-released book will also be available to look at.
Whitaker is a developmental editor and writing coach specializing in novels and memoirs, including children’s literature, adult literary, and adult genre fiction. She has worked with over 150 writers across the nation, from budding novelists to award-winning and NYT best-selling authors, Julianna Baggott (The PURE trilogy), J.C.Quinn (THE INFINITY OF YOU & ME), Jon Jefferson (CUT TO THE BONE, THE BREAKING POINT), and Laura Lascarso (COUNTING BACKWARDS, RACING HEARTS). In addition to manuscript editing, Heather leads ongoing writers groups and teaches writing classes for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at FSU. Learn more about her at
November signals that you only have one other month left in 2016 to finish your projects for this year. If you want to confer inside with fellow writers, then go to the FWA blog and 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 or
The Clay County Writers will explore “How to Build a Writing Platform” when the group meets */Wednesday, Nov.16, at 6:15 p.m. in the meeting room of the Orange Park Library (2054 Plainfield Ave., Orange Park, behind the Dairy Queen on Kingsley).
Nancy L. Quatrano, the guest speaker, defines “writing platform” by saying: “You can think of it as your writer’s resume. It includes all you do to build your brand and reputation. It can be the key to earning more money with your writing.”
Ms. Quatrano says, “Sometimes writers have no idea what they don’t know about the writing business. If you hope to make (more) money writing in the coming year, this workshop can save you time and agony.”
She emphasizes these facts:
1.  Everyone is an expert at something; you can share that expertise for good.
2.  Find out what types of writing even beginners can do to earn cash.
3.  Discover why writing credits matter in the writing marketplace.
She was named “Top Editor” on LinkedIn in 2013. In 20+ years as a professional writer, Nancy has won awards for both short fiction and nonfiction. Hundreds of her press releases and client articles have made it into print. Find out more at and
Clay County Writers is sponsored by Florida Writers Association. Get the details on this statewide group: Monthly meetings focus on the art, craft, and business of writing. Some meetings offer presentations by author-speakers. Others introduce practical exercises to help writers sharpen their skills, give and receive feedback, and leave with concrete suggestions to improve their work.
For more information, contact Ms. Jung or go to the Facebook page at .
To check out the names of writers who were born this month, go to this website:
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).
Writers, poets, and playwrights will find useful tools at
You may join us at any time on Facebook. Webmeister Richard Levine has changed our privacy setting from Closed to Public. That way, you can check out our group at your leisure.

To begin, click on:

If you have a finished manuscript that you want critiqued or proofread, then look for someone at
Check out their entries on the website to see if they suit your needs.
They include the following:
·         Robert Blade Writing & Editing (;
·         Frank Green of The Bard Society (;
·         JJ Grindstaff-Swathwood (;
·         Brad Hall (;
·         Lynn Skapyak Harlin (;
·         Joseph Kaval (;
·         Richard Levine (
President: Howard Denson (hd3nson@hotmail. com)
Vice President: Joyce Davidson (davent2010@comcast. net)
Secretary: Kathy Marsh (kathygmarsh@bellsouth. net)
Treasurer: Richard Levine (
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