The Electronic Write Stuff
Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System

The Electronic Write Stuff

Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System

North Florida Writers * January 2006

In this issue:

NFW to Meet in Orange Park

Still Time to Enter Poetry, Short Fiction, and Play Contests of Writers’ Festival


Florida Writers Association to Hear Lynn Skapyak Harlin

Quote from a Writer’s Quill – Samuel Beckett

Nice Christmas Present for Local Poet, Author

Writers Born in January

Write Staff, Membership, Subscribe & Unsubscribe, Etc.




      The January meeting of the North Florida Writers will be held in Orange Park at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14.  The meeting will be devoted to critiques, election of new officers, and discussion of liability insurance options.

      The meeting will be at Coffee Creatons, 550 Wells Rd., Orange Park, FL 32073 (ph.: 264-7479; owner: Ana Graveto). The location is just south of the I-295/U.S. 17 interchange and close to the dog track. At the light in front of the dog track, turn west onto Wells Road. A block later on your left, you will come to a strip center containing The Loop restaurant. Turn into this center. The coffee shop is in the middle.

      In the 15 years of NFW’s existence, it has met without complication or accidents on Kent Campus, generally in the auditorium or auditorium conference room (F128-B). 

     Papercuts seem to be the biggest dangers members or guests might experience, but this group is being required to have $1 million in liability insurance. The lowest amount quoted so far is $560 (equal to the dues of 22.4 members).

     During the past 15 years, the NFW has given about $10,000 to FCCJ and the Writers’ Festival for novel contest awards, critique fees, plaques, snacks and coffees at WF conferences.  For two years, the NFW totally sponsored the novel contests; in most other years, it contributed $300 (equal to 12 members’ dues) for the Josiah Bancroft novel prize. – Howard Denson, treasurer




The Writers’ Festival is accepting entries for poetry, short stories, and plays, with the deadlines being extended to Feb. 3.  The contest coordinators suggest that entries be sent in as early as possible before the extended deadlines.

All entry checks or money orders should be made out to "Writers" and mailed to Contests, FCCJ North, 4501 Capper Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32218.

POETRY ($5 each entry): The Festival has two poetry contests: the Douglas Freels Poetry Prize and the Robert Grimes "Good Earth" Poetry Prize. Poetry in the Freels category will focus on the traditional themes of poetry (love, rejection, death, etc.), while the "Good Earth" category will focus on poetry involving ecology, love of nature, etc.

In either poetry category, each entry should be no longer than 30 lines and each entry should be printed on one sheet of paper. One version should have the poet’s name, address, phone number, and e-mail address (if available), while no identification should be on the other version. There is no limit on the number of poems that may be submitted, but the contest officials recommend that an entrant select his or her three or four best poems.

For further information about poetry, contact Nancy Lany at for the Freels contest and Carol Grimes at for the Robert Grimes entries.

SHORT FICTION ($10 each entry)--Each short story should be no longer than 6,000 words. One copy should have the author’s name, address, phone number, and any e-mail address; the other copy should only have the text and the title. Again, there is no limit to the number of stories that may be submitted, but the contest officials suggest each entrant submit his or her best entries. The final-round judge is Sohrab Homi Fracis, an Iowa Short Fiction Collection winner for Ticket to Minto.  For questions, contract “Shep” Shepard at

PLAYS ($20 each entry): The Festival is also sponsoring its second annual full-length play contest (usually at least two acts or enough for an evening's entertainment. The winning entry will at least have a staged reading. Entrants should include biographical and information. For further information on plays, contact Jamie Hughes at

POSTAGE & RETURN/NON-RETURN OF MANUSCRIPTS: Entries in the poetry and short fiction contests will NOT be returned, so entrants should not submit their only copies. Adequate first-class postage should be included for novels so that these may be returned.

PRIZES: In poetry, identical amounts will be given to the winners of the Douglas Freels and Robert Grimes prizes: first prize, a $110; second, $75; third, $60; in short fiction, first prize, $200; second, $100; third, $100. The first-prize novel winner will receive$500, with the second- and third-place winners receiving $200 and $100 respectively.

In all categories, entries should be original and unpublished.

All entry checks or money orders should be made out to "Writers" and mailed to Contests, FCCJ North, 4501 Capper Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32218. When entries are received, Dean Dana Thomas’ staff will send out confirmation letters.


Vic DiGenti, regional director of the Florida Writers’ Association, announces that the Jan. 28 speaker will be Lynn Skapyak Harlin. The talk will be at 10 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Beach Library.

Lynn has been a journalist, freelance writer, and editor for more than thirty years, but she is best known in this area for the writing workshops and one-on one coaching that she conducts aboard an old shanty boat.  Many area writers have worked with Lynn at one time or another, including Donna Hicken while working on her book, The Good Fight. Lynn will be speaking on “Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing.”




Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

       Samuel Beckett




Sharon Scholl, a retired humanities professor from Jacksonville University, received a pleasing email Christmas day.  She was notified that a chapbook she had been sending around awhile had won first place in the Redgreene Press contest.  The book, Message on a Branch, will be published soon.  It is a collection of nature poems (such as the villanelle “Nightscape” that won a poetry prize from the Writers’ Festival.  She has renamed the poem "Spearing Stars." 


Dr. Scholl praises editors Lynn Skapyak Harlin and George Gilpatrick’s nagging about submitting her work.  She says: "None of this would have come about without your and
George's insistence that I pull collections together, and your faith in me to go through the agony of print preparation.  I can't thank you enough."


Contact the poet at




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).



The Write Staff (2005)

Carrol Wolverton, President (

Richard Levine, Vice President (

Joyce Davidson, Secretary (

Howard Denson, Treasurer and newsletter editor (

Joel Young, Public Relations (

Doris Cass, Hospitality (

Presidents Emeritus:

Frank Green, Dan Murphy, Howard Denson,

Nate Tolar, Joyce Davidson,

Margaret Gloag (,

Richard Levine, Bob Alexander, Jo Ann Harter

Newsletter address

The Write Stuff

FCCJ Kent, Box 109

3939 Roosevelt Blvd.

Jacksonville, FL 32205

Homepage address

Homepage editor

Richard Levine

Submissions to the newsletter should generally be about writing or publishing. If possible, please submit mss. on IBM diskette in either WordPerfect, Word, or RTF format. We pay in copies to the contributors, with modest compensation for postage and copying. We pay $5 for pieces of 500-599 words.


If you are writing a story or poem, you will need some expert feedback — the sort that you will receive at a meeting of the North Florida Writers.

You won’t profit from automatic praise that a close friend or relative might give or jealous criticism from others who may feel threatened by your writing.

The NFW specializes in CONSTRUCTIVE feedback that will enable your manuscript to stand on its own two feet and demand that it be accepted by an editor or agent. Hence, you need the NFW.

The North Florida Writers is a writer’s best friend because we help members to rid manuscripts of defects and to identify when a work is exciting and captivating.

Membership is $15 for students, $25 for individuals, and $40 for a family. (Make out checks to WRITERS.)

Is your membership current? To find out, check the mailing label. If it says "0104" next to your last name, your membership expired in January 2004. You do not have to pay back dues to activate your members, so, if you last paid in 1992 or 2002, don’t worry about the months you were inactive.

Won’t you join today?

The following is an application. Mail your check to WRITERS, Box 109, FCCJ Kent, 3939 Roosevelt Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32205.


St. address____________________________________

Apt. No. ______________________________________

City ________________State _____ Zip __________

E-mail address(es) ___________________________________


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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