The Electronic Write Stuff


Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System

North Florida Writers * Jan. 2007 * Editor:  Howard Denson


In this issue:

21st Annual Writers’ Festival Set Mar. 8-11

Romance Writers to Hear Steve Berry and Sherry Wolfe

Harry Potter E-Mails – Howard Denson

NFW to Meet in Green Cove Springs on Jan. 20

A Way to Help Stage Aurora

Just the Ticket for Fracis

Writecorner Press Announces Short Fiction and Poetry Contests

Quote from a Writer's Quill – Joseph Joubert

Writers Born This Month: J. R.R. Tolkien, Zora Neale Hurston, Anne Bronte, John O’Hara, and many others

Calendar of Events




The 21st annual Florida First Coast Writers’ Festival will be held March 8–11, 2007, at the Jacksonville Public Library’s Main Library Conference Center, located at 303 N. Laura St. in downtown Jacksonville, Florida.  

The speakers and Festival faculty will include Janet Bevan, Regina Brooks, Rick Campbell, Camille Cline, Brian Jay Corrigan, Carmen Deedy, Dana Kleiman Garfinkel, Diane Glancy, Lenore Hart, Ann Browning Masters, Bob Mayer, Marsha Mehran, Peter Meinke, Carol O'Dell, David Poyer, Peter Rubie, Sheila Ortiz Taylor, Patricia Waters, Jessie Wise, and others to be announced later.

Check the Festival webpage for information:

This Festival will offer a special master in fiction, to be conducted by novelists Dave Poyer and Lenore Hart. Attendance is limited to the first seven registrants so register today.

For regular Festival Registration, go to the website and download the PDF registration form.  It can be faxed to Sara Turner at 904.713.4858, or mailed to: Writers’ Festival Registrations, 4501 Capper Road, Jacksonville, FL 32218, ATTN Sara Turner. Note: PDF files require Adobe Reader software. Download the free Adobe Reader from Adobe’s Web site.

The Festival also offer online registrations and payments through its secure server.

Essentially, a complete Festival package is $300 (early bird rate) or $330 (regular).  Individual days (Friday and Saturday) are $100 (early bird) or $110 (regular), with Sunday being $80 (early bird) or $90.  The Friday evening banquet will be $45 (early bird) or $55 (regular).

There is a special hotel rate for out-of-towners.  The Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Riverfront is offering a special $89 rate for Festival attendees. This rate can be accessed at the Crowne Plaza’s web site. The room should be reserved by Feb. 7 as there are a limited number of rooms with this special rate.


The First Coast Romance Writers will hear novelist Steve Berry Saturday, Jan. 13, at 11 a.m. at the Jacksonville West Regional Library (1425 Chaffee Road; phone 904.693.1448).  Sherry Wolfe will speak from 2:30 till 4.

Berry will speak about “A Struggling Writer’s Lessons Learned.”  Berry lives on the Georgia coast in Camden County. He's a lawyer who, for twenty-five years, has helped people both in and out of the courtroom. He also has served on the Camden County Board of Education and, currently, he is one of five members of the Camden County Board of Commissioners.

He has been writing since 1990. In 2000 and 2001 he won the Georgia State Bar fiction writing contest and his two short stories appeared in the Georgia State Bar Journal. He also tried his hand at novel contests. An early version of his first published novel, The Amber Room, placed third at the 1998 Florida First Coast Writers Festival.


Though his undergraduate degree was in political science, and he was trained as a lawyer, his interest in history led him to write international suspense thrillers. He also credits the nuns who taught him in elementary school with instilling the discipline needed to both craft a novel, then sell it to a publisher. It took him 12 years—85 rejections over five different manuscripts—before Ballantine Books finally bought a manuscript.


His first two books, “The Amber Room” and “The Romanov Prophecy” were both national bestsellers. His next novel, “The Third Secret,” became an instant bestseller, debuting at #13 on The New York Times hardcover list and climbing to #5 on the paperback list. His next, “The Templar Legacy,” debuted at #4 on The New York Times bestseller list (spending eight weeks in the top 10) and climbed into the top 10 for USA Today, Publisher's Weekly, and Booksense bestseller lists too.


He is also an international bestseller. Rights to all four novels have been sold worldwide—currently in 37 countries and 34 languages. In 2005, Steve was selected by the Georgia Writer's Association as its Author of the Year.

Steve travels a great deal and has spent time in the Caribbean, Mexico, Europe, and Russia. Recently, Ballantine Books renewed Steve's contract for three more thrillers, which will be published in 2007, 2008, and 2009. For more information, visit his website at


“Developing a Career Plan / Making Time to Write” will be the topic of Sherry Wolfe’s interactive session on how to overcome the obstacles that keep you from achieving your writing goals, how to set deadlines and meet them, and develop a clear, concise career plan.


Sherry Wolfe joined First Coast Romance Writers in 2006. She enjoys writing romantic suspense almost as much as she enjoys reading it. She has written for educational venues for over ten years and has published a children's play. She says her greatest thrill in writing a play when the audience laughs at all the right spots!


Her days are kept busy teaching her middle school students and keeping up with the three children that follow her home everyday. Between the baseball practices and theater performances (and with the help of a supportive husband), she slips in some writing time. A graduate of Texas A & M University, Sherry holds a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Reading Diagnosis and Correction.


[EDITOR’s NOTE:  This newsletter cannot vouch for the authenticity of what is purported to be an e-mail exchange between J.K. Rowling and two of her editors.  We discount the suggestion that the exchange is purely imaginary since the newsletter editor lacks inventiveness and got all of his jokes from the old Jack Benny radio show.]




      Jo:  Thanks for letting us know the title for the last (can we talk about this?) Harry Potter book.  “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” is all right, I suppose.   At least it’s better than “HP and the Half-Breed Prince.” – PM

      PM:  The title will be fine.  I wish you and the other publishing minions trusted my judgment more. – JKR

      Jo:  Good Lord, we trust you implicitly and without reservation.  You have made yourself, Publishing Minions Inc., and the movie companies filthy rich.  I suppose it’s just human nature – or business nature – not to want to see the gravy-train get derailed.  The youngsters in the books have become young adults, and the young readers have become young adults, too.  It’s just that there are lots more HP stories out there. In the attachment, I’ll include some titles of possible new works.  They don’t have to be 700 pages long.  A mere 200 or 300 pages would do fine. – PM

      PM:  I’m sorry, but I can only assume that the entire office must have been smoking something when you came up with your list.  “Harry Potter and the Testicles of Steel” – What were you people thinking of?  It’s a wonder you didn’t include “HP Rides Again,” “Son of HP,” or “The Ghost of HP.” – JKR

      Jo:  Okay, when we sobered up, some of us spotted some potential problems with “HP & TOS,” so I’ll concede that. But the series begs to have other story lines included.  For example, switched identity:  HP changes into Hermiome or Ron (or vice versa). . .or the evil entity makes himself look like HP. . .or they step into an alternate universe where HP’s parents are still alive, but he’s a regular bloke, a muggle, and HP the muggle steps into regular HP’s universe.  Hagrid is a midget in that universe.  Scenes filled with potential danger or laughs. – PM

      PM:  I don’t mind a Guiness or two myself, but please don’t put on your thinking cap when you’re hanging out in a pub with TV writers.  Just drink and take a taxi home.  Don’t try to come up with story lines.  I must insist. – JKR

      Jo:  Sorry for the disconnect for several weeks, but I just got out of rehab.  Everyone in there suggested that HP should be doing their jobs:  nurse, nurse’s aide, physician, social worker, chef, maintenance, etc.  They suggested that HP could sort of do like the American cable show, “Dirty Jobs,” with HP running a cafeteria in one book or driving a milk-truck in another (“HP and the Rutabagas of Provencal” and “HP and the Sour Disposition” were suggested as titles). – PM

      PM:  I’m glad you’re feeling better.  It’s not necessary to relay every suggestion to me.  You really need to check out my website,, where I have all sorts of rumors and suggestions from faithful readers. – JKR

      Jo:  I enjoyed the website.  I chased the butterfly all over the page, but the spider scared me out of my wits. – PM

      PM:  That explains things (ha ha). – JKR

      Jo:  I’m sorry to be a nuisance, but my supervisors here at PM Inc. are insisting that I bring up the issue of what comes after book #7.  If you don’t want to continue with HP himself, they also like a series about someone like Hermione and, for any films, there are thousands of actresses who’d kill for the role.  Pamela Anderson has been practicing an English accent, though the character might need to be Canadian for her to handle it.  The honchos tell me some test footage shows she is a very convincing in the opening as a 15-year-old whose only goal is to work at Hooter’s. – PM

      PM:  No. – JKR

      Jo:  I don’t mean to be a bother, but I’ll be history if I don’t do a decent enough pitch for some sequels.  Ron or someone very like him graduates and becomes a private eye and magician for hire.  He’s doing kids’ birthday parties until a villain has him framed for some felony.  In the big house, thugs try to molest him, but they end up getting changed into chimpanzees.  When he’s released, he tries to escape his past and to redeem himself.  Suggested title:  “I the Judge, Jury, and Conjurer.” (One of the chimps becomes his partner. Possible title:  “Ron Weasley and Bonzo.”) As he gets older, he could drive a Maxwell and always claim to be only 39 years old. – PM

      Ms. Rowling:  As per your suggestion, PM has moved on to greener pastures, and I’ve taken over his responsibilities.  I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to working with you.  I’ve seen almost all of the Harry Potter movies and am up to page 119 of the first book.  (Wow, you really write long.  I’m impressed!!!) The guys in the office were really enthusiastic about your agreeing to do a book #8, 9, etc.; they said all I had to do was close the deal.  A round number of 10 or 12 would be fine, but a baker’s dozen (that’s 13 I found out) might even be better.  The guys were pointing out that HP is a good-looking stud and that he would really appeal to the chicks.  One of the suggested titles (see attachment) is ideal for a magical bedroom romp. They don’t have to be steel.  Iron, brass, or bronze might do as well. – Brian ("I'm Not a Moogle Anyway")



The North Florida Writers will meet at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20 (the 3rd Saturday), at the home of former president Joyce Davidson.  Her address is 272 Fleming Dr. (Fleming Island), Green Cove Springs.  The Davidson home is eight miles south of Orange Park off Hwy 17.  At Hwy 220 (Eagle Harbor) turn left on what is called Bald Eagle.  Turn right on Pine Avenue pass the elementary school and go one mile to Fleming Oaks.  That is Fleming Drive. Follow that street around to 272, a two- story house on the right. 

Coming up from the south over the Shands Bridge, you should keep on US 17 until you can turn right (across from Fleming Plantation intersection). Go right on Hibernia past the convenience store and follow Hibernia into Pine.  About a quarter of a mile to Fleming Oaks on the right .  Her number is 904.284.7565 for those who might be lost.



Google has come up with a way for search engines to benefit various groups, and we’re suggesting that you bookmark GoodSearch so that, every time you need to search for something on the web, Stage Aurora Theatrical Company would receive something.  Go to GoodSearch and type in “Stage Aurora” for the group where it asks, “Who do you GoodSearch for?”

Stage Aurora presents plays, musicals, and other performances, with an emphasis on African-American themes.  For tickets to their next performance (“Miss Evers’ Boys”), go to this website:  

Just the Ticket for Fracis

Sohrab Homi Fracis, a native of Mumbai (aka Bombay), India, and long-time resident of Jacksonville, won the Iowa Short Fiction Collection prize a few years ago for his book of short stories, “Ticket to Minto.” The book built up substantial reviews and eventually attracted the attention of Thomas Loshner, who translated the book into German. “Fahrschein bis Minto” has been picked as one of the Most Beautiful German Books, 2006, by the Stiftung Deutsche Buchkunst (German Foundation for Book Art). As a result, it will be shown in over 70 exhibitions around Germany and at book fairs in Mexico, Japan, and other countries during 2007.

Fracis is far too modest to suggest that anyone translate it into Spanish or Italian or French.  Okay, perhaps Klingon.


The short fiction contest (with a deadline of Apr. 30) offers the $1,100 E.M. Koeppel 2007 Short Fiction Award, with Editors’ Choice awards being $100 each.

Editors Mary Sue Koeppel and Robert Gentry say that entries must be original and unpublished.  They may be in any style and on any theme, but each is limited to 3,000 words. Send one copy of the story and two typed title pages. Put only the title on the first title page. On a second title page,  list title of the story, author’s name, phone, address, e-mail address (optional), short bio. Fee: $15 for one story, $10 for each additional story. Payment must accompany submissions. Anonymous judging. Include a SASE for list of winners.

In addition to the $1,100 award, the E.M. Koeppel fiction winner will receive the $500 P.L. Titus Scholarship if the winner is of any age attending a college, school, or university when the story is submitted. Scholarship money may be used for any purpose.

The poetry contest (deadline of Feb. 28) offers the $5OO Writecorner Press Annual Poetry Prize, again with Editors’ Choice awards of $100 each. Poetry may be in any style, any subject.  Any number of unpublished poems may be entered. Maximum lines:  40. Send one copy of each unpublished, typed poem with no author identification on the pages. On the top of the second copy of each poem list author’s name, phone, address, e-mail address (optional), short bio (about 4 lines). Entry fee: $5 for the first poem, $3 for each additional poem. Payment must accompany submissions. Anonymous judging. Winners - announced in late spring. Include a SASE for a list of winners or watch website for winners.

Mail the entries with check or money order (no cash) to either Koeppel Contest or Writecorner Poetry Contest, P.O. Box 140310, Gainesville, FL 32614.

Winning entries will be published at the WriteCorner website (  Check the site for more information and for past winners.

Ms. Koeppel for 17 years was editor of Kalliope, the national, award winning literary journal. Gentry is an award-winning fiction writer.


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).


You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some with you.

--Joseph Joubert


Meetings of NFW are held at 2 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month in the meeting room of the Webb Westconnett Library (corner of 103rd Street and Harlow Boulevard). Check the website at for other information.

Sat., Jan. 20, 2 p.m. See blurb above for directions. 

Sat., Feb. 10, 2 p.m.  Critiques

You may receive feedback from specific individuals by mailing the manuscript and return postage to the above address.

Past speakers have included novelists Jack Hunter, David Poyer, Page Edwards, Ruth Coe Chambers, William Kerr, Tom Lashley, Vic DiGenti, and Nate Tolar; poets, William Slaughter, Mary Baron, Mary Sue Koeppel, Dorothy Fletcher, George Gilpatrick, John Hammond; columnists Vic Smith, Tom Ivines, and Robert Blade; editors Buford Brinlee and Nan Ramey; agent Debbie Fine; magazine editor Sara Summers; medical writers Elizabeth Tate and Michael Pranzatelli; oral historian Robert Gentry; plus many others.




The Write Staff


Richard Levine, President (

Carrol Wolverton, Vice President (

Kathy Marsh, 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, Carrol Wolverton

Newsletter address: The Write Stuff, FCCJ North, Box 21, 4501 Capper Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32218

Homepage address:

Homepage editor: Richard Levine

Submissions to the newsletter should generally be about writing or publishing. We pay in copies to the contributors, with modest compensation for postage and copying.


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.

If you want to check to see if your dues are current, contact the treasurer at Membership is $15 for students, $25 for individuals, and $40 for a family. (Make out checks to WRITERS.)

Won't you join today?

The following is an application. Mail your check to WRITERS, Box 21, FCCJ North, 4501 Capper Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32218.


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).


If you think a friend would enjoy THE ELECTRONIC WRITE STUFF, e-mail us his or her e-mail address. You will notice that THE WRITE STUFF is not filled with links designed to solicit checks for the sun, moon, stars, and comets and everything else in the universe. If your friend doesn't want us, then he or she will be able to Unsubscribe.


If you are simplifying your internet life and can no longer handle us, then hit reply and type in UNSUBSCRIBE. If we inadvertently have you in the directory with two different e-mail addresses, let us know which one you want us to omit.