Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System
www. northfloridawriters. org * Editor: Howard Denson * Jan. 2013
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In This Issue:
NFW to critique manuscripts Jan. 12 at Webb Wesconnett
FSCJ brags about its faculty, staff being prolific writers
Clay Co. Writers to explore “Who needs an editor?”on Jan. 16
FWA news about meetings, contests, and workshops
Joy V. Smith, no flash in the pan
Amelia Island Book Festival offers an evening of story and song Saturday, Feb. 16
Jax writer wins literary merit award for short story
Vol. 2 of Open Mic Jacksonville offers short stories and poetry
Free listing for those who assist in editing, critiquing, manuscript layout, etc.
The Wrong Stuff – Howard Denson
Stuff from Hither and Yon
Stuff from a Writer's Quill R.V. Cassill
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 critique manuscripts
Jan. 12 at Webb Wesconnett
The North Florida Writers will critique manuscripts at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Webb Wesconnett Library. The public is welcome to attend.
For the critiques, 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.
Webb Wesconnett is at the corner of 103rd Street and Harlow Boulevard (to the east of I-295).
Future meeting dates and locales:
Jan. 12– 2 p.m., Webb Wesconnett
Feb. 9 – 2 p.m., Webb Wesconnett
Mar. 9 – 2 p.m., Webb Wesconnett
Apr. 13– 2 p.m., Webb Wesconnett
May 11– 2 p.m., Webb Wesconnett
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FSCJ brags about its faculty,
staff being prolific writers
Special from FSCJ public information office
What will faculty and employees at Florida State College be reading in the upcoming weeks? Possibly each other.
Fiction, historical accounts, biographies, short stories, poetry and plays have all been recently published or performed by FSCJ employees
In the past year or years, a vast variety of published works, both traditionally bound works and the ubiquitous e-books, have seen the light of day, inspired by the muse and borne of the endeavors of FSCJ faculty and employees; in short, some of our folks have been published and we are proud of their works. Here are some of the authors, playwrights, poets and their recent works.
History Professor Wesley Moody’s “Demon of the Lost Cause” sounds as if it could be about anything having to do with politics. The subtitle, “Sherman and Civil War History,” explains better. It’s actually about Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman’s shifting reputation from immediately after the war, when he was oddly more popular in the South than in the North, through to his death and beyond—where the demon part comes in. From Moody’s study of contemporary newspaper accounts, Sherman’s own writings and the biographies and histories written by others, he tracks the change in Sherman’s reputation from maybe not-so-bad to demon of the lost cause.
Before Josiah Gregg became a private, serving as a Marine in the Civil War, he was a teacher and a clerk. He served on the Vanderbilt, on its mission to hunt down Confederate raiders in the Atlantic and Caribbean. His literate diaries, rare, first-hand accounts of events, written within hours of their occurrence, were kept and passed down through his family for 140 years, eventually ending up in the hands of the husband of FSCJ Economics Professor Adrienne Sachse. The diary has now been published as “The Diary of a Civil War Marine: Josiah Gregg” co-edited by Sachse and Wesley Moody. The editors provide notes to explain what might otherwise be unclear to modern readers and the book contains reproductions eight black and white period photos that were tucked away inside the journal.
History can be explored in more ways than one. Take “La Caroline,” a rock opera with book and lyrics by FSCJ Professor of English and Creative Writing Jennifer Chase (music by local musician John Citrone). Chase’s book is an account of the founding of Fort Caroline 450 years ago, telling of the lives of French explorer Rene de Laudonniere and Timucuan Chief Saturiwa. The opera was performed in March to a full house at the Wilson Center, followed by a summer trip to France where it was performed to audiences which included descendants of de Laudonniere. The troupe, including the all-FSCJ cast, was invited back to perform in August 2013. In the meantime, Chase and her collaborator have been awarded a residency at New York City’s CAP 21 Musical Theatre Conservatory for further development of the show. More information about the show can be found at
Who doesn’t like puppies and dogs? Who doesn’t need the occasional boost of a wagging tail that comes with a wagging tale of love, appreciation, patience and hope? “Paws and Smell the World:
"Unforgettable Moments with Our Best Friend” by FSCJ Dean of Liberal Arts Dana Thomas,is a compilation of poems, picture and short stories about dogs and their owners and the lessons our four-legged canine friends teach us all.
Belinda Hulin, author of “The Keepsake Cookbook: Gathering Delicious Memories One Recipe at a Time,” has a fulltime job at FSCJ as a senior instructional designer. Really, but who cares about that when you’ve got someone on your staff who can stir up some wicked gumbo, tell you how to do it and at the same time give tips on creating an heirloom cookbook full of family recipes, pictures and memories? Hmmm, maybe that’s kind of like what instructional designers do? Hulin has more than a half-dozen published works to her credit, and it’s a safe bet there will be more on the way.
History Professor Steve Piscitelli started teaching at the college level in 1988 and has 30 years of teaching experience. One of the most valuable lessons Piscitelli teaches students is how to learn. “Study Skill: Do I Really Need this Stuff”is now in its third edition. But Piscitelli has taken his knowledge on teaching, learning and how to make choices and created a series of books, presentations and musical CDs. Still focused on students, his lessons are relevant for a broader audience. He is a regular presenter at colleges and universities, speaking to groups of students, teachers and even civilians in more than half of this nation’s states. You can do one of his favorite things—learn more—by visiting his Web site,
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Clay Co. Writers to explore
“Who needs an editor?” on Jan. 16
The Clay County Writers will feature a panel on “Who needs an editor?” on Wednesday, Jan. 16, from 6:15 to 8 p.m. at the Orange Park Library (2054 Plainfield Ave., just behind the Dairy Queen).
Three authors will speak from their experience on what to look for in an editor, how to decide when you need one, and what to expect when you work together. For this Question and Answer session, be sure to bring along your own questions and concerns about the purpose and value of editing in the writing process.
Panelists include three writers at different stages in their careers:
-- Lois Fiorelliis a Naval Reserve Officer, veteran of the Gulf and Iraqi wars, former US Navy journalist, now a technical writer and trainer. She has written radio and TV news and feature stories, technical documents, and freelance feature articles for the St. Johns Recorder, Florida Times-Union, and Legal Assistant Today. In 2001, Prime Number magazine published an excerpt from Lois’ Iraqi War memoir, “Living in the Zone.”
-- Lillian Kiernan Brown is an author, journalist for more than 30 years, and former host on Armed Forces Radio. “Banned in Boston, Memoirs of a Stripper” tells the story of her career. At age 14, she followed her mother and aunts into the glittering and shady world of Burlesque. Using the stage name Lily Ann Rose, she worked with some of the top names in show business. In 2009, Cambridge, Mass. named April 10 “Lilly Ann Rose Day,” in honor of her role in this history.
-- Russell Kamradt is a newer writer whose reputation for helping others inspired Oprah Winfrey to name him one of her “favorite volunteers” in 2011.To encourage Russ to tell his story, she also presented him with a bright red VW Beetle. Russ left school at age 14 to help his family earn a living. He worked hard and rose to a successful career in management. After he retired, he became a full-time volunteer, receiving a variety of national and international awards for his steadfast efforts.
Reminder: January 23 will be the date of the monthly Meet the Authors session,from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Black Horse Winery, 420 Kingsley Avenue, a block west of Park Ave. (Hwy. 17) on the south side of the street. The Clay County Writers cosponsor this event with winery owner and winemaker Kiyoko Fiedler, who offers this and other cultural events featuring local musicians, poets, artists and writers.
Future “Meet the Authors” are scheduled for 2013: Feb. 27, March 27, and April 25, all at Black Horse Winery, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. If you would like to participate as an author, contact Maureen Jung at
Clay County Writers is a writing group sponsored by the Florida Writers Assn. Monthly meetings (the third Wednesday) are devoted to presentations by writing experts and authors discussing areas of their expertise. Their programs focus on the art, craft, and business of writing.
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FWA news about meetings,
contests, and workshops
“Hoping 2013 brings you everything you wish—and work—for,” says Victor DiGenti, the regional director of the Florida Writers Association. DiGenti says, “Here's the first FWA Blog post of the new year, crammed full of news about meetings, contests and workshops for NE Florida writers. Click here to access the blog.”
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Joy V. Smith,
no flash in the pan
The writer is no flash in the pan, as Joy V. Smith proves with her latest excursions into flash fiction. If you are not familiar with the term, you may recall hearing about short shorts and the like. Publications may have slightly different definitions for what each considers “flash” fiction.
Ms. Smith’s “Mooving Out” (flash fiction fun) is up at
“Hidebound (a SF/romance adventure with adult content) is featured at
The Doorway and Other Stories (14 SF/fantasy adventures) is featured at:
The Doorway and Other Stories” was available free from Kindle (and on Kindle apps) on Jan. 1-2.
Her western novel, “Detour Trail,” is coming out in 2013.
Bit of history here: Our cliché “flash in the pan” goes back two or more centuries when muskets had powder poured into a pan. Sometimes you didn’t get an explosion that would propel the musket ball, but only a flashing in the pan.
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Amelia Island Book Festival offers
an evening of story and song Saturday, Feb. 16
The Amelia Island Book Festival offers a pre-Festival event by presenting an evening with Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers on Saturday, Feb. 16, in Burns Hall of St. Peters Church, Centre Street. This event is a partnership with long-time Book Festival supporters Donna Paz Kaufman and Mark Kaufman. Preferred seating and meet the artist may be obtained for a donation of $25, while general seating comes with a donation of $15.
The actual 2013 Amelia Island Book Festival will be Apr. 26-17.
Rodgers has combined his twin passions for words and music since he was a teenager. A grand prize winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, he performs original folk rock with masterful band-in-a-box accompaniment on acoustic guitar. He has released four solo albums and two DVDs teaching his acoustic arrangements of Grateful Dead songs.
Based in upstate New York, Rodgers performs both solo and in a trio with percussionist Josh Dekaney (Grupo Pagan, Samba Laranja) and singer-songwriter Wendy Ramsay (the Unstoppables).
Rodgers recently organized a series of collaborative songwriter showcases with Rani Arbo and Maria Gillard, and he has shared the stage with such artists as Peter Case, Karen Savoca and Pete Heitzman, Eric Bibb, Cheryl Wheeler, and Maura Kennedy.
Rodgers is also the founding editor of Acoustic Guitar magazine, a contributor to NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and author of “Rock Troubadours (featuring his interviews with such artists as Jerry Garcia, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, and Dave Matthews) and other books on music. He teaches courses on songwriting and creative nonfiction writing in the honors program at Syracuse University and leads workshops on guitar and songwriting.
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Jax writer wins literary
merit award for short story
Bill Ferry of Jacksonville won a medal for the 2012 Winter Themed American Literary Merit Award for his short story "Gremlin." The story, set during World War II, follows U.S. Army Air Force woman pilot Kelly McKay as she flies her B-17 Flying Fortress across the Atlantic Ocean from America to England but crash lands in occupied France after encountering a gremlin that sabotages her plane.
“Gremlin” is the first chapter of Ferry’s unpublished young adult novel, “The Time Child.” The novel follows the pursuits of twelve-but-almost-thirteen-year-old Will Hanson, a time-traveling autistic child from our time as he strives to save history from the Scriveners, an evil race from the future, bent on rewriting time to their liking.
Ferry is a graduate of Ball State University, Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, and Indiana University School of Law. He says he would have kept going to school, but his professors said he had enough and needed to get a real job. Currently, he works as a telecommunications lawyer. He is married with three children who provide him plenty of material to write young adult novels. He and his wife, a medical doctor, regularly counsel parents of autistic children.
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Vol. 2 of Open Mic Jacksonville
offers short stories and poetry
Open Mic Jacksonville Vol. II – Short Stories/Poetry has been released and is available both in paperback and as an E-book through Kindle on Amazon. This newest collection of short stories, donated by area writers, to help benefit The Optimus Literacy Group, promotes both area authors/poets and provides funds for tutoring of both children and young adults in reading, writing and arithmetic in the Jacksonville area through The Optimus Literacy Group. This project has been endorsed by Mayor Alvin Brown and is the second book in the series put together by OMJ Director, Caryn Day-Suarez. Open Mic Jax Vol. I – Poetry was a multi-award winning anthology and is archived as part of Jacksonville ’s history in the Cummer Museum . Both volumes are presently available on Amazon. The current issue will be available locally at many events, area bookstores, Amazon, and the publisher’s website at Usher Press.
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Stuff – Forensic Grammar
Follow the link below to find where often sane and sensible writers (and editors) have stumbled in their writing:
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from Hither
and Yon
Click on each link to go directly to the story.

Should writers strive

to live in the past?
Christopher Howse’s article in the Telegraph is directed toward travelers, but it could also be applied to writers and readers of works about time travel or about imagining scenes set in the Elizabethan or Stuart ages. What comes after the sparkly vampire fad? Perhaps time travelers (sexy, of course) who will have to stay away from the sultry lass who turns out to be their great-great-great-great-grannie.
Have fictional characters,
will travel
Dave Astor ruminates about authors who travel (Mark Twain being a good example) and those who find excellent story lines in tales set in foreign lands and even times (Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” being an example).
Women rule the literary world,
so why does the focus stay on men?

The all-woman shortlist for the Costa Prize, the celebrated book award in the United Kingdom, should come as no surprise, according to Amanda Craig.

The Bookstore
Strikes Back
Two years ago, when Nashville lost its only in-town bookstores, the novelist Ann Patchett decided to step into the breach, reports Ann Patchett in The Atlantic. Parnassus Books, which Patchett and two veteran booksellers envisioned, designed, financed, and manage, is now open for business and enjoying the ride.
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Stuff from
a Writer's Quill
The most valuable part of writing lies in challenging one's secret fears and testing to the utmost one's resources of spirit. It takes courage to write well.
R.V. Cassill

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Free listing for those who
assist in editing, critiquing,
manuscript layout, etc.
“The Write Stuff” has begun listing the names, contact information, and services offered by those who critique manuscripts, edit, lay out manuscripts, and possibly ghost-write. Interested persons should contact the writing professional about his or her fees, procedures for relaying manuscripts (mail or e-mail), and the like.
Frank Green of The Bard Society (Jacksonville) has been helping aspiring writers increase their understanding of the craft of fiction weekly for 35 years. There is no fee for attending, but contributions according to ability to do so comfortably are welcome. More than forty novels have been published by legitimate publishers. Steve Berry, David Poyer, and Lenore Hart are the most prolific and well known writers from the group. Founded and led by Frank Green,The Bard Society limits itself to fiction, but Frank has offered editing and proofreading services of all types since 1979. For more information about the workshop or services that Frank offers, e-mail him at
Brad Hall of Jacksonville offers editing and proofreading services. He is excellent with editing books in digital formats such as those used by the Kindle and Nook and helping authors to put them on sale on their respective online shops. He can also prepare books for print-on-demand sellers such as Createspace. Contact him at
Robert Blade Writing & Editing puts an experienced professional at your service. Blade, who is based in Jacksonville, is the author of "Tupelo Man," published by the University Press of Mississippi. He is also a former Times-Union columnist and a college teacher who knows all sides of the writing, editing, and publishing process. For a free consultation, write to him at
Richard Levine of Jacksonville is an award-winning writer who provides services for those who want to self-publish, including editing, ghost writing, layout, cover design, web sites and of course, publishing. He also produces videos, and can make book trailers, and can assist with script development. References available. Visit Hiddenowl.comor email
Rachel Stephenson of Hueytown, Ala., has regularly critiqued for the Intelligent Eye Critique Service. With an interest in fine art, mystery, and philosophy, she often is welcoming to manuscripts touching upon a variety of subjects. Contact her at
And Your Name?
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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.
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).
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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.)
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of NFW and
Other Groups
BARD SOCIETY: Every Wednesday: 7 p.m.; Frank Green 250-6045; Email frankgrn@comcast. net
THE CDS PUBLICITY FREE WRITERS CRITIQUE GROUP: Meets twice monthly. The first Tuesday of each month at the Mandarin Library on Kori Road from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and the third Saturday of the month at the Webb-Wesconnett Library at 103rd and Harlow from 2 until 4 p.m. Everyone is welcome. For more information see our website at http://CDSPublicity. comor call 904.343.4188.
CLAY COUNTY WRITERS: Meets on third Wednesday of each month from 6:15 to 8 p.m. Orange Park Library, 2054 Plainfield Ave., just behind the Dairy Queen.
FIRST COAST CHRISTIAN WRITERS GROUP: Every Thursday, 6:45 Charles Webb-Wesconnett Library at the intersection of 103rd Street and Harlow Boulevard. Email: Dalyn_2@yahoo. com or Tlsl72@yahoo. com.
FIRST COAST ROMANCE WRITERS: Second Saturday of each month; start time varies based on program; see website Chaffee Road Library; 1425 Chaffee Rd. S., Jacksonville. Info: www. firstcoastromancewriters. com
MANDARIN WRITERS WORKSHOP: Second and fourth Wednesdays at 6:30 S. Mandarin Library (corner of San Jose and Orange Picker Rd.). Larry Barnes at wordsandpics@bellsouth. net.
NORTH FLORIDA WRITERS: Second Saturday: 2 various locations (due to flooding at Willowbranch) www.
NORTHEAST FLORIDA CHAPTER OF FLORIDA WRITERS ASSN.: fourth Saturday of the month at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library (between Jacksonville and St. Augustine). Vic DiGenti, FWA regional director. For more information, check www. fwapontevedra. blogspot. com or www. windrusher. com.
SHANTY BOAT WRITERS: Runs regular workshop sessions, generally about six weeks long. To check on an upcoming session, contact Lynn Skapyak Harlin at
SISTERS IN CRIME: First Saturday of each month: 10:30 a.m. at Southeast Regional Library, 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256; Sherry Czerniejewski, president Email sherrycz@aol. com
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THE ATAVIST (original nonfiction storytelling): http://atavist. net/
BOOK COUNTRY (sponsored by Penguin Books): http://www. bookcountry. com/
CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN: http://www. law. duke. edu/cspd/publicdomainday
CLASSIC BOOKS FOR FREE DOWNLOADS: http://www. planetebook. com/
DAYS OF YORE (writers and artists’struggles to succeed): http://www. thedaysofyore. com/
HOW LANGUAGE WORKS (the cognitive science of linguistics from Indiana University): http://www. indiana. edu/~hlw/
"MURDER YOUR DARLINGS" (Quiller-Couch on Style): http://grammar. about. com/od/rhetoricstyle/a/murderquiller. htm
THE PHRASE FINDER: http://www. phrases. org. uk/
POETRY DAILY: http://poems. com/
PREDITORS & EDITORS (sort of a Consumer’s Report about agents, editors, etc. ): http://pred-ed. com/
QUOTE INVESTIGATOR: http://quoteinvestigator. com/
THE RED ROOM – Where the authors are: http://redroom. com/
SHAKESPEARE SEARCHED: http://shakespeare. yippy. com/
SOME PLACES TO OBTAIN FREE E-BOOKS: http://www. freeliterature. org/index. html
TEN PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE WRITING (F.L. Lucas on Style): http://grammar. about. com/od/rhetoricstyle/a/lucastyle10. htm
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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
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