Craft Short Fiction Prize

Craft Short Fiction PrizeJudge: Jim Shepard
Contest closes April 30

Welcome to our fiction contest! We are thrilled to have Jim Shepard as the judge for our contest. Jim Shepard is the author of seven novels, including most recently The Book of Aron, which won the Sophie Brody Medal for Achievement in Jewish Literature from the American Library Association and the PEN/New England Award for fiction, and five story collections, including his new collection, The World To Come. Five of his short stories have been chosen for the Best American Short Stories, two for the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, and one for a Pushcart Prize. He teaches at Williams College.

Three stories will be selected by Jim Shepard from a short list and published in CRAFT, accompanied by an introduction from Shepard and a craft essay from each author. Each of the three stories will also be available as downloadable pdfs. The author of the prize-winning story will receive $2000; the two runners-up will receive $500 and $300, respectively. A short list of finalists will be published online.

More information

Gianni Franco

Gianni PetittiI wrote my first short story when I was nine or ten based on the video game Asteroids from Atari. I have an English Lit degree and have taken multiple creative writing courses. I wrote Editorials for the Democrat & Chronicle during my early twenties and for the Rochester Magazine until it closed. Once that happened, I purchased an AB-Dick printing press and started a mini-periodical called The American Register. As the editor, I worked with four writers, as well as writing articles myself. I then went online at the AmericanRegister.com and advertised on our local radio in Rochester, NY. After a few years, the funding faded and I shut down the site. Although I did not stop writing, I did take a break from the industry.

Moving to Florida three years ago rejuvenated my mind, and I began to write feverishly and created a blog as well. Currently completing Draft IV 80K words, The Diary of Sergeant Stark, a psychological thriller. A story about a veteran cop who wants to do good but finds himself covering up a slew of his own murders. I will self-publish if it does not get picked up by an agent. The story-line has purposely placed options for a prequel, sequel, and interlude. Additional books have been shelved in order to focus on this one since I work full time at a bank.

Gianni’s blog

Laura Nonemaker

I began writing as a child in Bermuda when a favorite teacher had one of my essays published in a local newspaper. I am a charter member of Louisville Christian Writers and a new member of Gulf Coast Writers in Florida. I have been a contributing writer for Kentucky Monthly Magazine and my work has appeared in Essence’s Celebrating the Season and Alive! magazine. The publication in 2011 of my children’s book, Benny’s Angel, fulfills a dream.

In addition to writing, I have enjoyed drawing and painting since childhood. Three limited edition prints have been produced from my art, including “Old Timer,” which took first place in the portrait division at the 2006 Kentucky State Fair. Because of my interest in the arts, I am on the planning team for Artful Missions, which produces juried art shows and donates most of the proceeds to ministries that help women and children escape human trafficking.

I have three children, two grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren from my marriage to my first husband, Bob McCrea, who is now with the Lord. With my second husband, Paul, I have two stepsons and four more grandchildren. Our blended family is a blessing.

Sharmin Fairbanks McKenny

Sharmin Fairbanks McKennySharmin Fairbanks McKenny is a transplant from the Midwest where she received her BSN and Master’s degree in Nursing. She was a pioneer in civilian flight nursing, transporting critical patients by helicopter and fixed wing. She earned her private pilot’s license as a teenager and actually soloed before she had a driver’s license.

Sharmin is a farmer’s daughter and nature lover. She mounts orchids in the trees on the golf course at her Florida community. Playing golf three times a week, Sharmin enjoys the orchids, sunshine, and fresh air. She also paints using acrylics on canvas, usually birds, landscapes, and people.

As her first novel, the first in a series, Sharmin is writing an historical fiction about the original settlers of the Fairbanks family from 1600-1791. The Fairbanks family came to New England in 1633, thirteen years after the Pilgrims. In 1637, they built the oldest frame house still standing in North America. As active early American settlers, the Fairbanks founded the towns they settled, Dedham and Lancaster, Massachusetts. This first book will take the family through the Revolutionary War in Massachusetts. Later books in the series will follow their move through Vermont, Ohio, the Civil War, and Kansas.

Writing about the Fairbanks’ family history has opened other writing opportunities for Sharmin. She has articles in the Fairbanks Family of America Newsletter, the GCWA annual writing contest 2018, and the National Society of Daughter’s of the American Revolution, American Heritage Contest, “Honoring our Patriots While Preserving our Family Stories.” Her enthusiasm and passion for her work makes her a perfect fit for co-chairperson of the membership committee of the 2018 Gulf Coast Writer’s Association.

Follow Sharmin at:
http://sharminfairbanksmckenny.com/
https://www.facebook.com/FairbanksHistory/

Nieman — Going to the Dogs

Going to the Dogs: Confessions of a Mobile Pet Groomer
by Jan Nieman

Going to the DogsWhen Jan Nieman decided to become a mobile pet groomer, little did she know what a wild ride she was in for. Over the next 21 years, she tussled with feisty pets, wrestled with stubborn vans, chased down AWOL dogs, and learned to cope with wayward employees. Grooming more than her share of dogs and cats, not to mention the occasional wolf, she encountered a host of memorable animals and owners, that often matched their pets in style, temperament and unconventionality. In her no-holds-barred, hilarious account, Nieman not only shares the high points of her adventures, as well as the occasional horror tails that are an inevitable part of a groomer’s career. Through it all, her love and passion for animals shines forth from every page.By the end, after plenty of laughs, you’ll know a good deal more about orphan pets, what goes on in the inner sanctum of mobile and brick-and-mortar grooming salons, and the joys and tribulations of owning a business that keeps you going to the dogs.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Jan Nieman

After teaching second graders, raising five children, and supervising a Social Security office, I fell into owning a mobile pet grooming business. Instead of dealing with humans, I acquired new skills such as trimming hair to disguise a dog’s missing eye and crawling under vans to detect which hose was spewing green fluid. Upon retiring, I tried to purge my nightmares about that quirky career by writing about it. I joined GCWA, and with its guidance, terrific speakers, and workshops, I wrote my creative nonfiction, humorous tale, Going to the Dogs; Confessions of a Mobile Pet Groomer. New Chapter Publisher’s Editor-in-Chief, Chris Angermann, and our own Grammar Granny, Martha Jeffers, guided me through the maze of content and grammar editing.
Released in October 2010.

Contact Jan @ jannieman@comcast.net

Jan’s book

MWAThe next Southwest Florida meeting of the Florida MWA will be Saturday, April 14th and will feature author Suzi Weinert. She will discuss her Garage Sale mystery series, her dance with Hollywood, and having her books produced for the Hallmark Channel.

All meetings start at 1pm. We meet in room 108 of the L-building at Florida SouthWestern State College – adjacent to the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. I will put up signs inside. Check the Lee Campus map here for more details <http://www.fsw.edu/about/maps>

Parking: You are allowed to park in Lot 7 next to the L-building (usually reserved for faculty) on Saturday, even if there is an event going on at BB Mann.

You do not have to be an MWA member to attend this meeting – although MWA membership materials will be available – invite your fiction writing friends.

We will meet for lunch before each meeting at 11:30 at Jason’s Deli – 13550 Reflection Parkway, Fort Myers. It’s off Cypress Lake Drive near the FSW campus.

Contact me with questions: <author.mljoy@hotmail.com>

Unique Opportunity

We are the beginning stages of setting up at a writers conference. Can you spread the word to your group?
ABCBook4children&Adultsinc will be heading up a writers conference in April 2019.

It will be held at the Port Charlotte Cultural Center. There will be workshops and talks and you can apply to have face time with real agents from NY and around the area. The event will begin on Friday evening, Saturday, and end on Sunday. We are looking into prices now.

There will be 12 – 14 agents at the conference for you to meet and pitch your book to as well as editors and other professionals in their fields. We are looking into well-recognized authors to give talks in the theater.

What I need now is volunteers to be agent assistants. You will be asked to help them get from A to B at the conference. You will also get a chance to meet your assigned agent at a meet and greet at the hotel for about an hour on Friday. The agent will then travel by arranged transport to Luigi’s restaurant on Friday evening for a special reception and back to their hotel. A limited number of places will be available at Luigi’s.

You will meet your assigned agent Saturday morning and see that they get to the cultural center where you will guide them to where they need to be. Again there will be transportation supplied. To be repeated on Sunday if necessary.

There will be maps and timetables given out. This is an opportunity to get to meet an agent and they will get to meet you on a one-to-one personal level. This is not a time to pitch your book. You will need to schedule that with the agent that suits your work the best. We will help you with what agents require from a pitch as time gets closer.

Help us make this a great conference. We need everyone to dig out all your media contacts and send us names, emails, phone numbers, anyone you know from the newspapers or local radio. Also any local publishers information. (I love my excel spreadsheets) We want to spread the word to as many writers as possible.

If you have a printing shop that will sponsor some of the printing in exchange for an ad in the program.

Can you promote the event at your local social club, Kiwanis, Elks, Moose, Masons???? Can I come and give a talk??

This event is for everyone no matter if they still have the book in their head or are a seasoned author, Traditional or Independent.

Let’s have the best conference on the Gulf Coast

DL Havlin and I are the points of contact for any questions. Most questions will be answered as we get more things confirmed. If you have a question please ask. It may be something we have not thought about.

Brenda M. Spalding – Author
http://www.heritagepublishingus.com
http://www.amazon.com/author/brendaspalding