The 8th annual Venice Book Fair and Writers Festival takes place March 16 in Blalock Park from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Tents will be assigned as they are reserved. The first deadline for tents is Nov.1, 2018.

Each 10-foot x 10-foot tent may be used by one or two authors, at $150. After Feb. 1, 2019 the cost goes to $175, if tents are still available. Between Nov. 1 and Feb. 1, tents may be reserved for $150 if any are left. Most authors will want to reserve a tent by Nov. 1 to ensure they have a place at the book fair. Each tent will include an 8-foot table and two folding chairs. Authors must pro- vide their own table covers and booth identification signs. As in the past, we plan to have the students available to help get books to and from tents.

The Writers Festival takes place Friday, March 15 at the new Venice Public Library, 300 S. Nokomis Ave. Proceeds from the fair go to Venice Heritage Inc., the 501(C )3 fundraising organization that supports the extension of the Venice Museum and Archives and the restoration of the oldest existing house in Venice, the Lord-Higel family pioneer home.

The book fair has an improved website. Please check out

DL Havlin


DL Havlin is an eclectic author whose novels, novellas, and short stories mirror his rich, varied background. He has packed three lifetimes of experiences into one brim full existence. He believes, “The one big advantage writing at an advanced age provides is that life is what you know and not what you project it might be.” An avid lover of the outdoors and sports enthusiast, his passion for fishing, hunting and camping are frequently included in his writing. A deep love for nature and especially wild Florida often furnish settings for his work, but his travels make places such as Kiev, Singapore, London, New York, Modena, or Saxonhausen backgrounds for his stories as well . His unique combination of a vivid imagination and his ability to weave intricate plot lines, seasoned by his life-time exposure to fascinating story possibilities and his knowledge of human nature, provides the heart-felt, enjoyable reading his novels provide. He answers, “Why do you write?” by saying, “To entertain—that’s first, but to provoke thought is a close second. I firmly believe both are done through the heart, for the mind is seldom opened until it is emotionally conditioned to respond.” Come by and see me at and

We look forward to seeing you on October 5, 2018 at the Creative Writing Education Today Symposium to be held at the University of South Florida, Tampa.

The Symposium is free, the panel sessions promise to stimulate interest, inquiry, and discovery; and the audience discussion and thoughts will be published in New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing (Taylor and Francis) in 2019.  Please register for the Symposium, using the quick “Register here” link.



Dr. Dianne Donnelly
Creative Writing Pedagogy
Assistant Dean, Office of Research and Scholarship
College of Arts and Sciences
University of South Florida
Dr. Graeme Harper
Creative Writing Pedagogy
Dean, The Honors College
Oakland University, Rocjester, MI

Jennings — Dead Man’s Flower

Dead Man’s Flower, by Jill Jennings

Dead Man’s Flower (2012) Poems of loss and longing; family love and disconnection, grief and recovery, homesickness and wanderlust, Europe, Maui and the Mainland dominate this collection. Follow the award-winning author as she pulls up stakes and moves to Kihei, Maui, Hawaii, where she encounters a world of the sacred and the commercial, of rain forests and desert, beaches with a history and locals who love to tell her about it; while back home in Georgia her old life keeps evolving and her family is growing smaller and smaller. $12.95

Books may be purchased from the author in person or by emailing her at or from the publisher, Yawn’s Books Canton, Georgia
ill Jennings may be reached at or

The Poetry Alarm Clock, by Jill Jennings

The Poetry Alarm Clock (2008) In this book you will meet a drunk with smeared lipstick who shows up only at midnight; a lady enshrined forever on a restaurant wall; a little boy with Shaken Child Syndrome who just wants a home; a colonel in the Army who wears orange socks; and a factory worker in a drug plant who runs out of pills for herself. Award-winning poems set like jewels in a jester’s crown, this collection will appeal to you, even if you hated poetry in high school. $11.95

Books may be purchased from the author in person or by emailing her at; from Amazon and iUniverse.
Jill Jennings may be reached at or

We’d be honored to have you with us for the 2018 edition of the Grand
Prix of Literary Associations.

We can summarize the regulations of the Grand Prix of Literary
Associations in a few words: like all the other literary prizes, there
are books and a Jury. With the difference that in the case of the
GPLA, books are proposed to the Jury by literary associations, clubs
of literature or other similar groups.

That’s the reason why we often say that, for an author to have his
book selected for the GPLA is already like having won an award,
because the association which proposes the work to the GPLA Jury thus
honors the writer with a mark of recognition.

Thus, if you are an author, you should request the recommendation or
at least the endorsement of a literary group for your book to be
registered among the selected ones of the GPLA 2018; and if you are an
association, you have the opportunity to participate in the
competition by presenting two books, which you consider worthy of
interest, provided that they should have been published in the
eighteen months preceding the official launch of the contest.

You can in fact propose a book in the Research category, open to
essays and other research documents, and another one in the
Belles-Lettres category, reserved for the novel, poetry, drama.

For more information contact

Florida Writers Conference

Undecided about attending the next Florida Writers Conference? Read what some of last year’s conference attendees wrote in their conference surveys:
“I’m amazed (such an overused word, but appropriate here) at the breadth of this conference and how smoothly it runs.”
“I think the conference was the best and most intense conference I’ve ever attended.”
“Having attended trade conferences and overseeing a conference myself, I am highly impressed with this conference, especially the amount of content and value for the money.” 

This is the conference for you if you’re looking for three days devoted to the craft and business of writing. With more than 70 workshops and panels ranging from sessions for beginners to deeper, more interactive workshops, the Florida Writers Conference offers a satisfying and supportive celebration of the writing world in all its infinite variety. See the FWA website for details.

Lona Root Haskins

Lona Root Haskins, a member of GCWA, has been invited to speak Friday, Sept 14th at 1:00 at Lakes Regional Library.

Lona came to the literary world very late in life. In 2014 at age 79 she published her collection of grief poetry, Grief to Celebration: The Journey Through the Loss of My daughter, Dianna Louise.  In 2015 at age 80 she published her parents’ memoir, Humble Roots: Earl and Caroline. Lona will be discussing her extensive research into the events of the early to mid 1900s and the impact of these events on her parents’ lives.


Jill Jennings

Jill Jennings was awarded the 2013 United States Congressional Commendation for poetry and teaching, and a 2013 International Merit Award in poetry from Atlanta Review. Dozens of her award- winning poems have been widely published every year for ten years in Reach of Song, the anthology of the Georgia Poetry Society; in several issues of Encore, the anthology of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies; in both editions of the anthology Poetry of the Golden Age, by Kennesaw State University; in The Atlanta Review, Oberlin Review, The Georgia Bulletin, and the Cherokee Tribune Newspaper ( Georgia).

After fourteen years teaching Latin, English and SAT Prep classes, Jill Jennings launched a career in poetry beginning in 2008 with her debut book, The Poetry Alarm Clock. Four years later a second book, Dead Man’s Flower, followed. Pineapple Wine, her third full-length collection of poetry, is completed and ready for publication.

How did a high school teacher suddenly decide to retire early and devote her time and energy to
poetry? A chance encounter with a classmate from graduate school galvanized her. A mere 52 years of age, her friend was already experiencing health problems. He lamented that he could not memorize vocabulary anymore, a major disappointment for a man who had taught modern foreign languages. At that moment, she realized that this might happen to her. What about the book of poetry she had wanted to write since age 9? What about becoming fluent in French? What about all the dreams that were put on hold while teaching high school? How much time was left ? As if awakened from a deep sleep, she dragged these goals out of the attic where she’d stored them, forgotten. Fourteen years later, her biography includes having served as Vice President, Secretary, and Interim President of the Georgia Poetry Society; Coordinator for Johns Creek Poetry group; having dozens of her poems published, most after winning cash prizes, completing two full-length books of poetry, with a third ready for publication and another, Mercy Heart, in the works,

Jill holds B.A. and M.A.degrees in Classics from the University of Georgia, knows Latin and Ancient Greek, is fluent in French, and reads Spanish. Her poetry and memoir writing workshops have been presented in various venues, most recently for the Lee Library System. In April, 2018 she wrote and produced the first ever LeHigh Acres Teen Poetry Slam, held at the East County Library. It was such a success that another one is already planned for September. She is also the Coordinator for the upcoming Teen Writers Workshop to be held twice monthly at the library. In addition to poetry, Jill writes flash fiction and humor. She relocated from Georgia to Fort Myers in October of 2016 with her husband of 29 years, Paul Cheng, who shares her passion for travel and foreign language, without whose support much less of her writing would have seen the light of day. follow Jill at

Writing interests: poetry, humor, flash fiction, memoirs

Jill’s books

Eduardo Mitchell

Eduardo Mitchell hails from southwest Virginia, spent four years overseas gathering intelligence for Uncle Sam, did another four working for IBM, and then several decades as a software consultant in Washington DC. After completing his master’s in psychology during his late 30’s, he was a counselor and personal trainer. In the mid 80’s he completed a two-year post-graduate program in creative writing at Lynchburg College. Along the way he flew charters and freight part-time for Air Virginia until it was acquired by a larger airline.

While overseas in a harrowing job, he learned Zen meditation from a Tibetan monk, a practice he continues to this day. Since the mid-90’s he has taught meditation and written three books (so far) about Zen, all available on amazon.

Having been interested in photography all of his adult life, after retirement he began shooting weddings and bridal portraits. Now, he pursues artistic portraiture as a hobby. Ed works part-time as a copyeditor and proofreader, and has the reputation of being an incorrigible grammar nazi. His favorite pastimes are movies, reading, writing, and riding his bike.

Eduardo’s website is