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 www.jilljennings.org

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 eduardomitchell.com.

Sloan Jordan

As a young girl, Sloan discovered and excelled at writing assignments in school but never considered writing as part of a career.  After school, Sloan spent over thirty years in the field of real estate property management, specializing in low income and affordable housing.   Over the years, Sloan applied her writing skills to creating resource material for the rental housing industry, and eventually her own property management company.  Producing technical documents geared to advanced property management tactics led to writing projects for  Housing and Urban Development and Public Housing Authorities throughout the United States and its territories over the past two decades.   The majority of the deliverables were focused on “how to” subjects relating to property management.  Although still writing for HUD and its partners, Sloan decided to try to use that writing skill to take the time to tell some of her personal stories in a nonfiction format and memoir.  A short time after “retiring” and relocating to Sanibel, Florida, Sloan joined the Sanibel writing group for feedback from other writers on a memoir project.  Two years later, Sloan joined the Gulf Coast Writers Association after relocating to the Ft. Myers area.  Sloan brings both strong business skills and technical writing skills to GCWA as a current executive committee board member.

Arlyn Euken

Born and raised in Iowa. After college and working several years, fulfilled military obligation. Then moved to Cincinnati , Ohio, and spent his working career as small business owner/partner.

Retired to SW Florida. 1st wife deceased; married widow Edi Pollaert in 2010 & resides in Cape Coral.

Hobbies and activities include volunteering, community gardens, antique/classic cars,

Writing interests – mainly History & Humor.

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:

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

Gary McLouth

Gary McLouth

Gary at Bash Bish Falls by Jackie Pierce

Gary is a past president of (the) GCWA, an adjunct professor of English at FSW, and a member of several SW Florida writers organizations including, Sanibel Writers, Art Poems, Poetry Alliance and the international Poets and Writers. Gary has published poetry, fiction and nonfiction in addition to authoring too many technical and informational manuals, speeches and syllabi to recall or remember. He holds a doctorate from SUNY Albany (NY), and is Professor Emeritus at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.

Editorial Services for hire: Concept, Content and Line editing; ghost writing and coaching.

Gary McLouth’s books