President’s Letter for June 2023

In May, under the tutelage of the multi-talented Claudia Geagan, fifty-two participants eagerly wrote their First 100 Words and read them aloud, receiving great feedback.  One of the best readings came from a woman who had been wanting to write, but never believed she could.  What she wrote amazed everyone, including herself.  No one left the meeting quietly; they left exuberantly!

We expect a similar reaction to our June speaker.  Allie Pleiter, a bestselling author of over 40 books, will present The Chunky Method of Time Management, a system that will get you to typing “The End” with success and satisfaction.  This program is a mix of practical, inspirational, and the nitty-gritty real life of it all that gives aspiring or working writers the tools they need to make the magic happen.  Pleiter will be making her presentation to the group live, via Zoom, so be sure to join us in person or via Zoom.

Location: Map
Word of Life Church
6111 South Pointe Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33919

The Hurricane Ian Storm Stories project is a huge success.  Submissions have ended and we have collected about 75 stories and poems.  The book will run about 300 pages.  Robert Macomber, multi-award-winning author and internationally acclaimed speaker who lives on Pine Island, has written the foreword and well-known local artist from Matlacha, Leoma Lovegrove, has given us an original painting to use on the cover.  Mary Charles was interviewed by the Sanibel Captiva Island Reporter, Islander and Current, and Jeanne Meeks was interviewed by WFCU regarding the project.  We are excited about our partnership with the Alliance for the Arts in this endeavor and the committee is organizing a book launch at the Alliance, which will include speakers, a panel discussion, a storm-chaser video, on-stage performances, and light refreshments, all amid the Alliance’s Hurricane art exhibit.  Everyone, especially our authors, is invited, so save the date: the evening of September 9, 2023.  The closing reception for the exhibit is September 28th.

Our Program Director, Mary Charles is requesting input from members on future programs.  What would you like to see: lectures, workshops, word games, other ideas?  Submit your suggestions to:

PLEASE NOTE:  We are in urgent need of an experienced Webmaster with strong background skills in Information Technology (IT) or Computer Science and Website Development/Design to fill our Webmaster pro bono position.  Website Coding isn’t necessary.  As with all of our board positions, this is a volunteer position.  Experience with GoDaddy, MailChimp, and WordPress is preferable, although some training will be provided to a person with basic IT skills and experience in web design.  If you know someone with this background, who is willing to fill the volunteer Lead Webmaster position, please contact Dr. Kesha Dreher at and Irene Smith at

If you have not renewed your dues, we would appreciate your doing so.  Your membership can be renewed at the meeting through PayPal, or you can mail a check to:

Gulf Coast Writer Association
P.O. Box 60771
Fort Myers, FL 33906








Irene Smith, President

June 2023

Speaker: Allie Pleiter
Topic: FINISH THAT BOOK with The Chunky Method!
June 17, 2023, 10 a.m. to Noon
In person and ZoomRegister Here
Meeting Location: Map
Word of Life Church
6111 South Pointe Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33919

FINISH THAT BOOK with The Chunky Method

Do you feel like you can never find the time to write? Have you been chipping away at the same manuscript forever without much progress? Do you need a system that can get you to typing “The End” with success and satisfaction? Wrangling a fickle muse to meet a deadline—or just to get rid of that looming blank page—is a life-skill for everyone who wants to get serious about their writing.
Allie Pleiter, the bestselling author of over 40 books, shares the nuts and bolts of how to manage your muse. You’ll learn how to set goals and deadlines that reflect your personal writing style and speed–and smart ways to get faster when you need it. Join the thousands of other writers who have mastered the writing process using Pleiter’s popular Chunky Method. With a useful mix of the practical, the inspirational, and the nitty-gritty real life of it all, this workshop gives aspiring or working writers the tools they need to make the magic happen.

What others have said about The Chunky Method Workshop:

Implementing the Chunky Method has charged my writing with confidence, quadrupled my productivity, organized my days, and enhanced my enjoyment of life. Allie is my hero! — Linda H.

“I was overwhelmed, but now I feel fantastic” — Michelle S.

Before The Chunky Method, I spent years worrying about how I was ever going to finish my novel, let alone a series of stories, with a busy schedule and a demanding day job. I feel far more confident now, and the method works – it’s my custom method, after all. I’ve already written far more than before the Chunky Method. — M.V.

I feel empowered. I feel much more in control of the process now. I feel good that I have a plan and schedule that work with me. I feel like I am going to achieve success, and in a timely manner instead of a scattered one. Thank you again for some of the most valuable, and applicable information I’ve received in over fourteen years of conferences and online classes.” — Becki

Allie Pleiter bio:

Award-winning bestselling author Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction working on as many as four books at a time.  She teaches writers how to be consistently, dependably productive and create the content today’s market requires. The author of over 60 published titles, Allie has spent a decade in the publishing profession with over 1.6 million books sold worldwide.  In addition to her own writing career, Allie maintains an active writing productivity coaching practice and speaks regularly on resilience, the creative process, authorship, and her very favorite topic—The Chunky Method of time management.




Facebook Page:


Twitter: (@alliepleiter)



Click the link below to review a short video of Allie promoting the Chunky Method Webinar on Jun 17, 2023


President’s Letter for May 2023

Storm Stories is our biggest initiative in years and is becoming a major success.  With over 50 stories submitted so far, and the deadline extended until May 15, we expect a book approaching 300 pages.  A foreword by award-winning novelist Robert Macomber and a submission by longtime Matlacha artist Leoma Lovegrove add celebrity luster to this effort.  The Alliance for the Arts will include GCWA and our anthology project in the launch of its September exhibit commemorating the anniversary of Hurricane Ian.  WGCU, our local PBS station, has interviewed Jeanne Meeks about the Storm Stories project and has published a story online.  A radio version will also air.  It will launch at The Alliance on September 1, 2023.

We are still collecting GCWA Writing Contest entries until May 31st,2023.  Entries can be submitted online or mailed.  Online entries can be submitted @  Mailed entries can be mail to:

Gulf Coast Writers Association
P.O. Box 60771
Fort Myers, FL 33906

We are expanding and have another new officer.  Brian Devitt will be our Social Media Officer.  Together, with Jeff Bogart, they will explore every media outlet to get the word out that GCWA is alive and thriving.  Jeff Bogart has been putting out lengthy notices to as many of the news media as possible.  This has brought additional newcomers to our meetings.

People who attended April’s Membership Meeting may have had their pictures taken.  This was a regular practice a few years ago.  However, when the woman who took the photos retired, the picture taking ended.

We wish to resume doing this because it was extremely popular.  If you are attending May’s meeting and would prefer not to have your photo taken, please let our photographer, Jeff Bogart, know.  Otherwise, smile when you see the camera unless you are writing The First 100 Words.

The recent workshops, run by highly informative speakers, drew large audiences and were well received.

So what is next?  We would like YOUR input about future meetings.

Would you like a meeting, or would you prefer to listen to members read their works?  Or possibly diversify the meeting format throughout the year; one devoted to essays, one for short fiction, another of poetry or children’s stories.  This would help us get to know each other and make us better able to assist each other.  There would be a word limit and a few guidelines.

How about a meeting for the steps to getting published?  Would you be interested in a writing retreat weekend?  One of our members is exploring ideas about this.  Any suggestions you might have for when or where such an event might take place would be appreciated.

Any comments you have on any of this can be emailed to me @  I will collect all of the ideas and explore them with the Executive Committee.

Looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you on Saturday, May 20, 2023, at 10:00am.

Location: Map
Word of Life Church
6111 South Pointe Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33919

Come in person — no Zoom will be offered this month. If you have not renewed your membership, you can pay your dues at the meeting, or through PayPal, or by check mailed to:

Gulf Coast Writers Association
P.O. Box 60771
Fort Myers, FL 33919







Irene Smith, President

May 2023

Workshop: The First 100 Words
Topic: The Importance of the First 100 Words
May 20, 2023, 10 a.m. to Noon
In person – No Zoom Offered
Claudia GeaganMeeting Location: Map
Word of Life Church
6111 South Pointe Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33919

You only have one opportunity to make a memorable first impression.  The First 100 Words” is based on a book by the same name, written by Stephen Parish and editors at Lascaux Books, a literary publishing house.  According to the blurb in the book, the first 100 words of a manuscript are as important as all the words that follow.  They comprise a first impression.  If poorly chosen, they may be the only words an editor reads.
“This is a workshop, not a lecture,” says Claudia Geagan.  May’s attendees should bring notebooks and fast-writing pens and be prepared to participate.What distinguishes being a scribbler from a genius?  Claudia’s workshop may provide you with some insight in that direction; she is a master at word minimalism.
After a financial career in major corporations in big cities, Geagan retired to South Carolina and later to Southwest Florida.  She began authoring personal essays and a smattering of flash non-fiction and poetry and has been published in at least eight Literary Journals.
While at Furman University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Geagan taught “Writing the Personal Essay” and has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize.  Pushcart is the most honored literary project in America!
Geagan is one of the judges for this year’s GCWA Writing Contest.  “If your work doesn’t get past the first readers, it doesn’t go anywhere.  In the case of Literary Reviews, these first readers are often bored grad students.  The opening must intrigue.”

Jeff Bogart

I’ve joined GCWA to maintain and sharpen my writing skills, while enjoying the wit and comradery of fellow writers.

As a journalist, I’ve been a Staff Reporter for the Kansas City Star and a Desk Editor for United Press International.  The Washington Star Sunday Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, McGraw-Hill’s Electrical World Magazine, and The New York Times have carried my freelance writing.  I’ve also started a community newspaper and published and edited a hyper local e-newsletter.

As a Strategic Communications Consultant, I’ve written, edited, and advised on everything from corporate news releases to executive speeches, web material, and annual reports.  Along the way, I’ve taught college freshman English Composition and high school English Language Arts.  I’m an avid tennis player and photographer, and I have a history of leadership in civic affairs.