2013/3 — Tom Nelson

Two years ago I was humbled to be placed in the office of President. Now that term comes to an end and I wish to thank the association for the opportunity to serve you.

While I approached this position with fear and trepidation at that time, now as I reflect back I can truly say this has been one of the joyous experiences of my retirement years. I look out at the faces of our organization and feel that I know each and everyone one of you personally and would not hesitate to call you, “my friend.”

As Gulf Coast Writers enters into its eighteenth year and our numbers approach two hundred, the organization has many strengths: Continuing educational programs provide the interest to bring new and old members to the monthly meetings as wintertime attendance flirts around the one hundred mark. Special events such as the recent Lee County Reading Festival, which provided a venue to not only present GCWA to the public, but allowed twenty-two authors to engage in book signing competition. Likewise, last fall a similar opportunity presented itself to our authors at the Alliance for the Arts event. GCWA’s own 2012 writing contest winners will be announced today with cash prizes totaling $525. Other outlets for our member’s creativity continue to be highlighted on our web page.

If I was to have any regrets, it would be that we were unsuccessful with our efforts to promote the Play Script genre in the annual writing contest these past two years. Thank you to those who submitted their work; let’s not give up.

Many have contributed to the success of these programs this past year. Your dedication to the ongoing success of our organization is deeply appreciated. Along with the entire membership, you of the Corporate and Executive Boards know your valued contributions and to you I say, “Well done.”

Check out our GCWA website at www.gulfwriters.org, it has a revised look with a new calendar where members can post their own events. Our photographer, Denise Holbrook is now posting the photos from meetings and events to our Facebook page. And thanks to Denise, along with Michelle James and Barbara Burnett who have lent helping hands to our webmaster this year. Good news––through threat and bribe, we have convinced webmaster, Judy Loose, to continue on in this position for the immediate future.

Our bank balance is in excellent shape at over $12,000. Two years ago annual dues were reduced to $25. One future challenge for us is to find ways to reduce this balance to a more reasonable amount for a non-profit organization. The board will solicit ideas for such future programs. Perhaps investing in scholarships for young school age writers to pursue their writing careers would be one.

This month will see the “retirement” of Jan Niemen from duties as hospitality lady after many years. Thanks to her organizational talents no one has ever gone hungry from our Saturday morning affairs. Thank you so much Jan.

After many years, Joe Pacheco will be retiring from the Executive Board. Joe, your past dedication is sincerely appreciated. Due to conflicts with her work schedule, Linda Kruleski will be giving up her membership duties on the board. My personal thanks to both of you.

Both the Corporate and Executive committees have been generous with their support to me these past two years. Without them I would not be calling this a joyous experience. Thanks to all of you.

With best of regards,
Tom Nelson.

2013/2 — Tom Nelson

Dear GCWA Members and friends.

A quick note to remind you of this Saturday’s meeting, February 16th starting at 10am and held at Zion Lutheran Church, 7401 Winkler Rd.

Mr. Ben Bova, novelist, radio/ TV commentator, award winning editor and aerospace executive will be our speaker. He will advise us on “The Ten Things I Wish I Knew before I Started Writing.”

During Mr. Bova’s presentation some of us will be comparing his list to our own; all the while wondering how his list only has ten, when ours number in the dozens. Come early for a good seat for we could break the one hundred mark for attendance this Saturday to hear this popular lecturer.

There are a very limited number of spots available to fill for the March 16th Southwest Florida Reading Festival at Harbor Side Center. Call Ken Feeley 239-992-2726 or Hank Heitmann 239-415-8626 if you’re interested. As always check out www.gulfcoastwriter.org for all upcoming events.

Mark on your calendar that due to the March 16th festival our annual business meeting will be rescheduled for March 23rd and will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2439 McGregor Blvd. And remember, winners of the GCWA writing contest will be announced at that time. More on this next month.

See you Saturday. Remember; early, coffee, snacks, socialize…


Tom Nelson, President

2013/1 — Tom Nelson

Hi Gulf Coast Writers,

It’s a new year and for many returning from the frozen north, a big welcome back. January’s meeting will be our first since November and we’re looking for a big crowd Saturday the 19th at Zion Lutheran Church on Winkler. The formal meeting will start at 10:00 am but come early for coffee, conversation and a good seat.

Our speaker will be Chris Angermann on the topic “What every writer should know about Publishing” – the does, the don’ts, the benefits and drawbacks, and more. With his back ground ranging from journalist to ghost writer to director to carpenter to cabbie, this promises to be an entertaining and informative hour with Chris.

We will be needing a new ‘kitchen volunteer’ for this year as after more years than we can count Jan Niemen has announced her retirement from that duty. We all have appreciated Jan’s dedication and thank her so much.

As always, check with the web site www gulfwriters.org for all details of our association.

See you all Saturday. Bring a treat to share with the coffee!

Tom Nelson, President

2012/12 — Tom Nelson

Dear Gulf Coast Writers.
Your GCWA executive board trusts you have enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and we wish you a very Happy New Year. As we enter into this new year of 2013 I would like to remind you of a few future events.

After changes of location for the October and November gatherings we will be back at Zion Lutheran on Winkler for the January 19th meeting starting at 10am; come early for coffee, snacks and a good seat. Chris Angermann…journalist, ghostwriter and director of theater will speak. With a wide variety of experiences, his topic “What Every Writer Should Know about Publishing” is guaranteed to enlighten and entertain us.

Entry’s for the annual GCWA writing contest were closed as of Dec 1 and have since been sent to the respective judging teams. Forty-five entries were received vying for the cash prizes and bragging rights when winners will be announced at our March meeting.

Ann Dalton will be presenting a work shop on Pine Inland, January 5th. Check the web site for details regarding her topic of invasion of privacy and defamation issues.

Your nominating committee is actively pursuing nominees for the next slate of officers to be voted upon at the March meeting. If interested in becoming a nominee please contact; Pat Jana, Linda Kruleski, Richard Georgian, Martha Jeffers, and Donna Rodio who form this group. A new web-master is high on our future needs!

Should any member see a need to change or revise a bi-law or our constitution, this should be brought up in our January’s meeting. This will give ample time for consideration by our March annual meeting.

Oh, yes folks, a reminder that annual dues should be paid in January. At $25 it’s still the best bargain in town.


Tom Nelson, President