2012/5 — Tim Jacobs (VP)

Greetings members of the GCWA,

As the Vice-President of the GCWA Board, I will be filling in for our President, Tom Nelson, as he travels north to visit family and friends.

Last month’s speaker, Dorothy Brooks, was well received. She spoke about the importance of sound in poetry and prose, and whether you write poetry, fiction or non-fiction, everyone left the meeting having learned something new they could apply to their own writing.

Our May 19 meeting taking place at Zion Lutheran Church, and will feature guest speaker Roger Williams. Roger is a columnist from the Florida Weekly newspaper. He will speak to us about “Storytelling in print journalism: How to find freedom in the form and throw stories like fastballs.” Roger is the winner of numerous awards, most recently the Claudia Ross award for investigative journalism; he will also discuss the trials, tribulations and challenges of writing a weekly column for one of Florida’s most popular newspapers, and offer advice on how writers can succeed in being published by print journals.

Judy Loose, our webmaster, is still looking for a helper. With our growing membership and more of us using the GCWA website, it’s getting to be too much for one person. Even if you don’t have web skills, Judy will happily teach the right candidate. If you’re interested in helping please see Judy during the meeting.

Also there is a Round Robin starting in June. If you’re interested in being a part of it, please see Richard Georgian during our meeting.

Lastly, if anyone found a pair of prescription sunglasses at our April meeting, please turn them in to me before or after the meeting and I will return them to their owner. Thanks.

Keep writing, and hope to see you all on Saturday.

Tim Jacobs

(For Tom Nelson)

President’s Annual Letter. 2011-2012

April 2012

It is traditional over these past sixteen years for your elected president to address you at the end of our fiscal year with an annual letter. This President of GCWA’s Executive Committee will follow this custom accordingly.

First of all, thank you for allowing me to serve in this capacity since March of 2011. Our membership has grown this past year and whatever success the organization currently enjoys can be attributed to the dedication and enthusiasm of you the members, with a gentle fine tuning and attention from your Corporate Board and Executive Committee.

I would like to think that the various monthly programs presented by a variety of speakers, on an equal variety of subjects relating to writing skills, has helped us to maintain and increase the organization’s viability in Southwest Florida. Our numbers as of this March exceed 170, but as always will become adjusted during the next couple of months as last minute dues are caught up. Attendance at the February meeting was 97, I believe, an all time high. So thank you all for helping to continue the progress and good fortune; old members from these past 16 seasons and new ones just arriving.

During today’s annual meeting, there will be a number of retirements (temporary we hope) from both the Corporate Board and Executive Committees followed by the election of their replacements. Martha Jeffers will step down from her post as President of the Corporate Board. From the Executive Committee; Larry Stiles, Treasurer, Carol Drummond, Secretary, John Repa, Programming and Becky Elam, Membership will be succeeded in elections today after serving multiple terms in their capacities. On behalf of GCW A and this president, I thank each of them for their dedication during the years served. Personally I will miss their guidance; rest assured their email addresses and phone numbers will be close at hand.

A check list of this past year’s major activities is contained in today’s written program along with the budget.

Lastly, a year ago I felt trepidation as I followed in Richard Georgian’s large shoes. Now I’ve made it through and whether a second year is in the works is up to you the membership. I have enjoyed this opportunity each month and it’s been an enjoyable trip for me so far; I hope the membership feels the same.


Tom Nelson.

2012/4 — Tom Nelson

Greetings Gulf Coast Writers. We will be meeting Saturday, April 21st at Zion Lutheran Church on Winkler beginning at 10 am.

April celebrates Poetry Month and Ms. Dorothy Brooks will be our featured speaker presenting “The Importance of Sound in Poetry and Prose.” We look forward to Dorothy’s message, for most of us can use a little music in our work.

In review, March was a busy month for GCWA with so much going on. The Lee County Reading Festival was held on the 17th at the Harborside in downtown Fort Myers, where eighteen members presented their book publications and helped promoted our organization. Always a fun event.

On March 24, 2012, our Annual Election Meeting and Writing Contest Awards took place. A new slate of officers was voted in and we also thanked those departing; Larry Stiles-Treasurer, Becky Elam-Membership, Carol Drummond-Secretary, and John Repa-Programming along with Corporate Chairperson, Martha Jeffers. Please come to the April meeting, give a personal welcome to our new officers, and thank the smiling ex-officers.

Nine awards were given to contest winners in Poetry, Non-Fiction, and Fiction with the first place winners reading their compositions: Larry Stiles-Poetry, Denise Holbrook-Fiction, and Artis Henderson-Nonfiction. Congratulations to the winners and also a thank you to all who submitted over 8o entrees.
On March 31st Ken Feeley, Special Projects, hosted a New Writers Workshop attended by 16 aspiring authors. Another such event is tentatively planned later this year.

It will be good to be “back home” at Zion once again. See ya.

Tom Nelson

2012/3 — Tom Nelson

Dear Members,

By now most of you have realized that GCWA has not yet met this month of March. That is by design so we did not conflict with the Southwest Florida Reading Festival this past Saturday, March 17th.

Now we are ready to have our Annual meeting and Writing Contest Awards Presentation this coming Sat, March 24th. Regrettably, with a conflict at Zion Church we will be meeting at an alternative site. Please note the following’

*Place: Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2439 McGregor Blvd, Ft. Myers. (A couple of blocks south of Edison Estates.)

*Time: 10am to 12:30. Come early to find the new location, and to get a good seat or help in the kitchen.

*Special: Potluck lunch, bring a serving to pass or $5 for being a non- potlucker. Don’t forget serving spoons, ladles for your special dishes. Drinks, luncheon meats, cheese, rolls and rest of eating utensils, plates etc furnished.

Our program agenda will be a lively one with a number of business items to attend to (quickly) including voting on proposed bylaw changes and constitutional amendments. This will be followed by the election of Board members and Executive Committee as GCWA enters into its seventeenth year.

As always in March we celebrate the winners of this year’s writing contests in poetry, fiction and non-fiction categories. First place winners will read their successful entries for the entertainment of the group. (No whistles, catcalls, or throwing of objects allowed.) Please note in your program that day the list of generous sponsors of special gifts for the winners. But of course only your president knows in what order the nine nominees have finished and in spite of various offers, my lips are sealed.

Remember, for those who haven’t paid this year GCWA dues, March is the last month to keep your name on the rolls. Bring your check book Saturday.

Any questions check out www.gulfwriters.org or give me a call.

See you Saturday,

Tom Nelson, President

2012/2 — Tom Nelson

Tom NelsonDear GCWA Members,

Here we are once more, days away from our next meeting, Saturday, February 18 at Zion Lutheran Church beginning at 10am.

S. R. (Bob) Maxeiner Jr will bring us his message of Strong Writing. He will remind us that writing should be fun, virtuous and full of life as he leads us down this path showing us how to avoid the pot holes of lazy narrative. This will prove to be another entertaining and informative hour with the author of novels TRANSPLANT, INNOCENTIA and TOO MANY QUESTIONS.

As always we encourage you to check the website for all information pertaining to our association and other related events. There are any numbers of special opportunities for members and non members to enjoy during this active season. Anyone wishing to help with the maintenance of the website please contact Judy Loose.

March heads up; Remember to keep in mind that our March meeting date has been changed to the fourth Saturday, March24th, to allow members to attend the Harbor Side Reading Festival on March 17th. There are still spaces available at the GCWA table for your book signing and sales at the Harbor Side event. Call Ken Feeley 992-2726.

With that date change, we also must meet on March 24th at the Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2439 McGregor Blvd. It’s near the Edison Estates, see map on web site. ( I see in my Jan letter I announced that we would be at Lakeside Library; that changed and its now Covenant.)

See you this Saturday at Zion.

Tom Nelson, President