2012/8 — Tom Nelson

Dear GCWA Members.

Don’t forget our August meeting this Saturday, the 18th, Zion Lutheran Church, starting at 10am. Come early for coffee (maybe bring a snack to share) and claim a front row seat to hear speaker, Felice Gerwitz, discuss her secrets of book marketing “and ways for authors to get their books noticed.” What a great idea!

Attendance this summer has been excellent considering how we lose so many going north to escape the Florida heat. (Boy have they been surprised this year!) As reported by our Membership chair, Linda Kruleski, our July meeting attendance was 80+, the third highest of the year to date; 13 were first time guests, with 12 new memberships signing up. Good numbers and we thank all those who bring friends and recommend GCWA. Total membership as of July is 149…and growing.

Special Projects chair, Ken Feeley, is continuing to take reservations for GCWA author’s signing tables for the October 20th Fall For the Arts Event. Check www.Gulfwriters.org for details. Ken’s email is klfeeley@embarqmail.com to rent full ($25) or half ($15) day tables.

A heads ups about a change of date and place for the October meeting. To allow members to participate in the festivities of the Alliance event that month’s meeting will be rescheduled to the fourth Saturday, October 27th and will be relocated to Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2439 McGregor Blvd. Mark your calendars; more later.

Our annual writing contest started in July and is now in full swing. As always, details are on the web site.

We also welcome new web-helpers, Barbara Burnett, Denise Holbrook, and Michelle James to help Judy Loose with this important tool of our association. Thanks gals.

Look forward to seeing you Saturday.

Tom Nelson, President

2012/7 — Tom Nelson

Dear GCWA,

Your President’s letter is being sent earlier than usual this month to make sure you’re aware of the change in July’s entrance fees.

No, we are not changing the Saturday, July 21, exciting program, Ms. Elizabeth Huntoon Coursen’s “The Seven Steps to a Wildly Successful Book Tour.” However, instead of the workshop fee of $10 and $15 that was originally announced, we will be charging our normal fee of $3 per member, $5 per non-member and first time guests at no-charge. We will include a catered lunch for this meeting but at no premium cost.

By arrangement with GCWA’s generous treasurer, Mr. Anthony Rodio, your executive committee is pleased to provide this special treat of a great program and appetizing lunch all for the price of a normal meeting. A special thanks to you summer-time attendees.

Starting at 10am at Zion Lutheran Church, we should be finished no-later than 1pm. This added time, with a break for lunch,should give Ms Coursen ample opportunity to make it through all seven steps of this wildly successful book tour and handle our members and guests probing and pithy questions.

Speaking of guests, at our June meeting we were pleased to have 11 guests in attendance with 3 joining GCWA that same day. It is always good to have guests come and check us out and even better when they join our association.

Don’t forget, July is the beginning of the writing contest. Check out www.gulfwriters.org for details. See you on the 21st of July.


Tom Nelson, President

2012/6 — Tom Nelson

Dear GCWA Members,

We are days away from our first summer time meeting, Saturday, June 16 at Zion Lutheran, beginning at 10:00am(sharp).

Personally, I am looking forward to being back to meet and greet you after being gone in May. Oh, you say you hadn’t noticed my absence, but wondered why the meeting was running so smoothly? Well, that’s because Vice Chairman, Tim Jacobs and the rest of the executive committee did such a wonderful job. Thanks Tim and crew. But yes, I did have a good trip to Wisconsin, and no I didn’t go because of the recall election. I’ll have to tell you about it someday.

As for Saturday’s meeting, our speaker is Patricia George, who will discuss the keys to establishing a relationship with an editor. One clue she gives is that editors like presents. That alone should pique ones curiosity.

At this time of the year, as always, our membership list continues to be reviewed and adjusted for those who are current with their dues and those who are not. From a membership high this spring of 178, the adjustment brings us back to 132. As the year progresses we will look for the paying membership to climb back up. The average attendance for the first five months of 2012 is 75 with a high of 97 in January. Really folks, all of these are great numbers to be proud of and again shows the popularity and desirability of GCWA. Keep bringing your friends and potential new members.

A heads-up for the July meeting: Elizabeth Huntoon Coursen will be presenting a workshop July 21 on “The Seven Steps to a Wildly Successful Book Tour” which will include a catered lunch. Check out www.gulfwriters.org for further details.

Your Executive Committee is in the process of refining the annual GCWA Writing Contest guidelines. We will begin to start receiving entries as early as July 1st with final submissions by December 1st. More details to come. Be thinking about your entry for 2012/2013.

See you all Saturday.


Tom Nelson, President

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.