2011/8 — Tom Nelson

Dear GCWA Members,

If you’re looking for a cool place to spend with good company, a morning of enlighten instruction, please plan on joining us at this months meeting, August 20th. Mt. Zion Lutheran Church at 10 am.

Professor Marty Ambrose will be our August speaker sharing the nuances of plotting and devising characters in writing the traditional mystery. With four published books to date, Ms Ambrose should be able to help the rest of us solve some of our own writing mysteries.

Last month Tim Jacobs gave us an enthusiastic rendition of the techniques of research, inquiry and investigation. Tim was aptly rewarded with a big bear hug from Doug McGregor for a job well done––we do go out of the way to appreciate our speakers.

Good news; comments and winners have been posted on the website (www.GulfWriters.org) for your May submissions. Bad news; we still need additional comments and voting in the coming months as your submissions for prose and poetry come in.

Your club has always encouraged members to join our guest speakers for lunch at the conclusion of the Saturday meeting. It is a relaxed way to personally thank them, as well as an opportunity to get better acquainted with fellow members. Come join us for good food and conversation one of these months, you’ll like it. (Dutch treat of course.)

See you on the 20th.


Tom Nelson

2011/7 — Tom Nelson

Dear Members,

I trust you have enjoyed the 4th of July holiday and are now looking forward to this months Gulf Coast Writers meeting July 16th at 10:00 am.

Seventy members and nine first time guests attended our June affair with four new members joining. This was a great turnout for an early summer meeting. Although we were tightly squeezed in the temporary quarters, Sandra Yeyati’s message was enthusiastically received. She offered tips for those of us preparing for future book publishing.

July’s meeting will once again be in our regular site at Zion Lutheran Church fellowship hall. After a few years absence, our own Tim Jacobs will be returning to the podium to review techniques of research and all those others hints of writer’s inquiry and investigations you always wondered about; but have been too shy to ask.

During the remainder of this year we will be looking to fill some Executive Board positions for the coming 2012 year. Contact a board member or myself if you are interested. (Volunteers are welcome, before the selective draft board convenes and you receive a call.)

As always we will be encouraging members to report their good news come Saturday, and enjoy the networking and fellowship of your fellow writers.


Tom Nelson.

2011/6 — Tom Nelson

Tom NelsonDear Members:

For the past many months your president’s letter has been penned by Richard Georgian. As your newly elected president, I am recognizing what a tough act Richard is to follow after his three years of service to GCWA. Thank you once again, Richard for a job so well done. I will do my best to communicate with you this coming year and attempt to reach the high bar Richard has set in the past.

The first of June brings on the hurricane season and possibly a slow down in our organization’s attendance with many members leaving for cooler climates. However, our May attendance reached sixty-seven as we heard Alison Chabonais, National Editor of Awakening provide us with tips on freelance writing. Seven first time guests were in attendance with four joining that day.

The June meeting is scheduled for Saturday the 18th beginning at 10am. There has been a change in the location. [map] While still at Zion Church, 7401 Winkler Drive, we will be meeting in Room 108, (shown as room 10 on the map) located on the east side of the main church, rather than the usual fellowship hall. Please follow the signs that morning. (We previously met in room 108 last October.)

Our program June 18th will feature Sandra Yehati, Marketing Director of Whitehall Printing in Naples. She will be reviewing the steps necessary to produce a published book from a finished manuscript; discussing PDFS, Format, Layout, Artwork and Numbering along with many other aspects of preparing your book for publication.

Web Editor, Judy Loose, reminds us that short stories and poems are still needed for the GCWA web page. Please consider submitting; I guarantee that any judging by your peers will be of a kindly nature.

See you on the 18th.

Tom Nelson

GCWA logoGulf Coast Writers Association, Inc
President’s Annual Report
15th Session
April 1, 2010 through March 31, 2011

Pursuant to Article I, Section 5 A, the following is the president’s annual report. As president of the Gulf Coast Writers Association for the past year, I am happy to report that our organization is in excellent condition.

Membership: We have 150 members.

We increased membership over the last three years from 118 to 150. We held eleven meetings during the year, and one workshop through March 1, 2011. 630 people have attended. The largest attendance was February 19 with 83.


The bank balance as of 1 March, 2011 is $9,045.65, an increase of $107.03 from 1 April 2010.
GCWA expended $2058.42 for the purchase of an LCD projector to enhance our educational programs and provide speakers with an additional tool for their presentations.
We reduced individual membership dues to $25 and inaugurated new family membership dues of $35.

Programs: Our open to the public educational program for the 15th session was eclectic.

Doug Macgregor – “Thinking Creatively”
Gwyn Ramsey and Virginia Crane – “Pounding the Pavement”
Edward Livingston – “Legal aspects of contracts, copyrights, and publishing”
Robert Macomber – “Self editing and critical reading of your manuscript”
Felice Gerwitz – “Book marketing for the New-Internet crazed age”
Dr. Brad Busbee – “The beginning of English poetry”
Little Joe Micale – “Confessions of a Hollywood Hairstylist”
Jeff Schlesinger – “Publishing Options for Authors – Mainstream, Cooperative, Self Publishing, eBooks and beyond”
Panel Discussion – “The financial side of being an author” Panelist: Richard Georgian, Mary Beth Lundgren, Kyle Miller, Ken Feeley, Jan Nieman, and Lori Ruhl.
Christine Lemmon – “Intimate aspects of writing, creativity and inspiration”

Special Projects:

We conducted a members only writing contest sponsored by the North Captiva Island Club Resort. The winner received a weekend stay for two valued at $1,200.
We held an open to the public free workshop “YouTube tips from TV pros, DIY Book Trailers” at Barnes & Noble, March 10, 2011. Panelists were: Jennifer Marquis-Muradaz, Doug MacGregor, and Connie Bottinelli. Attendance was 39 with several persons stopping by and listening and then moving on.

Significant events:

GCWA continued membership in the Alliance for the Arts of Lee County.
GCWA established a reciprocal agreement with Pine Island Writers.
GCWA participated in the October 30, Alliance for the Arts “Walk through the Arts.” We had 22 authors who sold 82 books.
GCWA participated in a book fair at Faith Lutheran Church in Lehigh Acres. We had five authors who made 17 sales.
We conducted a 2011 Writing Contest.
GCWA participated in Gateway Charter High School’s “Read across America” reading fair on March 2.
GCWA children authors participated in the Alliance for the Arts, Fantasy and Fairytales on March 17, 2011.
GCWA attended the Lee County Reading Festival, March 19. We had fifteen authors at our booth, and sold 64 books.

Other activities:

The Web master, Judy Loose, has during the year made significant improvements. We have added a founder’s page that provides historical information about GCWA. Judy also added a members’ books page.
The Alliance’s fall class schedule included GCWA members, who taught writing courses.
A GCWA member, Tim Jacobs, responded to an Alliance for the Arts emergency call for a teacher to conduct a class with very short notice.
We owe special thanks to all those who, under Jan Nieman’s leadership, has provided hospitality during the year.
We honored Ruben Colon with a lifetime members for his dedication to GCWA.

The president’s recommendations:

Continue cooperation with Alliance for the Arts and implement playwright and screenwriter readings, or prose open mike readings. Support additional literary art events with the Alliance.
Establish a Cape Coral critique group – Need a point of contact to start organizing this effort.
Improve publicity for our workshop meetings to encourage public attendance.Conduct a writer’s brunch with a high profile speaker (writer).
Conduct a 2012 GCWA Writing Contest – We need sponsors.
Continue searching for opportunities for authors to sell their books.
Find opportunities for playwrights to produce shows.
Recommend attendance at the 2012 Reading Festival, and purchase two tables for our authors.

Respectfully, submitted,
Richard Georgian
President, 2010-2011

2011/3 — Richard Georgian

Richard GeorgianDear Members:

Our March annual election meeting, awards ceremony, and potluck luncheon is scheduled for Saturday, March 26, please mark your calendar. We will be announcing the winners of the 2011 writing contest. A period of open discussion and networking between members is a traditional end of year event. The outgoing executive board will place the proposed budget before the membership. The final business is the election of next season’s executive board.
You are also invited to bring guests to our social potluck luncheon. You can either bring a dish to feed 6-10 or pay $5 at the door. If you bring a guest and dish, the guest is free and any additional guests are $5 each. GCWA is providing the morning coffee, tidbits, and the luncheon drinks and service (plates, napkins, plastic ware).

A reminder from the membership chair, please pay your annual $25 dues by the end of March.

The Southwest Florida Reading Festival is the largest gathering of area authors, publishers, agents, and people in the writing business. The festival is at the Fort Myers Harborside Event Center on Saturday March 19th. This year GCWA has two tables for our authors, and space is still available for $15. Please contact me at rgeorgian@embarqmail.com if you want to reserve space to sell your books. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to network and discuss issues with other authors from around the country. The doors are open from 10 am to 4 pm and admission is FREE.

Everything happens in March. Calusa Tale Tellers March 1 at 7 pm; ArtPoems March 3, 7 pm Alliance for the Arts; The Alliance for the Arts is looking for Children Writers for their March 17, Fantasy & Fairytales, contact (239) 939-2787. Peace River Moonlight Literary Cruise, March 19, 7:30 pm to 10 pm. The Naples Players Call for new-play scripts contest. All these and other events are posted on our website. I suggest you check it weekly. Keep a lookout for a documentary film making presentation around March 10, time, location, and additional information to be forthcoming.

Ruben Colon has two open seats in his critique group The Scribblers contact him at escribe@bigplanet.com if interested.

Hope to see you all on Saturday, March 19th and March 26th.


Richard Georgian
P.S. WOW!!! 83 in attendance at February meeting