April 2023

Workshop: Tell Your Hurricane Story
Topic: Develop Your Hurricane Ian Story
April 15, 2023, 10 a.m. to Noon
In person Only – No Zoom
Jeanne MeeksMeeting Location: Map
Word of Life Church
6111 South Pointe Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33919

Plan to attend our meeting on Saturday April 15, 2023.  This program is a workshop to help us develop our stories about the Hurricane Ian experience.  Prose or poetry – whatever your favored writing style – the only rule is that it must be true (or mostly true).
Jeanne Meeks and Mary Charles conduct memoir workshops in their home communities.  They’ll bring some of their experience and advice, along with some challenging exercises, to our April 15th meeting.  It will be a fast-paced hour in which we’ll each develop or refine a story about the September 28, 2022 storm.
The stories you write on Saturday will become part of the permanent record of Hurricane Ian.  We’re creating an anthology of storm stories to be printed before the anniversary of Ian’s visit.  In partnership with the Alliance for the Arts, we intend to have this book on display and for sale during their planned month-long exhibit in September 2023.Join us this Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 10:00 am.  Because it’s a hands-on workshop, we’ll be meeting in person only.  There will not be a Zoom component this time.

March 2023

Speaker: Arielle Haughee
Topic: Crisp Up That Prose!
March 18, 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

Crisp Up That Prose! – Tight writing is a necessity for attracting agents and editors as well as keeping readers interested. In this workshop, we’ll discuss frequently used fluff words, strategies for cleaning up sentences, and bad habits that can make prose cumbersome. We’ll utilize three strategies–cut, replace, and trim down–to make your writing as efficient as possible. Bring some of your writing that needs revision
for a hands-on portion of class. You’ll leave with easy strategies to use in your writing and an editing checklist to help you spot fluff.
Arielle Haughee (Hoy) is a six-time RPLA-winning author and the owner of Orange Blossom Publishing. She is an editor, speaker, and writing coach, and was previously the Executive Vice President and Marketing Chair for the Florida Writers Association. She was honored with the President’s Award from FWA in 2020, and in 2021 Pling’s Party was awarded Children’s Book of the Year. Her press, Orange Blossom Publishing, publishes books about love, humor, and wellness for women and children. She is currently taking submissions for romance, women’s fiction, young adult, and nonfiction of interest to the female audience. More information at orangeblossombooks.com.
*Arielle is presenting via  Zoom; however, like usual, we are meeting in person and on Zoom.

January 2023

Speaker: Clarissa Thomasson
Topic: Suspending the Disbelief
January 21, 2023, 10a.m. to Noon

In Person and Zoom Meeting – Register Here

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

“Suspending the Disbelief” reflects the writings of Florida Historical Authors: Marjorie Rawlings, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, Patrick Smith, Carl Hiaasen, and my own Florida books. The Florida setting of each of these authors directly affects both the characterizations and the plot and makes their stories come to life.

Clarissa Thomasson was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She received a BA in English Literature from Duke University and a MA in English from the University of

Florida. Thomasson taught English, journalism, and creative writing in Montgomery County, MD, until her retirement. Her first two novels, Defending Hillsborough and Reconstructing Hillsborough were chosen by the North Carolina Association of Public School Librarians for use in the high school study of the Civil War. Lorinda’s Legacy was “pick of the month” at Greensboro, NC Barnes and Noble.

In 2000, Thomasson returned to Florida and now resides in Venice, FL. She has written five children’s books in her Little Green Monkey series, four novels: Florida Shadows, Florida Secrets, Florida Sunset and Surviving Sarasota set in Southwest Florida, a World War II novel—Over the Bridge—and Venice Dreamers, which highlights Venice’s original settlers. Thomasson’s stage plays, Over the Bridge and Florida Shadows, each won first place in the Clarence “Bud” Jones Playwriting Competition at the Firehouse Theatre in LaBelle, FL, in 2014 and 2015.

Thomasson is also a freelance writer–having written for GRAND magazine, Yesterday in Florida—where she won a 2005 Florida Trust for Historic Preservation Award for her contributions to Florida history—and Eastside Venice Neighbors—where she authored monthly articles on Florida history. She is also a contributor to the Venice Gondolier.

Thomasson’s newest book, Forgotten Florida, tells the story of the earliest American settlers on Florida’s west coast, was released September 1, 2022. More information at saltmarshpublications.com.