President’s letter for April 2023

In our broadest initiative in many years, Gulf Coast Writers Association is partnering with the Alliance for the Arts to remember Hurricane Ian in words and art.

The words are the job of us Gulf Coast Writers, of course. We will produce a book of prose and poetry submitted by our members and the public, telling the story of Hurricane Ian from a personal perspective. This anthology will debut during the month-long art and interactive exhibit installation in September at the Alliance for the Arts.

The deadline for inclusion in the printed Storm Stories book is May 1. To help us put our stories down in writing, our April 15 meeting will be a workshop to develop or refine our Storm Stories.

Come with your work in progress or simply a blank notebook and pen. Two of our members, Jeanne Meeks and Mary Charles, will facilitate creating or fleshing out your story. Both Jeanne and Mary conduct memoir workshops in their home communities. They will bring their experience and skills with exercises to help us tell our stories.

We expect a big turnout on April 15 among our members for this workshop. But we also extend an invitation to all Hurricane Ian survivors with a story to tell. Tell your neighbors. Encourage them to attend and write their stories. This initiative is not just for highly skilled writers. Ask the EMS worker down the street to participate, or the lineman you met during restoration, or your friend in the police. Stories can be submitted to the GCWA website, whether or not you attend the April workshop.

This workshop may also help you refine your other writing project: submission to the annual Gulf Coast Writers Contest. That deadline has been extended to May 31. You can enter in fiction, nonfiction or poetry. Just enter. This is another opportunity to be published. All 1st, 2nd and 3rd place entries, with submitters’ permission, will be featured on our website, in addition to other prizes.

We’ll see you on Saturday April 15, 2023, from 10:00am to noon.

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

Come in person or via Zoom. And if you have not renewed your membership, you can pay your dues at the meeting, or through PayPal, or by check mailed to:

Gulf Coast Writers Association
P.O. Box 60771
Fort Myers, FL 33919

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irene Smith, President

GCWA

Gulf Coast Writers Association

CONTACT: Jeff Bogart, 917-608-3477

For Immediate Release

Best Writing Contests of 2022, recommended by Reedsy

                                                     GCWA Announces Writing Contest

                                                    –Open to GCWA members and the public

                                                  –Two sections: Adults 18 and over, youth 11 to 17

                                                            –Deadline for entries: May 31

 

FORT MYERS, FL., March 27, 2023–A writing contest open to the general public including adults and youth was announced today by the Gulf Coast Writers Association (GCWA), with winners to be named in July.

Submissions are being accepted in the Adult section from persons 18 years old and older in four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Children’s Stories.  In the Youth section, submissions are being accepted from persons 11 to 17 years old in three categories:  Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry. 

The deadline for entries, to be submitted online, for both sections is May 31 at 11:59 p.m.

“This annual contest advances our goal of encouraging writing and recognizing outstanding writers,” said Irene Smith, president of the Fort Myers, FL, based nonprofit in making the announcement.

GCWA’s contest last year received recognition from Reedsy, a marketplace of freelance publishing professionals, as among the Best Writing Contests. 

Winners will be announced at the GCWA monthly meeting on July 15.  The list of winners will be posted on the organization’s website (https://gulfwriters.org).  All monthly meetings, currently held at Word of Life Church, 6111 South Pointe Blvd. in Fort Myers at 10 a.m. on the third Saturday, are open to the public.

Judges for the contest are members of GWCA as well as experienced writers from the community. Judging is done on a blind basis and members who submit entries will not judge their own entries. 

Adult Section

Sponsors of the Adult section of the contest include Ft. Myers Magazine and writers’ guides Firstwriter.com and Duotrope®. 

All winning entries in each category will be published on the GCWA website. 

There is no limit to number of submissions but entrants may win only one prize.  GWCA members may participate in the contest in addition to the general public. 

The entry fee for the Adult section is as follows:  Non-Members: $20/1st submission, $10/each additional entry.  Members: $10/1st submission, $5/each additional entry

Youth Section

Winning entries will be published on the GCWA website.  Entries are free and limited overall to three per person.  Only one prize to an entrant will be awarded.

“A winning entry would look good on any student’s college application,” noted Ms. Smith.

Entry Forms

Entry forms, guidelines, judging criteria and additional information are posted on the GCWA website.  Additional information for entrants is also available by emailing specialprojects@gulfwriters.org .

Only entries submitted online will be considered.

About GCWA

Founded in 1995 and incorporated in 2004, the Gulf Coast Writers Association, Inc. (GCWA) provides a forum for fellowship, education, and information for writers.  GCWA’s well-regarded annual writing contest draws a wide-range of authors.  Based in Fort Myers, the organization attracts members from throughout Southwest Florida from Marco Island to Tampa.  At monthly meetings, speakers and workshops offer expert advice on such topics as writing techniques, publishing, and marketingParticipants at these meetings also have the opportunity to read their works.  The organization’s members include published as well as unpublished writers and professional editors, agents and publicists.  The literary genres run the gamut from poetry, adult fiction and nonfiction to children’s and young adult, historical fiction, romance, mystery/thriller, memoir, essays and screenplay.  Members include full-time writers as well as corporate professionals, teachers, and business owners, all still working or retired. GCWA’s website is https://gulfwriters.org/ 

GCWA n POB 60771, Fort Myers, FL 33906  n Not for Profit 501(c)3.

 

President’s Letter for March 2023

The new deadline for this year’s Writing Contest has been extended to May 31, 2023.  This extension offers flexibility and perfect timing for any work you would like to submit for the contest.

Overwriting rather than underwriting a script is challenging.  We LOVE our work; however, like parenting, disciplining ourselves is difficult, but necessary.  In the GCWA March 2023 meeting, take what you learn from Arielle Haughee to Crisp Up That Prose!

We strongly recommend you bring some of your writing that needs revision for a hands-on portion of the class.  Bad habits can produce cumbersome prose.  The program may also include a mini workshop that offers insight on how to edit like a surgeon, discarding what is unusable; this is typically a challenge for most writers.  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 currently taking submissions for romance, women’s fiction, young adult, and nonfiction to female audiences.  More information can be obtained at orangeblossombooks.com.  Arielle is proficient as an editor, speaker, and writing coach.  Books about love, humor, and wellness for women and children are requested.

Arielle received the President’s Award from FWA in 2020 and the Children’s Book of the Year Award in 2021for Pling’s Party.  Pling is an exclamation point who can only be in a book twice, but hilarity ensues when he continues to jump into the story and make things too exciting.

Our March meeting will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2023, at 10:00am -Noon.

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

Remember, you can attend physically or via Zoom.  If you have not renewed your dues, we would appreciate your doing so.  Your membership can be renewed at the meeting through PayPal, or you can mail a check to:

Gulf Coast Writer Association
P.O. Box 60771
Fort Myers, FL 33906

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irene Smith, President