I have good news. The executive board voted to reduce next year’s membership fee to $25, and established a family rate of $35 for two members in the same household. You can get a break on the $3.00 entrance fee this month by bringing a guest (first time guest). The Webmaster is back on the job, now that’s good news. If you have any news items or information you want posted send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The nominating committee has been established to search for executive board positions that may be vacated next March. The committee members are: Pat Janda, Becky Elam, Carol DeFrank, and Tim Jacobs. If you are interested in any position please contact one of them. Tom Nelson (email@example.com) still has tables for authors at the Lehigh Acres event on November 13. Final piece of good news is that our authors had 82 sales during the “Walk through the Arts” event Saturday, October 30.
The networking meeting we held last month was interesting and fun. I don’t remember when more members stood up to pass along good news and information at a meeting. We had a surprise speaker “Little Joe Micale,” who regaled us with stories and how he got his book published. Mary Lou Williams had a doggie tale and the timing was great for Jan Nieman to announce the publication of her book Going to the Dogs.
Our speakers this month are Dr. Molly Barrow and Jeff Schlesinger. Dr. Barrow holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is an authority on relationship and psychological topics. Dr. Barrow is a member of the American Psychological Association, Screen Actors Guild, and Authors Guild. She has a radio show on Progressive Radio Network, is a columnist for Menstuff.org and is the author of Matchlines for Singles, Matchline for Couples, the self-esteem building books for children Malia & Teacup Awesome African Adventure and Malia & Teacup Out on a Limb. Dr. Barrow is a featured author in Children & Libraries Journal (ALSC) and is a contributor to the All-in One Marriage Prep, 75 Experts Share Tips & Wisdom to Help You Get Ready Now. She has appeared as an expert in the film, My Suicide, documentaries Ready to Explode and KTLA Impact, NBC News, PBS In Focus, WBZT Talk Radio, and in O, The Oprah Magazine, Psychology Today, Newsday, New York Times, CNN, Women’s Health and Women’s World. Jeff Schlesinger is Owner/Publisher of Barringer Publishing and previously owner of Schlesinger Advertising and Marketing, both in Naples, Florida. He has a Masters of Fine Arts from Rutgers University. I know I’m sending this out on Halloween, but I hope her qualifications don’t scare you off.
Hope to see you all Saturday, November 20, for our next meeting, and keep on writing.
Tropical Depression 16 turned out to be a dud. I cancelled a golf outing and we didn’t get a drop of rain. I have another surprise, as of this writing we don’t have a guest speaker in our pocket for October. We might have a publisher, an accountant to explain tax issues for writers, a literary agent, a printer to discuss costs of printing advertising materials, or how about a licensed Mental Health Counselor. The last one is for me. But, don’t be discouraged we seem to pull something out of the hat each month.
Talking about pulling one out of the hat, if you missed Dr. Busbee, you lost an opportunity to hear something different and refreshing. He recited/sang the poems Caedmon’s Hymn and Beowulf in old English. His point was that earliest poetry was oral and belonged to everyone. The story had a musical quality that allowed everyone to remember the verse. With the written word, poetry became visual and physical; it became the property of the individual instead of the community.
You may want to check out the Florida Weekly. They have started advertising our writing contest. You might find that you have more outside competition this year, so start working on those masterpieces.
There are a few administrative items that need your attention. In November, a nominating committee needs to be in place. This requires two members in good standing to volunteer to serve. Please think about helping out. The procedures used are posted on our Website under “About Us,” “Policies and Procedures” attachment (1). It is also time to think about any corrections, changes, or additions to our by-laws that you may want to place before the membership in March. These should be forwarded to an Executive Board member before January.
And last: money, money, money, the Executive Board will be discussing the overall rate structure for dues and entry fees for fiscal year 2011 at the next meeting on October 11. If you have suggestions please submit soonest or attend the meeting at the Fairfield Inn, starting at 4:30 p.m.
Hope to see you all Saturday, October 16, for our next meeting, and keep on writing.
If only we wrote in Sanskrit, Chinese, Japanese or Korean before the modern age, we would not have to deal with punctuation. But, here we are in the twenty-first century, stuck with English, and all the strange punctuation and grammar rules that English society has devised to date. Let us all embrace texting, a form of writing without grammar, punctuation, or spelling required. Now that is Nirvana. Oh yes, did I mention that September 24 is National Punctuation Day.
Felice Gerwitz, President of Media Angels, was an impressive August speaker. She regaled us with more information than I think many of us could comprehend. She addressed the importance of blogging and joining the social networking sites so one can maintain an internet presence. You need to stress what you have to offer to the reader, and the concept of branding yourself, or how to stand out from the crowd. She said you need to understand your reach and how to outreach to your community of readers. It is important to own your internet domain name and to maintain a contact list. She reminded us that book covers do sell books and that one needs to consider hosting public speaking events, podcasts, webinars, and writing articles.
We are making a radical change in direction for our September speaker. I’ve had enough of the Internet, blogging, texting, and all the modern stuff, how about something different. Mark Bradshaw Busbee, PhD., FGCU, Assistant English Professor, is presenting the topic “The Beginning of English Poetry.” He will add information on some of the early English punctuation that has creep into our lexicon. This should expand our understanding of where our language came from.
I want to remind everyone that one of our mission goals is to help each other in our writing and marketing. I ask you to think about our monthly activities to help you express yourself and help each other. We have a monthly reading, (500 words or two pages double spaces) so please sign up. We have a few minutes for you to tell members “It worked for me,” those techniques that have worked for you in your writing. I announced last month that we are going to try something else new, “How’s my pitch.” Members can sign up to present a “one minute” pitch for their project. We will time it, and members can give you feedback during the break. You can drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will put you on the agenda.
Hope to see you all Saturday, September 18, for our next meeting, and keep on writing.
Is it back to school already? But then, most of us have learned that school is never out, it’s a continuous learning process. What’s a better way to learn than to join your fellow writers at our monthly meetings? Okay, I admit, I slipped in another commercial for GCWA, it’s my job! (That is my one exclamation point for the year) Did I get all those apostrophes right?
Speaking of learning, Robert N. Macomber a dynamic personality with an interesting background enlightened us at the July meeting. He shared with us his process of storyboarding the timeline, locations, word counts, geography, and categories of people in each of his novels. He reminded us to write every day, salt the story with vivid descriptors, and more important don’t use over-editing as a “crutch” to never finish the project. He recommended the first time author limit their manuscript to 98,000 words, as most publishers won’t risk publication of a larger book on a new author.
We have another treat for our members in the person of Felice Gerwitz, President of Media Angels, Inc. a publishing company and home of quality non-fiction books for the Christian market. Felice is a creative, energetic, outside-of-the-box thinker. Her topic is “Book Marketing for the New-Internet Crazed Age.” The old rules of book marketing are out and the new are in, or so the internet marketing gurus would lead you to believe. After joining several costly webinars, joining monthly membership groups and testing the market, Felice found they are correct to a degree. In this educational seminar you will learn how all the pieces must be available for internet marketing to work. She will share her fast-track education with you and explain why hit-and-miss marketing techniques don’t work, and what will give positive results.
News Flash…The Sanibel Captiva Review is preparing to publish Volume V, and welcomes submission of work for possible inclusion. The deadline is October 1, 2010. Your submissions can be any length up to 2,500 words. Please e-mail your work to email@example.com in either Microsoft Word (.doc) format of Rich Text (.rtf) format. See our Web site for more details.
Hope to see you all Saturday, August 21 for our next meeting, and keep on writing.
Toot your horns, bang the drums, and blow the vuvuzelas, our 2011 Writing Contest has begun. This year there is no set theme, so you can write about whatever you would like (except no erotica or gratuitous violence). A few other changes: the maximum word count for prose has dropped to 1500 words; students may enter at a reduced price, and please submit three copies with your entry form. Visit our Website and under the NEWS bar click on Writing Contest for guidelines and entry form. Florida Weekly has agreed to sponsor this year’s contest and will provide advertising, and print the first place winners in each category. We are still looking for additional sponsors, and if you have a contact or company that you think might provide a prize, please pass the word to a board member.
Intellectual Property attorneys Edward Livingston and Erica Loeffler’s presentation on copyright law stimulated a lot of thought, generating many questions. A word of warning, the use of “poor boy copyrights,” i.e., using the © without registration, does not provide you any legal protection. You can copyright your materials online at www.copyright.gov. It is a very easy process. The cost is $35.00.
Join award-winning novelist Robert N. Macomber for an informal discussion of one of the most difficult tasks a writer faces—how to edit one’s own work. He’ll explain his methods to better the product prior to an editor seeing it, most of which he learned the hard way while writing well over a million published words in nine novels and numerous magazine pieces. Some of them may surprise you. He will be an exciting July speaker.
The “Island Getaway Contest” kicked off last month. Aurelie Shuleshko and John Repa were the first to win the drawing and receive the free trips out to North Captiva Resort. After their trip, they will write a 500 to 750 word piece about their experience. These entries are posted on North Captiva’s Website and by the end of the season next year, the entry with the most and best blog comments is the winner.
If you have not checked out our Website lately, I suggest you do. There are some exciting changes, and if you have published books, see the new page “members books.” Our new photographer, Denise Holbrook, is now taking head shots of members to post on the Website, see her if you want one taken.
Hope to see you all Saturday, July 17 for our next meeting, and keep on writing.
The Shaw Guide shows events around the world. If you like to travel, try some of these.
Writers Conferences & Writing Workshops
A Curated List of Creative Writing Competitions, Contests and Awards
Opportunities for experienced and aspiring writers to get published.
Creative Writing Competions