Brooke Anderson


I started my writing career in journalism as a reporter, producer, and news anchor at KQ2 News. I worked there for three years before joining the WBTW news team in Myrtle Beach, SC, as a digital reporter and producer. My portfolio includes several published features, investigative, and breaking news stories for multiple online news channels. I now work as a copywriter for a digital marketing agency in Fort Myers. However, I’m also in the beginning stages of writing a first manuscript for my sci-fi/fantasy novel.

critique panel

Panel: Hunter Leake, Christie Zarria, Bob McCarthy, and Jen Yontz-Orlando
The Features and Benefits of Being in a Critique Group

August 21, 2021, 10:00 a.m. to noon

Location: Fairfield Inn
7090 Cypress Terrace
Fort Myers, FL 33907

August’s meeting features four members of the Gulf Coast Writers Association who have developed and refined their critique group experience. They will share what they have learned about being a member of a critique group.

The panel will be composed of Hunter Leake, Christie Zarria, Bob McCarthy, and Jen Yontz-Orlando. Their presentation will highlight the features and benefits of belonging to a critique group, including the importance of group diversity, trust and rapport, and the “Do’s and Don’ts” of analyzing a member’s written work. They will also provide personal anecdotes on how their participation in a critique group has affected their writing.

More Speakers

Interested in joining a critique group? Fill out the Critique Group Request Form and we’lll get back to you. Visit our Critique Group page.


Jen Yontz-Orlando

Jen Yontz-Orlando

Jen Yontz-Orlando, MBA, MLIS

Since birth Jen was constantly switched back and forth between farms in rural Ohio and living with her wealthy grandparents in Cali, Colombia.

After many years in the corporate world and a severe health scare, Jen now dedicates her time and energy to writing. She credits the GCWA Critique Group with helping her and says, “Bob, Hunter, and Christie are fantastic writers as well as supportive and knowledge editors. Their support has been invaluable.”

Today she writes memoir about how living in these two extremes forged her identity and values.

Jen’s themes include culture, class, language, family dynamics, education, religion, mental illness, alcoholism, and the transformational power of love.

Currently Jen is working on a podcast series about her life with OneC Productions called Heal Me. That podcast comes out in early September.


Meeting Location

Our general meeting is the 3rd Saturday of each month except December. Below is the current location where we meet for executive committee meetings and general meetings. You can click the map or the link to be taken to Google Maps.

Mariott Fairfield Inn
7090 Cypress Terrace
Fort Myers, FL 33907

Click here to go to Google Map

Claudia Geagan

Claudia Geagan


Claudia has been writing personal essays and other short pieces since 2010.  Her work has appeared in The Lindenwood Review, The Louisiana Review, River Teeth’s Beautiful Things, Hippocampus Magazine, Adelaide Literary Review and others.  She has a BA in English and an MS in Finance.  She moved to SW Florida from NW South Carolina in February 2021.


Williams, ML — Silly Sally

Silly Sally
Illustrated by Mary Lou Williams

silly sallySilly Sally loves her beautiful tail.
It is indeed a gorgeous tail.
She thinks more about her tail more than she does about anything else, even her friends.
Then something happens that teaches Sally what’s really important.
But is it too late for her to win back her friends?


To Purchase a copy please contact Mary Lou Williams [Click Here]

Ten Fractured Fairy Tales
By Mary Lou Williams

10 fractured fairytalesTable of Contents
The Story of Ugly Cindy and the Magical Glass Slippers

Kermit, the Frog Prince

The Princess and the Pea That Felt Like a Bowling Ball

The Fisherman and His Wife—Updated

Sleeping Beauty and the Rude Awakening

Rapunzel and the Helicopter Witch

The Rumpelstiltskin Rap Beauty and the Beast:
A Tale of Transmogrification

Hansel and Gretel and the Witch Who Was on a High Protein Diet

Snow White and the Seven Vertically Challenged Persons

Purchase at Amazon

Mary Lou Williams

mary lou williams

Mary Lou Williams, M. Ed., is a retired teacher and a professional storyteller. She holds a masters degree in education from Columbia University and has spent 35 years as an educator of English and mathematics on the secondary level. She has served on the board of the Florida Storytellers Association from 2010 to 2014 and received their Distinguished Service Award for 2014. She has produced local storytelling workshops and storytelling performances featuring national tellers. She is a member of a quartet of storytellers that produce and perform storytelling showcases at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers and at Brambles English Tea Room in Naples. She conducts seminars and storytelling workshops at the Renaissance Academy of Florida Gulf Coast University. She is a member of the Tamiami Tale Tellers of Fort Myers.


Mary Lou’s books

Blue Water Red Blood

by DL Havlin

blue water red bloodWould history repeat itself? “Look what happened to our British friends at Gallipoli. Of the first two hundred men that landed at Cape Helles, only twelve made the beach alive.” As early as 1919, Marine General “Howling Mad” Holland Smith knew the US would likely be involved in another World War against Japan. He feared that it was only a matter of time. His eyes turned to the Pacific islands as the most logical theatre of war. How, he wondered, could the Marines possibly land troops and keep them alive long enough to fight? In 1928, the killer Okeechobee Hurricane strikes Florida. Don Roebling, grandson of the builder of the Brooklyn Bridge, is determined to invent a rescue boat that can conquer the swamps, the flooding and the debris strewn terrain to save lives! Together, these two Americans will face nightmares of red tape, engineering challenges, corruption and personal set-backs to train and equip the US Marines for their greatest challenges of WWII, and shape world history.

Purchase at Amazon

Havlin — The Bait Man


by DL Havlin

the bait man“Wild child” Chessie Partin had enough of being branded a woman who never finishes what she starts, so when she stumbles on murder evidence implicating the local “bait man” (and her tormentor), she sets her jaw and enlists the help of her suspended policeman brother, Reading, to catch the man she’s sure is a killer. Huston there’s a problem! Not enough proof. She decides to gather enough facts on her own to convict bait man, Rooster Cocker, and to prove he is the despicable villain she believes him to be. Chessie finds she’s only partly right when she shoves her nose into a sinister enterprise that has corrupt officials protecting it and that may end up slicing and dicing her to be sold as “replacement parts” by Harlan Mengelberg, its evil owner.

Purchase at Amazon