President’s Letter for May 2023

Storm Stories is our biggest initiative in years and is becoming a major success.  With over 50 stories submitted so far, and the deadline extended until May 15, we expect a book approaching 300 pages.  A foreword by award-winning novelist Robert Macomber and a submission by longtime Matlacha artist Leoma Lovegrove add celebrity luster to this effort.  The Alliance for the Arts will include GCWA and our anthology project in the launch of its September exhibit commemorating the anniversary of Hurricane Ian.  WGCU, our local PBS station, has interviewed Jeanne Meeks about the Storm Stories project and has published a story online.  A radio version will also air.  It will launch at The Alliance on September 1, 2023.

We are still collecting GCWA Writing Contest entries until May 31st,2023.  Entries can be submitted online or mailed.  Online entries can be submitted @  Mailed entries can be mail to:

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

We are expanding and have another new officer.  Brian Devitt will be our Social Media Officer.  Together, with Jeff Bogart, they will explore every media outlet to get the word out that GCWA is alive and thriving.  Jeff Bogart has been putting out lengthy notices to as many of the news media as possible.  This has brought additional newcomers to our meetings.

People who attended April’s Membership Meeting may have had their pictures taken.  This was a regular practice a few years ago.  However, when the woman who took the photos retired, the picture taking ended.

We wish to resume doing this because it was extremely popular.  If you are attending May’s meeting and would prefer not to have your photo taken, please let our photographer, Jeff Bogart, know.  Otherwise, smile when you see the camera unless you are writing The First 100 Words.

The recent workshops, run by highly informative speakers, drew large audiences and were well received.

So what is next?  We would like YOUR input about future meetings.

Would you like a meeting, or would you prefer to listen to members read their works?  Or possibly diversify the meeting format throughout the year; one devoted to essays, one for short fiction, another of poetry or children’s stories.  This would help us get to know each other and make us better able to assist each other.  There would be a word limit and a few guidelines.

How about a meeting for the steps to getting published?  Would you be interested in a writing retreat weekend?  One of our members is exploring ideas about this.  Any suggestions you might have for when or where such an event might take place would be appreciated.

Any comments you have on any of this can be emailed to me @  I will collect all of the ideas and explore them with the Executive Committee.

Looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you on Saturday, May 20, 2023, at 10:00am.

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

Come in person — no Zoom will be offered this month. 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

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