Book Coach and editor: Claudia Volkman takes a question at GCWA’s October meeting. Photo by Jeff Bogart

If you missed our October meeting you missed one of the most interactive meetings I can recall. Claudia Volkman captivated the audience. She convinced us that everyone needs an editor, no ifs ands or buts.

There are different types of editing: developmental editing, line editing, proofreading, copy editing and book coaching. Different editors are stronger in one area than another. She shared the trajectory of her career, a circuitous path to her own business.


New Member: April Lynne James talks about her book. Photo by Jeff Bogart

April James, a new member, brought her recently published book, The Tenth Muse, about Maria Antonia, an early 18th Century harpsichordist, composer, and patron of the arts. 

April herself is a stunning polymath, (a person of great and varied learning) a soprano, with a Ph.D. from Harvard in Philosophy, who laughingly calls herself the Ph.Diva. April has not only written several books but has her own opera company. She’s multi-lingual: English, Italian and German. And lots of fun.


Writing Contest

There is no time to change anything for the 2024 Writing Contest, but we will collect the entries in the same way that we have in the past.  The writing contest will be coming up soon and interested judges should email Claudia Geagan at  We always need capable judges.

Storm Stories Sales and Marketing Expand

Our Storm Stories. anthology continues to sell well on During the month of October, we sold 71 units, including 7 hard cover and several e-books. Royalties earned during the month totaled $211.33. This is in addition to books sold at meetings, at the Marco Island Farmer’s Market, the Alliance Gift shop, and other retailers. 

Total royalties year-to-date equal $2,238.86 (August through October) representing 754 units sold (paperback, Hardcover, and e-book.)  We sold about 430 copies in person.

Storm Stories retail outlets grew in November with the addition of two stores in South Fort Myers—Barnes & Noble and McIntosh Books, which is located in the Bell Tower Mall.  McIntosh books may not be listed in the mall directory and so may be hard to find.  It is located in the mall near Burntwood Tavern and Omaha Steaks.

L-R Patti Walsh and Robert M. Macomber at Barnes & Noble on November 4. Storm Stories – Hurricane Ian is now on sale at the store.

Barnes & Noble: Our book’s presence at Barnes & Noble began on November 4 when we manned a table at the center of the store. Representing us were GCWA members Patti Walsh and Charley Valera, both of whom contributed stories to the book, as well as noted maritime author Robert N. Macomber, who contributed the book’s foreword.  Both Patti and Charley also had the opportunity to sell their own books, Ghost Girl and My Father’s War.

Meanwhile, November also sees the start of the sale of Storm Stories by our Marco Island unit at its table at the weekly Marco Island Farmer’s Market.  Incidentally, there is some space for additional authors interested in selling their books at the Marco table.

Encore!  Storm Stories will also be on display this Saturday at Unity Church of Fort Myers, when members of the Tamiami Tale Tellers give a repeat performance of their reading of short passages from each chapter in the book.  Presented by GCWA, the performance begins at 2 p.m.  It is free, with open seating.  You can find out more about it by looking at the Fort Myers News-Press online calendar, which carries a listing for it. 

All of this visibility for Storm Stories is occurring just in time for gift-giving during the holiday season.  So, why not tell your friends about our book if you have not already done so.

November’s Speaker to Focus on Writer Web Sites

In November, Brian Devitt will talk using visual aids about Creating and Improving Your Web Site.  Brian is a computer scientist, an information technology consultant, and a college instructor.  As a member of GCWA’s Executive Committee, he is helping us upgrade our organization’s website.  His discussion should be very interesting.

December:  In keeping with tradition, there will be no meeting in December.

NOTICE:  Many of you haven’t renewed your dues for 2024. PLEASE do so now. Many upgrades and changes are taking place, and you can’t afford to miss any of them.

For 2024

In January we’ll ring in the New Year with a presenter discussing her publishing company and the publishing industry in general. More to Come.

The Fort Myers book festival is coming up in March and members can reserve their spots. The cost is $20.00 for half a day. Details to follow.  

Seeking New Officers

Several of our officers are either retiring or changing positions and we need to find replacements for these individuals. Details will be provided at this month’s meeting.

Member News:  Patti Walsh’s novel, Ghost Girl, recently won an award for best children fiction, given by the American Book Fest 2023: What if an alienated 12-year-old girl could reinvent her family and then lead it into the future?  Congratulations, Patti.

Our November monthly member meeting will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18, at the usual time and location, from 10:00 until noon. If you want to register to attend by Zoom use this link

 Location:  Map

 Word of Life church

6111 South Pointe Blvd.           

Fort Myers, FL 33900

Irene Smith President

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