Next Meeting

June 20th~
Hook Your Readers with Effective World-Building
Speaker: Bria Burton

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Christmas Party with FWA St. Pete Writers Group

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

FWA St. Pete Writers Group Annual Christmas Party

When: Thursday, Dec. 10th at 6:00 PM
Where: Macaroni Grill (address: 2302 Tyrone Blvd N, St. Pete, FL 33710, ph: 727-343-0050)
What to bring: For the book swap, bring books that you've read and are ready to pass on to someone else. Any books left over will be donated.
What to expect: prizes, great food, and a good time!
Note: Each person will be responsible for their own meal

Reminder: This party will replace our usual library meeting, so take note that there is no library meeting in December.

PLEASE RSVP: If you plan to attend the Christmas party, please let Bria know by sending a note to this email

Your RSVP will help her give a more accurate count as we get closer to the date.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

November FWA St. Pete Meeting

For our Nov. 12th meeting, award-winning author Ken Pelham will be presenting. As usual, we'll meet at the Main Branch St. Pete Library at 6 PM. Networking/mingling begins at 5:30 PM. This meeting is open to the public.

Topic: Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Writing in the Fictional Point of View

At the 2015 Royal Palm Literary Banquet, Ken won Published Book of the Year for his non-fiction book, Out of Sight, Out of Mind. He'll be sharing his insights and expertise on point of view.


KEN PELHAM lives and writes in Maitland, Florida. His debut thriller, Brigands Key, won first place in the Florida Writers Association's Royal Palm Literary Awards and was published in hardcover in 2012 by Cengage/Five Star Mystery. The ebook edition was released in 2013. His BK prequel, Place of Fear, also a first place winner of the Royal Palm Literary Award, hit the electronic shelves as an ebook in 2013, and the wood shelves in softcover in 2014. Short stories by Ken, available for e-readers on, include: "Tales of Old Brigands Key," three short stories about the sordid and unseemly past of little Brigands Key; "Treacherous Bastards: Stories of Suspense, Deceit, and Skullduggery," three stories in the Hitchcock tradition, including one about Brigands Key; "A Double Shot of Fright: Two Stories of Horror," two chilling short stories guaranteed to cause loss of sleep.
Ken has penned two nonfiction books on the craft of writing: Out of Sight, Out of Mind: A Writer’s Guide to Mastering Viewpoint, and Great Danger: A Writer’s Guide to Building Suspense.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

October FWA St. Pete Meeting

For our Oct 8th meeting, author, blogger, and St. Pete Writers Group leader Bria Burton will be presenting. As usual, we'll meet at the Main Branch St. Pete Library at 6 PM. Networking/mingling begins at 5:30 PM. This meeting is open to the public.

Topic: Writing and Running: Improving Craft Through Blood, Sweat, and Tears
What to bring: Something to write with (pencil/paper, stylus/tablet, etc)

Throughout her years as a writer and a runner, Bria has discovered that writing and running have quite a lot in common. She'll be making connections between the craft of writing and the art of running that will help writers cement some important truths about their craft. She'll also be leading the group through a few simple exercises (not the physical kind).

BRIA BURTON graduated magna cum laude from Flagler College with a bachelor's degree in English. In 2008, she joined the Florida Writers Assocation and began leading the FWA St. Pete group in 2015. She also serves as an FWA Board Member. At St. Pete Running Company, she's employed as a blogger and customer service manager. Her speculative fiction has appeared in over a dozen anthologies and magazines, such as The Prometheus SagaBroken WorldsWelcome to the FutureThe Colored Lens, the Journey Into... podcast, and the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine. In 2011, her manuscript, Livinity, won a First Place Royal Palm Literary Award (RPLA) in the Unpublished Fantasy Novel category. Her novella, Little Angel Helper, and her unpublished women's fiction novel, Sprinter, are currently RPLA finalists. While she writes, her dog and cat do their best to distract her, which is why they now star in her family-friendly short story collection, Lance & Ringo Tails.

Bria's website:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Great Sept meeting, a peek at October

At our September meeting last Thursday, author Ford Easton spoke about Targeting Your Audience. He had a wonderful presentation where he went through some of the steps he took to create his book, Stock Car Racing in the 50's, a self-published non-fiction work that has sold over 2,000 copies so far. His niche market has helped him be able to reach the people who want to buy his book. His passion came out during his talk as he shed a few tears while sharing some of the feedback he has received from readers who are overjoyed with the final product. This passion project, a labor of love, as he called it, was built on a lot of hard work and smart choices. While he shared what he learned with us, many people commented on how much they got out of his talk.

Next month on October 8th, author and FWA St. Pete Group Leader Bria Burton will be speaking about the craft of writing. Her topic: Writing and Running: Improving Craft Through Blood, Sweat, and Tears. Stay tuned for more details.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Q&A about the FWA St. Pete Critique Groups

After two very successful Critique Group Interest Meetings, one fiction critique group filled up and one non-fiction critique group filled up.

Q: What does this mean for those who are still interested in joining a critique group but couldn't make those meetings?

A: We need more groups!

Q: How do more groups form?

A: We need people willing to lead!

Q: What does leading a critique group involve?

A: More than anything, a willingness to facilitate, which involves making sure things stay on track at meetings and keeping the people in the group updated on group procedure. A critique group leader must be an FWA member. The first responsibilities are to arrange a meeting time, place, and duration. Other decisions must be made as well, such as how critiques will be done (electronically or printouts) and how much writing will be critiqued at a time (word count limits, page count limits, etc.).

Q: If I've never led a critique group before, how can I possibly be qualified?

A: If you're an FWA members who is willing to volunteer in this capacity, you are qualified.

Q: I feel inadequate to lead a critique group, but I want to be in one. What do I do?

A: There are other critique groups in the St. Pete area (Pinellas Writers, St. Pete Writers Club) so be sure to check those out. But also, think about volunteering to start a new group because maybe there are many people wanting a critique group who are too afraid to lead, but if you're willing to lead, they'll step up and join your group!

Q: I might be willing to lead a new critique group. Is it scary?

A: Not at all! Most writers who want to be in a critique group are serious about improving their writing skills just like you. The hardest part is just figuring out all those initial details (meeting time/place/etc) and once that's established, it's all about the writing and the critiquing.

Q: That's the part that scares me: the critiquing. What if people get upset about critiques that are sent, and I'm stuck in the middle as the leader?

A: I have a lot of experience leading a critique group, including problem-solving, so I'd be happy to share my insights with you. The first rule I recommend for every critique group is to make sure the group participants make positive comments, not just critical ones. Positive comments go a long way to making a person feel like the critique is not a personal attack. That said, it's not the purpose of a critique group to make people feel good about their writing. The purpose is to help writers improve their craft with feedback from fellow writers. Comments should always be constructive, not harsh or demeaning. When these rules for the group are stated up front, it's usually enough to prevent the scenario mentioned in the question.

Q: I have more questions. Who can I ask?

A: Contact me (Bria) by emailing

Monday, September 7, 2015

FWA Webinar Series: Mastering Viewpoint with Ken Pelham

Each month, the FWA will be hosting a webinar. Coming up, Mastering Viewpoint with Ken Pelham.

KEN PELHAM is a member of International Thriller Writers and Florida Writers Association, and a frequent lecturer on viewpoint. His suspense novels, Brigands Key and Place of Fear, are first-place winners of the Royal Palm Literary Award.

Participants will learn:

*The viewpoint types (and subtypes) out there, and options available to you
*How to select the right point of view for your story
*How to avoid, spot, and fix errors in viewpoint.

Saturday, September 12, 2015
Time: 11:00 AM–12:00 PM EDT

You will need a computer with internet access and speakers for audio
Login information for the event will be sent to all registered participants two weeks before the webinar. For further information, contact us.

$10 for FWA members. $15 for non-FWA members
This event is capped at 100 attendees

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Next Meeting Sept 10th with Ford Easton

September FWA St. Pete Meeting

For our Sept 10th meeting, author Ford Easton will be presenting. As usual, we'll meet at the Main Branch St. Pete Library at 6 PM. Networking/mingling begins at 5:30 PM. This meeting is open to the public.

Topic: Targeting Your Audience

This is the perfect follow-up to last month's meeting on self-publishing tips. Ford will teach us how to target to our audience with book, title, and correct mix of text, stories and pictures while operating on a low/limited budget.


75 years young, FORD EASTON grew up in Friendship, NY in 40s and 50s, He attended Alfred Tech (now Alfred State College), Gamma Theta Gamma Fraternity and received an AAS degree in rural engineering, He's a Vietnam combat veteran. In his professional career, he has worked as a junior engineer at Dresser Clark Olean doing experimental engineering projects, and also worked in the mechanical field he loves with Bently Nevada Corp for 25 years in various capacities. Eventually, he became the regional manager in the NE and then in Florida, retiring in 1996. From 1988-94, he raced a 36 Ford modified stock car here in the SE as a hobby with 30 other friends with the same interests. In 1992, he won a feature 25 lap race with that car. He now collects and restores antique kerosene railroad lanterns. His book, Stock Car Racing in the '50s, was a labor of love.

Ford's Website:

Monday, August 17, 2015

New Critique Groups Now Forming

At Critique Group Interest Meeting Part 1 held Aug 13th, we had a great discussion, decisions were made, and one critique group called SPwrites (St. Pete Writes, pronounced sprites) was filled up! There are also more writers who have mentioned a desire to find a critique group.


Critique Group Interest Meeting Part 2

When: Wednesday, August 19th from 6:30 - 7:30 PM

Where: Tyrone Panera (2420 66th St N, St Petersburg, FL 33710)

Who: All writers are welcome to attend

If you were unable to attend Part 1, join us next week on Weds for Part 2. This meeting will be similar to Part 1 in that I'll be explaining how critique groups can be run (there are so many possibilities) and for those interested in forming new groups, we can arrange dates, times, and meeting places so that anyone who'd like to check out the new groups can know where to go.

New Critique Groups Forming
A new non-fiction group in St. Pete:
Nani Freeman has offered to lead a non-fiction group (memoir preferred) in the St. Pete area. She will be attending the Critique Group Interest Meeting Part 2, so if anyone is interested in finding out more, please join us at that meeting.
If you're unable to attend the meeting but are interested in Nani's critique group, contact her at so she can get your information, including times/dates/places that will work for you to meet.

A new group in North Pinellas:
Marylou Hess will be leading a new group in North Pinellas (she lives in Tarpon Springs, but is willing to have the meetings in other areas like Eastlake). Her group will have a format where writers exchange a larger number of pages (25-50) and a month is given for critique. Fiction welcome in these genres: cozy mystery, mainstream fiction, women's fiction, Christian fiction, mysteries, character-driven stories. In her words, this is an ideal group for "55+ writers North of Gulf to Bay who read and write in these genres."
Weekday hours will likely be set for these meetings, but she does have some flexibility.
Interested in joining Marylou's critique group? Contact her at

Active Critique Groups Currently Accepting New Participants
FWA critique groups:
Tarpon Springs Fiction Writers
Agenda: read and round-table critique
Meets every Wednesday except holidays 10:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.
Tarpon Springs Library, 138 East Lemon Street. Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
Contact: David Edmonds,

Oldsmar Omnivore Authors 
Agenda: critique (with query letter/synopsis training)
Meets 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month, 5:30 - 8 PM
Oldsmar Public Library, 400 St. Petersburg Dr. E, Oldsmar, FL 34677
Contact: Molli Nickell,
(note: if the group is full, guests are welcome to attend in "audit" mode)

Other local writing groups:
Pinellas Writers
Agenda: round-table critique (all genres welcome, fiction and non)
Meets every Saturday from 9:30 AM - Noon
Largo Community Center, 400 Alt Keene Rd, Largo, FL 33771
Group website with contact page:

St. Petersburg Writers Club
Agenda: critique (all genres welcome, fiction and non)
Meets 1st and 3rd Thurs of the month, 6:30 PM - library closing
West Community Library at St. Pete College (Multipurpose Room), 6700 8th Ave N, St. Pete, FL 33710

Questions? Interested in starting a critique group in your area? Feel free to contact me at

Friday, August 14, 2015

Great August meeting, a peek at September

For the August FWA St. Pete meeting, John Rehg revealed how a writer can self-publish at minimal or even no cost. He presented on a variety of different free programs that writers can utilize to create their story layout and book cover. He explained that the free cost of creating a book at CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing really doesn't have a catch. It's up to the author how many books to buy from CreateSpace that they intend to sell themselves, but they don't have to spend a lot of money if they prefer to let customers find their book on Amazon's website. In the case of KDP, it's all digital so there is zero cost until a book is sold with a high royalty payout. He also pointed out the importance of goals. For writers who want a book in hand, but aren't trying to make a living as a writer, CreateSpace is a great tool. Not to mention gift ideas! The personalized touch of a book that you created can be the ideal gift for family and friends, whether it's a short family vacation compilation or a story you wrote for the family.

Visit to visit John's publishing website where he has a free download of the handout that was given to participants at the meeting.

On September 10th, Ford Easton will be presenting. His topic is "Targeting Your Audience" and is the perfect follow-up to John Rehg's meeting. He'll specifically be talking about targeting your audience with a book title and correct mix of text, stories, and pictures while operating on a low/limited budget.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Next Meeting August 13th with John Rehg

August FWA St. Pete Meeting

For our Aug 13th meeting, John Rehg of Soul Attitude Press will be presenting. As usual, we'll meet at the Main Branch St. Pete Library at 6 PM. Networking/mingling begins at 5:30 PM. This meeting is open to the public.

Topic: Self-Publishing on a Budget (or free)

An author and publisher, John will be taking the group through the process of self-publishing, utilizing free and inexpensive software and tools.

JOHN REHG has been writing and rewriting since 2006, after taking 30 years off to pursue a career. He's still working, fitting in writing at odd times of day or night. After getting several short stories published in various anthologies, he started his own publishing business, to control the revenue on his stories as well as to help others realize their dream of holding their own book in their hands. He has published his own short fiction and non-fiction, and has helped others publish their stories. His novel is currently in its second revision, which he hopes to complete this year.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Wonderful meetings in June and July, a FREE webinar, and a peek at August

FWA St. Pete June flashback

In June, St. Pete Writers Group had the privilege of meeting Molli Nickell of Get Published Now. Her topic: Rules of the Query Road. Attendees were informed ahead of time that they could bring their query letters for Molli to workshop with the group. Five brave souls handed over their letters, and Molli gently (with plenty of humor) took the group through each letter: what worked and what didn't. She explained what agents and publishers were looking for now (an ever-changing model) in the query letter and emphasized the importance of the Subject line of the email containing our query--that line, too, must grab the agent's attention.

Molli's Free Webinar: "Write a Query that Lands an Agent!"
If you missed the June meeting, you won't want to miss this free webinar. If you attended that meeting, you're probably thinking the same thing as me: I could use more of what I learned from Molli.

FWA is planning for several future webinars, and this first one will be free so be sure to get in on the ground level and see what it's all about.

  • Saturday, August 15, 2015
  • Time: 11 AM - 12 PM Eastern
  • You will need a computer with internet access and speakers for audio
  • Login information for the event will be sent to all registered participants two weeks before the webinar. For further information, contact us.

FWA St. Pete July flashback

In July, Author Lisa Ann O'Kane spoke at our monthly meeting. Her topic: Embracing Your Sometimes Fickle Muse. An excellent presenter, Lisa took us through her personal journey to publication which included securing an agent, but also a first book that never made it to a publisher and a second book that was published just before the company dissolved, leading to a much different writing journey than she'd imagined. She asked the group tough questions about writing goals and facing fear, encouraging everyone to find what works for them in the writing process and run with it.

FWA St. Pete August flash forward

For our August 13th meeting, John Rehg will be speaking about Self-Publishing on a Budget (or free). More details to come.

Monday, July 13, 2015

FREE Writing Classes in St. Petersburg

Keep St. Pete Lit is proud to announce their partnership with the Morean Arts Center: the LitSpace Literary Arts Institute. Register now for FREE classes!

LitSpace is a place to give voice to the community and create a vibrant new literary arts scene for the city based on passion and not ability to pay. Free, professional-quality lessons in writing poetry and fiction, creativity workshops and other literary-inspired classes. Classes take place at the Morean Arts Center on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Registration is OPEN for the FWA Annual Conference

14th Annual Florida Writers Conference
When: October 15th - 18th
Where: Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs
Theme: Changing Times

Who should attend?
  • You’re inspired by networking with like-minded writers and publishing industry professionals
  • You are an aspiring writer who wants to learn more about the craft of writing
  • You dream about being a published author and want guidance from wise professionals
  • You are an established author who wants to reach more readers

There are so many amazing things happening at the annual conference this year, including a celebrity workshop by John Gilstrap that is held the day before. At the event, there’s the opening keynote from Marie Bostwick, as well as dozens of new workshops to choose from. A new venue means more room, a larger bookstore, and even cheaper room rates!

Early bird Registration is OPEN NOW through July 31st (fees go up August 1st).

Click HERE to find out more about faculty, workshops, agents, acquisition editors, and to register online or print a mail-in form.

Check out this conference promo video:

Monday, June 29, 2015

July FWA St. Pete Meeting

For our upcoming meeting on Thursday, July 9th, Author Lisa Ann O'Kane will be speaking. As usual, we meet at the Main Branch St. Pete Library at 6 PM. Networking begins at 5:30 PM. This meeting is always open to the public.

Topic: Embracing Your (Sometimes Fickle) Muse

Writing is a wonderful and challenging endeavor that we, as writers, have decided to conquer. However, writing a memoir, novel, short story, or poem is not as simple as it sounds. At times, a thrilling overload of ideas fuels our creative process, but at other times, the Muse seems to have gone on vacation without asking our permission.

Join us as Lisa Ann O'Kane delves into this topic and the process of writing with our (sometimes fickle) muse.


LISA ANN O'KANE is a young adult author and former vagabond who once camped out in Yosemite National Park for an entire summer, an experience that inspired her debut novel Essence (Strange Chemistry, June 2014).
Her background is in zookeeping and environmental education, and she has been kicked, cornered, bitten and chased by nearly every animal she has ever loved. She currently resides in Florida, and she is now a huge fan of shooting stars, indoor plumbing and keeping both her feet planted firmly on the trail.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Non-Fiction Mini-Conference June 27th

Saturday, June 27, 2015
Check-in & registration opens 8:30 AM
Bookstore open 9:00 AM – 4:15 PM
Closing & door prizes 3:45 PM – 4:00 PM
Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs
350 Northlake Blvd., Altamonte Springs, Florida, 32701-5297
Telephone: 407-830-1985
Registration Fee
  • $79. Florida Writers Association Member
  • $99. Non-Member
  • Includes continental breakfast, lunch and snacks
  • Last day to register online 6/24/15. On-site registration available.
Effective Writing Tools, How to Land an Agent, How to Make Money Writing, Marketing (Author Bootcamp), What’s Your Story? (How to write a memoir).

Saturday, June 6, 2015

FWA St. Pete Meeting June 11th with Molli Nickell

June FWA St. Pete Meeting

For our upcoming meeting on Thursday, June 11th, Publishing Wizard Molli Nickell will be speaking and workshopping query letters. As usual, we meet at the Main Branch St. Pete Library at 6 PM. Networking begins at 5:30 PM. This meeting is always open to the public.

Topic: Rules of the Query Road

What to Bring: Please bring a query letter that you have written, no more than 350 words. Treat this query letter as if it were the email you would send an agent, publisher, or editor. At the top of the query letter, type SUBJECT LINE and enter whatever subject line you will be entering in the email's subject line.

Writing a query letter can be very challenging. The agent, publisher, or editor on the receiving end can simply hit "DELETE" in order to send a writer's letter into the virtual trash receptacle. Molli will be helping us understand how to properly write professional query letters that avoid the virtual trash bin. She will also be doing cold readings and evaluations of query letters that are brought to the meeting. This is not usually a free service! Take advantage and come with your query letter.


MOLLI NICKELL, author of “WRITE RIGHT: Don’t Shoot Yourself in the Foot,” has survived 35 years in the publishing biz as a Time-Life editor, publisher, motivational speaker, UCLA writing instructor, six-times published author, and, in her way-former life, Malibu surfer chick. Currently she mentors writers as a pre-submission specialist, story doctor, query wizard, and marketing guru. Molli helps writers achieve the ultimate goal of agent, publisher, and shelf space at Barnes and Noble.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Daytona Beach Mini-Conference with Historical Fiction and Sci-Fi Fantasy Tracks

Saturday, May 15, 2015

Daytona Beach Mini-Conference

2 tracks, run simultaneously, all day: Historical Fiction and Sci-Fi Fantasy
Check-in & registration opens at 8:30 AM
Location – Grace Episcopal Church
4110 South Ridgewood Avenue
Port Orange FL 32127-4519
Registration Fee
– $79. Florida Writers Association Member
– $99. Non-Member
Includes continental breakfast, lunch and snacks
Last day to register online 5/13/15. On-site registration available.

FWA St. Pete Meeting May 14th with Velva Lee Harety

May FWA St. Pete Meeting

For our upcoming meeting on Thursday, May 14th, author and Jungian depth psychotherapist Velva Lee Harety will be speaking. As usual, we meet at the Main Branch St. Pete Library at 6 PM. Networking begins at 5:30 PM. This meeting is always open to the public.

Topic: Getting Your Writing Game On

Writing a book and bringing it to market takes heart and guts. The obstacles and set-backs can be challenging.  Even more challenging can be your Internal Saboteur creating what the Irish call “a rat in the skull”, i.e. doubt. What to do? What to do?

This intriguing presentation by Velva Lee Heraty MSW, author and Jungian depth psychotherapist, will be an open forum for questions and concerns about how best to resist the negative vibes, stay on track, and trust yourself to do the next right thing for your Inner Author.


VELVA LEE HARETY, MSW is an experienced depth-psychotherapist with 20+ years of experience in a full private practice in Chicago, IL. Velva earned a Master of Social Work, a Certification in Addictions from the state of Illinois, and eventually a Certification in Depth-Psychotherapy from the C. G. Jung Institute in Evanston, IL. She is a world-recognized expert on dreams and was a volunteer resource for the National Nightmare Hotline created as a result of 9/11. In her private practice Velva created a dreamwork model called the Subjective Symbol Immersion Method (SSIM) to efficiently help people understand their dreams. That model is the heart of the book, The Dream Belongs to the Dreamer, which was accepted into the Oxford Exchange Book Fair. Velva is from Chicago, IL and has lived in St. Petersburg for the past eight years.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Royal Palm Literary Awards Deadline Approaching

RPLA Deadline May 15th

Have you ever entered a contest where two different judges provided detailed feedback on your work?

That's just one of the things that sets the Royal Palm Literary Awards (RPLA) apart from other writing contests. The fee that you pay is rewarded with feedback and sometimes with an actual award.

I had the privilege of winning First Place in the Unpublished Fantasy Novel category in 2011~ Bria Burton

The RPLA is an FWA benefit that has helped numerous members improve their writing and gain recognition. The RPLA Banquet takes place every year at the FWA Annual Conference, and it's an exciting and inspiring event.

Any genre you can imagine is accepted into the RPLA. From fiction to non-fiction, from flash fiction to short stories to novellas to novels to memoirs, there is a category for you where you'll be able to enter your work (both published and unpublished) and earn valuable feedback from the blind judging process.

To learn more and to enter the contest, visit

If you're not a member and you'd like to enter the RPLA contest, click HERE to first become a member.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

FWA Collection Contest Accepting Submissions through April 30th

Every year, the Florida Writers Association publishes a collection of sixty short stories written by FWA members. The stories are selected through a judging process known as the FWA Collection Contest.

FWA COLLECTION #7- Revisions, Stories of Starting Over

Deadline for submissions: April 30th.

This year's theme is Revisions, Stories of Starting Over. More on that in the video below.

All FWA members can enter this contest for FREE. There are detailed instructions on how to properly format your entry that you'll want to follow to the letter. Find out exactly how to send in your submission by visiting the website at

Note that they are accepting electronic submissions only.


Good question! And there are several great answers for FWA members:

  • It's free!
  • All types of writing and genres are accepted (fiction, nonfic, poems)
  • Sharpen your writing skills with a word limit of 1,200 and poem line limit of 50
  • Practice your writing craft--the more you write, the better you get
  • If selected as one of the top sixty stories, your story will be published, and that's just one more (or maybe a first!) writing credit to add to your name
Still not convinced? Here's Marie Bostwick, the Person of Renown in this year's collection. Out of the sixty stories, she'll be selecting her top ten which will appear at the front of the book.

Not an FWA member yet? Join (or renew) by clicking HERE.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Upcoming Mini Conference April 25th

Looking for a one-day writers conference with an excellent faculty where you can hone and polish your skills?

4th Annual Writers Nest Mini Conference

  • April 25, 2015
  • Check-in & registration opens at 8:30 AM
  • Bookstore will be open from 9:00 AM – 4:15 PM
  • Closing & Door Prizes at 3:45 PM – 4:00PM
Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs
350 Northlake Blvd., Altamonte Springs, Florida, 32701-5297
Telephone: 407-830-1985 | Website
Registration Fee
  • $79. Florida Writers Association Member
  • $99. Non-Member
  • Includes continental breakfast, lunch and snacks
  • Last day to register online 4/22/15. On-site registration available.
Writing Tracks
  • Young Adult Fiction
  • Screenwriting
  • G.R.E.A.T. Writing
  • How to Write a Scene Six Ways
  • Advance Writing: Take Your Work to the Next Level

For more info and to register, Click HERE

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

FWA Meeting April 9th with T.J. Waters

April St. Pete FWA Meeting

For our upcoming meeting on Thursday, April 9th, T.J. Waters will be speaking. As usual, we meet at the Main Branch St. Pete Library at 6 PM. Networking begins at 5:30 PM. This meeting is always open to the public.

Topic: Social Media in Simple Terms

As writers, we need to use social media, but how many of us know what to post, and where?  It’s how we keep in touch with fans, but how can we maximize our social media bang for the time-based buck we have to spend doing it?

Author T.J. Waters will offer tips as well as the basics of what you need to know about the landscape of social media, and the way to best utilize social media tools to connect with fans and potential readers.


Author T.J. WATERS resides in St Petersburg with his wife and their two children. He previously worked as a Senior Consultant in Intelligence Operations for U.S. Special Operations Command. Prior to that he was a Sr. Counterintelligence Analyst for U.S. Central Command, served undercover for the Central Intelligence Agency, and was Vice President for an intelligence consulting firm. He enjoyed a successful private sector career before his government service, including with Celotex Corporation, Lexis-Nexis, and BASF.

Waters spent five years as an adjunct professor in the Intelligence Management and Analysis program at Eckerd College. When he's not working, he enjoys volunteering with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay.


Monday, March 30, 2015

New Critique Group in Palm Harbor

Molli Nickell is starting a new critique group in Palm Harbor. Here are the details from her:

"Critique group begins on Wednesday, June 17. After that, we'll meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month. Any alterations to the schedule will be posted on the library calendar page.

Although this is a FWA (Florida Writers Association) group, non-members are welcome. The group is limited to 10 active participants. Auditors are welcome to attend and "listen only." (The number of active participants might change if an 11th person danced in the door carrying a plate of really good cookies!)

Handouts, when available, will be shared with everyone. 

The group is filling up. The following writers have expressed interest in participating: John T, Anne, Larry, Vickie, Kim H, and Alan. We gather at 5:30 PM for meet 'n greet, critique begins at 6 and ends at 7:45.  

Focus will be on manuscript development/refinement and marketing (how to create the query submission packet).
If you'd like to reserve a spot, send me an email at Write CRITIQUE in the subject line.

Location: East Lake Community Library, 4125 East Lake Road, Palm Harbor, FL 34685 727-773-2665."

Thank you, Molli, for opening up this new group! If you're interested in joining her critique group, be sure to email her ASAP.

Monday, March 16, 2015

A wonderful meeting in March, a peek at April

At the St. Pete FWA Meeting on March 12th, Heloise Jones spoke about traditional publishing. She helped us navigate through the steps of approaching an agent professionally and with our best foot (and manuscript) forward. Then she helped us understand what having an agent is like from her first-hand experience and the experience of others. Heloise did an excellent job, and obviously did her research. If I took anything away from that meeting, it was the fact that times are changing faster now than ever before, and it's important to keep up-to-date on the publishing world whether self-publishing or traditional publishing is the goal.

Visit Heloise's website at

Coming up in April, I'm very excited to announce that Tom Waters will be joining us. He was the keynote speaker at the FWA Annual Conference several years ago, and lucky for us he lives in St. Pete! His topic and BIO will be forthcoming.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February Meeting in St. Pete and Upcoming March Meeting

We had a great meeting on Feb 12th at the library. Open mic night gave several writers a chance to practice reading aloud to an audience. With the audience feedback, the writer was able to take away some good advice. We had several humorous pieces and a couple of stories that were on the more serious side. All were entertaining and nicely drafted.

March St. Pete FWA Meeting

For our upcoming meeting on March 12th, Heloise Jones will be speaking. As usual, we meet at the Main Branch St. Pete Library at 6 PM. Networking begins at 5:30 PM. This meeting is always open to the public.

Topic: Traditional Publishing: Getting an Agent to Your Book on the Shelf

Author Heloise will offer tips as well as the basics of what you need to know about the landscape of traditional publishing, and the steps toward a published book.

Heloise Jones has walked many paths from corporate advertising account manager to clay artist to microbrewery owner, creating, connection, and a good deal of project management at the core of each. A Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize finalist and Pushcart Prize nominee, she's currently querying agents for representation of her first novel FLIGHT, and doing research while writing her second. For her, writing a novel is like living a good life: you settle into the world, get to know folks, ride with them through their ups and downs, share their angst and triumphs, and are touched in ways so something shifts inside you. For more about Heloise, check out

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Upcoming FWA St. Pete Meeting Thurs, Feb 12th

The monthly FWA meeting will take place at the Main Branch St. Pete Library this Thurs, Feb. 12th at 6 PM. Networking begins at 5:30 PM.

This meeting is open to the public, so feel free to invite friends.

Unfortunately, the agenda for this meeting is still one of two possibilities as I've been unable to reach the speaker. If he shows up, he will be speaking on non-fiction.

If not, we will have open mic night. All are welcome to bring writing to read aloud. Active FWA members will have the opportunity to read first, but all attendees will be welcome to do readings. I anticipate an average of 10 minute readings per person with a few minutes for feedback from the audience.

In the future, there will be another open mic opportunity if the speaker shows up.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

New FWA Website and The Florida Writer, Digital Edition

If you've visited the FWA website lately, you may have noticed that a major overhaul has taken place.

If you haven't checked out the site lately, visit today and see all the wonderful updates and changes.

The many improvements to the redesigned website are thanks to Mary Ann de Stefano and Elaine Senecal.

With all the "changes," what remains the same?

All the wonderful FWA benefits remain unchanged. The new website simply helps members and those interested in finding out more about FWA get the information they need in an easy-to-use interface.

The Florida Writer Now Digital Only

In other news, The Florida Writer has gone digital! FWA members will receive a quarterly email with their copy of FWA's magazine in an easy-to-download PDF format.

Here's a picture of the cover from the latest issue, the first digital edition.

(Note: The Florida Writer subscription is a member benefit. To become an FWA member or to renew, visit

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Day at the Bay Mini-Conference in Tampa on Valentine's Day

Hemingway himself has returned from the grave to tell us all we need to know about this FWA Mini-Conference. But he looks suspiciously like Chris Hamilton, Executive Vice President of FWA.

Day at the Bay Mini Conference
February 14, 2015
Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore
2225 North Lois Avenue
Tampa, FL 33607
FWA Member: $79/Non-Member: $99
Continental Breakfast, Snacks, & Lunch included in cost
Writing tracks include writing about romance as well as writing about fighting...two elements that need to be in YOUR writing!

For more information and to sign-up, click HERE.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New St. Pete Leader Bria Burton

Hi, my name is Bria and I'm the new Writers Group Leader for FWA St. Pete.

A huge thank you to Michael Nashleanas for stepping up into the WGL position for these past months. If you'd like to join me in thanking Michael, feel free to add your comments below.

Here's a little bit about myself:

Bria Burton has been a member of FWA since 2008. She's a blogger and customer service manager at St. Pete Running Company. She is blessed with a wonderful husband and two wild pets, a dog and a cat who keep her on her toes. They are the stars of her family-friendly short story collection, Lance & Ringo Tails. Her novella, Little Angel Helper, was written for her sisters, one of whom has special needs like a character in the story. She also writes speculative fiction and inspirational women's fiction. In 2011, she was awarded a First Place RPLA for her epic fantasy manuscript, Livinity. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies such as Welcome to the Future and speculative fiction magazines such as The Colored Lens.

The monthly meetings (open to the public) will continue to be held on the 2nd Thursday of the month at the St. Pete Main Branch Library. Networking/mingling starts at 5:30 PM and the meeting begins at 6 PM, typically ending no later than 7:30 PM.

I look forward to seeing you at the meetings!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

FWA St. Pete Jan. 8th Meeting

Join us tomorrow at the Main Branch of the St. Pete Library for our monthly FWA St. Pete meeting. Networking begins at 5:30 PM, meeting begins at 6 PM.

Seth Hollen will be discussion and sharing technology aides for writers.

Seth is nearly a Florida native (lived here since he was 2) and spent four years in the Marines after high school. He's been a sleep tech for 16 years. He and his wife have three wonderful children all under the age of 5. He's finishing up a Sci-Fi Thriller tentatively called Dolan's War.