Next Meeting

There will NOT be a meeting in October 2019, as the third Thursday in October is the first day of the FWA Conference.

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.