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.

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: