Schedule and Location

Welcome to the Sarasota Writers Group Blog. Meetings are held the first and third Wednesday of the month at the Nokomis Fire Station, located just a few blocks south of Albee Road (where Matthews-Currie Ford is located) at Pavonia Road. We are on the west, or bay side, of U.S. 41, by the Fire Station's flashing yellow caution traffic light. If you are coming from the south on US 41, we are just north of Dona Bay. Turn on Pavonia and pull to the far end, or west side, of the firehall. Please do not block the fire doors! We meet in the training room on the far side of the complex. Gathering time: 6:00 pm Meeting called to order: 6:30 pm Ten minute break: 7:50 pm Meeting Finishes at 9:00 pm

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Wednesday, November 15th. 2017

Welcome back. 

This week we have news, our own Bruce Haedrich published the 8th book in his Dan Marin mystery series, it's entitled Finding Chloe. He tells us it's three stories in one book, imagine, three Dan Marin mysteries in one book, a real bargain. Look for it on Amazon. 

At our last meeting I challenged our group to write a little piece about wine. Easy right, 500 words or less, first draft stuff, quick and simple. Well, five of us responded, I had to, it was my challenge. 

Doug responded with an enticing tale of a French femme fatale serving her wine/food critic lover a romantic meal in her apartment. The twist at the end was typical Doug.

Kathleen gave us another twist on wine when she rolled out a rollicking verse wherein Tinker Bell meets… well you have to hear her read it to truly enjoy the piece.

Tim captured the essence of a twisted classic with his Twas the Night Before Christmas in Nokomis. Who knew Santa enjoyed more than milk and cookies.

Debbie brought us a suspenseful tale of Wine Girl. A mysterious visitor leaves a bottle of wine on the kitchen counter as a welcoming gift. She also brings terror to summer visitors in a lonely cabin with a history and a reputation for the gruesome. If you find a welcoming bottle of vino at your next rental…

My entry was much less exciting as it explored the use of wine among today’s society and throughout history.

We entered the reading portion of the evening with a tale written by Bruce. It was read by Peter who gave it a most tantalizing tone. In Tribute to Robert Guest, a music instructor who had a profound influence on Bruce’s life, the piece chronicled a young man’s performance in a piano competition in university. While his friends watched, he enraptured the audience with a performance of a short piece by Franz Liszt. The thunderous applause gave proof he’d won the competition. However, the encore brought a reaction beyond any received for any previous performance. Look for Bruce’s book in the future.

Peter read a short excerpt of his work and explained his thought processes in producing such a stimulating piece. Getting to peer into a creative mind leaves us in awe. Understanding the premise and following another’s train of thought is, at best, confounding. Especially as he delves into a character’s inner struggle as to abort or bear a child.

In Guts, Ed’s depiction of a teen, a remembrance of his youth, participating in a cross-country race and, due to the heckling of his friends, resolves to not finish last for once in his life. His descriptions of elation in passing other runners, the surge of power, the feeling of speed, and the devastation of will experienced when a slow-moving train interrupts the race leaves the reader with a palpitating heart while gasping for air.

With Ian’s return from his summer hiatus, he brought a beautiful piece of mystery and wonder from a visit to Utah’s Arches National Park. An old Indian presents a hiker with a small stone disc engraved with symbols of unknown origin. The hiker discounts the talisman but continues his hike. Soon, he slips away from the crowd of tourists and finds himself in a secluded part of The Devil’s Garden. There, in his isolation, he discovers an arch not marked on the map he carries. As he gazes in wonder through the arch, he witnesses the dance of a solitary shaman and watches in awe as the moon falls, growing larger with each passing moment. Upon reporting his vision to the park rangers, they return with him to the site and find a solid rock wall where he'd encountered an arch only moments earlier. "It will be an arch someday, thousands of years from now," the ranger explains, "but only after the wind and rain wear it away over the centuries." The talisman, is gone, lost to the ages and only he…

We look forward to seeing you soon at a meeting. The first and third Wednesday of each month, barring a holiday falling on these days, we meet and chat at 6:00 PM. We begin the meeting at 6:30 PM. Please come, join us if you enjoy writing, reading, or listening to talented people discuss a myriad of subjects.

Until then, keep writing!


Friday, November 10, 2017

Thank You, Kerri

I'm passing this on for all our readers. Thank you, Kerri.

Rod - this is the literary journal at St. Leo - near Tampa. 
Might be a nice challenge for someone in the group since the entry fee is only $10.00.


Lightning Key Review in conjunction with Green Rabbit Press is seeking submissions for an inaugural chapbook prize for creative nonfiction, in memory of the magazine’s co-founder, Kurt Wilt.  Harrison Scott Key, author of the Thurber Prize winning memoir, The World’s Largest Man, will judge the contest.

The winner will receive a $500 prize along with 50 copies of the chapbook and a free entry to the Sandhill Writers Retreat at Saint Leo University, May 19, 2018, where Harrison Scott Key will be the keynote reader.
Entries must be creative nonfiction essays or memoir, 30-50 pages in length, either as one long essay or a series of essays.  Previously published work in magazine and journals is fine.  There is a $10 entry fee.  One submission per person.  Former students and colleagues of the judge are not eligible.

All entries will be due by January 1, 2018.  Announcements will be made in late winter, early spring of 2018.

For questions, please visit the website:

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

November 1st,

We had a great meeting this week and welcomed a first-time attendee. Ed Feldmann joined us for his first meeting. Welcome!

Ed Ellis shared his experience of giving a presentation at the Women's Resource Center in Sarasota. He says he's looking forward to a second class and was impressed by his students.

I heard from Ken Boring, the author who spoke with us a couple of months ago about his book Remembering What I Forgot, a story of Alzheimer Patients and their caregivers. He also gave a presentation at the Women's Resource Center. It feels good giving back to the community.

On Wednesday November 15th, Tim Jacobs and Kathleen Kilpatrick will present a program at the Selby Library where a writer's group meets on the second floor. Their presentation is slated to begin at 1:00 PM and last about an hour.

During our discussion we touched on how to instill emotion in our writing. Choosing the proper words makes or breaks how the piece comes across. Darianne suggests a resource she found online, The Emotional Thesaurus

While on the subject of emotion, Doug shared a story about wine which sparked a stray brain cell in this writer. I issued a challenge for the group, write a short story of 500 words of less with the main topic being wine, the drinking of, results of, or making of. Have fun with it.

We moved on to the reading portion of our evening and Darienne was first up as she gave up her turn last meeting for this writer. She brought a piece read previously entintled, Blue Max. The story follows a Grandmother, Granddaughter, and Blue Max, their dog, as a storm approaches. Her changes were appropriate and made the story better but she received additional feedback aimed at making the story more fluid and understandable.

Bruce writes mysteries and, for each, he looks for and chooses a quote appropriate to the subject. With the quote in place, he finds a way to reference, or paraphrase, the quote within the story; a clever and interesting ploy. He shared three instances from his works, Finding Chloe, Metropolis, and Vendetta. 

Don shared an excerpt from his memoir of a career in the military. With morale low and the squadron in poor readiness, our fearless hero points out to the Colonel how the entire mess is the Colonel's fault. That might not have been a great idea. As it turns out, nearly 18 years pass before Don's next promotion. But don't dismay, the promotion made him the highest ranking Non-Com in the Indiana Air National Guard.

Resurrecting a poem entitled A Beacon of Reality, as requested by Barbara, Ed gave the group chills with poignant verse. It made us feel our mortality.

Tim shared a piece he calls, A Failed Clown. Finishing a gig at a youth's birthday party, a man returns home and finds a letter in his mailbox informing him he's failed Clown School. He turns to alcohol and... you need to read this story.

Kathleen brought us a children's book, Mr. Silhouette, or Mr. Sign Guy, (title soon to be chosen.) The hero lives in Sign Town where he must confront a Sign Lion as it terrorizes the residents.

Debbie's first chapter of The Manipulator takes place in 1948 Staten Island. A trio of young lads, good friends for as long as they can remember, have a conversation about one of their number having to leave Staten Island and move to a farm. Their thoughts make the reader want to continue. Will he go or will he stay, wait until it's published and read it for yourself.

UR Ryde, by Doug, plays off the rise of ride-sharing companies. The driver thinks, "Who is my passenger?" But, maybe the passenger should think, "Who is my driver?" Doug's imagination was unfettered in this twisting plot. 

Our next meeting is November 15 and we welcome all interested in writing. We want to help others improve their skills. 

Until then, keep on writing.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Website Help


Note: this blog does not recommend nor receive compensation for any business mentioned here. This is simply a resource available to our writers.

Pssst... This is from Peter Frickel

If you are in need of exploring/ finding where to look for a website developer, my son Mark Frickel offers the following opportunity.
Please communicate directly with him.

My website was created by him–have a look. 

From Mark:

Simple and jokey, but memorable I hope. If anyone needs a site done, please send them here:

Mark Frickel
Floatation International

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Thanks to Doug Sahlin

A link to a free video mentioned during the meeting on October 18th; 

The thired link on the upload page is a free course.

Here's an example of a book trailer Doug recently created:

Notice the pop-ups in the upper right-hand corner of the video and the links at the end of the video; they were added by YouTube.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

October 18th, 2017

Welcome Back;

We had some good fun at this meeting, not the least of which was welcoming a couple of first time attendees, Kathleen and Tim, who as Tim said, "are partners in business and life." Co-owners of Jacobs Writing and Publishing Consultants, LLC, we paid heed to the thoughtful comments each made throughout the evening. If you wish to know more about this couple or their business I suggest you check out their website, or call 239-464-9730.

Our meeting started with a brief discussion featuring a blog entry written by Jennie Haskamp in The Daily Muse entitiled 15 words to eliminate from your vocabulary to sound smarter. I came across this article some time ago and felt it worth sharing with our group. I'd no sooner finished my presentation, when several attendees presented statements using most, if not all, of the 15 words. Good fun.

Of the 12 attendees, 11 prepared work to read and wanted critique from the group. All but one accomplished their reading and each received useful comments from the group.

Kathleen was asked to lead off and read a piece she is working on with a target audience of 8 to 12 year-old's, I think she might well expand her target as we heard good work that might well apply to teens as well. The opening chapter of the piece found a ghoulish hag under a bridge where she's just finished off feasting on the brains of a pair of trolls. Unsatisfied and still hungry, she longed to find other victims and, using the sharpened bones of her victims, she knitted some clothing before setting out to hunt.

Next up was Tim. Revisiting his early love for writing he presented an essay which gave credit to his High School teachers who encouraged his love for the written word. A stirring piece, it gives credit to teachers often a forgotten part of our successes.

Peter shared a selection of readings two poems, each poignant and revealing, and a selection from his collection of letters. His short verse expresses his vision of sky and clouds above the majestic Ruwenzori mountain range of South Africa and its view of what transpires within its purview. A bit longer verse explored visions in a mirror when one lets the mind's eye see beyond the obvious. Finally, the letter reveals the passion a writer has for his craft as he imparts his feelings to a longtime friend with whom he's shared past memories.

Letitia, compiling her notes and memories for presentation in a memoir which will be powerful, shared a brief segment of the mental and physical anguish an addict mother feels. She writes from experience seeking to help others with a focus on women in crisis. She hopes to help them avoid the pitfalls of recovering addicts, alcoholics, and victims of abuse locked in a life filled with what may seem insurmountable issues. Good stuff.

Our local Irish Dame, Noreen, enthralled us with a fantasy as she listened to a group of seagulls, (in the Gallic, faoilleans pronounced free'lanns), watching people on a beach. In her story, the birds chatter away and she can understand every word. As she read we laughed aloud, often and with gusto.

When Don read his tale of attending college 40 or more years ago at an age of 40+ years, we again had a good belly laugh. The story entitled, Humanities 101, showed how a person born in the 1930's handled 1970's culture in a classroom. When a professor invited a poet to read his latest popular work, the title, Looking At Life Through A Glass Asshole, was a shock to the older students. When the contents contained a number of words considered profane by their generation... Well, you have to hear the story, or read it yourself, to enjoy it's intricate details.

Lewis Carroll's The Jabberwoky is difficult to read under the best circumstances. When Bruce read it using the techniques of an evening newscaster, it was even better. We may request a repeat performance.

George brought the opening chapters of his latest work. It's a mystery and takes place in the community of Osprey, Florida during World War II. His characters come to life and his chapter end leaves us wanting more. Can't wait!

A few week ago Doug presented a piece called, And Justice for All. This week he brought it back with changes made considering the comments he received at the last reading. Well done.

Darienne deferred her time so that Rod could read a chapter he's read before and is having trouble making it work. The changes were well received and additional suggestions made. That is the purpose of this group, Writers helping Writers. Darienne will be first on the reading list next meeting.  

We hope to see you at the upcoming meeting, November 1st. In the meantime, keep on writing.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Concerning October 18th Meeting

Three Quick Items

1. Thanks to Darienne for reminding me:

"The Elements of Style" by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White are almost required for all writers.
A quote from Professor Strunk: "Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all sentences short or avoid all detail and treat subjects only in outline, but that every word tell."

2. Our fearless leader, Ernie Ovitz, will be unable to attend tonight or the next meeting. We'll miss him.

3. Our thanks to Peter. Here is the information for an on-air radio program that features local writers and their work.

97.5 FM
North Port Community Radio

Check out Face Book-
Dobie Pasco is the show host
12735 Tamiami Trail [US 41] North Port FL 34287

Phone: 941-564-8739

Join us Wednesday night. I hope to see a number of writers there and hear some really good stories.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Oct 4th Meeting

Welcome to our Fall meeting:

Although attendance was better, we still did not have a full house and that’s okay. All who attended came through the recent storm with little or no damage. Hang in there, only another month to go.

Marisa attended this meeting, we haven’t seen her in a while and it’s always good to have her in the group. She’s an excellent essayist and writes about very interesting subjects. She also hosts an open mike program at the Sarasota Brewing Company, 6607 Gateway Ave, in Sarasota’s Gulf Gate Neighborhood the third Wednesday of each month. If you’re not busy attending our meeting, stop by and say hello one evening; take time to enjoy great food and Fantastic Beers while listening to some interesting writers. As might be expected, her presence elicited inquiries about open mike venues in the area. 

Peter mentioned an open mike show aired in North Port, he thinks it's prerecorded and airs Sundays at 3:00 PM. He could not remember the local station so, if anybody has further information, please send me an email at

Our own Ed Ellis is scheduled to present a mini-course on Creative Writing at the
Women’s Resource Center.
340 S. Tuttle Ave.
Sarasota, FL 34237
Phone: 941-256-WRC1

Dates and Times.

Class #1 – 1 PM to 3 PM Friday October 20th.
Class #2 – 1 PM to 3 PM Friday October 27th.

Call the WRC for more information and who is eligible to attend.

A discussion about character names and how authors determine those names brought forth many thoughts and questions from our attendees.

One question evoked curiosity more than others; "How do you handle names from long ago in different locals? ie. Roman or Greek names from antiquity or Old English names." The consensus was “Research,” do your research and use names from the period.

For names in the modern era, the Social Security Administration’s popular names list provides the most popular names for each year. Remember, many readers have lived for decades and are familiar with names used in past years.

It's probably not a good idea to use multiple names for a single character. William Hartford may be known by more than one name in life; his friends may call him Willie, to acquaintances he's Bill, to his staff and coworkers Mr. Hartford is appropriate, a few old army buddies call him H-man, and there’s always Billy, Billy-Bob, or Hartford. Numerous other nicknames might apply. However, once you’ve introduced the character a single name within the context of your story would be less confusing to your reader. Sure, a derivations are acceptable if a special relationship is clear and consistent.

What do you think?

 As we moved on to the reading portion of our evening, Ed shared a piece which made us laugh as only his twisted, maybe only slightly bent, mind can. We were introduced to Mr. Bacharacharockus whose story takes place at Walt Disney World. Separated from his wife because he wishes only to rest and write a bit while she explores Fantasyland, Ed finds himself at his favorite restaurant. He requests a seat in the bar and a sweet tea. Three young hostesses concur, he must tell them his name before they can seat him. Not wanting to be bothered, and unwilling to use his pen name as he often does, he blurts out the first name that comes to  mind, Peter Bacharacharockus. After spelling it out for the hostesses, he's escorted to a seat where, while sipping on his sweet tea, he writes page after page of prose. All goes well until his wife arrives to retrieve him...

Ernie, challenged by a previous comment requesting more feminine presence in his work, read a chapter describing a bit of female influence in his latest tome. In this chapter, A Town Under Siege, two comely young women, princesses of Roman royalty if you will, bring bread to hungry soldiers on the walls of the city. Having endured an arduous day repelling repeated assaults by the Franks, the men are hungry for more than bread but even the youngest of the pair sloughs off the bawdy invitations of battle-weary troops. Only the presence of Constantine's son, Christmas brings the pair some uneasiness...

Peter enthralled us with the latest in a series of letters purportedly written to a friend. The letter remembers the recently deceased mother of the writer. The vivid memories of his mother and father’s relationship brings a hint of moisture to several eyes as words form descriptions of a mother waiting for a father to return from the hunt and in the final paragraph...  

After an absence of several months, Marisa returned and brought an essay entitled The Storm. Written in the second person, her rendition of an evacuation during the recent storm gave insight as how she and "the one she loved" left their new dream house against his wishes, spent the hours of the storm in another home, and the morning after the storm, their return provides a unique view of a  relationship...

Chapter 15 of Don’s memoir gives us a glimpse of what it was like when a young President, John F. Kennedy, called up military reserve troops, including the Air National Guard, in response to Russia's saber rattling. While making ready to report for duty in France, the Indiana Airmen faced with inept administrators and questionable deployment orders, end up returning home without deployment...

A piece we heard once before came back with many remarkable enhancements as Darienne read Take the Dotted Route for the second time. She and hubby embarked on a road trip this past summer. They wandered west using routes less traveled. Through the high plains of Colorado we enjoyed wonders of National Parks in several states concluding our journey at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Each locale was brought to life with great writing giving us the sense of the land with visual, sensual, and emotional prose. Not only did we see the sights of this glorious country but we met wonderful people with dreams fulfilled as they live in the paradise of their choosing...

Join us on October 18th at 6:30 for the next meeting. I don’t know what we’ll discuss but I can promise it will be interesting.

Till then, Keep On Writing!
I’ll see you there.

Monday, October 02, 2017

First Wednesday in October, 9/4/17

Check it out. We’re having our first fall meeting this year.

The last two meetings have been sparsely attended thanks to Irma, she was not welcome nor invited. I hope to see more of you at this meeting and through next spring.

The proposed subject for this meeting’s discussion period. “What’s in a name, especially your character’s name?”

Think about this for a bit and come prepared to discuss the way you name the characters in your fiction or if you change the names to protect the innocent in a memoir.

Bring some of your work to read and receive feedback from the other members. 

See you there on Wednesday night.

Keep on writing,

Saturday, September 09, 2017

FWA e-News

Join the Sarasota Writer's Group Today

Guess What?
On September 16th, from 11 AM to 12 PM EST, Monica Odom is presenting a Webinar on the Dos and Don'ts of pitching to a Literary Agent. Click here for details.

Check out all the need-to-know information before the Annual Conference.
  • Planning to sell your books in the bookstore this year? Sign-up closes this month. Go here for more information.
  • Haven't registered for the Annual Conference yet? Rates go up on 9/18/17. Register here and save.
  • Looking for a way to add some sizzle and pop to your meetings? Group leaders and all interested members are invited to join the Writers Group Rendezvous in the Waldorf on Friday night @ 8:30 PM during the Annual Conference.
  • Don't forget to register your youth for the Annual Youth Conference. Click below for details.

If you are attending or planning to attend the 16th Annual Conference, please be sure to reach out to Hilton Altamonte Springs and book your hotel room. We are nearing capacity. 

Executive Vice President 
Vice President of
Administration & Membership

Cynthia Knopf
Vice President of Finance

Chrissy Jackson
Director Emerita


Florida Youth Writers

Thursday, August 17, 2017

August 16, 2017

It was a small group this week but we managed to have an interesting discussion anyway.

Research and character development seems to come up in many of our discussions. Each member of the group is striving to write well and develop characters as believable individuals. 

Pieces we've read from various sources, print, e-books, and online fell under our literary microscope. We agreed, there are a lot of poorly written works out there and many of these are taking away from the quality indie works published. Much of which could be made better by proper editing and the use of a quality writer’s group.

As writers, we want to publish only quality work that meets the test of our readers and lend credence to our name. Also, good writing and popular works gives a boost to all authors whether traditionally or self-published.

Each of tonight’s readers gave us something to think about and welcomed our comments. 

Continuing the reading of his memoir, Don regaled us with Chapter 14, F84-F. The Indiana Air National Guard received a shipment of F84's, planes considered less than acceptable by the Air Force after the Korean War, but our National Guard units managed to fly them for 20 or more years with a distinguished record. When Don saw the list of planes available he immediately picked out a plane with a tail number matching his address and phone number; what a coincidence. In another incident about the same time, the FAA hadn't approved a device designed to catch a plane at the end of the runway if it couldn't stop. The catch net was installed and operational but the tower was ordered not to use the device until approved. While awaiting approval, a pilot blew a tire on takeoff. Calling for the safety barrier to be raised, his wingman watched as the pilot crashed and burned at the end of the runway.

As a Toastmaster member, Ernie was tasked with writing a speech about something in his life. He chose to speak about his writing in a piece entitled "The Accidental Writer." His speech included recognition of our group, singling out several members. We much appreciated his shout out.

Tish read a portion of a chapter from her memoir, still in its infancy. She is attacking some sensitive issues and it take a lot of guts to write her story. She admits, it's therapeutic and the group encourages her to get her story on paper, worry about editing later. She's a good writer and has a lot to tell.

A mystery writer whose detective, Yale Larsson, has come to life in previous pieces, Doug once again delivered a nice piece. Yale is a Private Investigator who stands up for the little guy. In this case, it’s a blind homeless veteran and Medal of Honor winner. Local authorities make little headway in finding the thugs who beat the disabled man and stole his things, including his Medal of Honor. Yale goes undercover, trash bags in hand to find the perpetrators.  

The second draft of the second chapter in the latest Charlie Bascomb Adventure was offered for critique. When Charlie confides in his wife and tells her about an incident involving his unit in Baghdad, the group questioned whether this character would do such a thing. Maybe a rewrite is in the works.

We have a good time but it will seem a lot longer until our next meeting, this month has five Wednesdays. Our next meeting is September 6th, at 6:30 PM in the Nokomis Fire Station training room. We hope you can join us. The discussions are lively and we would like your input, plus, we want to hear your stories, memoirs, poems, or anything else you write. Please join us.

Keep on Writing,