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

Monday, March 08, 2010

My Monday Surprise to the Group

Over the course of our growth in the Sarasota County FWA Chapter, it became clear that our group enjoyed interaction and discussion. We have such a diverse and talented group, we've usually drawn from our own for our learning experiences. Occasionally, however, I am honored to have an opportunity to present a guest speaker that is special. This is one of those times! In fact, when first contacted, I was a bit speechless and said so!

You've all heard me recommend the magazine, "Writer's Digest". Some of you have subscriptions as I write this. How about a guest speaker that is actually a contributing editor to this magazine? How about a guest speaker who is a professional novelist, currently with a mystery series, The Rita Farmer Mysteries, under contract with St. Martin's Minotaur? How about a professional speaker teaching and coaching at Writers Conferences as well as mentoring individuals on the craft of good writing? What if you had a chance to meet any one of these kind of guest speakers free of charge with you as her sole subject to test a new teaching technique on how to write better and more freely? Wouldn't you jump at the chance? You would if you truly desire to be a writer!

Okay, what if you had the opportunity to meet all three at once? Would that not be the opportunity of new writer's lifetime? It would be for me and I've been in this business for ten years! That is my surprise! All three will be present at our March 17th meeting in the form of one professional and talented writer, Elizabeth Sims! Elizabeth's list of accomplishments can be viewed at

Elizabeth is in town for a period of time visiting her mother and she honored me with taking the time to find us! Now, you see why I was speechless when I got her message! We've since had email exchanges and today a lovely phone conversation. I was so impressed with her down to earth 'niceness'and caring for the craft. That quality I always look for in people. I'm so NOT a fan of condescension! I'd like to quote a few of her words.

"Right now I'm working on some new teaching techniques to help people write better and more freely, and I need some test subjects! I'd like to meet with your group and try them out on you. This would be free of charge. You guys would be doing me a favor volunteering as my 'guinea pigs' for an evening or two. Of course, I'd be glad to answer questions afterward about writing and getting published, etc."

Elizabeth Sims
"Literature makes life worth living."
The Rita Farmer Mysteries
The Lillian Byrd Crime Series
Contributing Editor, Writer's Digest Magazine

As your group leader, I'm honored to be able to bring such a professional woman to our group as a guest. I assure you, this is NOT an opportunity to miss. I can guarantee one thing, Russ, Sharon and I will be there with bells on! Personally, I am thrilled at the prospect of meeting Elizabeth and I'm no stranger to meeting celebrities and have been most fortunate enough to call some of them friends now. Celebrities started where we start. They are dedicated to their craft and work darn hard to achieve their success. Some have horror stories about what they endured. How can they not deserve their status, success and our respect?

Mark your calendars for this 17th meeting as being a special not miss event! I'd hate for anyone to lose this chance.