Schedule and Location

Welcome to the Sarasota Writers Group Blog. We meet the first and third Wednesday of each month at the Nokomis Fire Station. Coming from Sarasota or North, proceed a few blocks south of Albee Road on US 41 (past Matthews-Currie Ford) to Pavonia Road. Turn right (West, toward the bay) at the Fire Station's flashing yellow caution traffic light. If you are coming from the south on US 41, we are 2 blocks north of Dona Bay. Turn left onto Pavonia Road at the flashing yellow caution light. At the Fire Station, drive to the far end, or west side, of the firehall. Please do not block the fire doors! We meet in the training room at the far end of the complex. We Gather for a meet and greet at 6:00 pm Meeting called to order: 6:30 pm Ten-minute break: 7:50 pm Meeting Adjourned: 9:00 pm

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Time goes too fast!

Since we have been on two monthly meetings every month, I can't seem to keep up with this blog. Especially for the second one as it's when all my other deadlines are due.

We had a good and informative meeting last week with Elizabeth's second visit. I even shared her tip about cutting words by taking out one word in each sentence, It works because then you find other sentences that are redundant and you can cut them entirely. It's easier to think in terms of words and sentences than entire excerpts or story lines. Slowly, the repetition or over explaning jumps out at you. I will put it into practice everytime I complete a chapter. Thanks, Elizabeth.

A few announcements: Check out Madeline Mora-Summonte's website. She has just had another story published in Referential Magazine. Madeline's stories are always excellent and if you'd like to see some more really good writing, check out the link to the latest on her website which is linked under the links column to the left of your screen.

I had a wonderful note from John McCafferty in which he sent a newspaper article about the Authors Event at the Free Library in Philadelphia. This is one of the better known events held every year and authors come from all over the country to display their wares and meet with writers and readers. Infinity Publishing has a big display there every year and encourages their authors to come. It is a gorgeous library and I visit it when I'm in Philadelphia. My problem is I'm always up there in the fall for Valley Forge Conference. I will bring John's article to the meeting and share it with all of you. Some good info on 'trends' in today's world of writing.

Rod Digruttolo shared the schedule for Adult Enrichment Courses provided by the Adult and Community Education Center for Sarasota County Schools. I was surprised at the number of writing courses available there. I strongly urge folks to go to their website and ask to be put on the mailing list for Fall Courses. Or phone 941-361-6590. There may also be some openings for the Summer Schedule.

Diane Robertson, a freelance writer and author of "Adventures in Writing" is running a workshop this Saturday at Gulf Gate Library - How To Have a Productive and Respectful Critique Group - More information is available at her website
The workshop will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 and the cost is $30. For more information you may call Diane at 941-752-5669.

More good news - Jane Gill, who has attended our meetings at the firehall has just been accepted by a small publisher press, Double Edge Press out of Pennsylvania. They will be publishing her first novel, "A Matter of Pride". Guess where she met the editor?! At the FWA Annual Conference in Orlando. There's a sunray for those who don't think anything comes out of attending Writers Conferences. Congratulations Jane!!

Another FWA author to watch is Dr. Karen Pirnot. Karen, you will remember is the Child Psychologist who devoted her life to Garret Frey author of "As I Am". The story of how a quadriplegic child has grown into a productive young man. Karen also writes stories for kids and a novels. Her works continue to garner awards and the good news is a big house publishing agent is considering taking on her work. Congratulations Karen! More proof that Independent Publishing does NOT close the doors to major publishing houses. But may, in fact, help open them!

And, for Irv Newman who continues to resist the world of electronics, he is making his debut in coast to coast exposure on "Fox and Quill" just released today. His story on "Friendship" was accepted and he borrowed my access to the internet to send it in. :))
Congratulations Irv!

Again, I apologize for not posting here more often. My intent is there, the time isn't. See you all on Wednesday.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hi Everybody!

Hope you weren't thinking I'd abandoned the blog. Since I saw you all last, I've done two weekends of reviews and conference workshops and entertained a friend, Lois Stern, from New York. Russ Heitz also went to both events and Jim Kelly and Lois, too, accompanied us. It was a great month for writers and poets. Now, I re-group and focus on our General Meeting on Wednesday, the 21st. Hope you are all planning on coming.

As some of you know, Elizabeth Sims spoke to our General Session in March and had penciled us in for a return this month. She has informed me that she is looking forward to joining us again. She has a couple of other exercises to try and also wanted to join in on our discussion and critique. I'm hoping she may be a frequent visitor if in the area more often.

At our reading meeting on the 3rd, Gaile Harpan brought a mother and daughter writing team to visit and Laura Aldir-Herna has decided to join FWA and asked me to post the following of interest to all children's and youth writers:
The Peace River Center for writers,, has just the thing for both aspiring and established authors of books for young people. KIDS STUFF its critique group for children's writers is holding monthly sessions. The next meeting is Saturday, May 8th, 2010 from 10:00 a.m. until 12 noon in Room SA-116 at Edison State College in Punta Gorda. Non-members may attend before deciding whether to join. Bring several copies of an except for feedback or just listen in and share tips. KIDS STUFF is a listed critique group on the SCWBI-Florida chapter site, and the moderator belongs to both SCWBI and the Florida Writers Association. For information, contact (941) 637-3415 or

I have no idea if these links are active, you may have to copy and paste. At least they came up blue this time and I have no idea what I did different. :)

A reminder, too, Jim Kelly picked the words 'forever' and 'haven' for our sentence excercise with words. You can tell Jim is a poet. :) I'd like to publically thank him for contributing his teaching exercise at my poetry workshop in New Port Richey in Linda's absense. Filling Linda's shoes is a challenging task, but Jim would have made Linda proud.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on Wednesday.


Thursday, April 08, 2010

eBooks for Everybody!

For those of us interested in converting our paper books into ebooks, be sure to read the Newsletter that Jerry Simmons distributes for free every other week. The present issue has a lot of very interesting info about the ins and out of ebook production and sales. My own very brief experiences with my own ebooks have, so far, been rocky at best.

On the other hand, a mystery writer named J.A. Konrath has recently sold 30,000 ebooks in a matter of a couple months, doing no promotion at all. Of course, he already has an established name. That makes a HUGE difference. But ebooks are the coming thing, something we will all have to deal with sooner or later, whether we want to or not.

For a copy of the Jerry Simmons newsletter go to As I said, it's free. And also priceless.

Posted by
Russ Heitz

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Meeting Tomorrow or Tonight If It's Morning. 4/7/10

Hope everyone had a great Easter weekend. The weather sure cooperated for a change!

Wednesday the seventh is upon us and we will gather at the usual place at the usual time. Be sure to check the reading guidelines if you plan to read.

I do have an announcement to make for all the Tim Dorsey fans out there. Rich McKee, our absent member, sent me the following:

"I want to let you know that Tim Dorsey is going to be at the Venice Campus of SCF on April 14 from 7 to whatever in the Selby Room auditorium. Please let your FWA members know, and come on down. He's appearing thanks to a program sponsored by the campus creative writing club, Swampscribes, and my creative writing class."

Anyone interested in seeing and meeting Tim Dorsey is welcome to attend.

Just a reminder for those interested in writing sentences with the words of the meeting . . . Rod picked wrought and rot.

Hope to see you all tomorrow night. Anyone with books is welcome to bring them so we can all support each other. Sales can be transacted before and after the meeting or on break.


Friday, April 02, 2010

A Couple of Announcements

Hello and Happy Easter to all. And Happy National Poetry Month to all of our poets!

I wanted to make an announcement that Peter Frickle and Jim Kelly have joined the group of us that are now contributors to the Fox and Quill, a San Diego e-zine that gets National exposure. Peter and Jim join Russ Heitz, Rod Digruttolo, Richard Ide, Bart Stamper and myself just from our group. Jack Wolf has also included FWA Members from other County Chapters. Please take a moment and check out the publication which can be found at I don't know why I can't get these darn urls to turn in to an active link but you can copy and paste it in your browser and I may add it to our link column entries. Everyone that works with Jack enjoys the exposure and he's great to work with! Jim Kelly is included in the Poetry Tribute and Peter has one of his beautiful stories. He's in the process of talking with Jack on getting an audio up with his incredible reading voice. All of you are welcome to submit and I will make the introduction for you if you'd prefer. Russ and I have been contributing for a couple of years now. His readership continues to grow as does Dahris Clair's The Infinite Writer. The publications depend on authors for submissions and at the same time provide the author with a stage to be seen around the country. Check it out! It's a fun read and you'll hang with other writers. It's all about authors supporting authors!

And my Easter wish for all of you . . .

May you always have rainbows gracing your skies . . .
and butterflies dancing before your eyes.