Our first meeting of new season got off to a great beginning! It was so good to see all there and I await even more returning on the 15th. So much to share again. If this keeps up, you all will be keeping Russ and I busy with blog posts!
Before I make announcements, though, I'd like to welcome a new member who has assured us she will return. Cheryl Ennis, like so many of us, walked in the door a bit scared and not knowing what to expect. Everyone welcomed her warmly and she has since written to me of her joy in meeting up with such a caring group. I'd like to say to her publically, that her presence was enjoyed by everyone and she has found a home!
Our members are all becoming so accomplished, I have several special announcements to make or reiterate from my last post. I'll start with details on those not previously mentioned. Although, she isn't able to attend the meetings, many of you are familiar with the name, Dr. Karen Pirnot. She is a member of FWA and a wonderful woman who has devoted her professional life to helping others, especially children. Many of you will relate her to the book, "As I Am" about Garrett Frey, a paraplegic since age four. Dr. Karen spent a good many years as Garrett's Child Psychologist, and still remains one of his biggest support systems. She was instrumental in writing the book "As I Am" about the life of this inspiring young man and how he's used his ever-sharp mind to build his own life giving back to others. Our former member, John McCafferty, wrote a beautiful story featured in the Venice Gondolier Sun when Karen and Garrett appeared in Venice. Dr.Karen who does reside in Sarasota now, has written many books, inspired by her own children and those she's helped. Dr. Karen entered six books in the "Reader's Favorite Literary Awards for 2010" and all six of them won awards! They are:
Gold Medals: "The Keeper of the Lullabies" "Learning To Be Me" "Just Hanging Out" (Karen illustrated this book and her granddaughter Khaya wrote the poetry) "The Learners of Owamboland" (Co-authored with her niece Gina)
Silver Medal: "A Colorful Day" (granddaughter, Taryn, illustrated and she wrote)
Bronze Medal: "The Blue Penguin" (granddaughter, Makenna, illustrated and she wrote)
Dr. Karen will go to Las Vegas in November to an Awards luncheon. She is currently working on a five-book series for Young Adults. The series is entitled "The Reality Kids" and it features ordinary children placed in extraordinary circumstances such as that of young Garret Frey - "As I Am". Congratulations, Dr. Karen. After years of giving, you're still giving back. An example for all writers!
Dr. Pirnot is also included in Lois Stern's (who you all met in April at our Group meeting) "Little Tree House in the Woods" featured story this month on the home page of my site: www.sucarha.com Also included in that story are kudos to Russ Heitz and the Group!
I think I mentioned at the meeting that this month's Fox and Quill includes a debut submission from Jim Kelly, Rod Digruttolo, and Russ's new segment on mystery/crime writing. I think I threw something up about my Alaskan adventures in the Poem of the Month. Also, don't forget Bart Stamper's excerpt on war which is visible on the home page.
Update on Russ Heitz and Rod Digruttolo! Both have been accepted for their memoir stories submitted to the Memoir publication magazine which will earn them $50! Rod also got accepted for one that donates to the charity. For more about this organization, see Russ's previous post. Congratulations to both Russ and Rod! Wonderful news! Rod is selling work already! Russ, of course, has sold lots for years! There's some inspiration for those of you wondering if you can do it, too! Of course, you can!I am now a finalist for the poetry performance contest at Deep Carnivale in Ybor City the weekend of September 10th. Finals begin Friday, Sept. 10 @ 7:30 pm at the Hillsboro Community College Performing Arts Center, Ybor campus. Linda says there is "some damn tough competition" and she is practicing and will be all week. This girl is devoted to her art. If you are at all interested in seeing how performance poetry is really done you should go just for the entertainment value. "In two minutes time, the poets will literally blow you away!!!" says Linda. There is a $5 charge, but well worth it. For more info visit www.deepcarnivale.com . If you can make it, I'd love the support and you'll love the action.
Speaking of inspiration . . . more details on our performance poet. I mentioned that Linda White was in the contest being held in conjunction with the Pinellas County Community Arts in Ybor City. She is now a finalist for the poetry performance contest at Deep Carnivale in Ybor City the weekend of September 10th. Finals begin Friday, Sept. 10 @ 7:30 pm at the Hillsboro Community College Performing Arts Center, Ybor campus. Linda says there is "some damn tough competition" and she is practicing and will be all week. This girl is devoted to her art. If you are at all interested in seeing how performance poetry is really done you should go just for the entertainment value. "In two minutes time, the poets will literally blow you away!!!" says Linda. There is a $5 charge, but well worth it. For more info visit www.deepcarnivale.com . Linda went on to say, "If any of you can make it, I'd love the support and you'll love the action.
If Linda is picked for the top three out of nine on Friday night, she will return for the award winning finals held on Saturday. Linda shared with us at the Rookery that she has chosen to perform "Doc". This performance is on her CD for those of you who have it. She is freshening it up and kicking it in for this performance she told us! Linda, we all have faith in your ability and you'll do fine regardless the outcome! Congratulations on making it this far!! In itself, a huge accomplishment!
I'd also like to announce that Kris Palmer, Jim Kelly and I have been invited to visit and read and discuss our work by Rich McKee on November 15th. Rick is also a member of FWA but cannot attend the meetings as long as he is scheduled for night classes. He is a Creative Writing teacher at the new Central Florida University. Rich taught many years at Ringling School of Arts as well. This year, he has accepted a full-time position at the new University. He teaches at the North Port Campus so it's much closer for him to travel, a resident of South Venice. We all know that Jim is right at home in a classroom and Kris, when I asked her, was grateful for the challenge of speaking to a group of students. I'm so proud of her, I could jump up and down!
I sincerely believe that we will break down new walls every year that this group stays together and grows both in talent and accomplishment. I'm also proud to be your much helped leader.
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