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

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tales to Inspire

Our Long Island friend, Lois Stern, has come up with a contest that is a challenge for everyone. I wanted to give you a heads up on this announcement: A Special Authors Contest for writers and aspiring writers. Please check it out at:
Write up an inspiring tale to inspire others with the power and of your words. If you are a winner, your story will be published in an e-book along with your bio, an optional photo and the link to your website or blog.
Now, just negotiated, another special perk. Every author with a tale accepted into this contest will have the opportunity to showcase their story on Sylvia Massard's online video show, The Lit Chick Show. Sylvia will produce a bi-monthly segment exclusively for Tales2Inspire authors. She has featured some very serious authors on her program.
Even those who don't win will get some special perks. Get all the details on the website. This is a great way to build your author's program and credential list. All this for an entry fee of only $4.95 per story, per category.
You are invited to catch the spirit, flaunt your talents and meet the challenge. Wishing you all good luck as you Travel with Lois Off the Beaten Path!

Lois Stern
P.S. Lois will be down and able to attend meetings in January - March and will be able to answer any further questions you may have.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Seasons Greetings!

We wrapped up the 2011 season with a half-party, half meeting, with coffee (Thanks, Kerri), sandwiches (Thanks, Joanne), and tons of Christmas cookies and brownies. Hannah Lee, our 16 year old guest from the last meeting returned bringing a double layer of homemade brownies that didn't last long. Thanks also to Peter for several tables of fresh fruit! Thanks to everyone who made this a really nice get-together. Everyone brought something and it was all appreciated. The table was piled with cookies, cheese, and far more than we could eat. We tried, though!

We spent an hour or so catching up with old friendships and starting new ones before we started our semi-official meeting. Before we started however, Russ passed out fortune cookies and everyone got to read their fortunes for the benefit of the other members. Some were humorous, and some were right on the mark! Rod commented he would like to write the fortunes stuck inside the little, crunchy nuggets.

After a fun round of fortune telling, we heard several good readings before we all wished everyone a Merry Christmas and closed the door on 2011. We started with Ben, who read from chapter five of his Science Fiction/Fantasy Newearth. He has about 80,000 words so far, about 20 chapters. A discussion followed, as is our normal activity, and everyone is waiting to hear more of the story. Peter read two short pieces, again from personal experience, and as always, both were spellbinding. The River and The Pathway, about the exodus out of Darfur, were not only well written, but also well read by Peter. He has new CD's out soon, three stories of Lothar, and the work My Frog Sings.

Kerri read Twirling, a short story about Rato, the famous cat, (dedicated to Jim) from her work, Homemade Rodeos, Cocoanut Heads, Marshmellow Alligators, Growing Up Floridian,” work. Another great piece of writing. Also, Kerri gave me this listing from Gotham Writers Workshop:

Joanne then expanded our horizons with a reading that had much to do with “rampant hormones,” chapter two of her autobiographical “Memoirs of a Sea Hag.” Needless to say, that was followed by humorous discussion and lots of feedback. Can't unbreak an egg, so to speak.

Jim, (AKA James Kelly) read another one of his great poems, appropriately titled “Kettle of Kindness.” His new book of poetry, “From the Embers,” is available contains 100 pages of his great work.

We wrapped up and cleaned up, and donated the remainder of the goodies (we tried to eat them all but failed miserably) to the Volunteer Firemen of Nokomis, who graciously let us use their meeting room.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or just Happy Holidays, we wish everyone a happy and festive season and a wonderful and healthy new year!

George, and Susan, and Rod, and Russ, and Peter, and Jim, and Ed, and Ed Lyman, too, and Kerri, and Kathy, Ben, Lee. Joann, Barbra, Susan, Linda, and everyone who makes this such a rewarding group. Keep reading and writing!

Our Facebook page is at:

and is accessible to everyone. Stop by when you get a chance and give us a "Like"

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Englewood’s Dearborn Street Book Festival - 2012

Plans are under way for Englewood’s 3th annual Book Festival. It will be held, outdoors, February 18, 10 AM to 3 PM in Pioneer Park on W. Dearborn Street. The park is located between Mango Bistro and the Amherst Train Station shop. There will be ample parking at the rear of the park.

Last year 32 authors participated talking about and selling their books. Several hundred people have turned out both years making this a most successful event.

Entry fee for authors will be $25 and they will be asked to bring their own table and chairs. Tents are acceptable.

This year the Englewood SUN will be the Book Festival sponsor and the Englewood Charlotte Library and Sarasota’s Elsie Quirk Library will be co-sponsors.

There will be a writing contest sponsored by the Sun Coast Writers Guild and cash prizes will be awarded. The deadline for the contest will be January 31, 2011.

For more information, to request contest writing rules or to be put on a mailing list please e-mail Diana Harris at <>

Passing of an Icon

George Whitman, owner of the world famous"Shakespeare and Company Bookstore," died in Paris Dec 14th. See the article at

for a complete look at his amazing story. If the link isn't highlighted, then copy the web site address and copy it into your browser.

Thanks to Susan Davis for the information about George Whitman.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Greetings

Hi Everyone!

For a couple of reasons, I don't mail out paper cards anymore. What I do is have my website master (and that she is) put up a Christmas greeting to all through pictures and music. Soon there will be a poem up by Jim Kelly called "Christmas In the Forest" so if it's not there when you visit, please go back again and again. It's a place where I share the beauty of the season through pictures, I'm not selling anything.
I wish you all a most blessed holiday season.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

December 7th, 2011

Once again we welcomed back several members who spent the summer in cooler climates, and four new guests as well. Welcome back to Joe Porter and Ellen Magnusun, and welcome first time guests Robin and Chuck Thompson, Leigh-Taylor, and special guest, 16 year old Hannah Meredith from Venice High School.

Two really great announcements: Cathy Marine's great book, “No Dead Fish For Ginger, The Story of a Sarasota Bay Dolphin” (ISBN 978-1-936172) is now for sale in the Mote Marine book store! Designed originally for Middle School Science, it is enjoyable by all ages. Being carried by the Mote Marine bookstore is an accomplishment in itself. Secondly, Ed Ellis has deservedly been named Director of the Suncoast Writers Guild for another year. Ed gave a quick run-down on the upcoming Book Fair in Englewood, with details to follow as soon as everything is formalized. We'll keep everyone posted as soon as we get the final information. For now, circle your calendars for February 18th and keep an eye on this blog for updates.

Our donation to the Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department came out to $105, our sincere thanks to all who contributed to our hosts. And special thanks to Susan for bringing Holiday cookies to the meeting! It was decided we will have a meeting of sorts on December 21st after all, but only people who bring unwholesome bakery goods, unhealthy candies or whatnot, will be allowed admission! Yes, it will be a holiday party more than a regular meeting, but be forewarned, readings just might take place! (Seriously, everyone is invited, cookies or not!)

We got under way with the readings after a brief “business” part of the evening. Unfortunately, Ed got caught off guard eating candy and had to pass his one and only chance to read before Peter. Returning Joe Porter got that honor and kicked things off with two original works, one about the tragedy of war and survival during World War Two, and a piece about Moonshiners and politics in Appalachia during the Second World War. Cathy Marine read the last two chapters of her aforementioned book, “No Dead Fish For Ginger, The Story of a Sarasota Bay Dolphin,” followed by Peter's reading from “Yerma,” from “Three Tragedies by Lorca” Luckily, Peter had the English translation. For us, that is. It probably wouldn't phase peter if it were in the original Spanish. He could read it in Swahili and we would still enjoy it. Joanne followed with the opening chapters of her autobiographical “Memoirs of a Sea Hag,” followed by discussion and lots and lots of feedback. Joanne's work always catches everyone's attention.

After a short break destroying Susan's cookies, Kerri enthralled everyone with an another excerpt from her intense saga about a young girl being raised in rural Florida. This was about a different viewpoint of Lexington Farms. Discussion followed as Kerri always captures everyone's imagination with her unique saga. Rod read a piece, always with the unexpected twist, from Ed Lyman, our senior writer, entitled “When the Grim Reaper Laughed.” Returning Ellen Magnusun read from her book, “S'Truth, Fear to Faith,” and reminded us to always collect our payment, no matter how distasteful the customer might be!

A special treat for us was 16 year old Hannah Meredith, a guest of Kerri Dieffenwierth, who read several original pieces, including a touching memorial for a classmate. One selection, “Life,” was written in geometry class, but we won't tell anyone! Hannah will be heard from in the future, we have no doubt. Richard read a chapter from his in-progress science fantasy, and once again we were out of time! It was a fun, fast evening, and those who wished to read but didn't get the chance will go first next time. Depending on how many goodies are served, of course, it will be the Christmas party. See everyone in two weeks!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Meeting Reminder

Just a heads up that Wednesday, Decemeber 7th will be our last meeting until January 4th. Hope to see you all there. I will be taking up the Christmas donation for the Fire Department for those who've not yet contributed.

Best, Susan