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

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fair and Festival Update

Englewood’s Dearborn Street Book Festival is almost here!

DATE: February 18/2012 PLACE: Pioneer Park, W. Dearborn St.

We hope you are planning to participate. Here’s how to reserve a spot:

1. Make your check of $25 to: SUNCOAST WRITERS/BOOK FESTIVAL

2. Send your check to:




We are really excited about our book festival drawing near. We feel there is great interest being generated in it. We have gotten good PR so far and will be getting more. This year we will have a large banner across SR # 776 for several days before the festival, thanks to our main sponsor The Englewood SUN. Englewood’s two libraries, Elsie Quirk and Englewood Charlotte, also sponsors, have printed fliers and they have been distributed around town. The Suncoast Writers Guild is sponsoring the Writers Contest. There will be music by “SAX on the Beach.” Cafes are nearby for food take out.

SET UP TIME for the Authors will start at 9 am. The Festival will go from 10 am to 3 pm. Authors will be furnishing their own table/chairs and are free to decorate their tables or space as they wish. Tents are acceptable as we have plenty of room. There will be Porti-Potties in the Park. Leashed dogs are permitted as long as they are picked up after.

LOCATION: PIONEER PARK, is on W. Dearborn Street in the 300 block located between Mango Bistro and the Amherst Train Station shop. You will see a sign saying Book Festival at the front of the Park but please circle the block and enter the rear of the Park from the next street over, GREEN STREET. There will be a volunteer there to direct you. There is ample parking at the rear of the Park. Look for the check-in table and you will be guided to your spot.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to e-mail me ( or call me at (941) 474-5837. See you all soon.

Diana Harris

Venice Book Fair Date Changed

The Venice International Book Fair and Writers Festival has been changed from Feb. 11 to April 7. More information to come.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Information and a Recommend

Good morning all!

There is some information I need to share and I've been putting it off until I could obtain a more permanent address. Things keep changing and I don't feel I should wait any longer. Many of you know, or have been represented in Dahris Clair's ezine, The Infinite Writer. Dahris and her husband, Carl, visited our group when Jack Wolf came from San Diego. She and I started together in FWA six years ago and became dear friends.

Dahris was, until this year, was the Group Leader for the Pasco County Chapter and some of you attended the one day Mini-Conferences she sponsored in New Port Richey. Nearly two weeks ago on Saturday I received the call from Carl that Dahris had fallen and broken her neck. She already had several health issues so this was shocking to me. But, a fighter she is and the outlook was positive with rehab. I was waiting for a rehab address before announcing it so folks could send her get well wishes. That has not come to pass. Since being in the hospital, some other problems have developed and Dahris has now had a feeding tube inserted and is in the Cardiac Care Unit.

Several of you have asked for an address so I've decided to give the following where the cards will be delivered to her.
Dahris Clair
7844 Datura Lane
New Port Richey, Florida

Dahris is a dear lady of 82 and well wishes would so do her heart good. She did push herself past endurance providing a stage for authors with the Infinite Writer and working with aspiring writers through FWA dedication.

Next, I'd like to recommend one of our own that never speaks of his own accomplishments. He has taken over this blog and is doing a fantastic job. He sits at every meeting offering input and enthusiasm. Yes, I'm speaking of George Mindling who drives to our meetings all the way from Port Charlotte. Have any of you gone to his website link listed in the links section to your left? I've been researching some of the many articles he's produced over the last ten plus years. I continue to be amazed. He has two published books, one that shouts of his education and intelligence in aeronautics and a second that I have an idea is a humorous account called "Sleeps Two". I'm going to procure this one for my RV-ing son and daughter-in-law. George?

This past weekend, however, I discovered another blog site and was totally taken in. It's a tour through George and his wife's garden. You all know I am an avid Nature and animal activist. Wandering visually through this beautiful tropical setting was a joy. He won't talk about himself and I can relate to that, so I will do it for him. Check the link on the left and then go to: I assure you that you will be impressed.

Next Wednesday we will have our first February meeting on the 1st. I look forward to seeing you all there and please send Dahris some cheer and check out the talent of George Mindling. If you have an inspiring tale to tell, check out, too, the Tales2Inspire contest sponsored by Lois Stern, who will be with us through March.


Saturday, January 21, 2012


Non-fiction stories in any format written with an uplifting, thought provoking or touching message.



ENTRANCE FEE: $4.95 per story, per category

AUTHOR BENEFITS: The following two benefits, which are normally reserved exclusively for published authors, will also be available to non-published (aspiring authors) who take part in this contest through special liaisons I have made under the TALES2INSPIRE BANNER.

Each author submitting an inspiring “tale” accepted into this contest will have the opportunity to showcase it on novelist and host, Sylvia Massara’s Internet video LitChic Show (short for Literary Chic, not Chic Lit), where Sylvia has committed to a bi-monthly TALES2INSPIRE program to feature every contributing author.

Lois and Sylvia just went live to kick off the Tales2Inspire contest, so you might want to watch this video intro for more details:

A second new feature comes as a result of a liaison Lois has formed with award winning author, teacher and marketing guru Carolyn Howard-Johnson. Each author with an inspiring “tale” accepted into this contest will have the opportunity to have a review of their story placed on her popular book review blog under the Tales2Inspire banner

Contest Guidelines, 'how-to's' and 'what if's' are detailed on the tales2inspire website:

SUGGESTION: Start on the homepage and click the GREEN CONTINUE button at the end of each screen to get instant answers to all of your questions. You are welcome to contact me at:, but please understand that depending on volume of inquiries, it might take me several days to respond.

Warm regards,

Lois W. Stern

Creator of the TALES2INSPIRE Contest

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wednesday, Jan 18th 2012

We had a great dialogue about our format at the Wednesday meeting of the Sarasota chapter of the Florida Writers Association. We decided to continue just enjoying whatever each meeting evolves into, although the readings will continue to be the main focus of the meetings. We have readings by members at each meeting who usually read their own material, but often they read passages from favorite works or books of one particular favorite author or genre. Friendly reviews and even serious critiques usually follow each reading, and often we run out of time before we run out of readers. That format fits the wants of most members, and it is flexible enough to allow us to invite Hayward Hawkins to address the group sometime in the near future. Rod DiGruttolo did his usual great job of directing the group and we decided to allow anyone who didn't get to read at a meeting to go to the front of the list for the next meeting.

At Wednesday's meeting we welcomed newcomer Bob Dombrowski, retired firefighter from Detroit, and returning snowbird, or sunbird, depending on your point of view, Lois Stern. Bob has 38 years of great pent-up stories just waiting for an audience.

After twenty or so minutes of catching up and discussing the state of writing, we opened the floor and started with a reading by Rod, who had graciously passed on reading since last October or so. It was worth the wait. The Spaghetti Blight was a funny, 250 word work that captured everyone. Susan Davis read her short story based on Stephen King's On Writing exercise, “Action News at Three.” A great and worthy interpretation of the challenge from the Master himself that kept everyone glued to the story. Having an “FM” voice certainly doesn't detract from the story, either.

Ed Ellis read a humorous piece about close friends ribbing each other called “Blinders,” and the poignant response from the dear friend being ribbed. No critiques here, just thoughtful appreciation. Robin Thompson, who wrote at one time for comedienne Lily Tomlin, read her untitled piece, which I have dubbed “How can Robin be Dead?” A reflective piece about the finality of life and the inevitability of the passage of time, interspersed with humor and grace.

George Mindling read his interpretation of the Stephen King challenge, initially watching for eyes to glaze over. It didn't matter, he finished it anyway, another first attempt at writing for fun instead of doing technical or non-fiction work. That is what our group is about, writing for the sake of enjoyment and entertainment, and every piece is an expansion of that ability. Another short discussion followed, mainly about the use of punctuation in quotations.

Joanne Phillips read a great bit of short prose called “The Dog Days of August,” followed by two humorous short poems: “Dead Muse” and “I'm Little, You're a Lot!” Peter Frickel then read a series of somewhat gripping, but entertaining pieces beginning with “Silent Like A Soldier,” followed by “Banana,” “He Drank Like A Swan,” and a great piece about Vineyards. Several Haikus followed, and once again it was 9:00pm. A fast, entertaining evening, including a break with Bill Elam expanding everyone's horizons with his extraordinary knowledge about the origin of words we take for granted.

For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, as a crime in the British court system, has now been added to my meager pool of knowledge about the words I use on a daily basis. Next meeting will be the 1st of February. See you then.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Paint the Town Re(a)d

From Russ Heitz
Hello all,

Sarasota County Library System is planning the second PAINT THE TOWN RE(a)D; A BOOK LOVER’S CONVENTION, to be held at the Selby Public Library, downtown Sarasota, on Saturday, APRIL 7, 2012 (FROM 10AM TO 2PM). Honoring and highlighting reading experiences and book discussions, we are inviting all book clubs in our county to attend, and to be part of the event. If you belong to a book club or know of a friend who belongs to one, please let me know. We are inventorying all of them. We don’t want to leave anybody out !! Preliminary programs will be out sometime in February. Thanks !! Vera

Vera Neumann-Wood
Senior Special Collections Librarian
Selby Public Library1331 1st Street
Sarasota, FL 34236(941) 861-1175