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, October 22, 2012

Florida Writers Association Convention - Contact

Hello George,

It was great meeting you at the FWA Conference!  Here is the link to the Florida Publishers Association which we discussed.

FPA is a wonderful organization that answers many authors marketing and publishing questions.

Below is my contact information.  Don't hesitate to contact me.  Have a great week!

Kind regards,

Mark Wayne Adams
Mark Wayne Adams, Inc.
P.O. Box 916392
Longwood, FL 32791

Saturday, October 20, 2012

We are in the back...

We are in the back of the Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department, actually the far west side of the building. The Sarasota Writers Group graciously uses the academic training room of the fire department on the side of the building farthest away from U.S. 41. We have our own parking area right by the door, but please don't block the fire doors or the road into the area. While it is a Florida Writers Association meeting, it is an open meeting, welcoming non-members as well. The only requirement for attendance is a desire to write.

We had another great turn out as the fall season begins, with the return of Bill Elam, Peter and Barbara Frickel, and Kerri Dieffenwierth. We welcomed Christine Burton to her first meeting and Rod's lovely wife, Betsy, as well. After the usual meet and greet, a basic semblance of order fell into place and we began our second meeting of October in earnest.

Rod opened the meeting with comments from Jim Kelly. Jim recently spoke with long time member Irv Newman who sends his warm regards to the group. Irv has been active with the hospice, and the nurses, and is keeping up with his writing.

Kerri mentioned she will be attending the upcoming Sanibel Island Writers Conference, November 8 through the 11th. The only details we have at the moment is on the Sanibel Island Writers Conference Facebook page.

George passed out flyers for the upcoming Eckerd College Writers’ Conference: Writers in Paradise, to be held this January 19-27, 2013, and reminded everyone the 11th annual Florida Writers Association Conference is to be held in Orlando this next weekend.

Rod began the readings with a humorous piece that has been selected for posting on the Swiss Army Knife web site, On The Cutting Edge: The Bloody History of the Swiss Army Knife, by our centenarian Ed Lyman. ( Ed, incidentally, has been published in every issue of the quarterly literary magazine, the Pepper Tree. His wit and humor always draws great responses after the readings which are handled masterfully by Rod.

Joanne Phillips read her next installment of Memoirs of a Sea Hag titled, Bite Me! Only Joanne could tell the story of being bitten, I'm not saying where, by her own dentures. Joanne says it was in the Bahamas...

Kitt Crescendo read from her untitled work in progress, tentatively known as Four One Night Only, and will have every scrambling to look up the ingredients of the drink, Alien Secretion. Again, Kitt shows her skill in capturing her readers (listeners) with her writing. Glad to have Kitt in the group.

George Collias had everyone's rapt attention with his fascinating Sliver of a Memory, a personal memoir of Hemingway in Key West when George was a child living in Miami, and again later in Ketcham, Idaho, where Hemingway spent his last years. Some great intertwining of professional development and coincidental meetings. A really unique seed here, we hope George develops it further.

Kerri read her latest work Swamp Angels, from her great expanding anthology on growing up in untamed Florida. The saga of the “Owls” continues, and again, Kerri snags the listener as efficiently and firmly as her personal stories touch everyone. Great discussion followed the reading, including her use of changing POV, point of view, from 1st person to 3rd person effectively in the piece. Great writing from Kerri, as usual.

As always, our poet extraordinaire, Jim Kelly again stopped the show with two, marvelous short poems. First, Picket Fence, and then the timeless, remarkable Hero. Amazingly, they were written earlier in the day. Really great poetry, we are waiting for the next compilation of Jim's works. He may not have started it yet, but we are waiting none the less.

Susan Davis caught Rod off guard as he wanted to hear more about her recent travels, but instead she read one of her marvelous, untitled poems, also written shortly before the meeting. These people must really work well under pressure! She then read a poignant piece about death and acceptance, again, great writing.

Ed Ellis was up next with his applause generating Heavy Fog of Fish. He took us all to Catalina Island as if we were there, leaving us wondering how he did that. We're still wondering about being bologna and cheese, or cheese and bologna. Or spark plugs. You had to be there. It was worth the wait.

We then took a ten minute breather, then jumped back into the wonderful pool of writers who grace our meetings with Peter Frickel, who read his poem Crocodile Baking in the Sun, and then read a passage from Langston Hughes' Raisin in the Sun. Peter never fails to enthrall our group of enthusiasts.

We then were treated to the return of Bill Elam, who introduced us to the quasi-legal term of, if I copied it correctly, of equine-anal, or something pretty close to that. Lawyer talk. Bill then read again in the vein of old men reflecting on their lives, and the painting that miraculously took the colors of a pile of rust and iron oxide brilliantly and inexplicably.  It was well received in discussion by the group.

Rod closed out the meeting reading a chapter in his Little Skeeter story, Soap Box Racer, growing up in Sarasota in far less complicated times. The tight, well written piece had the drama of a NASCAR race even though we knew they were soap box derby cars coasting down a hill. Again, well received and appreciated. It's good to hear Rod get to read his own writing.

Our group of writers is an eclectic, diverse talented group of people and I look forward to every meeting. Drop in and take a listen if you get the chance. See you next time November 7th!


Monday, October 15, 2012

L. David Marquet Book Signing!

Hi everyone! I'll be at the Venice Library tomorrow at 2pm discussing my book Turn the Ship Around! There will be a short discussion followed by Q&A and opportunity to buy and get books signed. Turn the Ship Around is the number 1 rated leadership and management book on Amazon out of 365,000 books!
hope to see you there


L. David Marquet

Tales2Inspire has opened its doors for the second year.

Tales2Inspire has opened its doors for the second year.

Did you know that four of the winners for 2012 were members of Gulf Coast writers groups - two from this wonderful Sarasota Writers Group? What talent in Fl. Let's see if we can do it again. A few changes have made it even better for winning authors, so be sure to visit to see what's new!

Warm regards, Lois

Sunday, October 07, 2012

4th Annual Dearborn Street Book Festival


We have really enjoyed putting them together and we thank you for helping make them so successful. We wanted to let you know we are in the planning stage of the
4th Annual Dearborn Street Book Festival

It will be held Saturday, February 16, 2013, 10 am to 3 pm
in Pioneer Park on W. Dearborn Street, Englewood.
The fee will be $25 for a space.

We have reorganized our writing contest and have named it “Write-On-Englewood” Short Story and Poetry Competition.

No more than 250 words for a poem, no less than 500 words for a short story, no more than 800. There is no theme and we ask for only unpublished work. There will be cash prizes and winning entries will be read at the festival not at another location. So start writing.

There is nothing for you to do now but to mark your calendar. Closer to the Festival we will send out more information. Looking forward to seeing you all in Feb.

Diana Harris          phone (941) 474-5837

Ann Favreau wins National Essay Contest

Ann Favreau of Venice, one of our most loyal FWA members and President of the Suncoast Writers Guild, Inc., has won the national essay contest sponsored by the United Ostomy Associations of America to celebrate World Ostomy Day.  Her submission may be published in the Phoenix magazine, we'll post the availability and as soon as we have the details. Ann's current book, It's Okay to Have an Ostomy, is available at Congratulations, Ann!

Friday, October 05, 2012

It's going to be a Great Season!

We have several announcements about upcoming writers events.

Heidi from Sandman Book Company in Punta Gorda  ( ) announced the Turtle Crossing Book Bazaar, a Florida book festival celebrating local authors and literature, 
November 17, 2012 from 10 am to 4pm, at 16500 Burnt Store Road, Punta Gorda, Florida 33955 (near Burnt Store Marina).  For details, check

Secondly, Christine Koryta, coordinator for the Eckerd College Writers’ Conference: Writers in Paradise, announced the Ninth Annual conference this January 19-27, 2013.  Details are available at: 

The 2013 Eckerd College Writers’ Conference will feature lectures on craft by National Book Critics Circle Award and PEN/Faulkner Award winning author, Ann Patchett (State of Wonder), New York Times Best-Selling authors Dennis Lehane (Live By Night), and Michael Koryta (The Prophet), as well as workshops led by Andre Dubus III – Short Story I (House of Sand and Fog), Stewart O’Nan – Short Story II (Last Night at the Lobster), Tom Franklin – Novel I (Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter), Ann Hood – Novel II (The Red Thread), Laura Lippman – Novel III (And When She Was Good), Les Standiford – Nonfiction (Bringing Adam Home), Beth Ann Fennelly – Poetry (Unmentionables), David Yoo – Young Adult Writing (The Detention Club), and much more.

All events will be updated as we receive more information.

Watch closely now, things are popping up daily!


Thursday, October 04, 2012

The First Wednesday in October

The first Wednesday in October saw a really great turnout in spite of the Presidential debate scheduled for later in the evening. We welcomed four newcomers, Jim Stoner, Bob Sutherland, Chad Brockhoff, and Chalise Bourque, and we welcomed back an old friend when George Collias returned as well.

After the usual greetings and cordiality, the meeting kicked off with Rod DiGruttolo holding the gavel and allowing me to speak briefly about the upcoming Florida Writers Association Convention October 19th, 20th and 21st. Full details of the upcoming conference can be found at I was pleased to announce Don Westerfield has donated the profits of his great book of poetry, Casting Shadows, to the Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department, our gracious hosts for our meetings. We usually collect five dollars from our members twice a year as a donation to the NVFD to show our support and thanks for the volunteer organization. Don's gracious contribution is greatly appreciated.

Rod started the readings with Roger Satowski's great piece titled How to Write Stuff Nobody Reads, or, really, what constitutes a novel? Discussions followed briefly, then the truncated meeting resumed with Don Westerfield reading his rewritten The Photograph. We thought it was excellent before, but the discreet smoothing and tuning made it really great. Don also read the excellent poem from the piece called “Secret Places.”

Joanne Phillips cautiously read the next chapter of her book, Memoirs of a Sea Hag. Joanne felt one critique of her last chapter was a little too caustic. No fear, her continuing story about sailing the Bahamas and the Glass Window Bridge on Eluthera used intertwined dialog and descriptive narrative to capture everyone's attention. Well Done!

Susan Davis again had everyone in her power as she read “Eating My Way Up the Coast”. The one passage that insured rapt attention was, “Orgasmic! No, said his wife, it was better than sex!” They were talking about swimming after a great shrimp dinner. No one missed a word of the narrative! Susan will soon be published in the Venice Gondolier with articles of local interest to the community. We look forward to her column!

Kat Levato read her poem, “Inflamed,” and showed the wordsmithing and care used to define really sensuous writing. Really, really nice work! We do hear some really nice poetry at the meetings, and Kat is another welcome addition.

Andrew Parker read Chapter Four of his Robot Story, Crash, and showed his ability to tell a griping story and hold everyone's attention. We noticed the manuscript had 327 numbered pages, so we look forward to more. What happened to Mary and Tommy after the crash? We'll have to wait to find out.

We wrapped up the shortened meeting with a reading by a welcome FWA member, Chalise Bourque. Chalise read a short piece entitled, That Kind of Guy, and immediately made fans of the entire audience. This was Chalise's first meeting with our group, and we look forward to seeing her in the future. Her book, “One Right Thing,” will be on sale at the Convention.

And with that, we took a break and everyone who wanted to watch the debate made their goodbyes. When the break was over, we basically had only a few who didn't have too far to travel, so we all said our goodbyes until the next meeting, October 17th.

See you then,


Ed Lyman is published once again

Russ Heitz sent this really nice e-mail about our friend and centenarian, Ed Lyman.

Ed Lyman called me today to tell me his story, ON THE CUTTING EDGE: The Bloody History of the Swiss Army Knife, was accepted for publication on the Swiss Army Knife website  (  I sent a short email to them with some additional info about Ed and got the following response.  I don't know when the story will appear but we'll definitely have to keep an eye out for that.

If you want to send Ed a note of congratulations his email address is


Hello Russ,
Thank you so much for your endearing email!

I'm an Ed Lyman fan and (I'm sad to say) I've never even heard of him before. Your email prompted me to do a quick Google search and I saw his 100th birthday photo. I'll dig a little deeper as time permits.

Your email has been forwarded to the proper department. Hopefully, your background information on Ed will accompany his story. It would be so nice to share Ed Lyman with the world!
Thank you,
TRG Group Customer Service

To: TRG Group Customer Service
It is my understanding that your website ( recently accepted a story for publication in your "Stories" section that was written by Ed Lyman of Venice , Florida , re: his humorous tale about the Swiss Army Knife.

I just wanted to give you some info about Ed that you might want to include with the story which he calls "On the Cutting Edge."  Most important of all, Ed Lyman celebrated his 100th birthday this past summer!  He is also very active in a writing group in the Venice , Florida , area.  I am also part of that writing group.  The group is affiliated with the Florida Writer's Association.  Ed has published nearly 100 short humorous articles like the one you accepted.  His subject matter is broad and varied but always humorous.  His stories usually with a "snapper" ending as well.

Ed Lyman is a remarkable old gentleman and I hope you can provide some extra publicity for him and his story.

I have known Ed for about 10 years and he continues to amaze me with his intelligence, wit, compassion and, most of all, his youthful enthusiasm for the written word and for Life in general.

If you need additional information about Ed please feel free to contact me at the above email address.

Russ Heitz