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

Friday, December 28, 2012

December 19th Meeting

Our Christmas meeting was a nice mixture of socializing and enjoying the moment with our traditional readings. We had twenty-six members and spouses in attendance as we shared coffee brought by Kerri, and sparkling wine supplied by Joanne, along with a table full of cookies, cakes, even hot wings brought by all the members. A really nice get-together and a great opportunity to meet spouses who wonder what we really do on Wednesday night. Now they just wonder why. Seriously, we may see more spouses at regular meetings as everyone had a great time.

We donated $151.00 to the Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department, as well as the remainder of the Christmas goodies, and wished everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Seasons Greetings, and deferred any serious reading until January 2nd.

Kit will kick off our new season with a really nice presentation on blogging. Those writers who would like to start a blog to enhance their writings and books should plan on this meeting!

See everyone next year!

Have a safe and Happy New Years!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012


If your goal is to get published in the coming year, you’ll want to attend Sleuthfest on Saturday, February 16, 2013, at the Hyatt, in Sarasota, FL. The conference is sponsored by the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of American and will feature intense, hands-on workshops led by bestselling authors Elaine Viets and Kristy Montee (writing as P.J.Parrish). Registration details are available at

Joanna Slan - The Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America

Sunday, December 16, 2012

FWA Collection #5—It’s A Crime

FWA Collection #5—It’s A Crime
2013 Entry Guidelines
It’s A Crime is the title and theme for the 2013 FWA Collection #5 of sixty short pieces, written by FWA members, submitted electronically, published by FWA, and marketed across the nation through national booksellers as well as on our own website.

The Collection is published annually; each year presents a new theme and Person of Renown. This year’s Person of Renown is Edna Buchannan.
It’s A Crime is a story about crime, or perhaps the idea of crime(s). Every submission must be connected in some way with crime. Any kind of crime–think about it–crime itself, breaking the law in its numerous manners, social crimes, or “criminal” behavior. It can be connected with concepts, too. Have you ever heard someone shout, “I could kill you for that!” Or have you ever heard the comment, “I think it’s a crime she’s wearing that!”

Virtually all stories as well as poems are eligible. Two entries may consist of two stories, one story and one poem or two poems. This is a blind judging. No one knows the author until the sixty winners are announced. Readers love variety and look for fiction or nonfiction subject matter with a wide interpretation. Entries may be funny, quirky, dramatic, tragic, disturbing, or heart-warming.

FWA’s judges will select their sixty favorites from the electronic submissions received between February 1 and midnight May 15, 2013. Judges score each entry independently. Each judge submits his/her scores to the Collections Coordinator who computes the total. The top sixty scoring entries will be published. 

Interested?   Check / for the submission guidelines.   

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December 5th, 2012

We kicked off the meeting with thirteen writers attending at 6:30 pm.  Rod DiGruttolo again skillfully wielded the gavel and ran another great meeting.  We welcomed back Susan Haley, iconic founder and spark-plug for the group. Susan spent the summer with friends and relatives and returned only two days before the meeting. We also welcomed back Robin Wise and Dianne Shedlock, and it was good to see Ben drop in once again. It was another great evening as we heard from Russ Heitz who, working on an idea from Irv Newman, collected thoughts and comments about Ed Lyman to be used in a tribute to Ed that will be distributed at the Christmas meeting.

Our Christmas get-together will be held during the next meeting, Dec 19th. Kerri is bringing the Dunkin' Donuts coffee, and every else is encouraged to bring whatever favorite holiday treats they'd like to share. Everyone is invited, including spouses and guests. Any goodies not consumed, more likely devoured, will be donated to the Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department. We will present the Fire Department Chief Steve Kona with the holiday donation we all made together, a total of $91.00 dollars.

A discussion about our meeting format will lead us to more presentations and guest speakers in the future. We'll kick off the New Year with a meeting January 2nd that will reduce the time available for reading, but allow for more discussions and presentations. Also decided was a new procedure for critiques. In the future, presentations for critique will be limited to 1500 words, or no more than three pages. All presentations will be printed for handout, double spaced, and will be returned to the presenter, without names, after the material has been critiqued. Discussions may follow the readings, but they will be general and not specific.

Rod solved one problem neatly by having Peter Frickel read first. That way, everyone has to follow Peter! Again, Peter's tales of youth of another time in Africa, He Looked At Me, and “Nell” held everyone's attention. Don Westerfield's The Flirt, caught everyone off guard. Not to be read outside the sanctuary, he asked. Funny stuff, great writing. Robin read “Sparky,” and had everyone convinced it was not a piece of fiction. It was, of course, although we have all had pets that have taken us to the edge. Her husband vehemently denied any part of “Walt's” heart attack. Great to have Robin back.

Ed Ellis continued with his work in progress, tentatively named Asymmetrical Wars. More great adventure writing, the post-nuclear war saga continues. We got to hear Chapter 27 of Joanne Phillips Adventures of a Sea Hag and said farewell to Sid, a character we had come to know quite well. Jim Kelly did it once again with two poems, Changes and Noise, both of which are excellent poems. We can't wait for Jim's next anthology.

Russ Heitz read Waiting, a unique short piece that started lightheartedly and turned introspective in less than one page! Great writing! Dianne Shedlock continued the spell-binding writing with her Flashback, a piece with an unexpected twist about dread and fatalism. Welcome back, Dianne, more writing, please.

We read through break, and finished early. We'll see everyone at the Christmas gathering on the 19th. See you then.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Englewood’s Dearborn Street Book Festival

Saturday, February 16, 2013
10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Pioneer Park on Dearborn Street
(between Mango Bistro & Amherst Train Station)
Pioneer Park 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
10:00 - 11:00 am Children’s program
1:00 pm Writing contest winner presentations
Author tables - Information and book sales
Music, food and vendors
To reserve an author table, contact
Diana Harris at 941-474-5837
Writing contest sponsored by the Dearborn Street Book Festival
see bottom for contest entry information
Program partners: Elsie Quirk Library and the Englewood Charlotte Public Library
Program Sponsors: Friends of the Elsie Quirk Library, Friends of the Englewood Charlotte Library, Village Gifts & Gallery
Dearborn Street Book Festival
Short Story and Poetry Competition
Official 2013 Entry Instructions
“Write On Englewood
We are proud to announce our fourth annual
Book Festival and Writers Competition
Are you an aspiring author or poet? Write On Englewood could be the break you need. Neither age nor experience matter – we want to hear from you, the writer, because you have a story to tell or a poem in your heart. This year, we are leaving the topic or theme entirely up to you. Your work will be judged by professional writers, whose decisions are final. Here’s how easy it is to enter:
Entry fee is $5.00 per entry (you may submit more than one) checks only payable to:
“Village Gifts & Gallery”
Include three (3) printed copies of your work (each entry) and three (3) cover pages (for each entry) including your name, address, phone and email to:
1750 Parker Drive
Englewood, FL 34223-4825
No handwritten copies will be accepted for judging
Short stories must be from 500 to 800 words in length
Poetry must be from 50 to 250 words in length
Entries must be postmarked by January 15, 2013
Prizes: First Place - $75.00, Second Place - $50.00, Third Place - $25.00
Winners will be announced at the Dearborn Street Book Festival on Saturday, February 16, 2013 in Pioneer Park at 1:00 pm. (Need not be present to win)
Names and photos of winners will be sent to the local newspapers, posted on the
Olde Englewood Village website and announced on WENG. All winners will receive
a certificate of achievement.
For more information, please contact Diana Harris at 941-474-5837,
email or stop in at the Elsie Quirk Library.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Ed Lyman

I loved Mr Lyman and always hoped he found kind people to accompany him through life after Jane passed away. From reading this site, I feel very comforted that he found a group of friends, and that he was still fortunate to be a writer and get out some of his stories.
When I knew Ed, he was a highly respected antique dealer in Mamaroneck, NY, He also was a dedicated volunteer to the Elmsford Animal Shelter in NY. I admired the peaceful and loving way he lived his life. I grieved with Jane, Ev and Ed when his son, Danny died and hoped that he had good friends down there in FL after he lost his wife and Jane. I feel so much better knowing that right up to the end, he was functioning and had friends like the ones he made in your writers group. I hope to find something like this for my 92-year-old-dad up here in White Plains, as he also has plenty of stories to tell. 
Paula Piekos

Thursday, December 06, 2012

I'm Late, I'm Late...

Not that I'm late or anything... but, I'm late! That's what happens when you turn 70 just after the meeting and spend your birthday the following week in the Florida Keys.

Let's see if I remember what happened on the night of November 21st. Oh, yes, it was a great meeting! We decided to hold our Christmas party on December 19th, everyone is invited, spouses and whoever you'd like to bring. No, Joanne, you don't have to bring anyone if you don't feel like it! Everyone will bring something they'd like to share with the group, doughnuts, cupcakes, whatever. Anything left over will be donated to the Nokomis Volunteer Fire department. Kerri has again graciously volunteered to bring the Dunkin' Donuts coffee.

I'm cheating here, but I know Russ Heitz started with an address from Ed Lyman to the Fiction Writer's group. Joanne read chapter 26 of her saga, Memoirs of a Sea Hag, Kerri followed with a rare (for her) poem that floored everyone, followed by a Thanksgiving poem about aunt Elsie's farm by Don Westerfield. Don also read a piece about a monkey flying an airplane, which was received with just a little skepticism, but everyone found entertaining. Jim Kelly blew everyone away again with Anna Lee and Pee Wee's Nest. I'd like to post every one of Jim's poems, but you need to buy his next book!

Cathy Marine had everyone with her as she toured South America with her Pisco Sours, and Ed Ellis had everyone's attention with Asymmetrical Wars.

A discussion about what we would like to see and hear at future meetings followed. More information and insight into publishing in today's world will be on tap after the first of the year. We finished for the evening and wrapped up on schedule. 


Saturday, December 01, 2012

Ed Lyman

A message from Russ Heitz:
I had a phone call this afternoon from our newly promoted Writer Emeritus, Irv Newman. (Irv is just a few years younger than Ed Lyman was).  Irv called me mainly about Ed Lyman, asking if we as a group have in any way memorialized Ed since his passing.  When I said we hadn't done anything "official" and the Herald-Tribune's obit of him was minimal, he suggested we do something as a group.  His idea was this.
Whoever in our group wants to, should write a brief (a couple lines, or more) testimony about his/her own personal impressions or feelings about Ed.  (This would be strictly optional, of course, not mandatory since some of the newer attendees didn't know Ed very well.)  We gather the submissions at the December 5th meeting (or via email for those who won't be at the meeting--they can email them to either you or me.)  We gather them at the December 5th  meeting, give them to me, and then I'll assemble them into some sort of little "album" that we would then distribute during the Xmas party on Dec. 19.  I have a photo of Ed that I should be able to use on the "cover" of our "I Remember Ed Lyman" album.  Irv Newman already wrote a tribute to Ed and he's going to mail it to me.  I thought I'd place Irv's little tribute as the opening page of the album.
Let me know what you think of the idea.  As I said, once we have everyone's written remembrances I'll be glad to assemble them into some kind of collection that we could pass out to everyone at the Dec. 19th meeting -- a sort of Xmas present to all of us from Ed.  But we'd have to have all the submissions to me by the Dec. 5th meeting.
If you agree with Irv's idea you could post something on the blog and/or send an e mail to everyone on our list.  I will mail a copy of the published album/collection to Irv Newman since it was his idea.
What say you?