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

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Last Call

February 8 is the cut-off date to register for Sleuthfest on Saturday. (And yes, you MUST be registered to attend.) The conference will be held on February 16, 2013, at the Hyatt, in Sarasota, FL. It is sponsored by the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and will feature intense, hands-on workshops led by bestselling authors Elaine Viets and Kristy Montee (writing as P.J.Parrish). A few editor appointments are still available at a slight extra charge. Registration details are available at And remember, you’ll walk away with a fabulous handout (courtesy of all the speakers) that’s free with your registration. So why not make a small investment in your career—and a take a giant step toward getting published! Register today!

Joanna Campbell Slan

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Joan Wickersham Reading

Just a reminder: Joan Wickersham will be at Bookstore1, at 1359 Main St., Sarasota, FL  34236, (941-365-7900), this coming Thursday, Jan. 24 @ 7pm. I just met her tonight, and she's great and confirmed that she will, in fact, be reading. So it should be a good event! 
Alexis Orgera


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Patricia La Barbera Lecture

Patricia La Barbera, MFA, will lecture on publication by a small independent press on January 26, 2013, from 1:30pm to 3:00pm at the Selby Library Conference Room. The Sarasota Editors Association sponsors this free presentation. Publication of the first three books in her paranormal romance series, The Tala Chronicles, is upcoming. The author and editor will discuss information from her own experience on topics such as how to research publishing companies and what manuscript elements impress a publisher. After the lecture, participants who write in genre categories will have the opportunity to read excerpts from their work.
E-mail address is for any questions.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Wednesday, Jan 16th, 2013

Of all the readings I've listened to at our writer's group meetings, none were as entertaining and engrossing as Susan Davis and Christine Burton's co-reading of T.S. Elliot's poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," followed by Andrew Parker reading his tale of Reality Gone Wrong. The two back-to-back readings covered the spectrum of material normally heard by the writer's group, from classic established, recognized poetry, to an outstanding, self written politically incorrect piece developed against original rejection and dismissal. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Absolutely great stuff!

Our meeting kicked off at 6:30pm with three new first-time guests, including FWA member Pat Patterson who made the trip from Punta Gorda, and Ed and Mary Rynes. Ed's work of translating a World War I manuscript written in Czech was met with awe and admiration. We also welcomed back regulars Rod DiGruttolo, Bill Elam, Patricia LaBarbera, Andrew Parker, and Kathleen Schwartz. Richard Zimmerman of Watkinsville, Georgia, once again dropped in as a guest of George Mindling.

Announcements about upcoming events, all previously listed in the blog, and general discussions were followed by readings from members. Patricia LaBarbera made announcement about upcoming editing and publishing series in the main Sarasota Library. I'll post the details as soon as I have them.  

We will kick off next meeting, February 6th, with Florida Writers Association Regional Director for Central Florida, A.J. Robinson, speaking on the New Publishing World. Mark the first meeting in February on your calendar. 

Rod DiGruttolo kicked off the reading part of the meeting with the Peppertree Literary Magazine's last article by our late Ed Lyman about removing black spots from bananas. The article included his award winning recipe for Peanut Butter Sandwiches, sans garnish. Joanne Phillips was up next with chapter 31 of her “Adventures of a Sea Hag,” followed by Bill Elam who read one of his pieces that again had everyone's rapt attention. His reading and delivery doesn't hurt either. Ben Daughtry then read excerpts from chapter 27 of his science fiction saga Newearth. Both Joanne and Ben are really advancing nicely with their works and their progress is really great to listen to. Ben's ability to describe with minimum use of adjectives or adverbs is really developing well.  Everyone is cutting out the excessive “ly” words, and the writing is better for it.

Our unsung hero and unofficial poet-laureate, Jim Kelly was up next, first with the three winners from a fifth grade poetry contest. Jim is active in many youth-related programs and is invaluable in helping them expand their appreciation of not just writing, but of themselves as well. The winner's poems had everyone spellbound in amazement, and showed that well-written poetry has a range and diversity that once discovered, is entertaining even when written by nine and ten year old students. Jim then followed with two of his own poems and once again drew a round of applause.

Peter Frickel followed with a piece from his River work, and this time he followed Jim, so turn about is fair play. Kathleen Schwartz rounded out the first half with a well-written story about a Jewish wedding party along with Kerri Dieffenwirth's short comments about her recent class in cold, northern Maine. Kerri also mentioned the Heritage series which I'll post at the end of this blog.

After a short break, we resumed with Christine Burton, who is developing a really great reading presence, and two of her great works, one about a five year old girl who gets everything to fit in her head. Even her Mom. Of course the highlight of the evening was Christine co-reading the T.S. Elliot poem with Susan Davis, followed by the unexpected “Reality Gone Wrong” from Andrew Parker.

We reminded everyone about the next meeting February 6th, wrapped up and turned out the lights.

See everyone in three weeks, it should be a great meeting.


BTW: George Collias's web page has been added to the links section 

From Kerri

Hermitage Artist Events (Events are free unless otherwise noted)
To keep informed of all our events and any changes or additions to our calendar, visit our website AND to receive the most current program information, sign up for our email notifications and like our Facebook page.


Tuesday, Jan. 8 Friends of the Hermitage Meeting
10 a.m. Hermitage House

Tuesday, Jan. 8 Jacquelyn Reingold
5:30 – 7:30 Conversation/mixer – hors d’eovres/cash bar
$10 reserved/$12 at door Selby Auditorium at USF 1840 N. Tamiami Trail

Thursday, January 10 Huang Ruo, Composer and Conductor
7 p.m. Historic Asolo Theater at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
$5 Museum Fee 540 Bayshore Road, Sarasota
Free for members and students Call 941-360-7399

Friday, January 25 Beach Reading with Ginna Hoben, Actor/Playwright and Ain Gordon, Director/Writer:
4:30 p.m Tours of the Hermitage from 4:30 to 5:30; Program at 5:30. Bring your own beach chairs and Free Refreshments. Weather permitting.

Thursday, January 31 Nathan Currier, Composer and Musician
7 p.m. Historic Asolo Theater at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
$5 Museum Fee 540 Bayshore Road, Sarasota
Free for members and students Call 941-360-7399

Thursday, February 14 Ginna Hoben, Actor and Playwright
7 p.m. Historic Asolo Theater at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
$5 Museum Fee 540 Bayshore Road, Sarasota
Free for members and students Call 941-360-7399

Saturday, February 16 Arthur Kopit, Playwright, Talk and Q&A
4 p.m. Venice Theatre, 140 Tampa Ave, Venice.
Free 941-488-1115


Thursday, March14 Laurie Olinder and Bill Morrisson
7 p.m. Historic Asolo Theater at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
$5 Museum Fee 540 Bayshore Road, Sarasota
Free for members and students Call 941-360-7399

Wednesday, March 20 Docent Training with Peg Koetsch
2 p.m.

Friday, March 22 Beach Reading: Open studio?
4:30 p.m Tours of the Hermitage from 4:30 to 5:30; Program at 5:30. Bring your own beach chairs and Free Refreshments. Weather permitting.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Peppertree Press Bookstore

Peppertree Press announces the Grand Opening of the Bookstore, January 26, 2013, from 6 to 9pm.  
Please RSVP to Julie Ann Howell or Teri Lynn France at (941) 922-2662 or (941) 444-7903

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Book Signing

Bookstore1 in Sarasota announced Chris Kuzneski, will discuss and sign his new thriller, THE DEATH RELIC on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7:00 pm. 

Bookstore1, at 1359 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236, (941-365-7900), will have poetry readings, author signings and discussions, and much more from best-selling authors to local writers in the months to come. We'll post information as it becomes available. 

Monday, January 07, 2013


will be held  Sat. February 16, in Pioneer Park
10 to 3
As an author, if you wish to participate, now is the time to reserve a space  by sending us a check for $25. Please make out the checks to:  VILLAGE GIFTS & GALLERY. If you plan  to have a tent on your space please write “TENT” on the check. Send the check to: Diana Harris, 1760 Parker Dr., Englewood, Fla. 34223. A space may be shared by more than one author but each selling author is expected to pay the full entry fee of $25.
We ask the authors to furnish their own tables/chairs. There will be two food tents this year. Village Gifts and Gallery  will be serving coffee, home made muffins and other baked goods. The Country Hound Cafe will be offering box lunches. There will be Porti-Potties in the Park  and we will have music, “Sax On The Beach”, for three hours. Pets are welcome as long as they are on a leash and are picked up after.
Pioneer Park is located in the 300 block of W. Dearborn St.  in Englewood between Mango Bistro and the Amherst Depot train shop. You will see a sign saying Book Festival in front of the Park but please circle the block and enter the Park  from the rear on Green Street where there is ample parking. There will be volunteers to direct you. You will look for a sign-in table to get your assigned space. Authors may register beginning at 9 a.m. 

We will have a large sign across SR#776 advertising the festival several days in advance as we did last year. We have passed out flyers around town and will continue to do so and we will be putting up some posters. We have already gotten some good PR and will be getting more. You all can help us by talking up the festival to all your friends, groups or clubs you might belong to.

Entries for our Short Story &Poetry Competition,”Write-On- Englewood” must be postmarked by Jan. 15. Cash prizes are good. Go to www.facebook.comDSBookFest for rules or call Diana, but quickly.

Our sponsors this year are Englewood’s two libraries, Elsie Quirk and Englewood Charlotte, Village Gifts & Gallery and The County Hound Cafe.

Don’t hesitate to e-mail  Diana Harris at <> or call (941) 474-5837 if you have any questions. 
Book Festival committee members are: Frank Brady, Lynda Citro, Diana Harris, Donna Manga, Dawn Penwell, and Jennifer Perry and we are all looking forward to seeing you.

Running Out of Ink

We are a new webzine that just launched its third issue on the 1st January at We accept short stories of all genres as variety is going to be a focus of our webzine - no story too short, no plot too off the wall as we counter balance it with other stories within the issue. The only rules are that the story is previously unpublished and under 2500 words.

We don't yet pay our writers unfortunately, but feel this is a fantastic opportunity for new writers to gain a voice and experienced writers to add to their CV. One thing that does pull us apart from other markets and may make your followers keen is that we are interested in having recurring writers throughout our issues, so if we really like you we will request you back. This can really help in building a following for writers as readers from the site will go on to see Joe Bloggs' latest story and knowing that they consistently enjoy them, they may look elsewhere to see what he's done. Submissions are emailed to
We obtain First Electronic Rights. For the period that a piece remains in our current issue (one month), we ask the writer does not publish the piece anywhere else. Afterwards, it will remain in our archives but we do not obtain any ownership of the piece so the writer is free to do as they wish afterwards. If we wish to use the piece again in the future, we would first obtain permission. 

Please let me know what you think and we look forward to reading some submissions from your group.

Kind regards

Amy Kinmond
Senior Editor
Running Out of Ink

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Venice Book Fair

I thought your writers group might be interested in knowing that the Venice Book Fair and Writers Festival will take place in Centennial Park and Venice Theatre on April 6. We are still in the planning stages, but will be having a writers panel regarding how to get published. David Hagberg is scheduled to speak. I have enclosed the vendor form in case any of your published authors would like to sell their books there. Hope you all can make it. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Pam Johnson
Venice Book Fair Committee
Vendor Form
The Venice Book Fair and Writers Festival welcomes authors to display and sell their products at the annual event held in Centennial Park, Venice, Florida on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Registration and payment by check should be received on or before March 1, 2013 to reserve a space. Exhibitor packages for each 10’ x 10’ space are $250 for Booksellers/Vendors; $150 for Published Authors; and $100 for Nonprofit Organizations. These spaces include a tent, a table and two chairs set up. Vendors must provide their own table covers and booth identification signs. Limit maximum of three authors per tent. All participants will be listed on the book fair website.

To reserve your space, please fill out the form and return with check to Venice Heritage Inc., P.O. Box1190,Venice, FL 34284. Checks should be payable to Venice Heritage Inc. Please be sure to mark “Book Fair” in the lower left corner. Please print:
Contact (person coordinating the booth):
Company name or author name as it will appear on your booth identification sign:
Daytime phone:______________________________E-mail address ________________________________
Street address: ___________________________________________________________________________
City: ____________________________State: _______________ZIP: _______________________________
Sales tax license number: __________________________________________________________________
Type of business:
Please check all appropriate categories to describe what you are selling:
______ General (full line) ______ Children’s Books ______ Antiquarian______ Cultural
________Religious or inspirational ____book related merchandise
________other (please specify)______________________________________________________________
Number of booths we wish to reserve:
______ @ $250 Bookseller/Vendor
______ @ $150 Published Author
______ @ $100 Nonprofit Organizations
_______________ Total enclosed
Please print name: _____________________________

Not Much Lead Time!

Good Afternoon,

I wanted to let you and your writers group know about a call for writers that the Florida Museum for Women Artists is currently having for an upcoming exhibit. It is called Applaud that Woman! and it is an opportunity to submit a written essay about a woman who has influenced the writer during his/her lifetime. This call is open to both men and women. The deadline is quickly approaching so if you are able, please let your group know as quickly as possible.
I have attached the application that includes all the relevant information to this email. More information about our museum can be seen at
I hope to hear from some of the members for this exhibit!
Very Much Appreciated,
Crystal Romanyszyn 
Executive Director

Kick-Off – January 2nd, 2013

The first meeting of 2013 was a seam-buster as we had to ask our gracious hosts at the Nokomis Fire Department for more chairs. With twenty in attendance, including first time guests Nancy Lucas, Becky Fried, Gene Caffrey, Sasha, and Meaghan, we made up for the regulars who were under the weather of the nasty flu bug floating around. My apologies to Sasha and Meaghan, I didn't get their last names. We also welcomed Jean Vogele from the poets group, who later read two of her great poems. Welcome to everyone.

As promised, Kat opened with a great presentation on starting your own blog. She handed out copies of the presentation so everyone could follow and make notes. We post all member links on the sidebar of this blog, so any member who submits their blog address to me will be listed. I expect I'll be adding a few more after Kat's easy-to-understand presentation.

After the regular welcoming and catching up on upcoming book fairs, Peter Frickel graciously stepped in for Rod DiGruttolo, who was under the weather, and wielded the invisible gavel for the reading part of the meeting. We would all like to diversify the readings somewhat and asked that future readings not be limited to self-written material, but also include passages from a favorite novel, or writings from an author who inspired or terrified you, or angered you. Even a well written column or article. Food for thought for future meetings.

Lois Stern asked about interest in doing a cable television show for writers being put together by a friend of hers. There were several deep in thought about the idea, but there were no immediate responses. I'm sure Lois would like to hear from anyone interested.

Peter read first, with an excerpt from T.S. Eliot, and as always evoked reflective thought with the selection. Russ Heitz followed with a selection from the great John Steinbeck. If anyone wants to describe a setting or environment with out the “-ly” words, they need to read the first few pages of Grapes of Wrath to see how it is done.

Joanne read next with her developing story, Adventures of a Sea Hag, this time getting us through the Windward Passage, all the way to the first time her skipper called her “Honey.” Great writing, at least this time we didn't need Dramamine to enjoy the sail. 

Don Westerfield surprised everyone with a short story, The Gift, which he graciously submitted for critique according to our new guidelines. He had copies for everyone, double spaced for space for comments and notes. He received really favorable feed back, but we kept the serious critiques on paper to be picked up at the next meeting.

Ed Ellis read his reworked futuristic tale of post-nuclear war and once again had everyone riding with him in the front seat as his protagonist banged fenders and fought his way out of Chicago. He miraculously edited his initial draft from using “I” 161 times to none! Zero! The word “I” never appeared in the rework. A remarkable task in itself. Try it sometime on something you've written in the first person.

We took a short break, then started the second part with two great poems by Jean Vogele. We hope Jean becomes a regular member, her works are just great! Chris Burton, who drives all the way down from Bradenton just for our meeting, read two really good pieces, Addy and Looking Glass. Cris reads with a verve that enhances her already great writing, we are glad she makes the long trip!

Robin Wise flipped on the humor switch with her crisp wit and sense of humor with a piece that drew enthusiastic applause, followed by a lesson in losing and finding accents by George Collias that actually had people laughing out loud. Both outstanding writers showing that good writing can evoke laughter as well as pathos, smiles as well as frowns and we found no better way to wrap up the meeting.

Coming up: Florida Writers Association Regional Director for Central Florida, AJ Robinson, will speak at the Feb 6th meeting on the New Publishing World. Mark the first meeting in February on your calendar.

Once again, thank you Kat, for the great presentation.

Our next meeting will be January 16th, see you then.