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

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

...And Furthermore...

I need to update the blog Dirty Secrets of a Writers Group I posted back on November 25th, 2014. I realized I left something very important out of the blog, so, with my apologies, I will add the following update:

Don't let your speaking style detract from your writing. If you sound like you're reading the telephone book when you are reading Steinbeck out loud, get someone else to read your material to the group. We have a regular member who is in demand to read other people's work. We call her the "Voice of FM," and her interpretation and inflection when reading makes even the aforementioned telephone book a pleasure to listen to. I recently read a member's final proof and was astounded to find myself intrigued by the book that I had a hard time following during the readings. I realized then that every reader embeds their own images and emotions on the written material, quite different from having it interpreted for you by a reader who flavors it by the way they speak. So, once again, don't expect an audience to cheer your first attempt at explaining how you helped develop nuclear fission if you, like me, read out loud like Elmer Fudd. Get a good speaker, or hand out enough printed copies for everyone so your audience can read for themselves.

Stay the Night - Kathleen McMahon Schwartz

Spread the word, please! My new book, Stay the Night, comes out as a Kindle ebook, Smashwords ebook on April 30. Paperback book follows in a couple of weeks. It can be preordered before April 30th on Amazon Kindle or Smashwords for a reduced price.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Wednesday, April 15th, the Sarasota Writers Group meeting.

The Sarasota Writers Group welcomed new FWA member Wendy Dingwall, author of Celtic Curse: An Yvonne Suarez Travel Mystery. Wendy launched her own publishing company, Canterbury House Publishing, Ltd., and is also a past president of the High Country Writers Association in Boone, North Carolina. Returning for a second meeting was Simona Pipko, author of Baltic Winds, and a former attorney in the Soviet Union. While living in New York City and teaching at the New School for Social Research and New York University, Simona wrote articles for various publications including the International Lawyer and ABA, Law and National Security Intelligence Report. Simona read her first article published in eMagazine which will be included in her upcoming 4th book. Also joining us for the first time was Ty and Helen Jodouin. Ty has two science fiction books available, Voyage to Oblivion and Rogue Planet. We welcome Wendy, Simona, and Ty and his lovely wife Helen, and hope they find our eccentric group not only entertaining but constructive as well. We had 18 attendees, 7 of whom are FWA members.

We kicked off our meeting after our usual meet and greet session with comments about a very nice newspaper article in the North Port Sun by Marissa Williams about Rod DiGruttolo and myself at the recent friends of North Port Library Book Fair. Cathy Marine, Maris Soule, and Jane Ann McLachlan were also at the Book Fair, representing the Sarasota Writers group.

Our first reader was Jenny Oberg, who read a delightful piece about her recent zero-dark-thirty drive to Immokalee to watch the annual Hot Air Balloon festival, followed by Ernie Ovitz, who is on the brink of publishing his first book, The Seventh King. Ernie elected to read his upcoming Toastmasters Presentation, which incidentally, was about his book. Don Westerfield followed and warned everyone ahead of time to get the hankies ready. Joanne Dunlap was back, and is she ever back. Great to hear her great writing once again, followed by George Collias who read a short story from Faulkner, A Rose for Emily, reminding us all what a great short story sounds like.

Up next was Masrisa Mangani, who always stimulates the grey matter with phrases like "pinking tourists" while describing growing up in Hawaii. Simona then read her first article and we had to carefully disengage from a political discussion about the material to one about her writing. We do not discuss politics or religion during our meetings as all are welcome to present their writing, but we will fervently discuss how well someone writes about any subject. 

 Andrew Parker, who read the final first chapter of his rewritten Bitch Trailer Park, a unique story only Andrew could have written. Bill Elam delayed his trip home by a day just so he could attend our meeting, and read a piece called "Frozen Chosin," about the infamous U.S. Marine battle in Korea.

Another great meeting behind us, we wrapped up with a quick discussions about the simple use of commas, and said goodnight. Next meeting: May 6th, 2015


Friday, April 03, 2015

A to Z Challenge

From Maris Soule
Sarasota Writers Group

Every day (with the exception of Sundays) I and about 1200 other writers are blogging, using a blog that matches the letter for that day. April 1 was A, April 2 is/was B. Friday will be C. Saturday will be D. Skip Sunday. Monday will be E, and so on.
The challenge is at
My blogs are mainly about writing. Tomorrows will be about critiquing. Today was about borrowing. (Actually I got the idea for that one from the last Sarasota meeting I attended.)
Anyway, I'd love to have others reading the blogs or going to read the blogs written by some of these other writers. (By the way, it's International.)

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Coming Event - Poetry Life Weekend

Poetry Life Weekend With Marie Howe, Billy Collins and Tracy K. Smith - May 1st and 2nd

Thanks to Kerri for the tip

Sarasota Writers Group Meeting, Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

We were pleased to have Stephen King as our guest, uh, no, that was the April Fools joke, but we did have the wonderful Lisa Colburn, author and publisher of "The Maine Garden Journal" as our guest speaker. Lisa's marvelous story of crowd financing, researching, writing, editing, publishing and printing her beautifully done book kept our 15 members rapt attention during our first meeting in April. We followed with readings for the remainder of the evening, including the winning poems from the 5th grade entries at the recent Dearborn Street Book Festivals. Future members of the FWA, I'm sure. Four of the night's attendees were FWA members, and we welcomed one new guest. Next meeting: April 15th Tax day.