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, May 21, 2015

Wednesday Meeting, May 20th 2015

The third Wednesday of May has come and gone. The Sarasota Writer’s Group met at the Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department and sixteen people attended. Ten of the attendees read some of their work and it was exciting.
Rod, the chief cat-herder, pulled an old switch-a-roo; he turned the sign-in sheet upside down and instituted a bottom’s up reading order.
Last to sign in and first to read was Bruce Haedrich. Normally a writer of prose, and darn good at it, Bruce read a poem entitled Mary’s Big Imagination. It was a fun piece aimed at a youthful readership and the entire group agreed it would be a wonderful illustrated children’s book.
Chris Burton was back after a long absence. We are glad to have her back and in good health. She explained, while undergoing some unpleasantness, she had little time to write but when she did, it was limited and her mind was in a strange mode. She presented two poems, both were excellent and I may have made an error in the first title Hours are Flowing, but the second I confirmed is I Dream a Lime Sky.
When Joanne Dunlap takes the floor we never know what to expect and she did it again. Reading a poem that drew laughter from the group and a wince of pain from husband Joe, she was constantly surprised at “How much that man could eat.”
At her last meeting until next October, we’ll miss you, Kathleen Schwartz, author of Stay the Night, available on Amazon, read a touching remembrance of her Brother Jim his love of art and adventures in a world filled with temptation was a realistic and honest depiction of a fun-loving man who was loved by the author who wrote this mainly for her family and in tribute to her brother.
Wendy Dingwell read the opening of her third travel mystery. The action begins in the first sentence and promises to continue throughout. We’re looking forward to seeing Toxic Cruise soon.
Dusting off an older piece, George Collias shared his story, My Accent, Lost and Found. This launched the group into a half-hour discussion on writing with dialect and patois inserted. While most appreciated the realistic use of dialect, within limits, it was noted that its use is strictly up to the author. I have a feeling we’ll hear more on this subject as Rod challenged the group to write a few lines using dialect or accent for discussion at the next meeting. We’ll see!
Don Westerfield’s, The Demise of the Star Venture came with copies handed out and a critique requested. We hope the group responds as enthusiastically as usual. It was a fun piece.
In her usual thought provoking manner, Kerri Dieffenwerth presented a follow up to the memoir she’s been working on for four years, as she pointed out. She read some interesting definitions of things from her work, threads throughout the work the reader can follow. Her points brought some extended discussion and the group could see light bulbs coming on throughout the room.
Jim Kelly brought a Poem entitled The Big Apple to us. As usual it was full of imagery and entertained us thoroughly.
Peter Frickel closed the meeting with a group of vignettes, samples of his writing that come from extraneous thoughts jotted down while relaxing, having a glass of wine or just watching the world from his patio. As usual they were beautiful examples of literary art that are poetry in prose and with his reading prowess, a joy to hear.
Our next meeting is June 3rd, here at the Nokomis Fire House. Looking forward to seeing all of you. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Wordier Than Thou

From Marisa Mangani

I will be reading at Wordier than Thou see site for featured readers. Please share for me!

My latest blog post is at:

Friday, May 08, 2015

Write Right, Right Now!,

My name is Liz Coursen. I am the author of five books about punctuation and grammar. I blog about editing issues at
I will be presenting a fun and fast-paced editing workshop, Write Right, Right Now!, on Tuesday night, 6:15, at the Sarasota Authors Connection at the Fruitville Library, which is located just east of I-75 off of Fruitville Road in Sarasota.
I say it'll be "fun," and it will be, but my main purpose is to educate authors and aspiring authors in the niceties of our craft. Most authors—maybe I should say too many authors—don't know a comma splice from a hole in the ground and have only the vaguest notion of the collective noun rule. For workshop attendees, that's about to change.
The workshop uses "real world" material: real sentences from real authors, from real authors' websites, and from websites like LinkedIn and Bring your questions, bring your friends, and come prepared to sharpen your skills.
Best wishes, Liz Coursen
award-winning author, editor, and publisher.  Author of
The Complete Biography Workbook
Self-Editing for the Successful Student
Self-Editing for Content Writers

The Book Tourist: Seven Steps to a Wildly Successful Book Tour
Shade in the Sunshine State: Reflections on Segregation in Florida

Thursday, May 07, 2015

May 6th, 2015 Meeting

While we had only thirteen attendees at the Wednesday, May 6th, 2015, meeting of the Sarasota Writers Group, seven of whom were FWA members, we had a really great meeting. FWA members J. Jeff Cochran published his "Caught in a Past Reflection," and Pamela Schuneman, CPA, published an article in the professional Journal of Accountancy. Pamela also had a short story included in the 2015 Savannah Anthology called Sailboats. Long time member Kathleen McMahon Schwartz, whose new book "Stay the Night," handed out her new business cards as her new book is now available on Amazon. Congratulations to Kathleen, Jeff and Pam, hopefully the beginnings of long and prosperous writing careers.

We welcomed three new guests, Kristen Fisher, Debra Muenchow, and Bruce Heidrich, and got to hear the prologue from Debra's work in progress. It appears she is off to a really good start. Bruce is already an established author with The Fifth Generation War, Dead on the Fourth, Trump Card, Ghost, and The Locket. Bruce is the creator of the Dan Marin mystery series. Welcome to our new guests and we hope we offer the environment you are looking for.

We had nine readers, from humorous pieces about growing beards to FWA member Peter Frickel's marvelous reading from his piece, The River. We wrapped up a little after nine and turned out the lights. Next meeting: May 20th, 2015.

While we all enjoy the varied and multi-genre readings of the group, the highlight for me is always the poetry of Jim Kelly. Jim's work with the elementary students in the area is always a delight, and while we don't have the winner's poems from a recent 5th grade poetry contest he read to the group that delighted everyone, I do have one of Jim's earlier pieces, written in a metre he no longer uses, and I have his permission to use Depth of Love, written in 1996.

Depth of Love

How am I to measure love
and the tenderness we knew,
as I pace the lonely nights
you spend with someone new?

Shall I count the hidden tears
that hurt too much to fall,
while injured pride traps me inside
to face those barren walls?

How am I to measure love
in days that never end.
when all the years that meant the most
have left me "just a friend"?

I can't forget the unkind words
I know you didn't mean,
the ones that fill my empty glass
with shards of broken dreams.

How am I to measure love
when all the pain is through?
I guess I'll add the best of times
to the memories of you

©James O. Kelly
Englewood, FL
Jan 1996

As George Collias reminds us from Earnest Hemingway: "Write drunk, edit sober," Or was it Dylan Thomas? I don't remember.