Monday, November 02, 2009


FWA Ancient City Chapter Newsletter for November 2009

Ancient City Writers,

Thanks to all our all participants and helpers who made our October panel a success. And thanks to Jack Owen for this shot of our panel:

Saturday, November 21, 2009, 10:15 a.m.

Location: Main Library (St. John’s County)
Address: 1960 N. Ponce de Leon Blvd. St. Augustine, FL 32084

Editor Emily Carmain to talk about "Ten Treacherous Writing Traps and How To Avoid Them"

* NOTE: See special instructions below if you wish to have the 1st page of your work critiqued by Emily!!

It’s a crime the way manuscripts are so often tossed in the Rejection pile due to common flaws that brand the writer as an amateur. Don’t be a victim. Learn about "10 Treacherous Writing Traps and How To Avoid Them" from professional editor Emily Carmain of Amelia Island, who has seen these over and over again in manuscripts crossing her desk. “They are the kind of problems that jump out quickly in the eyes of agents, editors and publishers,” she says. Come prepared to ask questions.

Emily Carmain heads Noteworthy Editing Services, Fla., and has edited hundreds of manuscripts from works of nonfiction and memoirs to all types of fiction. An award-winning writer and editor, she has worked for newspapers, magazines, corporations, publishers and individuals. She served as director of the Amelia Island Book Festival for several years. For more information on Emily and her work, please go to

Opportunity to submit first page
As part of this event, Emily has agreed to critique the opening page of a current work for those who attend the meeting. Can be fiction or non-fiction. She will review the submissions before the event, so please note the cut off date, and at our Nov 21st event, she will read as many as she can at the end of her talk (content only, no names). All submissions will be returned at the meeting with her comments. To take advantage of this offer, please do the following:

Submit your one page, single spaced, one of 3 ways: as an attachment (Word document is preferred); OR cut and paste into email, OR via snail mail. (Address at the end of this)
1. With the submission include the following 4 items: your name, manuscript title, type of project (if its Fiction – what genre/type of book; if Non-fiction – what the subject is), and estimated number of words of completed manuscript. (No, the work does not need to be completed, but you need to know the number of words you're aiming for.)
2. In the email SUBJECT LINE put: “Submission for Nov 21 ACC mtg”
3. Email to:
or mail to: Emily Carmain, P.O. Box 119, Amelia Island, FL 32035

Again, all submissions will be returned at the meeting. If you know you cannot be there, then please do not submit.

To give Emily time to read and critique please email no later than Saturday, November 14th. If you plan to snail mail, so do by Friday the 13th.

If you have any questions, please contact Dianne Ell at

Critique Groups

If you are interested in our online Yahoo critique group and/or face-to-face critique meetings, please contact Jeff Swesky at The group meets on the first Saturday of every month in the small conference room at the main library.

Local News/Events

October 11th Press Release:

Author/playwright Mary Jane Hayes gave a talk at the Stockton School on October 9th. The school was prepared for her visit as they made a tape called "Morning Show" telling the children about all the special events, lunch menu, and school activities, which included details about Mary Jane’s visit.

Mary Jane started at 9:00 am and her last class ended at 3:00 pm. The kids enjoyed her discussion about characterization and plot development. There was a group discussion and pictures drawn about characteristics, physical and personality, which inspired the children. Mary Jane sold some books and will be going back in the spring to discuss her new book, Freaky Sneaker.

October 23rd - From Our Family To Yours

On Friday, October 23rd, “From Our Family To Yours,” FWA Collection Volume 1 was released by Peppertree Press. Only 61 stories out of a few hundred entries were selected for this book. Of those, guest contributor Suzette Standring selected her Top Ten. Two of our Ancient City writers made that list:

1. Variations on Mr. Cornflake by Rebekah Hunter Scott
2. Storm Gathering by Deborah Lynn Thompson

Yes, our chapter produced the top two stories!! Also, several others from our chapter were published in this collection:

A Letter to Daisy by William Plumb Barbour
Sarah’s Relief by William Plumb Barbour
Waiting for a Memory by Jennifer Bjork
Christmas Chaos by Mary Wood Bridgman
Growing Up Without Ken by Mary Wood Bridgman
Down the Altahama to Darien by Muriel McKinlay
An Anniversary Remembered by Jeff Swesky
Keepsakes by Jeff Swesky

And one from our Regional Director:
My Brother, My Burden by Vic DiGenti

October 24th - The 2009 Royal Palm Literary Awards

The Ancient City Chapter also made their mark with the 2009 Royal Palm Literary Awards, which were announced during the FWA Conference. Here are our winners:

Poetry (Published) – First Place, Michael Ray King for Rendezvous
Creative Non-Fiction (Unpublished) – Second Place, June Lands for My Self and Peggy Lee
Educational/Informational (Published) – Second Place, Mims Cushing for You Can Cope with Peripheral Neuropathy: 365 Tips for Living a Full Life
Short Nonfiction (Published) – First Place, Mary Bridgman for Growing Up Without Ken
Autobiography (Unpublished) – Second Place, Jeff Swesky for Flight from Fear
Short Story (Unpublished) – First Place, Mary Bridgman for Snakes Alive
Flash Fiction (Unpublished) – First Place, June Lands for The Leaving
YA (Published) – First Place, Randy Cribbs for Ghosts: Another Summer in the Old Town
Mystery (Unpublished) – Honorable Mention, Judy Weber for No Good Deed

And our Regional Director had an evening he won’t soon forget:

Short Story (Unpublished) – Second Place, Victor DiGenti for Saving Sam
Mystery (Unpublished) – First Place, Victor DiGenti for Matanzas Bay
Book of the Year (Unpublished) – Matanzas Bay by Victor DiGenti

Congratulations to all for these amazing accomplishments!!!

November 6th – November 8th
The "Other Words" Writing Conference is being held at Flagler College this November 6-8. Jane's Stories Press Foundation, a national organization, is co-sponsoring the conference with the Florida Literary Arts Council. Conference information can be found at: Florida Literary Arts Council Other Words Conference

On Friday, there will be opportunities to have work critiqued, for an extra fee, by various editors. In the Afternoon, Jane's Stories is hosting a "Writing Adventure" tour of downtown, with opportunities to record sensory experiences as we travel back in time, starting with Native Americans, then European settlers, and finally the Civil Rights era in the early '60s. You do not need to join the conference to attend the Writing Adventure. Please register for the Writing Adventure at our Jane's link Jane's and the Other Words Conference. This link also provides a few more hints about the conference's Saturday and Sunday schedule.

January 13th – February 10th

UNF has scheduled another Introduction to Creative Writing course instructed by screenwriter John J. Boles for January 2010. It will run 5 weeks, every Wed. evening from 6:30 to 8:30, beginning January 13 and running through Feb. 10. Registration is online at or by phone at (904) 620-4200.

January 16th – January 24th

Eckerd College will be holding their Sixth Annual Writers' Conference: Writers in Paradise this coming January 16-24, 2010. There will be plenty of workshops available, which are capped at 12 participants per workshop allowing for plenty of time for individual attention and a careful, faculty led workshop critique of your manuscript.

Special Guests this year will include: Anita Shreve (an Oprah book club selection for The Pilot's Wife and Sheri Reynolds, also an Oprah book club selection for The Rapture of Canaan.)

The application deadline is December 1, 2009.Tuition: $675. Scholarships are available.

Contests/Publication Opportunities

THREE NOVEMBER FICTION CONTESTS lists more than 900 contests & awards for fiction, nonfiction, children's writing, poetry, scriptwriting, and more. Here are three November fiction contests:

Carolyn A. Clark Flash Fiction Prize offers $100 for 1st place; $50 for 2nd place; and $25 for 3rd place in a flash fiction contest (fiction with less than 500 words). There is a $5 entry fee and a postmark deadline of November 30.

Fish International Short Story Competition offers 10,000 Euro (approximately $13,400 USD) for 1st place, as well as many other prizes, for an original, unpublished short story of up to 5,000 words. There is a $30 USD entry fee and a deadline of November 30.

WD Popular Fiction Awards offers a $2,500 Grand Prize, as well as many other prizes, for short stories of 4,000 words or less. There is a $15 entry fee and a deadline of November 2.

September 1st – December 31st

Calling All Writers The Delmarva Review Seeks New Prose and Poetry

The Delmarva Review is calling for new prose and poetry for its third annual edition. The submission period opens on September 1 and closes on December 31, 2009.

The literary review seeks “the best unpublished work” from all authors. It focuses on writing from the greater Chesapeake Bay and Delmarva area, but it welcomes quality work from all writers, regardless of where they live.

“Good writing should have no boundaries,” said Wilson Wyatt, chairman of the Review’s editorial board. “We encourage established and emerging writers to send their best work.”

The Review, published by the Eastern Shore Writers’ Association, will consider unpublished “evocative” fiction up to 3,000 words, memorable poetry up to 50 lines, and creative nonfiction up to 1,500 words. Color photography and artwork will also be considered for the cover and illustration.

Editors urge writers to read the submission guidelines posted on the Review’s website. Only e-mailed submissions will be considered. Submitting is free. The website is

The two past issues of the Review included new writing from 50 authors in 10 states, the District of Columbia and four foreign countries. Original color photography for the cover was by Delmarva photographers.

Copies are available in regional libraries and select book stores. An online order form is available from the Review’s website.

Previous issues have received grant support from the Hedgelawn Foundation and from the Talbot County Arts Council with funds from Talbot County Council.

The nonprofit Eastern Shore Writers’ Association, publisher of the journal, supports writers and the literary arts across the Delmarva Peninsula. Its website is
The Delmarva Review’s Editorial Board is responsible for the content and development of the journal. In addition to Wyatt, the board includes Linda Fritz, editor, Kate Blackwell, Mala Burt, managing editor, John Elsberg, George Merrill, and Margot Miller. Laura Ambler is the design editor.

Good luck with your writing projects,
Jeff Swesky
Ancient City Group Leader

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