We ask that you limit your critique selection to 1000 words due to time constraints, as we want everyone to have a chance to share their work with the group and receive helpful feedback.
We welcome all writers, all genres, published or unpublished. We are a diverse group. Don’t be shy if you’ve never attended a meeting. If you’re a writer, you’ll fit in.
Our supplemental meeting is scheduled for May 26th where we will have fun and games with writing prompts presented by writer Chris O’Byrne. Same time/same place.
Guest Speaker: Author Rachel Meinke
Subject: “Everything you wanted to know about Wattpad”
Wattpad connects a global community of millions of readers and writers through the power of story.
Rachel Meinke was born and raised in the Sunshine State. She started writing at the ripe young age of thirteen years old and started posting her early stories on Wattpad at fifteen. Since posting on Wattpad, Rachel has accumulated over 240,000 followers and over 300 million reads. Along for the Ride is her debut novel.
When Rachel isn’t writing, you can find her jaunting around Disney, watching endless Marvel movies, or eating excessive amounts of Chick-fil-A.
You can also find her posting on Twitter about her Broadway soundtrack obsession of the month, sharing photos of her family adventures on Instagram, and talking about books on YouTube. Find her everywhere @knightsrachel.
If you want to familiarize yourself with the Wattpad platform prior to the meeting, go here: https://www.wattpad.com/
We will have time for Qs and As so this is your chance to find out everything you always wanted to know about Wattpad as it relates to writing.
All writers are welcome. We would love to have you join us!
Our regular monthly meeting is the 2nd Wednesday of the month. This is when we bring work to critique and discuss (maximum of 1000 words, double-spaced and please number the lines of text).
Our second monthly meeting will be the 4th Wednesday of the month. At this meeting we will have things like guest speakers, workshops on specific subjects, presentations on craft, etc., The second April meeting is on April 28th. Author Rachel Meinke will share her experience and information on the Wattpad platform.
Everything else (times, place, Cheddars, etc.,) remains the same.
We observe social distancing at meetings. We do not require masks. All writers welcome.
At our supplemental meeting this month, multi-published, bestselling sci-fi author Rick Partlow will give a presentation on all things related to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform. If you’d like, bring your laptop and ask questions about your own account. There will be plenty of time for Q & A. If you are new to KDP or nervous about exploring self-publishing this is the meeting for you. As part of Florida Writers Association we are writers helping writers. If you’d like to learn more about Rick, his books and his publishing journey, check out his Amazon page and his web site links below.
Make a note now! For our April (April 28th) supplemental meeting, YA author Rachel Meinke will share her publishing experience and expertise with the Wattpad platform.
THINGS THAT CAME ACROSS MY DESK RECENTLY:
Information needed on shady publishers:
A group of writers’ organizations are gathering information on questionable practices of certain companies who charge authors to publish their books. Call them vanity presses, self-publishing service companies, or hybrid publishers – the label doesn’t really matter. To be clear, they are not talking about self-publishing platforms like KDP (or reputable distributors like Draft2Digital), but the kind of third-party companies who charge you a bunch of money for a package to get your book published, or the kind of publisher that asks you to contribute towards publishing costs. The survey runs until 25 April and it’s anonymous. If you have had an experience like that, then consider filling out this survey
2021 SHORT STORY CONTEST
· 2021 Genre: Crime and/or Mystery
· $100 DOLLAR Prize
· No Entry Fee
· Maximum Word Count: 6,000
· Winning story will be published online with space to showcase the author’s writing
· Deadline October 1, 2021
· Check Webpage for Details: https://www.davidstelzig.com
Act Now before We Reach Our Cap!
Florida Writers Association wants to let you know that we are at the 50% mark for the Royal Palm Literary Awards (RPLA) and for the Florida Writers Book Expo.
- RPLA is capped at 500 entries total, and we have received 225 entries
- The Florida Writer Book Expo is only taking 60 booths, and we have 30 booths reserved
If you want to participate in either program, don’t delay! Log into the Member Center at floridawriters.org to get started. And don’t forget those Collection entries!
(From Your FWA Leadership Team)
THINGS THAT CAME ACROSS MY DESK: (The items below are strictly for informational purposes and are not sanctioned or supported by Florida Writers Association or Lakeland Writers.)
From the director of ThinkingFunny21, at www.thinkingfunny.com :
On April 3, 2021, starting at 9 am Pacific Time, we’ll be having a humor-writing and comedy workshop. Topic areas include sessions with experts in humor-columns & novels, comedic memoirs, stand-up, funny folk music, and how animators plan and execute stories. An agents and business-session ends the day at 4:30-5:30 pm. Earlybirds with a coupon code of “30-off” get a 30% discount off the $100 cost through March 31. The lineup is available at www.thinkingfunny.com/thinkingfunny21 . Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
To quote rates or ask any questions contact Robb Lightfoot
The Pitch-O-Rama 2021 Virtual Writers Conference was created to connect individuals to agents and editors. These impressive publishing professionals bring years of experience and can provide advice, direction, and next steps for your members’ literary projects: https://wnba-sfchapter.org/meet-the-agents-editors-virtual-por-2020/
This event will take place on Saturday, April 10, 2021- from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM PST. Besides the editors and agents listed, a couple more acquiring publishing professionals will be joining our roster soon- even welcoming some brand new agents from New York and their publishing world!!!
Writer contest includes fantastic cash prizes and a wonderful opportunity for your members to share their unique stories. Writers can enter here: https://wnba-sfchapter.org/why-enter-writing-contests-by-b-lynn-goodwin/
*** We will be accepting submissions until April 1, 2021. ***
As previously mentioned, we are going to experiment with two meetings per month on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays to determine if there is enough interest and participation to continue. Because our February 12th meeting was cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control, we will proceed with our February 24th meeting with a critique session. In future, the second monthly meeting will likely be comprised of guest speakers, workshops, brainstorming, etc.
SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTAYS WRITERS OF AMERICA offers “Writer Beware” for information on scams, sketchy players and the like in the publishing industry. If something you’ve seen or been offered seems fishy to you, check out the link below:
FOR YOUR INFORMATION: I received the following and am sharing it here. This is a non-FWA affiliated organization and is not endorsed by Florida Writers Association or Lakeland Writers. It is strictly for informational purposes:
“My name is Richard Loller. I’m publisher of The Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit I established in 1976 while general books editor for Abingdon Press, the book publishing arm of the United Methodist Publishing House.
My motivation was to somehow help the many people who sent in projects, many of them biographical, for which we had no market and so couldn’t publish (and probably no one would). I hated to think of all those yellowing manuscripts being stored away in closets and likely thrown out when the authors passed on.
So, I set up the foundation. Our goal is to “publish the extraordinary stories of ‘ordinary’ people.” A full description of who we are and what we do can be found at http://www.storyhouse.org/who.html
From our founding until 1998 we did a few projects in the old offset press medium. But that was expensive and the projects could only break even if lucky, and lose money if not.
That changed in the late nineties when we established our online publishing venue www.storyhouse.org
Our website now has over 1,500 stories from writers, young and old, from around the world. Then in 2014 we published our first paperbacks and E-books through Create Space at Amazon. Details on that program are at
But of possibly more interest to your writers is our story contest program established in 1998 to encourage previously unpublished writers. These provide a measure of reward for winners, runners-up, and honorable mentions in each contest.
Today we offer awards for nonfiction stories in four categories, animal, general, biographical, and travel. There is also a separate contest for previous winners we call the Winners Circle. Once a writer wins one of our regular contests he/she no longer competes with those who have yet to win. This gives those folks a better chance of winning one of the four contests.
Prizes in all contests are $200 for the winner and $100 for the runner-up. In each contest there are four or five honorable mentions who receive a certificate of achievement suitable for framing as do the winners and runners up.
There are no entry fees.
Full details for out 2021 contests are at: http://www.storyhouse.org/contest2021.html
I’m sure your membership will have an interest in submitting stories for theses contests or for regular non-contest publication. I’m sure you will want to let them know of these opportunities.
Write me if you have other questions.
THE PRESERVATION FOUNDATION, INC.
Founded in 1976
Richard Loller, Publisher
2313 Pennington Bend Road
Nashville, TN 37214
A nonprofit publisher preserving the extraordinary stories of ‘ordinary’ people
615 481-6937 cell
We are a 501c3 corporation. Donations are tax deductible.“
We have been toying with the idea of doing two monthly meetings on the second and fourth Wednesdays. We may begin this month with a meeting on Wednesday, February 24th. If there is enough interest and attendance, we will continue. An announcement will be made several days in advance here on the blog and on Facebook. We are looking to devote our second meeting to guest speakers, the business of writing (exploring KDP and Wattpad, for example), writing prompts, etc. If you have ideas or suggestions, please share. We are writers helping writers and our group can be what we want it to be. IOW, how can we help you with your writing projects?
Below is an email I received about a non-FWA affiliated writing competition. I pass this on strictly for informational purposes for anyone who may be interested.
I hope you’re well and managing in the current situation. Last year I emailed you about a writing competition we were running and I wondered if you’d let your writers know about a new competition. Once again, it’s purely for charity and we don’t profit from it ourselves.
With so many people still in isolation, we thought it would be a nice time to get some creative juices flowing again, offer a great prize and to do something for a good cause at the same time.
The competition is another fantastic opportunity for aspiring writers. The winner will have their 1000 word story narrated by Scottish-Chinese actress Katie Leung, who’s featured in five Harry Potter films as Cho Chang, as well as in the streaming series Roadkill, Chimerica, White Dragon, and BBC’s The Nest. The published audio story will remain at the top of our homepage for at least a month and we’ll tweet it to our followers every day for at least as long.
As before, authors are encouraged to submit their bio with the story, which can include links to their social media, blog, website etc. so it’s great publicity for their author platform. Not to mention Katie has over 200 thousand Twitter followers and 355 thousand Instagram followers – in other words a lot of people are interested in everything she does!
Contestants can write about anything that inspires their imagination. There is a suggested $6 entry donation which goes to The Scottish Refugee Council, a charity close to Katie’s heart, whose aim is to help refugees to build better lives for themselves. Although they are based in Scotland, they support refugees arriving from all over the world, so this is very much a global cause (hey, we’re not based in Scotland either!)
We don’t take any of the entry donation ourselves.
The donation must be received by Wednesday 31 March 2021 and stories received by Wednesday 14 April 2021.
You can find out more about the competition and our selected charity at: https://www.bibliophone.com/1000-words-heard-2021/
Please do let me know if you or your members have any questions, and feel free to forward my email address to any interested parties!
With thanks for your time (again) and best wishes,
|Colors of the Holidays Zoom Celebration|
|Dear group leaders,|
The Florida Writers Foundation would like to invite you and your group members to a fun event this weekend. Celebrate the Colors of the Holidays writing contest with the recent entrants of the FWF’s first annual contest. Learn the identities of the top three who submitted stories and the top three who submitted poetry, as judged by Mary Flynn and Joyce Sweeney.
Topic: Colors of the Holidays
Time: Dec 5, 2020 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 898 3060 1921
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Meeting ID: 898 3060 1921
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Mary Flynn, a former full-time writer for Hallmark Cards, and retiree from Disney Institute, is an award-winning author of fiction and poetry [eight books] as well as an acclaimed international conference speaker and leadership program facilitator. She will share some tips and stories with us. Learn more at www.maryflynnwrites.comJoyce Sweeney, who is our 2021 Florida Writer of the Year, and an agent with the Seymour Agency, will make a guest appearance to share writing opportunities for poets. Before becoming an agent, she was a mentor to many writers, and is a published author of fourteen books. Her free publishing podcast helps writers understand the publishing industry. Learn more at www.sweeneywritingcoach.com
Note: After the meeting we meet informally at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen across the street. All are welcome.
Also, please think about whether or not you want to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and if so, if you want to spend the November meeting time writing instead of our usual discussion and critique.
We practice social distancing at our meetings and encourage all attendees to do what’s necessary to safeguard their health. Lakeland Writers is open to all writers. Membership in Florida Writers Association is encouraged but not required.
Scholarships are available to FWA members for the upcoming FWA virtual annual conference. If you qualify and are interested, please contact Barbara Meyers at email@example.com
If you are bringing work to be critiqued during the meeting, please number the lines of text, double space and cap your text at approximately 1000 words. This gives everyone a chance to participate.
We hope to see you there!
Please plan to practice social distancing and other current guidelines regarding the safeguards against the Covid19 virus. (Hand sanitizer, masks, are both optional. Whatever makes you feel safe.)
At the last couple of meetings we have each had a 6′ table to ourselves. Our room is large enough that based on the number attending, social distancing is easily achievable.
Land O Lakes Library is hosting a Flash Fiction Contest surrounding the theme of “Imagine Your Story”. In the spirit of this, the theme of submitted work should explore the possibilities of imaginative story-telling. Take something ordinary and give it new life. Winning submissions will be published in a collaborative book and get a spot on the library shelves.
You can find out more, including guidelines and how to submit, on our event page: https://pascolibraries.evanced.info/signup
Hope to see you on the 12th!
The information below was sent to me randomly asking that I share it with our members. This notice is strictly for informational purposes and is not endorsed by Lakeland Writers or Florida Writers Association.
The Bedford Competition is a not for profit organisation, based in the United Kingdom, which runs international writing competitions that should appeal to anyone with an interest in creative writing.
All the entries we receive are entered in the main story and poetry competitions which have prizes of £500 first place, £150 second and £100 third. In the past it has not been unusual for overseas entrants to be amongst the prize winners.
We recognise that it is important to encourage young people to exercise their literary talents and in addition to the above prizes we give what it referred to as our Young Writers’ Award for the best poem and short story received from a person in the age group 17 to 25, inclusive.
The stories or poems may be something completely new, or something that has been worked on already. There are no theme or genre restrictions but it must be original, unpublished fiction. An entrant may submit more than one story or poem.
Inspired by the affects of the current covid-19 pandemic which is affecting every country throughout the world, there is, for this year only, a special Rainbow Prize for short story entrants aged 70 or over. We have chosen this age group for this one-off prize as they are not only deemed to be the most vulnerable, but are most likely to be suffering lockdown blues as they have been prevented from pursuing social activities and interacting with their children and grandchildren.
The twelve shortlisted stories and poems plus the prizewinners of the Young Writers’ Award and the Rainbow Prize will all be published in a paperback and electronic anthology, providing an opportunity to send their work into the outside world.
More detail and how to enter can be found on our website:
We are going to attempt to get back to “normal” with our monthly meetings starting with May’s meeting. The community room is large enough we can spread out and each have our own table to maintain social distance. Please bring your own supply of hand sanitizer and whatever other personal protection gear you require for your comfort.
NOTE: If you bring work to share and have critiqued, limit is 1000 words. Please double space and number lines of text.
We understand not all of our members may be comfortable joining the in-person meeting format. If you would like alternative meeting methods, one of our members has offered his Zoom platform account. If there is enough interest, we can set that up. Just email Barb Meyers.
We hope to see you in person or in spirit at the May meeting!
March’s guest speaker will be Ritchie Gaydos. Ritchie will share a bit about his writing journey and will have time for Q & A so maybe we can all benefit from what he’s learned along the way.
Hope to see you there.
Check out Ritchie’s bio:
Ritchie received a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Florida Atlantic University in 2003. He began writing seriously about two years ago, when he took a creative writing class. Ritchie has since written nine or ten short stories and is working on compiling these stories into a book. He is yet to be published, but is working towards that end.
News from Florida Writers Association:
Submissions for both RPLA awards and for the Collection Competition are now open.
The theme for this year’s Collection is “Create an Illusion.” Open submissions are from February 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020.
Details here: https://floridawriters.net/competitions-awards/collection/
We challenge all Lakeland Writers to enter. There is no entry fee and 60 winners are chosen for publication.
Royal Palm Literary Awards competition (RPLA) recognizes extraordinary writing in 28 genre-categories for adults and 5 for youth. Categories include fiction and nonfiction, short works and book-length, and poetry, stage plays, and “general catch-all” submissions. All entries receive extensive professional feedback. Submissions are accepted through April 30, 2020. Entry fees are tiered. The later you enter, the higher the fee. Entry details here: https://floridawriters.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/2020-RPLA-Guidelines-ADULT.pdf
Tonisha Mitchell messaged us to share the following: I’m hosting the 2nd Annual Tampa Bay Black Authors Expo in April. I’d love to have your authors participate if they’re available! Here is the Eventbrite link. Thank you!
The next Lakeland Writers meeting will be Wednesday, January 8.
Our guest speak will be Southeastern University film student, Kary Perez. Kary will share a little bit about her journey into the world of writing for and producing films. Let’s start 2020 together sharing our passion for the written word!
Kary Perez is a young and aspiring female director and actress. Born and raised on the island of Puerto Rico, she takes great pride in her rich culture. She is currently finishing her Bachelors degree in Film Production at Southeastern University and hopes to one day work full time in the film industry. She has worked on many student short films, one of which she wrote and directed and was nominated for a people’s choice award at the Fire Film Festival. This is only the beginning and she can’t wait to see all the amazing things God has in store for her life and career. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Director & Actress Filmography:
Pretty Boy (2019)
Hottie from the Butterfly Bench (2019)
The War Within (2019)
Soul Box (2019)
Vogue 1986 (2018)
Redesigning Dreams (2017)
Some of us enjoy writing prompts so how about these?
1) Write a tongue-in-cheek, satirical tribute. Tell bad drivers, rude customers, and evil dictators how grateful you are for what they’ve done. Do it with a wink and a smile.
2) Three children are sitting on a log near a stream. One of them looks up at the sky and says…
Google “writing prompts” and you’ll find lots of sites with ideas.
The ones above were taken from http://www.writingforward.com
Wishing you all the happiest of holiday seasons and here’s hoping you plan to join us in the new year. Our January meeting will be January 8th.
Congratulations to Ellen Holder. Her entry entitled “Writer Still At Work” finished in the top ten entries into the 2019 Florida Writers Association Collection, Writers at Work. For more information: https://floridawriters.net/competitions-awards/collection/writers-at-work/
Congratulations to Rachel Meinke for her book and film deal. Read all about it here: https://www.theledger.com/entertainment/20191101/rachel-meinke-lakeland-writers-book-set-to-become-film
Are you following us on Facebook? Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/LakelandWriters/
IMPORTANT UPDATE! PLEASE READ!
Due to a possible Covid exposure the Prime Meridian Bank building is being deep cleaned tonight and therefore, we are unable to hold our meeting there. Stay tuned for further updates for a meeting we will try to schedule for later this month. Apologies for the late notice.