January 2021 Meeting


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Lakeland Writers December 2020

If you bring work for our critique session, please double space, number the lines of text and limit your submission to approximately 1000 words so that all attending have time to share. Thank you!

Are you ready to create or change your author web site? You might want to check out

Pub Site, pub-site.com) which is a platform created specifically for authors.

Are you looking for a publishing partner? Here are two for you to check out:

Atmosphere Press





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Colors of the Holidays Zoom Celebration

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)

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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

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Lakeland Writers November 2020 Meeting

FYI: Below is news of a non-FWA affiliated writers conference in Tampa Florida with the link for further information.

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October 2020 Meeting

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 barbmeyers56@gmail.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!

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Lakeland Writers September 2020 Meeting


August 2020 Meeting

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!

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July 2020 Meeting

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:

The Bedford Competition

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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!

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April Meeting Cancelled


March 11, 2020 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!


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January 2020 Meeting

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

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 thekaryperez@gmail.com

Director & Actress Filmography:  

Pretty Boy (2019) 

Hottie from the Butterfly Bench (2019)

The War Within (2019)

Soul Box (2019)

Vogue 1986 (2018)

Unforgettable (2018)

Redesigning Dreams (2017)

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December 2019 Meeting

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.


November 13, 2019 Meeting

Don’t forget to number the lines of your text when you bring copies for critique.
It makes referencing so much easier!

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/

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Lakeland Writers October 2019 Meeting

Usher in greatness as a writer this Autumn
Find out who you can be as you join us on Wednesday, October 9th, 2019.


June 10, 2020 Meeting

As we resumed our meetings last month, we appreciate it if those attending maintain social distancing and hygiene practices, as they see fit. We realize not everyone is comfortable attending our meetings as of yet, but please know, our space is fairly large for the number of attendees, and we can offer tables for one. We hope to see you at our June meeting.

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