Hiding a Submarine

Our own Joe Midzalkowski’s 2016 FWA’s Anthology Collection Winner…as seen in the Marshall Islands Journal.


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Date correction: January 18, February 15 and March 15…

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Next Meetings: January 18, February 15, March 15

Hello Lakeland Writers!

First, I look forward to seeing everyone at Wednesday’s Lakeland Writers meeting. January’s meeting will be a traditional mini-lesson and read & critique get-together. Need a prompt:

Eye Contact: Write about two people seeing each other for the first time.

Second, our February meeting–February 15–will be an online class about WRITING FANTASTIC QUERY LETTERS held by Molli Nickell. Molli is a 10-year member of the FWA, and a 30-year veteran of the publishing business as a Time-Life editor, acquisitions editor, and publisher. This meeting will be from the comfort of your own living room.

This class is open to all Lakeland Writers but the first 4 FWA members to submit their query letters to me at alison.nissen@aol.com will be able to have their letters critiqued live with Molli during the class. Not an FWA member? Click here to join.

Read the attached documents for instructions and more information.

Query Letter Template

Query Letter Workshop Information

Here’s a little bit about Molli:

In 2001, she opened her virtual office to help writers move through the learning curve from completed manuscript to agent acquisition. Currently, she directs Agent/Query Submission Central, a membership teaching site where writers learn to craft effective query letters, synopses, manuscript first pages, and structure their agent quest protocols.

Then they’re ready to step out into the publishing world, armed with submission packages that prove they’re the real deal: skilled writers with saleable manuscripts. Meet her via the video on my home page at www.getpublishednow.biz.

Contact alison.nissen@aol.com for any additional information.

Third, I’m attaching a link to the Lakeland Public Library’s upcoming events which includes other writer’s groups, publishing panels, and open mic times at the end of this email.

Lakeland Public Library Writer’s Events

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Next Lakeland Writers: Dec 14, Jan 18, Feb 15

Happy Holidays! Now’s the time to take a break from the stress of shopping and indulge your creativity. Come join us for the last Lakeland Writers Meeting for 2016. Wow, has it been a fast year!

This February, we will be having a special meeting presented by Molli Nickell on Query Letters. Want your letter to be reviewed? Find out how at the meeting on Wednesday. *This meeting will be online, from your own computer.

Need a writing prompt? 

When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Well…What was the matter? 

car-in-houseCOME JOIN US

Lakeland Writers is open to all individuals who write for profession or pleasure.


Sunshine Bank, 3340 South Florida Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33803

All meetings begin at 6:30pm on the days listed. Most will last until 8:30.

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Next Lakeland Writers: 11/16, 12/14, 1/18

Hey Ya’ll! It’s NaNoWriMo time with Lakeland Writers. So, grab your computer or your yellow-lined notebook and swing on over to Sunshine Bank on Wednesday at 6:30 for our annual write-in.

Sunshine Bank
3340 South Florida Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33803

See you then and happy writing!

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Next Lakeland Writers: 11/16, 12/14, 1/18

This year was a fabulous FWA Annual Conference. As a volunteer, I worked in Interviews…where attendees schedule interviews with agents and industry experts. We had 159 total interviews in 3 days. Crazy!

We also had a bookstore, book signings, genre breakfasts, awards, and John Gilstrap as our Keynote Speaker. We were fed 3 square (plus) meals a day, had a “coffee shop” and rubbed elbows with writers of every type of genre.

And, I have to offer kudos: if it weren’t for the Lakeland Writers members, I wouldn’t have won 1st Place Unpublished Biography/Memoir…and 4th Runner Up Overall Unpublished Books! What a great honor and I am proud of our group!

So get ready for 2017…and take a peek at the winners in all categories!

By the way, November will be a NaNoWriMo workshop…so if you are participating in National Novel Writing Month or just a work-in-progress, bring your laptop for our annual write-in.

2016 Royal Palm Literary Award: Who Won?

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2015 royal palm literary awardWoohoo! It is our pleasure to announce the winners of the 2016 Royal Palm Literary Awards (RPLA) competition. Huge congratulations to everyone who won, finaled, semifinaled, or entered. This was one tough and nuanced competition. Congratulations!

RPLA is a service of the Florida Writers Association that recognizes excellence in members’ published and unpublished works while providing objective and constructive feedback for all entrants. There’s even a Youth component. This year, we had a record-breaking 479 entries, a 22% jump over the 392 in 2015. And because at least three judges reviewed each entry, the 168 powerhouse judges worked very, very hard.

Getting ready for next year? The submissions window is January 15 – April 30, 2017. (Note: earlier closing date!) Guidelines will be posted at the first of the year.

Below are the lists of winners, with loglines. Thanks for your interest. Congratulations again, everyone.

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Next Lakeland Writers: Oct 19, Nov 16, Dec 14

Short Scary Story Contest at Lakeland Writers October 19.

horror-pumpkin-ideasIn no more than 750 words, write a scary story to share with the group.

Ghosts, Ghouls, Goblins. Creepy Clowns, Lost in the Woods, Stranger Danger.

Go ahead, take the challenge!

COME JOIN US: Lakeland Writers is open to all individuals who write for profession or pleasure.
WHERE? WHEN? Sunshine Bank, 3340 South Florida Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33803

All meetings begin at 6:30pm on the days listed. Most will last until 8:30.


And find out about more events here…


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