Workshops

West Branch Library - Chaffee Road - Jacksonville, Florida

West Regional Library, 1425 Chaffee Road, Jacksonville, Fl 32221
When: Sign in begins at 10:00 AM unless otherwise posted.

* OUR MEETINGS *


We LOVE visitors! Unless otherwise stated, our meetings are held on the second Saturday of every month at the West Regional Branch Library in Jacksonville, Florida. The address is 1425 Chaffee Rd S, Jacksonville, Fl 32221.

For the month of January 2023, there will be $40 annual dues fee for all the workshops or you can pay $10 for any individual workshops throughout the year that you would like to attend as a visitor by CLICKING HERE.

Typically, we have a business meeting where you’ll learn about what we’re doing, followed by two workshops. When in person, we usually have lunch together at a nearby restaurant afterward. Romance writers know how to combine business and fun!

Schedule: ONLINE
9:45AM log in to socialize and catch up with your fellow writers
10AM meeting called to order
10:40AM Meeting ends if it hasn’t already adjourned
10:40 5-minute break
10:45 First workshop (approx. 50 min)
5-minute break in there somewhere

Second workshop (approx. 50 min)

Schedule: IN PERSON (Beginning in January)
10AM Socialize and catch up with your fellow writers
10:15AM meeting called to order
10:40AM Meeting ends if it hasn’t already adjourned
10:40 5-minute break
10:45 First workshop (approx. 50 min)
5-minute break in there somewhere

Second workshop (approx. 50 min)

IMPORTANT NOTICE
Please check each meeting description to see if the meeting is ZOOM-ONLY or IN-PERSON & ZOOM. If you need the Zoom link to attend, email the chapter president: president@firstcoastromancewriters.com You will be provided with a link to log onto the meeting. You can log in virtually for social time at 10am, and our business meeting will begin promptly at 1015am.

 


Next Meetings…

Feb112023

Lisa Norman

LISA NORMAN BIO:

Lisa Norman is the owner of Heart Ally Books, an independent publishing company. She also owns a website design company specializing in creating websites for authors, Deleyna’s Dynamic Designs. For over 25 years, she has worked with both indie and traditionally published writers on everything from writing through publication and marketing. She has taught students from 10 to 80, both in person, locally, and online. Her customers range all over the US, Canada, and as far away as Australia. Mostly she coaches people one-on-one, and she loves public speaking. She’s most proud of her children, adores her husband, and seems to be constantly surrounded by cats. 

Lisa is the author of a series of nonfiction ebooks, Publishing Gold: Step-by-Step Guides for Success In Your Writing Career. She also writes under the pen name of Deleyna Marr.

LISA NORMAN'S WORKSHOPS:

Awesome-Author Websites

What if you could have a website that would meet your needs whether you're a beginner or a NYT best-selling author?
What if it could be affordable and easy to maintain?
We'll cover the basics of what an author needs to build a powerful home base for their online presence. I'll teach you where the pitfalls are and how to make having a website a natural and fun part of your writing life.

Awesome-Authors on the Web

Tweet like a twit? Facepalm every time you check Facebook? Feel like a pinned bug on Pinterest? Confused by controversy? Troubled by trolls?
What's an author to do with all of the social media opportunities clambering for our attention? In this talk, I'll show you how to use your newsletter to build your following and how to make social media work for you without draining your creativity!

Mar112023

Caren Burmeister

Caren Burmeister Bio

Being captivated by a good story is one of life’s greatest pleasures, which is why Caren Burmeister loves being a storyteller, and why she treasures stories that explore universal truths about human nature. 

A Jacksonville, Florida-based seasoned writer with more than two decades in journalism, Caren left the newsroom and began a journey grounded in personal faith, yoga and self-discovery.  Her intention?  To discover what could she could do to bring out the best in others. 

As a result, she started an independent book editing and publishing company, Caren Tells Your Story.  She helps fiction and nonfiction authors write compelling stories that deeply connect with readers.  In September 2022, she co-wrote and published Remember Me: How to Create a Spiritual Legacy of Love Light.  Part memoir, part how-to guide, the book reminds us that our ties to our loved ones are eternal and that the story of our life may be as important as life itself.

 

Workshop descriptions:

Now, more than ever, readers are buying fiction to escape a steady series of world events that are making many people feel powerless and anxious.  Regardless of genre, readers are relying on you — the author — for the kind of intrigue that will transport them to another time and place.  These two workshops will help you achieve those goals. 

Workshop one: Build Suspense to Keep Readers Turning Pages.

You’ll learn how to:
 Establish compelling and credible motives for the main characters
 Raise the consequences of the character’s decisions and actions
 Intensify their risk of failure as the book progresses

Workshop two: Create a Strong Sense of Place to Evoke Vivid Mental Images and Associations.

You’ll learn how to:
 Draw rich descriptions through sensory immersion, travel and research
 Consciously use setting to inspire or generate plot
 Employ dialogue to cue a sense of time and place

 

Apr082023

Kevin Tumlinson of Draft2Digital

Bio:
 
Kevin Tumlinson is an award-winning and bestselling novelist, and is known as “The Voice of Indie Publishing” for his work in helping hundreds of thousands of will-be authors to start, build, and grow their author careers. Kevin is the Director of Marketing & PR for Draft2Digital—the leading distributor of indie published titles in the world. He has served as host, co-host, or guest on thousands of podcasts and other media. You can learn more about Kevin at his work at KevinTumlinson.com
 
Bootstrapping Your Author Career
Kevin talks about what he’s learned about building and growing an author career when you’re short of time and budget. From “writing anywhere” using a smartphone to low- and even no-money ways to market your books, Kevin is presenting all the tricks and tips he’s learned since starting his publishing career.
 
Handy Things Authors Can Do with Draft2Digital
D2D offers authors an entire toolbox of resources for starting, building, and growing their author careers. And all of those tools are FREE for authors to use—no contracts, no fees, no obligations. In this talk, Kevin Tumlinson walks through some of those resources, introducing them and sharing how you can put them to work right away, even if you aren’t distributing your books through us!
 
 
 

May132023

Suzanne Purvis

SUZANNE PURVIS BIO:

Suzanne Purvis is a transplanted Canadian living in the Deep South, where she traded “eh” for “y’all.” An author of long, short, and flash fiction and poetry for both children and adults, she has won several awards including those sponsored by the University of Toronto, RWA, Bethlehem Writer’s Roundtable, and Women Who Write. You can find her work in print anthologies, magazines, ezines, and ebooks. Visit  www.suzannepurvis.com , www.suzannepurvis.blogspot.com, Facebook, Amazon Author’s Central.

SUZANNE PURVIS WORKSHOPS:

Writing Your Brilliant Blurb

Wowza!  Your book is done. Congratulations. You’re ready to put your fabulous story out there into the publishing world. One of the best ways to get your book noticed and sold is to write a brilliant blurb.

Who Should Take This Workshop

  • authors writing query letters
  • authors looking to self-publish and are in need of a stellar back cover blurb

What You Will Learn

    • the key elements to a brilliant blurb
    • some do and don’t for blurbs
    • the necessary steps to creating your brilliant blurb
    • how to highlight the uniqueness of your story and why it’s important
    • the importance of voice in a blurb
    • the importance of researching blurbs and what you can learn
    • why you might want to include comparison titles in your blurb
    • the importance of revising and refining your blurb until it shines 
    • This workshop will include interactive exercises to help get you started with your brilliant blurb.

REVISION BOOTCAMP

You’ve got your first draft done or almost done. Or maybe you’re on your second, third, or LAST revision and you’re working toward the finish line. You’re ready for REVISION BOOTCAMP. Sign up. Get your marching orders and learn strategies to attack your revisions.

Who Should Take This Class

  • Any writer looking for successful methods to work through the revision process.
  • Any writer who’s stuck and doesn’t know what to do next in their draft process.

 What You Will Learn

  • Strategies for attacking the revision process
  • A slew of specific revision tips including strong beginnings, compelling voice, a scene checklist, and how to use transitions from scene to scene, what to do about backstory, how to listen closely to your words, why to vary your sentence structure, a quick start tip for your next revision session, plus much more.

Jun102023

Sia Huff

From 10:15 until 1:00

At West Branch Jacksonville Public Library

1425 Chaffee Road S Jacksonville, FL 32221

Sia Huff

In junior high, Sia Huff mesmerized her art class daily with tales of a continuing adventure about her not-so-secret crush. And yet, she was not a lover of books. When she turned sixteen, her dad said to her mom, “I don’t care what it is, just get her to read.” Wise woman that her mom was, she handed Sia a romance novel and she was hooked. She found a genre she could relate to, a world of happily-ever-after’s. Sia made up for her earlier lack of reading by consuming a book a day during the summer between her junior and senior year in high school and participated in reading contests with her college suite mate to see who could finish a novel the fastest. It took many years, a degree in Fashion Merchandising, two different careers in banking and government contracting, a marriage and birth of her first child, before Sia realized her calling to be a writer. Sia now spends her time honing her writing skills and crafting compelling stories about the power of love. In 2008, Sia won the prestigious Maggie Award of Excellence for Best Short Contemporary Series. The following year she finaled in the Golden Heart.

Aug122023

KG Fletcher

 
KG Fletcher BIO:
Dubbed, “The Singing Author,” KG Fletcher lives in her very own frat house in Atlanta, GA with her husband Ladd and three sons.

 

As a singer/songwriter she became a recipient of the “Airplay International Award” for “Best New Artist” showcasing original songs at The Bluebird Café in Nashville, TN. She earned her BFA in theater at Valdosta State University, and has traveled the world professionally as a singer/actress.

 

KG currently gets to play rock star as a backup singer in the National Tour, “Remember When Rock Was Young – the Elton John Tribute,” www.almosteltonjohn.com She is also a summer artist-in-residence at her alma mater performing roles in musicals for the Peach State Summer Theatre program, her favorite roles to date being Donna in Mamma Mia!, and Marmee in Little Women the Musical. During lockdown and all through the pandemic, KG got creative using a bedroom closet and used her BFA to full advantage narrating and producing the first four books in her Reigning Hearts Series. (Now available on Audible.) She plans on narrating and producing ALL of her stories!

 

KG is a hopeless romantic. When she’s not on the road singing, she’s probably at home daydreaming about her swoony book boyfriends, or arranging a yummy charcuterie board while sipping red wine and listening to Frank Sinatra.

 

KG loves to interact with readers on social media and share about her writing and singing journey.  For more info about tour dates (and FREE concert tickets), go to www.kgfletcherauthor.com/contact.html
 
 
KG Fletcher Social Media Links:
 
 
 

 

 
Twitter Link –   https://twitter.com/kgfletcher3

 

 
Goodreads Author Link – 
 
Link to newsletter – https://www.kgfletcherauthor.com/contact.html
 
 
I have two workshops. My first workshop is, "How Music Can Rescue, Revive and Inspire Your Writing." This workshop is broken down like this:
 
MUSIC TO INSPIRE YOUR WRITING
MUSIC & WRITER’S BLOCK 
MUSIC AND THE LAW
PROMOTIONAL USE OF MUSIC IN BOOK MARKETING 
 
My second workshop is "Social Media Basics for New Authors." Here's the breakdown:
 
"Social Media Basics" will educate newbie authors on how to navigate the many social media platforms in the world, including tips and tricks on how to engage new readers. Throughout the session, K. G. will provide her own examples of what has specifically worked for her. She'll also highlight some easy ways authors can get started right away with setting up and actively engaging on their own profiles.
 
 
 
 

Sep092023

Marilyn Baron

Marilyn Baron Author Bio:

 A Miami native, and graduate of the University of Florida, Marilyn Baron is a Floridian at heart. In addition to Miami and Gainesville, she’s lived in Palm Coast and Tallahassee. Marilyn writes in a variety of genres from women’s fiction to historical romantic thrillers and romantic suspense to paranormal/fantasy and cozy mysteries. She’s received writing awards in Single Title, Suspense Romance, Novel with Strong Romantic Elements and Paranormal/Fantasy Romance. She was also The Finalist in the 2017 Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA) in the Romance Category for her novel, Stumble Stones, and The Finalist for the 2018 GAYA Awards in the Romance category for her novel, The Alibi. Her latest novel, The Case of the Missing Botticelli: A Massimo Domingo Mystery, released January 24, 2022, is her 28th work of fiction, which includes short stories, novels, anthologies and even a musical. Book 3 of the series, The Case of the Forgotten Fragonard, will be released in 2023 by The Wild Rose Press, Inc. A public relations consultant in Atlanta, Marilyn is past chair and current member of Roswell Reads (a one-city, one read program that has featured such authors as Rick Bragg, Ann Patchett, Delia Owens, Laura Morelli and Geraldine Brooks) and serves on the Atlanta Authors Series Committee, which gives local authors the opportunity to share what they have written with library patrons. To find out more about what Marilyn writes, visit her website at: www.marilynbaron.com/

WORKSHOP

Novel Ideas: What Sparks a Writer’s Imagination?

In a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway said, “The good parts of a book may be only something a writer is lucky enough to overhear or it may be the wreck of his whole damn life—and one is as good as the other.”

Where do ideas for novels come from? This is the number one question an author is asked by readers. Ideas for books can come from anywhere and everywhere at any time. And when you least expect them. Do ideas drop from the sky? Come from the cosmos? When inspiration strikes, they just might. Ideas are floating out there in the universe. You just have to be receptive to them.

What are the Top 10 Sources of Inspiration for a Novel?

Genre Jumping: To Switch or Not to Switch

A recent New York Times article noted that most blockbuster authors break out because of a popular series, like “Twilight” or “Harry Potter.” Conventional wisdom dictates that writers build a brand by sticking to one recognizable genre. But what if you’re an outlier like literary phenom Colleen Hoover, the best-selling author in the United States, who had five of the top 10 best-selling print books of any genre.

“I’ve been told that authors need to brand themselves as one thing. And I was like, well, why can’t I brand myself as everything?” says Hoover. “Why can’t I just brand myself as Colleen Hoover?”

It may take awhile to find your voice, find your genre of choice and find your passion.

Best-selling author Celeste Ng says she’s still honing her voice after three novels and there are themes writers tend to come back to.

Should you limit yourself to one genre or subgenre? Marilyn Baron writes in a variety of genres from humorous women’s fiction to historical romantic thrillers/suspense and from paranormal to cozy mysteries. She writes in all formats from short stories and series to anthologies and full-length novels. She and her sister even wrote a musical about Alzheimer’s called Memory Lane. Is it advisable to genre jump? To Switch or Not to Switch Genres, that is the question we’ll try to answer.

 

Nov112023

Jenna Grinstead

At We

1425 Chaffee Road S Jacksonville, FL 32221

Author Jenna Grinstead Jenna Grinstead is a whimsical Midwesterner with a penchant for magic and a deep desire for a world where the weird and different are embraced and celebrated.  ​She is a graduate of The Ohio State University where she studied journalism. She found a way to turn her imagination and creativity into a career in marketing, while writing young adult and middle grade fiction. She often conducts workshops and speaks on writing, world-building, social media and marketing. Jenna is a member of The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Central Ohio Fiction Writers and Women's Fiction Writers Association. Her young adult romance manuscripts have won several regional writing awards, including The Maggie and The Indiana Golden Opportunity.  When she's not plotting her next story you can find her devouring novels and mint chocolate chip ice cream in her house with California Poppies painted across the garage.

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