Posts Tagged ‘community’

Congratulations Station

CONGRATS TO JON FORE, whose YA Fantasy novel LEXICON CHASE AND THE RIDDLE SONG (Book 2 in the Lexicon Chase series) won a Readers’ Favorite International Novel Award (from among thousands of entries!).

Here’s a bite to entice you! Even after she risked her life in search of a fairy tale, guided by nothing but rumors and unwritten histories, Lexicon discovers she is still being hunted. Now, forced to flee her castle, even as the city of Everhope falls under troll siege, Lexi must find a lost tribe of people hidden beyond the Great Blight—the last keepers of the Riddle Song—and learn its forgotten secrets.

Congratulations Station

KUDOS TO YA AUTHOR MELODY MAYSONET, whose debut novel, A WORK OF ART (Merit Press), won first place in the General Fiction category for the 2016 Eric Hoffer Awards! Not only that, but a follow-up report in The US Review of Books called A WORK OF ART “finely plotted”! Woo-freaking-hoo, Melody!


And congrats, too, to Charlene Edge, whose memoir about her seventeen years in a cult, titled UNDERTOW: My Escape from the Fundamentalism and Cult Control of The Way International, will be available in January 2017. In it, you’ll learn how easily a vulnerable person can be conned into following an authoritarian leader and how difficult it can be to find a way out.


Melissa Abrehamsen‘s spooky, supernatural YA FORETOLD is available FOR FREE on Kindle for a limited time. Here’s something to whet your appetite: Lance Harper and Lucy Burns have avoided one another all through high school. He’s the son of the town psychic; she’s the daughter of a fundamentalist preacher. But the wall between them crumbles when Lance has a mind-splitting vision of Lucy’s bathtub suicide.


Elizabeth Sims has good news! She’s signed a contract with audio book company Audible for all five of her Lillian Byrd crime novels!

Storytellers of Tomorrow

THE STORYTELLERS OF TOMORROW Florida High School Creative Writing Contest

CW_word_0is presented by the Ringling College of Art + Design. The Ringling College BFA in Creative writing was created to support, empower, and honor young writers. Now, the creative writing department of Ringling is inviting Florida high school students to submit unpublished, original stories of up to 2,000 words for this inaugural Storytellers of Tomorrow Contest. The deadline is February 29th, so skateboard those entries right in! Click HERE for the full scoop.

This Public Service Announcement has been brought to you by Ryan G. Van Cleave, Creative Writing BFA Coordinator, Ringling College of Art and Design and author of THE WEEKEND BOOK PROPOSAL (Writers Digest), MEMOIR WRITING FOR DUMMIES (John Wiley & Sons), and more!

Readers Unite

WE’VE ALL BEEN IN THAT BOOK GROUP. You know. Where members used to show up to discuss the book, but now come full-to-the-brim with details of their sister’s divorce, or their boss’s bankruptcy, or their kid’s awful new soccer coach. Not that I’m one to throw stones! I love an off-topic discussion as much as (if not more than) the next person.

Book-ClubStill, with the new year on the horizon, this might be the perfect time to get your book group to commit to a resolution or two. Here are some suggestions to get you started.

Looking for some book suggestions for your club?

And if all this chummy club-talk makes you long for a reading group of your own, you can start—or find—a book club near you. Just visit Reader’s Circle and enter your zip code in their database. Then, voila! Connect with your book-loving cohort and read on!

Congratulations Station!

HUGE CONGRATS TO PUSHCART-NOMINATED AUTHOR LINDA DUNLAP on the 51NyDtXrNlL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_publication of her short story collection, RAIL WALKING! Featuring stories set in the South, Dunlap’s theme is man’s battle with himself [in situations such as] the guilt over an imperfect child, the disruption of a marriage, and the almighty task of loving the unlovable. The glue that binds these stories is hope, a gift that saves Dunlap’s characters from despair, as they struggle to make sense of their imperfect world.

Join Linda Dunlap for the launch of RAIL WALKING on Wednesday, December 16th, from 6-8 p.m. at Writer’s Block Bookstore, 124 Welbourne Ave., Winter Park, FL 32789.

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A SHOUT OUT JudyMug2 TO MIDDLE RIVER PRESS for garnering two silver medals from Florida Authors and Publishers Association, one each for RIGHT SMART TO SAY, by Robert Gore III (best adult non-fiction) and LEA, THE CHRISTMAS ANGEL, by Brenda Sue Thompson, illustrated by Kayla Olson (best children’s picture book). Founded by Judy (pictured) and Bruce Borich. Middle River Press includes an extended group of editors, proofreaders, designers, illustrators, printers and photographers. Their recipe works! In five years, MRP has received more than ten awards!

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37bce274-be5e-4446-b1b4-667fd2efa284A ROUND OF APPLAUSE, TOO, TO CHRISTINA BENJAMIN, on the success of her YA series, THE GENEVA PROJECT. To thank her fans, Benjamin has made the first book in the series, TRUTH, a free download on all platforms! Click for *Free Download for Kindle *Free Download for Nook  *Free Download for iTunes *Free Download for Kobo

Sometimes Art . . .

12191752_796580270470921_1313248362431253998_nDSCN0534IF REVISION* WERE A DOG, it would wear a hat and be foolish in public, because revision would want to get the most DOG out of each moment that it could. If revision were a fish, it would be out of water and dragging its school behind. If revision were an interior decorating scheme, it would cry out for spangle-y pinks and purples—unless it wanted the heat of reds and oranges—unless it wanted the cool underwater of blues and greens.

Sometimes art is the answer—but sometimes it’s revision. Sometimes it’s about seeing your work-in-progress as so many puzzle pieces, which you have to turn and match and try to fit. But sometimes it’s about diving deeper.

Sometimes revision wants to be smacked around, which can be a little scary—unless you have a safe word, and sometimes revision does have a safe word, in which case, it’s okay to play rough, which, sometimes, revision likes.

Revision’s about re-visioning, it’s about looking at what you’ve already done and asking what else you can do. But revision’s not “editing.” If writing were an injury, revision would be surgery, not massage.

Revision is a bit of a shepherd’s crook, tugging you off the stage when you think you’re ready to be out there. Revision knows when you haven’t fully paid your dues. Revision wants you to work harder—it’s stubborn like that. But revision will reward your work with a bag of gold so full you’ll be able to scatter coins far and wide, feeding the entire populace of your life—once you’ve done what revision wants you to do.

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* The art illustrating this post is a before-and-after of a piece I created in one of my art journals. It’s easy, often, to get stalled at an early stage of a piece of art or a piece of writing. Difficult, sometimes, to push through to the next level. Risky, always, to do so.

I’m grateful to Tammy Garcia—creator of Daisy Yellow Art and the extraordinary Daisy Yellow Facebook group—for her continuing inspiration. The lessons I’ve learned from Tammy and crew have helped me be more courageous on the page.


The Guilty Pleasure

c400318c-a294-4015-ae62-2c1545d20240WRITER’S BLOCK BOOKSTORE has partnered with Rollins College to bring master thriller writer David Baldacci to Central Florida! Baldacci, who has published 30 international bestsellers, will appear in Mills Memorial Hall, on the Rollins College Campus, on Friday, December 1st, at 6:30 pm, to promote his latest book, THE GUILTY.

davidBaldacci is also the founder of Wish You Well Foundation, an organization that provides books—as well as food—to those in need, through Feeding Mind and Body. Donate new or gently used books at the signing! Contact Lauren Zimmerman at Writer’s Block for more info.
Call: (407) 335-4192 Email:

Children’s Book Authors Needed

KELI SIPPERLEY, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF of Rourke Educational Media, sent this wonderful want ad: Rourke seeks experienced writers for work-for-hire book projects. We publish fiction and nonfiction for school and library markets. Authors must be able to research Everyone_Goes_to_School_COVand write engaging content to specified grade levels and deliver clean, fact-checked manuscripts to specs on tight deadlines. We are expanding our fiction collections and especially need writers who write with voice and humor. Nonfiction writers who are simultaneously fun and informative are always in demand.

Send a resume, a brief unedited writing sample, and a letter of introduction that lists your subject-area interests to Previously unpublished writers are welcome. If you are serious about your craft and work well with editors, they want to hear from you. Visit to see current titles and learn more about them.


CHRISTINA BENJAMIN is about to launch LIES, the third book in her terrific YA series, THE GENEVA PROJECT—which takes place in the troubled land of Lux! The first two books, TRUTH and SECRETS, are currently on sale for $.99 so readers can get caught up for LIES’ September 1st debut. Pre-order LIES now, on Amazon.


Lit-Land-O residents, take note: LIES is launching at Writer’s Atelier, on Saturday, September 12th, at 4:30, when Christina will be reading from LIES and signing copies!

A Mere 425 Miles

HUGH HOLBORN’S PREPARATIONS for his upcoming hike of the southern quarter of the Appalachian Trail (a mere 425 miles!) continue. He’s adopted the moniker “Teatime” for his Big Stroll. Signing trail registers with trail names, he says, make individual hikers’ journeys easier to follow. Now, his blog, Teatime on the AT, has been picked up by TOTALLY ST. AUGUSTINE, an arts and entertainment site focused on happenings in Hugh’s hometown.

But why “Teatime”?

drinkingacuppaOur world, Hugh says, has become a reckless gyroscope spinning wildly out of control. One needs a weapon to guard against its assault. A tool, if you will, to separate the future from the now. Tea provides the perfect punctuation. Taking time for tea says, ‘Pardon me, World, I am getting off at the next stop. You folks continue onward. I will rejoin the hootenanny a bit later.’

We will encounter places along the trail high in the Smoky Mountains, with thousands of vertical feet separating us from the life that exists below, he continues. There, we shall put down our packs and stop the motion of our trail-weary selves. Then, I shall reach deep in my pack for a small stove and round pot, boil enough water for the three of us, and announce to my boys, ‘Brace yourselves, young princes of the Appalachian Trail, it’s time for tea!’

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