No September meeting

December 13, 2017  Meeting 

Bill Green, from the Marco Eagle shared with us what the newspaper is looking for in submissions, who to get them to and the goals of the Marco Eagle.

We also enjoyed a Holiday party and Nominated the 2018 Board and Committee Chairman.

A special thanks to Pauline Hayton for was our editor for four years for the Marco Island  Anthologies.     


January 10, 2018

Understanding your characters.  We spent the meeting discussing how to get to know your characters, Members were presented with a Character Profile taken from the back of the Positive  Trait Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Guglisi


July 11 and August 8, 2018 Meetings

Michael Mequid will be conducting the next two month programs about writing queries and proposals.

A full 75% of what is submitted is sent in by people whose qualification for writing fiction is identical with everyone else in their town, and so is viewed as unreadable.
Of those remaining, all but three are viewed as less than professional.
Of the final three, two are seen as not right for that house because the author didn't do their research.
That one out of a hundred is invited to submit the full manuscript. But out of those so honored only one in from ten to thirty is thought to have the potential to recoup in sales, the expense of bringing it to market. Hence the importance of "the numbers"
So why do they reject the work? In 97% it is because the author did not invest the time and expense to learn their profession. And by expense I don't mean four years at the university, I mean a few books on the basics of scene and structure, perhaps a workshop or a retreat, a bit of mentoring, etc.
My point is that until you get into that one percent that stands a chance of selection the reason for rejection is identical.
It's about the writing. It's always about the writing.
Broadly the same as what makes a publisher say "no".
The fact that numbers are even being considered means that you're past the stage of what we would consider "own goals", which is always nice. "Own goals" overall are the main reason we say no.
Numbers are used in lots of ways. The physical cost of production and distribution. Cost of marketing/publicity. Projected sales based on a number of calculations including - but not limited to - what is on the market already that's similar; internal projections of where the market is (and is not) likely to go over the short, medium and long-term terms; previous sales history (if any); what retailers are buying, what they're not buying, and so on and so forth. Other numbers related questions - do we think people will like what's on offer enough for us to risk the resulting financial loss that we'll incur if they don't like it? What can we do - if anything - to minimize the risk of making a loss?

Numbers matter a lot. It's all about costs vs. projected profit while factoring in a huge element of risk assessment, for want of a better phrase. 

March 14, 2018.

 RITA award winner Laura Drake shared her Tortoise’s Story – how to keep writing no matter what. Laura says that Publishing is more of a full marathon than a sprint. It was 15 years and 417 rejections before her first contract resulted in success. In this inspiring talk, Laura will tell her story, and give tips to help you survive the race, and keep you writing. She  alsolead the group in a Query Letter workshop after her talk.  The RITA is awarded by the Romance Writers of America to promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding published romance novels and novellas. The award itself is a golden statuette named after RWA's first president, Rita Clay Estrada, and has become the symbol for excellence in published romance fiction. Query Letters propose writing projects to editors in anticipation of their purchasing and publishing a writers work and are an integral part of the process in obtaining success as an author. Laura Drake’s list of accomplishments include her sweet series, The Sweet Spot (2013), Nothing Sweeter (2014) and Sweet on You (2014 RITA Award); Her Road Home, The Reasons To Stay, Twice In A Blue Moon, & Against The Odds (Harlequin); A foray into Women’s Fiction resulted in Days Made of Glass (Harlequin). Laura has recently signed to write three more books for Grand Central and has given up the corporate world to write full time. 

FEBRUARY 21, 2018

We were so excited to have author, Patricia Sands at our meeting. She spoke about how she started in Indie publishing, but after learning to "brand" herself using social media like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, she was approached by Lake Union Press, an Amazon corporation, and signed a contract with them. You can learn more about her on her website

PatricaSands,    She also gave us a wonderful resource list that you can find on our Resource Page.  

May 9, 2018

Review of three great literary works. We read and discussed the style of  The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin (1894), A Clean Well-Lighted Place

by Ernest Hemingway (1933) and Letter to my  Daughter - Home  by Maya Angelou (2008). We compared them to the 6 point rubric we are now using to examine our own work.  After this discussion, three members read pieces of their WIP (Works in Progress): Mershon Neisner, Dennis Albright and Rich Goldhaber

October 10, 2018     6-8 p.m    Mackle Park Community  Center

D.L.Havin  presents: “I’ve met the enemy and he is me.”(Pogo paraphrased) An assemblage of tips and mistakes to avoid, for all writers. Whether the participant is a new-bee or an experienced author these are suggestions that make your work readable, credible, enjoyable and salable! From tactics to strategy and imagination to research this course covers the things DL Havlin has done right and the errors he’s had to correct in twenty-plus years of writing so you can profit from them. 

April 11, 2018

"How to get more book sales"  A panel of four of our members will talk about their sales techniques and how they have been successful in increasing book sales. The primary focus will be on how their sales at the Farmer's Market increased by using certain techniques. However, sales is sales, once you know how to sell your books, you can sell them anywhere. There will be plenty of time for questions and comments from the members and guest.

We will also spend some time discussing the new ideas for next year's anthology. New guidelines have been recommended but are subject to the approval of the members. To have a voice in this decision, be sure and make this meeting.    

Upcoming  Meetings:

November 14, 2018 -   Karna Small Bodman - Mystery Thriller Writer

December 12, 2018  -  Dr. Dolores Burton -  How to Research  Your Next Book  & Holiday party 

January 9, 2019        -  Clayton Jones - Getting Your Books on Audible

Looking for Writing Tips and Resources? Click the buttons: 

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Joanne Tailele, 2018 President and Webmaster
Marco Island Writers


June 13, 2018

Timothy Jacobs combined two of his presentations into one. "Your Writing Is Your Business" and "I've Written My Book, Now What?" he will cover making writing your business. If you want to succeed as a writer, you need to treat your writing as a business. You’ll learn a variety of tips, ideas, and things you must do to turn your writing into a business. Then he will go in-depth on what to do after you’ve finished the fun part of writing your book. He’ll discuss all the steps involved leading up to searching for a publisher or agent, and the differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing. Also, tips on how to market your book.

November 14, 2018 -   Karna served 6 years in the (Reagan) White House - first as Deputy Press Secretary, later as Senior Director of the National Security Council. Now she is the author of 5 international thrillers (that have hit #1 in Thrillers on Amazon). Her new novel, TRUST BUT VERIFY, out Sept. 25, 2018, features the Director of the White House Office of Homeland Security teamed with an FBI Special Agent who race to unravel a plot that targets financiers and would tank stock markets worldwide. Author Lee Child comments, "Bodman's hard-won insider information and sheer storytelling talent make this a book to remember."

Her publisher also re-released updated versions of her previous four thrillers, CHECKMATE, GAMBIT, FINAL FINESSE, and CASTLE BRAVO. 

She and her husband maintain homes in Washington, DC, Naples,
FL and Rancho Santa Fe, CA along with their two Labradoodles, "Gambit" (named for her second book) and "Cammy" (the heroine in that story). There are photos of the pups -- along with pictures of Karna and President Reagan, her event schedule and contact info on her website: