Monday, July 25, 2016

Reblog: 5 Things Friday Night Lights Can Teach Us About Writing

     As writers, we gain inspiration from many different places. We read, read, then read a little bit more, exploring the authors and genres that influence our writing.  We have shelves filled with books about writing, showing us examples of how to perfect our stories and develop genuine characters with whom our readers can relate. What about other sources of fiction and nonfiction, such as television? Could great storylines in our favorite shows help us to write more effectively?
     Feast your eyes on this article from Writers Digest, which offers tips to create memorable characters and themes within our fiction writing through great television. An added bonus: they include a list of other television shows (one of my all-time favorites made the cut!) that may help to enhance our writing in a variety of ways:

"I think the general consensus among those writers who teach the craft is that you must read—and read widely—about the craft of writing, particularly those authors who write in your genre. But I think there’s a lot you can learn about writing from other mediums, too. Specifically television. Every other Monday, I’ll bring you takeaways from some of the best television shows out there. These are meant to be specific concepts, themes, techniques, etc., that a writer can learn from the show."   

To continue reading this article, click on the link below:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Southeastern Writers Workshop 2016 Highlights

    The 2016 Writers Workshop, held June 17-21 at the beautiful Epworth by the Sea, had something to offer everyone. Attendees, from first-timers to experienced alumni, were guided and instructed in a wide range of topics each day, including: fiction and non-fiction writing strategies, screenwriting, commercial writing, the publishing process, submitting a manuscript to an agent, and social media do's and don'ts.

   We shared laughs aplenty thanks to the many gifted storytellers in attendance, as well as the hilarious shenanigans of our friends, Janet Sheppard Kelleher and Mary Stripling.

   Open-Mic Night proved to be a great success.  Many authors had the opportunity to share straight from their hearts through personal memoirs, fictional stories, poetry, articles, and song lyrics.

    Purple was the obvious color of choice for the Awards Night celebration, as our key-note speaker, Janet Kelleher Sheppard, shared her moving and heartwarming journey as an author and a butt-kicking cancer survivor.


We would like to congratulate our contest winners who showed off their incredible talents in the following categories:

The Hal Bernard Memorial Award for Novel:
FIRST PLACE: Heather Trim for Child of the Sky 
SECOND PLACE: Stuart Clarke for Love Ruins Everything 
THIRD PLACE: K.F. Lange for The Darkly Painted Eye 

The GT Youngblood Short Fiction Award: 

Dana Ridenour for Learning The Art Of Deception    

The Vega Award for Speculative Short Fiction: 
FIRST PLACE: L.A. Patrick for The Glowing
SECOND PLACE: Ann Bennett for Transfer of Deed 

The Julie L. Cannon Award: 
FIRST PLACE: Mary Stripling for Fishin’ For Love
HONORABLE MENTION: Sheila S. Hudson for G.R.I.T.S.


The Angel Award for Holiday Seasonal Writing:
FIRST PLACE: Sheila S. Hudson for I Wish We'd Made It to Christmas 
SECOND PLACE: Mary Stripling for Christmas In A Garden
THIRD PLACE: Ann Bennett for Family Dinner 


The ThomasMax “You are Published” Contest: 
Sheila S. Hudson for Classic City Murders

The Award for Inspirational Writing: 
Sheila S. Hudson for The Red Cap

The Award for Humor:
FIRST PLACE: Sheila S. Hudson for Red Hot Mamas
SECOND PLACE: Leslie Lippa for Dementia

Writers Helping Writers:
Amy Munnell

Amy was also presented with an engraved clock commemorating her more than 20 years of service with SWA. Thank you for all of your hard work, Amy!


    Thank you again to our outstanding instructors, faculty, board and auxiliary members, and SWA members.  The true spirit of "Writers Helping Writers" was shown throughout the workshop. Many new friendships emerged and important connections were developed. Your support and dedication is greatly appreciated!

Watch for registration information for our 2017 workshop, which will be held June 16-21!

For more photos and information about upcoming events, visit our Facebook page  (@SWA.writer.workshop)
You can also follow us on Twitter (@SWAwriters)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Is SWA really of benefit to a writer?

Revisited - 4/10/15

 Meet Sheila S. Hudson
Award Winning Author and SWA Board Member Emeritus

1993 Met Amy Munnell at local book club

1994 First attended SWA, won award for Inspiration and gained encouragement from Linda Tomlin  and Cec Murphey to launch freelance career. Completed course from Christian Writers Guild;  3rd Place for Inspiration SWA; 3rd place for Linda Tomblin Inspirational Writing Award.

1995 Won Honorable Mention for “On Forgiveness” from The Black Mountains Christian Writers Retreat sponsored by Linda Tomblin; 1st Place for Most Rejection Slips from 2nd Wednesday Writers; 1st Place for Most Outrageous Rejection Slip from 2nd Wednesday Writers, 1st Place for SWA Limerick Award.

1996 2nd Place for SWA Non-fiction and 2nd place for Children’s Literature. 
1997 3rd Place for SWA Limerick Award and 3rd Place for Non-fiction.

1999 1st Place for SWA Limerick Award and 3rd Place for Inspiration.

2000 Two Honorable Mentions SWA Limerick Awards; Honorable Mention for Juvenile Writing;  Honorable Mention for Non-fiction.

2002 Honorable Mention for SWA Limerick Award; 1st Place Limerick Award; Honorable Mention for Inspiration.

2003-2012 Joined SWA board as Assistant PP Editor. Remained on SWA board until 2012 serving two two-year terms as SWA President. Served another two-year term as co-president with Amy Munnell. I served as Registrar for many years and assisted Tim Hudson with his role as meeting planner.

2013 2nd Place for Bill Westhead Award; 1st Place for Holiday Seasonal Writing; and 2nd Place for Inspiration.

2014 1st Place for Humor Award; 1st Place for Holiday Seasonal Writing;  1st Place for Bill Westhead Award; 2nd Place for Inspiration; published 13 Decisions That Will Change Your Life in November with Dancing with Bear Publishing.

2015 Published Murder at Golden Palms (Thursday Club Mysteries Book 1) with Take Me Away Books in July 2015; published 13 Decisions That Will Transform Your Marriage with Dancing with Bear Publisher in August and Murder at Sea (Thursday Club Mysteries Book 2) in October also from Take Me Away Books.

2016 Published Thursday Club Mysteries Book 3 and Book 4 - Murder at the Monastery (February) and Murder at the Mandelay (May) also from Take Me Away Books.

41st Southeastern Writers Workshop 
June 17-21, 2016 
Epworth by the Sea 
St. Simons Island, Georgia

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Have You Met the Faculty of the 41st Southeastern Writers Workshop?

We have hired a diverse group of successful writers to teach our classes this year! In addition to their classes, faculty members will be available to meet one-on-one with our attendees and share mealtimes and social hours so students can really get to know them.  So let me introduce you...

Agent-in-Residence: Jeanie Loiacono, CEO and President of the Loiacono Literary Agency 

Jeanie is the agent for SWA Board of Directors members John House and Buzz Bernard. While Jeanie's favorites are mystery/thrillers, romance, historical, and southern fiction, she and her agents seek most fiction genres, plus memoirs, general nonfiction, YA and children's books. The agency’s motto is “Where ‘can’t’ is not in our vocabulary!”

Publisher: Bob Babcock, Founder and CEO of Deeds Publishing 

Based in Athens, Georgia, Deeds Publishing is a family-owned publishing company, offering both traditional and custom publishing as well as consulting, editing, ghost writing, layout, and design services. “We can help new authors navigate the intimidating path from manuscript to published book, and we can also help seasoned writers publish their next masterpiece.” Deeds has published 150 books – fiction and nonfiction – since opening in 2005.

Novel: David Fulmer 

A former journalist, David is an award-winning author of mystery/thrillers, such as Chasing the Devil's Tale (a Shamus Award winner for Best First Novel), The Blue Door and Rampart Street. David was chosen as the Georgia Author of the Year for Fiction in 2006 for Jass, and on multiple “Best Book” lists since 2001, including in the Los Angeles Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, BookList, Library Journal, among others. 

Nonfiction: Jedwin Smith

A 2-time Pulitzer nominee, Jedwin was the recipient of 57 major writing awards during his 36 years as a print journalist, traveling wherever the story led: Lebanon, Ethiopia, to the ocean's depths and to the clouds in the sky when he co-piloted WWII fighter aircraft.  He has written three books, including Fatal Treasure about treasure hunter Mel Fisher and his search for the Atocha, the richest of all Spanish treasure galleons, and the memoir Our Brother's Keeper.

Young Adult Fiction: Michele Roper a.k.a Gillian Summers 

Michele partners with Berta Platas (a former SWA instructor) to write fantasy novels as Gillian Summers, including The Scions of Shadow Trilogy series and Faire Folk Trilogy.  Under her name, Michele recently released the first title in a fantasy series on Kindle: Yuletide at the Country Dragon Veterinary Hospital: The Dragon Healer Chronicles.

Screenwriting: Michael Lucker 

Michael is a returning instructor for us from many years ago. As a screenwriter, he has created more then twenty feature screenplays for studios such as Paramount, Disney, DreamWorks, Fox and Universal, including "Vampire in Brooklyn," "Home On the Range" and "Spirit," a nominee for Academy Award in 2002. In television, Michael has worked with Animal Planet, Cartoon Network, History Channel, Travel Channel, Discovery, Weather Chanel, OWN, TLC, A&E, HGTV, DIY, MSNBC, NBC and TBS.  His company, Lucky Dog Filmworks, now serves as his home for writing, directing, producing and consulting. He lectures at Screenwriter School and Emory University. 

Commercial Writing: Peter Bowerman 

Veteran commercial freelancer Peter Bowerman will lead attendees into the lucrative field of freelancing-writing for businesses. He will discuss the skills you need, why companies outsource, where the work is, how to get it, what to charge, networking strategies, and more.  Peter is the author of the award-winning The Well-Fed Writer, The Well-Fed Writer: Back for Seconds and The Well-Fed Self-Publisher, and his client list has included The Coca-Cola Company, BellSouth, IBM and many others. 

Marketing: My Write Platform 

My Write Platform is the brainchild of mother-daughter team Debra and Meredith Brown. They taught marketing and social media for us a few years ago to great reviews so we are glad to have them back. Both are published and award-winning writers. Debra has vast experience marketing in the business world and Meredith has worked in the magazine industry and as a literary agent. Many SWA authors are included among My Write Platform’s clients.

Keynote Speaker: Janet Sheppard Kelleher

Janet is an award-winning creative nonfiction writer, columnist, and speaker, living in South Carolina.  Her memoir Big C, little ta-ta, was the Hal Bernard Memorial Award for Nonfiction winner at the 2011 Southeastern Writers Workshop.  Published in October 2015, it is now an Amazon Best-Seller.  Her work has appeared in various editions of Not Your Mother’s Book, Chicken Soup for the Soul and The Petigru Review and others.  In 2015, she became an internet sensation for her pink “Chemo-Hawk”, garnering national attention, like an interviewed by the “Today Show” and being chosen as the keynote speaker at the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Register today!

41st Southeastern Writers Workshop 
June 17-21, 2016 
Epworth by the Sea 
St. Simons Island, Georgia