Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Got it?

Is this what you seek? If so, SWA is offering tools on your path to publication. 

Southeastern Writers Workshop will be June 19-23, 2015 at Epworth by the Sea on scenic St. Simons Island, Georgia.

The weekend workshop (June 20-21) is dedicated to fiction writing. The weekday workshop (June 22-23) is focused on nonfiction writing. 

Got It? Registration completed? 

Register HERE

Got it? Manuscripts submitted for critique?

Find out how to receive FREE manuscript reviews HERE

Got it? Seen the schedule for the workshop?
Peruse it HERE

Got it? Contests Entered? 

More details HERE

The Hal Bernard Memorial Award for Novel
- The first 10 pages (double-spaced)
- 1-page synopsis
- 1-paragraph "elevator pitch."
- Any genre, literary or mainstream

The Past Presidents’ Romance Award
- The first chapter and a five-page synopsis
- Romance novels only

The GT Youngblood Short Fiction Award
- Complete manuscript not over 3000 words
- Any genre, literary or mainstream

The Microcosm Award
- Fiction of at least 100 and not more than 500 words
The Vega Award for Speculative Short Fiction NEW
- Complete manuscript not over 4000 words.
- Stand-alone novel chapters also accepted

Lines of Worth Award
(in honor of Dorothy Williamson Worth and all she did to encourage poets at SWA)
- Each entry should be a collection of three poems, each up to thirty lines, not
including the title.
- Awards will be made to collections.

The Harry Rubin Award for Limericks NEW
- Submit 3 Limericks in standard form

The Julie L. Cannon Award
- Writing which exemplifies the southern spirit preferably in a subtle, nuanced, and
non-stereotypical manner
- 1,000 words or less
- Fiction or nonfiction, NO poetry

The Bill Westhead Memorial Award
- Complete manuscript not over 3000 words
- For the best short story with a subject matter of an event occurring during the
writer's childhood that shaped his/her life.

The Angel Award for Holiday Seasonal Writing
- Short fiction, poetry or essays of 1200 words maximum about the holiday season.

The Thomas Max “You are Published” Contest
- Prize is publication and 25 copies of the book with no obligation to author.
- Manuscript may be submitted in full or only first three chapters.
- A complete synopsis (3 to 10 pages) should accompany all entries. Approximate
word count should be included with synopsis, preferably 40,00 to 90,000 words,
fiction, non-fiction, or a collection of short stories.
- Do not send work currently under consideration by the publisher.
- The standard contract, which will be modified slightly to show that no money is
due from the author, can be seen by clicking here:
- Other details are available at or send
SASE to “You are Published,” P O Box 250054, Atlanta GA 30325

The Very Merrie Bosom Buddy Award
- Nonfiction up to 750 words about your best friend.
- This poignant true story must make the reader laugh and cry.

The Dr. George L. Sheppard Memorial Award 
- Nonfiction up to 750 words about a supportive sibling.
- This poignant true story must make the reader laugh and cry.

The Award for Excellence in Inspirational Writing
- The piece may be religious or secular.
- It should be wholesome and leave the reader with a “take away” message of
encouragement, hope, comfort, fresh motivation, or renewed spiritual strength.
- Complete manuscript not over 1500 words

The Cappy Award for Humor

- Complete manuscript not over 1000 HILARIOUS words

Got it? Wanting to network and make writing connections? 

Friday night through Monday night, beginning around 9 pm, SWA will host a “Step Away from the Page” Social. A time to relax and get to know your fellow writers and faculty. 
This is the "What happens at SWA, stays at SWA" part of the workshop. 

Tuesday night is Awards Night with an After Party to follow. 

SWA Members Shine!

Erika Hoffman’s story  "The Best I Could" will be featured in Sasee Magazine of Myrtle Beach in May.

Got it? 

Friday, April 24, 2015

What are you waiting for? 
Register now for SWA's 40th Writing Workshop and Send in those manuscripts: 

Guidelines for Manuscript Evaluations 
(Authors must be registered for at least 2 days to submit manuscripts for evaluation.) 


1. There are 7 evaluation categories:
• Poetry (Evaluator: Chris Tusa) - No more than 100 lines (one long poem or several short poems) - Poetry can be single-spaced
• Novel (Evaluator: C. Hope Clark) - The first chapter and a five-page synopsis
• Flash Fiction (Evaluator: Chris Tusa) - Complete manuscript of at least 100 and not more than 500 words
• Nonfiction (Evaluator: Donald S Vaughan) - The first chapter and a five-page synopsis –OR– Complete manuscript not over 1500 words
• Columns (Evaluator: Darrell Huckaby) - A 1-paragraph description of the column, including the intended media and the target audience, and a 750-word sample column manuscript.
• Memoir (Evaluator: Dana Wildsmith) - The first chapter and a three-page synopsis
• YA Fiction (Evaluator: SR Johannes) - The first chapter and a five-page synopsis

2. Each conference member can submit up to 3 manuscripts for evaluation, but ONLY 1 entry per member per evaluation category.

3. Each manuscript may be submitted to ONLY 1 evaluation category.

4. Manuscripts must be submitted by EMAIL ONLY.

5. The submission DEADLINE IS May 15, 2015. NO extensions. 

6. Manuscripts must be previously unpublished, including cell publication, Web publication and blogs. If your work is openly available to readers online on a blog or article directory (i.e.:,,, it is considered PUBLISHED. If your manuscript has been critiqued online through membership website that requires members to login to see the work, it is considered UNPUBLISHED.

7. Simultaneous submissions are OK.

MANUSCRIPTS 1. Manuscripts should have standard 1-inch margins all around. Must be double-spaced and 12-point font, Times New Roman. 2. NO contact or identifying author information should be on the manuscript. Manuscripts should have a header with the title on the left, and page numbers, right. 3. Manuscripts should be attached in a Microsoft Word file. One attachment per email only. 4. The entire submission should be included in one attachment. For example: a book chapter and synopsis should be submitted in one file.

SUBMISSION EMAIL 1. The subject line of the email should include “manuscript + evaluation category name.” For instance: “manuscript – Novel Evaluation.” 2. Author's name, address, phone number, e-mail, and payment-received information should be in the body of the email. Your PayPal receipt or the text from the email you received from the registrar as proof of registration, e.g. Web Accept Payment Received (Unique Transaction ID #xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) 3. The manuscript title, word count, and category should also be included in the body of the email. 4. Email manuscript evaluations to

** Manuscripts submitted for evaluations by faculty members are not entered in contests. If you want to enter a contest, please see Contest guidelines. **

SWA Members SHINE!

Buzz Bernard:  I'm one of the (many) featured interviewees in this month's edition of THE BIG THRILL, The on-line publication of International Thriller Writers. 

Patrick Hempfing’s moMENts column titled “A Wagon Filled With Memories”
was published in the April issue of ten regional parenting magazines, spanning seven states (NY, PA, NC, SC, FL, TX, and ID), and four newspapers (Capital Gazette, Carroll County Times, Orlando Sentinel, and Sun Sentinel).  Houston Family Magazine published “Lessons Learned” as a web exclusive.

Patrick Hempfing had a 20-year career in banking, accounting and auditing before he became a father at age 44. He is now a full-time husband, stay-at-home dad and author of a monthly column titled “moMENts.” Follow Hempfing at and - See more at:

Linda Joyce signed a contract with Doctor’s Dreams Publishing for the inclusion of two of her poems in Katrina Memoirs to be released on July 1st. Additionally, she'll be a presenting a workshop at the Moonlight and Magnolia Conference, then a guest speaker at the Gulf Coast Writers Association, both events are in Octobers. She's presenting a workshop on SMART-R Goals for Results

Word from the Editor: 
SWA's workshop in June is special. It's unlike other writing workshops. From the moment
you arrive and check-in at Epworth by the Sea, you're able to relax. There are different types of lodging available. Yes, you may bring your family and make it a vacation. There's plenty for them to do while you're immersing yourself in the workshop. (Your room reservation does include your three daily meals.)

We take our meals together in a lovely dining room overlooking the intracoastal waterway. It's a time to break bread, nourishing our bodies, and at the same time, filling ourselves with community. Meal time is a time of exchanging of ideas, learning about your fellow attendees--you never know what expertise they may have that you'll need for a future story or poem. Networking takes place southern-hospitality style.

Classes are lively. Questions are encouraged. Content will enhance the richness of your writing craft and feed your creativity.

Then, there's Open Mic Night, a fun and engaging event where writers read some of their works--no criticisms allowed. Just fun and encouragement in the form of applause. 

And I can't forget the excitement of Awards Night! Everyone waiting with great anticipation to hear the winners of the contests. I've been blessed with several first prize wins, however, I'm equally excited when my friends win. 

As the newsletter editor/blog boss and Author Liaison, a new position on the Board of Directors created to highlight the work of authors attending, I work to spread the news about the benefits of SWA. People often refer to a board position as "sitting," yet its far more like conducting an orchestra with all the juggling I'm doing.  

I wouldn't volunteer my time to SWA if I they hadn't proven to me they live their mission: Writers helping writers.

Let us show you how invested we are at SWA in helping you. Register now and join us!

Warmest Regards, 

Linda Joyce


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

One for the Money, Two for the Show, Three to get Read, and Four to go, go go to SWA

Time is pushing forward. Slackers will fall behind. Don't be like THOSE kind of writers. Join SWA for the June workshop.

Register HERE

What do you get for your money when you 
sign up for  
SWA's 40th Annual Workshop 
June 19-23, 2015 
at Epworth by the Sea on scenic St. Simons Island, Georgia? 

OneFull conference tuition includes entry to all sessions, 3 FREE manuscript evaluations with one-on-one feedback from our faculty, and access to an agent and two publishers.

Two: A total of 15 contests with CASH PRIZES! 
The Awards Ceremony is June 23.

Three: An educational experience that will enhance your career with this faculty:

Agent-in-Residence: Sorche Fairbank – Fairbank Literary Representation - 
Publisher: Maria McGaha – Dancing with Bear -
Publisher: CreateSpace -
Novel: C. Hope Clark -
Nonfiction: Don Vaughn –
Poetry & Flash Fiction: Chris Tusa -
Young Adult: S.R. (Shelli) Johannes -
Columns: Darrell Huckaby -
Memoir: Dana Wildesmith -

Four: Networking with a group of respected authors, poets, writers of all genres, agents and publishers. The impact on your career? Priceless!

It's your time to grow and shine!
One for the Money--Cash prizes for contests
Two for show--win awards for showing off your writing. 
Three to get ready--Register NOW
Four to go, go, go!--Reach a higher level of craft by investing in yourself. The results are priceless!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Countdown Continues!

40th Annual 
Southeastern Writers Workshop
June 19-23, 2015
On St. Simons Island

Registration for the Fiction and Non-fiction workshop is open. 
Click HERE to secure your seat for this educational, informational, and fun-filled event.

Meet the faculty!

Agent-in-Residence: Sorche Fairbank – Fairbank Literary Representation - 
Publisher: Maria McGaha – Dancing with Bear -
Publisher: CreateSpace -
Novel: C. Hope Clark -
Nonfiction: Don Vaughn –
Poetry & Flash Fiction: Chris Tusa -
Young Adult: S.R. (Shelli) Johannes -
Columns: Darrell Huckaby -

Memoir: Dana Wildesmith -

How might SWA help you? 
Learn first hand from members about their writing journeys.

Please meet Amy R. Wethington

My path to publication: 

1998:  I was a poor snail technician at the University of Kentucky. Often, I had a mere ten dollars left of my paycheck at the end of a pay period. I got the idea to supplement my income by writing fiction. I subscribed to Writer’s Digest and began crafting a story set in the far future-- taking the technology of folding space between star gates to a hand held device where a person could travel across the universe. I didn’t make any extra income, but a seed had been planted.  I enjoyed writing and it didn’t cost me any money outside of office supplies.

2000-2010: I pursued academics-- Ph.D. from University of Alabama, post-doc at Purdue University, and tenure at Chowan University. Fiction was placed on the back burner. But sometimes, I let the madness of writing fiction take over here and there.

2010: I found out about Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month). The summer before, I’d spent writing my space stories. Writing 50,000 words in November as an Assistant Professor is pretty crazy, but I managed it. I completed the epic multigenerational space opera which I had begun in 1988--completely unpublishable, but I got to type The End!  Suddenly the idea of writing a book proved was more than a fantastical idea.

2011-2112: I discovered Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.  I entered and got to the second round which came with feedback on the first 5,000 words. 2012: My second entry to ABNA made it to the second round as well, with more anonymous feedback for the first 5,000 words. The following November, I wrote another nanowrimo book, this time going deeper in the past to explore another character who directly affects everyone later in the series as a boy. 

2013: I didn’t make it to the second round this year. Bummed me out. I re-wrote my 2013 ABNA entry keeping some parts, but not being afraid to re-think and completely discard other parts. I also discovered Southeastern Writers Association with their contest opportunities. I registered for their June workshop. I managed to rework my book in time to submit it to the SWA contests and it took second place for novel! And I had many chats with the instructors which I found extremely valuable. I came home with important contacts and continued to re-work my novel.

2014 to present: I joined a writing group at Chowan University which mostly consisted of History and English professors. I’m the only one in it that wasn’t History or English, me being a Biology Professor. The intent of the writing group was to offer critiques of work being polished to send out for publication. Two interesting facts about the writing group: 1. One of the members (Matt Fullerty) wound up being my publisher; he owns an independent press and saw the potential in my writing sample + synopsis and provided directed comments for me to consider during my final big rewrite: adding descriptions to scenes, deepening characters by adding diversity/ making them less perfect/ more unique, and ending the book about midway where I had put in a decade long break between events, 2. it was the only year we met to discuss manuscripts and Matt’s last year at Chowan. 

Following Matt’s advice, I added descriptions, deepened my characters, and added scenes needed to build up the climax. When finished, I submitted it to Matt as well as others: Double Dragon, Author’s First contest, Chicken House Children’s Fiction competition and waited. By Christmas I had two book offers: one from Matt and one from Double Dragon. Over Christmas break I wrestled with the two contracts and considered my Dad’s idea of me self-publishing my book. Dad is one of my most important first readers and everything he suggests is well thought out. Contracts are tricky and there were elements that bothered me. I contacted members of SWA and followed up on the recommendation to seek council from Linda Joyce (also a fellow SWA member). 

Linda says she hopes to have a workshop at SWA about reading contracts and how to negotiate. If she does, I strongly recommend it! She helped me digest the two contracts, come up with good questions for the two different publishers, decide on a shorter pen name (L. A. Patrick instead of Jamie Lee Guthington), and design a counter offer that I could sign. Double Dragon refused to negotiate, but Parkgate Press did (Matt’s press). So I signed a contract with Parkgate Press and am busy working on my next two books.
Publishing takes more than finishing a first book, it takes perseverance, hard work, being open to/seizing/constantly looking for new opportunities (joining writing groups, going to writing meetings, entering contests, reading books about writing), a willingness to throw away perfectly good words already written down, and a deep commitment/ relationship with your created characters who whisper interesting things to you about them at odd times of the day and night. My advice: keep pursing your writing dream!

SWA Members Shine!

BAYOU BOUND, Linda Joyce's second book in her Fleur de Lis series has been nominated for a 2015 RONE Award after receiving a 4.5 Star Review from InD'tale Magazine Voting for Finalist will be May 18th-24th. 

This book also received a 4.5 Star review from Long and Short Reviews

The third book in Linda's Fleur de Lis series, BAYOU BECKONS will be released on June 1st. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Path to Publication with SWA

Is your journey of writing paved with good intentions? How do you get back on the path whenever you stop for a break or fall off it completely? How do you stay inspired and tenacious? 

SWA is here to help!

Southeastern Writers 40th Annual Workshop will be June 19-23, 2015 at Epworth by the Sea on scenic St. Simons Island, Georgia.

The weekend workshop (June 20-21) is dedicated to fiction writing. The weekday workshop (June 22-23) is focused on nonfiction writing. 

Click HERE and learn about what SWA is offering to you: 

* Win one of two scholarships!
* Meet The Faculty
* The Workshop Schedule
* Evaluation Categories and Guidelines
*Contest Guidelines 

Here's your faculty: 

Agent-in-Residence: Sorche Fairbank – Fairbank Literary Representation - 

Publisher: Maria McGaha – Dancing with Bear - 

Publisher: CreateSpace

Novel: C. Hope Clark 

Nonfiction: Don Vaughn 

Poetry & Flash Fiction: Chris Tusa 

Young Adult: S.R. (Shelli) Johannes 

Columns: Darrell Huckaby 

Memoir: Dana Wildesmith 

Is SWA really of  benefit to a writer? 

 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 Completed 2nd book – 13 Decisions That Will Transform Your Marriage with Dancing with Bear Publishers- due out in summer, 2015.

My husband, Tim, and I have been committed to SWA from day one serving in many official and unofficial capacities. The motto “writers helping writers” is a driving factor in our loyalty to SWA.

* * * 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

April's Anticipation

Greetings! I'm going to come out from behind the curtain and introducing myself. I'm Linda Joyce, Newsletter Editor/Blog Boss for SWA. Each week, sometimes twice I week, I bring you information about Southeastern Writers Association. 

The link to the newsletter is :   I'm asking you to share this link on your social media places, like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. Support yourself through supporting SWA. 

Because that's what writers do. They share information. They support one another. It's how we writers build a supportive community. SWA provides for the needs of writers. 

If you scroll down through previous blogs, you'll discover information about the SCHOLARSHIP that's open until 4/15. You'll learn about CONTESTS --these pay prize money. With your registration, you have the opportunity to receive critique from recognized industry professionals. 

Here's link for REGISTRATION and there you'll find links for ALL the information about the 40th Annual SWA Workshop. 
***The weekend workshop (June 20-21) is dedicated to fiction writing. The weekday workshop (June 22-23) is focused on nonfiction writing, which includes poetry. 

Why is SWA so important? 
Because attending SWA is a step on your path as a writer, regardless if you're published, as many of the members are, or at any other place in your writing path. 

Therefore, I'll be sharing Paths to Publication, the personal success journeys our some of our members. And, maybe soon, you'll share your story with me and I'll be happy to spread the word here...after all, SWA is all about supporting it's members--ALL of it's members. 

Please meet Dr. John House ~

Dr. John House

Without Southeastern Writers Association I would not be an author. A writer, yes. But not an author. 
I started writing poetry in high school and continued, adding short stories, into college and medical school and beyond. My medical practice was so busy I had little time to write. When I retired in 2007 after 36 years, I moved to Brunswick with a dream of full time writing. My retirement last three weeks(that's a whole different story). 

In 2008 I saw an ad (I don't remember where) about the SWA Conference at Epworth. I worked up my courage and applied. The first day I approached the front of Jones Auditorium  and promptly turned around and started back to my car. My thoughts were, 'what am I doing here with real writers?' and I truly planned to leave. Bill Westhead, a member of SWA, stopped me and after a brief conversation ushered me into the building and pretty much stayed close to me for the entire event. Bill is no longer with us but in his memory I established the Bill Westhead Award which is given annually. 
I have written and had published three novels since that first day. With the help of great authors and teachers like Cheryl Norman, Elizabeth Sinclair, David L Robbins, Buzz Bernard and Brian J. Corrigan, I learned the craft of writing and the importance of networking. WRITERS HELPING WRITERS. A fitting slogan for SWA. 

The second year I won first place in the short story competition. The next year I won second place in the same category. This gave me enough confidence to take on a novel and with Lee Clevenger and ThomasMax Publishing  SO SHALL YOU REAP was published in 2011 and I was a nominee for Georgia Author of the Year. I didn't win, but I was thrilled to be nominated and hooked on writing novels for the rest of my life. 

In 2012, Lee Clevenger helped me in the publication of CHOICES, a novel that took place in coastal Georgia and included some of my knowledge of medicine. 

For the next two and half years I applied things I learned from the SWA Conference and advice from other writers and created TRAIL OF DECEIT. I was fortunate to obtain Jeanie Loiacono of Loiacono Literary Agency to represent my novel and in February 2015, the book was published and released by Limitless Publishing LLC. 

I have completed and revised another manuscript which will soon be on its way to Emily Carmain of Noteworthy Editing. Emily has edited all three of my novels and does so much more. She has taught me POV and maintaining pace. I can't stress enough the importance of presenting clean and lean manuscripts to your agents. When Emily finishes the manuscript, it will go to my agent. 

So, it is obvious SWA was a turning point in my writing career. Not only for what I've learned in the classes, but also the networking. It was there that I met Buzz Bernard who has been a mentor, advanced reader, encourager and a friend. I also enjoy reading his successful weather related novels; EYEWALL, PLAGUE, SUPERCELL and BLIZZARD. His success puts pressure on me to improve my writing and I will definitely be at the SWA Conference at Epworth June 19th-24th, 2015. 
John House, Author 

* * * 

I hope you will share the news about SWA. Again, remember there's still time to win a SCHOLARSHIP. Please share this newsletter with your writing friends, heck, share with everyone because you never know who secretly harbors a desire to be a writer. 

~ Best Regards, 
Linda Joyce
Editor of SWA's Purple Pros
Author of the Fleur de Lis series.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Check your calendar! Is it marked for SWA in June?

Time is running out!

★☆★ WRITERS ★☆★

Win one of two scholarships to the SWA Writers Workshop!

SWA is offering two scholarships. One for the Fiction mini-workshop (June 20-21)
and one for the Non-Fiction mini-workshop (June 22-23)

Just submit a 300-word essay on why you should be selected to attend the Fiction
mini-workshop or the Nonfiction mini-workshop. You MUST state which mini-workshop
you want to attend.

The entry deadline is midnight on April 15th. The scholarship pays for tuition
only. Please email your entry to with a subject line
of SWA Fiction Scholarship or SWA Nonfiction Scholarship.

Faculty List 
40th Annual Southeastern Writers Workshop
June 19-23, 2015

Agent-in-Residence: Sorche Fairbank – Fairbank Literary Representation  
Publisher: Maria McGaha – Dancing with Bear Publishing 
Publisher: CreateSpace 
Nonfiction: Don Vaughn 
Poetry & Flash Fiction: Chris Tusa 
Young Adult: S.R. (Shelli) Johannes 
Columns: Darrell Huckaby
Memoir: Dana Wildesmith 


St. Simons Island, GA