Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Philip Deaver's Other Words Fiction Workshop

Here's an update to the Other Words schedule:
On Friday Philip F. Deaver will give a Fiction Workshop for those who register for it. Here's his description: "Why write fiction? People are always saying, 'I'd rather read something that's true.' Why write fiction? Because people love stories? Because stories can reshuffle 'what really happened' and find the central truths and emotional core? Why write fiction? Because, truthfully, our fictions are only partly fiction and are mostly true? Because sometimes the true story is hard to tell even though it urgently needs telling? Why write fiction? Because telling stories and hearing stories and learning from stories, whether as the reader or the writer, is in our DNA? Yes, all of that...."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ira Sukrungruang on the FLAC Writer's Circuit

Ira Sukrungruang will be on the FLAC Writing Circuit soon! He will visit Edison (11/4), Valencia (11/5), CCF (11/6) and then at Flagler for the Other Words Conference. Ira Sukrungruang was named first winner of the Anita Claire Scharf Award from Tampa Review. His book of poetry, In Thailand It Is Night, was published in Spring 2013 by the University of Tampa Press.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Anna Ross Writer's Circuit Dates

Anna Ross Tour Dates! 
Tues, Nov. 5th: University of Tampa
Weds, Nov. 6th: Eckerd College
Thurs and Fri, Nov. 7th and 8th: Flagler College and Other Words Conference

Anna Ross’s 2012 award-winning book If a Storm, received the Anhinga Prize for Poetry.  Her chapbook, Hawk Weather, won the 2008 New Women’s Voices Prize from Finishing Line Press and the 2009 Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award from the New England Poetry Club. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as The Paris Review, The New Republic, Southwest Review, AGNI Online, Salamander, and Barrow Street.  Her translations have appeared in Rattapallax and Poetry Wales, and she has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has received fellowships from the Sewanee Writers' Conference, Grub Street, Inc., Fishtrap, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Anna also writes and is a contributing poetry editor for Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics. She holds an MFA in poetry from Columbia University.She teaches writing and poetry at Boston University and Grub Street, Inc.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

YellowJacket Press Eighth Annual Chapbook Contest

FLAC Member YellowJacket Press's Eighth Annual Chapbook Contest for Florida Poets is October 1-December 1, 2013. 

All entrants must be permanent adult residents of Florida. Manuscripts should be no longer than 24 pages, including title page and acknowledgments. No e-mail submissions. Include a brief bio, date you became a Florida resident, and SASE, along with $10 reading fee (Check or money order made payable to Gianna Russo). Include notice of previous publications of specific poems, if applicable. Manuscripts will not be returned.

The winner(s) will be announced by March 15, 2014 and will receive $200 and 30 copies. All entrants receive a copy of the winning book.
 The Other Words Literary Conference schedule has been posted.  Check it out and share with friends!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Other Words Open Mic

Open Mic Night at the Other Words Conference at the Café Alcazar, Friday, Nov. 8 

You will not want to miss this exclusive opportunity to share you work! This year, conference participants have the ability to participate in an Open Mic Night in a historic location: the Café Alcazar. Located at 25 Granada Street, this charming café is tucked in the back of the Lightner Museum in a space that was originally the location of the largest indoor swimming pool. Take in the 19th century architecture as you listen to fellow conference participants share a variety of work.

Burrow Press, YellowJacket Press and Writers Ink jointly host the Open Mic Night. David Axelrod of Writers Ink will serve as the moderator for this event. The Open Mic Night is open to all conference participants, but sign-up to read is limited and open on a first-come, first-served basis. The Open Mic will commence after the Friday Night Reading at the Other Words Conference.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Florida Poets Happy Hour and Prime Time Show

Join FLAC Member YellowJacket Press (YJP) for a night of poetry, music and fun! The 6th Annual Florida Poets Happy Hour and Prime Time Show will take place on Friday, September 27, 2013 from 7-9pm at Kahwa Coffee at The Element, 808 N. Franklin St. Suite 117, Tampa. The Happy Hour and Prime Time Show has become a favorite fall event, celebrating Florida poetry with readings, refreshments, YJP’s famous raffles, book signings and all-around frivolity. Taking place at one of downtown Tampa’s hippest establishments, this year’s event will feature new YellowJacket Press poet George Bishop, winner of the 2013 Peter Meinke Prize for his manuscript Following Myself Home. Mr. Bishop will be joined by local poets Melanie Graham, Winnona Elson Pasquini, and Nikita Hernandez; staff members of Sweet: A Literary Confection, K.C. Wolfe and Melissa Carroll; and Alison Powell of the Oxford Exchange bookstore. Gloria Munoz will sing Lorca poems. A $5.00 donation will support YellowJacket Press. The 6th Annual Florida Poets Happy Hour and Prime Time Show Friday, September 27, 2013, 7-9 P.M. Kahwa Coffee at The Element 808 N. Franklin St. Suite 117, (Corner of Tampa & Polk St.) Tampa, FL

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Other Words Conference Readings

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Nightly Conference Readings

November 7 - 9

Join us Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night for unforgettable readings. Our nightly readings feature a compilation of poets, novelists, and memoirists.

Thursday, Nov. 7
Novelist Mark Powell and poet Gianna Russo kick-off the conference. Powell is the author of four novels and has received fellowships for the National Endowment of the Arts. Russo is a Florida Book Award Bronze Medalist. These two will kick off this year’s conference.
Swamp photo

Friday, Nov. 8

D.K. Roberts will continue to delight audiences on Friday November 8. Roberts’ latest book Dream State: Eight Generations of Swamp Lawyers, Conquistadors, Confederate Daughters, Banana Republicans, and other Florida Wildlife promises to keep us all entertained.
Sand Dollar Photo

Saturday, Nov. 9

Poet Campbell McGrath and novelist Rhonda Riley wrap up our conference readings. McGrath won the 2012 Florida Book Award for his In the Kingdom of the Sea Monkeys. Riley's first novel, The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope, was described as “an incredible, otherworldly love story. Both whimsical and deeply satisfying..."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Rhonda Riley added to Other Words Conference readings

Other Words News! 
Novelist Rhonda Riley will be reading on Saturday night, Nov. 9th with Campbell McGrath. Of her first novel, The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope, Julianna Baggott writes “it is an incredible, otherworldly love story. Both whimsical and deeply satisfying, it’s a tale about the fluidity of love, the importance of family, and the meaning of home. It’s a debut that reads with the urgency of a lifelong secret finally confessed.” Riley received her MFA at the University of Florida.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Florida Literary Arts Coalition;

It’s mid-year 2013, and it’s time for an update on the status of our organization.

The Florida Literary Arts Coalition (FLAC) is thriving. 
Success at and knowledge of our craft requires connection to a large community of writers, and our board and our members are dedicated to the philosophy that writers must stay connected.

Bringing Florida writers together
Florida has many quality writing organizations, but none are more dedicated to producing contemporary literature, supporting quality independent publishing, improving creative writing pedagogy, and broadening access to publishing writers than FLAC. The distance between Florida’s writers and readers, its towns and cities, its colleges and universities, makes cultivation of our community a challenge; however, the Coalition’s projects, such as the Other Words Conference and the Writer’s Circuit, and our mission to connect academic writing programs and writers to Florida’s writing community, bridge this distance.

Committed leadership
My first exposure to FLAC was in the fall of 2006 when I decided Flagler College would join as a member of the Writer’s Circuit. I did not know then I would become so personally involved and professionally motivated by this coalition. I was able to watch and learn from then President Richard Mathews and Treasurer Rick Campbell as they grew the Writer’s Circuit from five member institutions to ten and held the Other Words Conference each year. Since then, I have co-hosted the conference, served as secretary, and was recently elected president. My story is not unique. I am only one of many dedicated professionals across Florida who bring their passion, energy, and ideas to FLAC by joining its membership and leadership. One of our founding fathers, Richard Mathews stepped down as president in January to focus on new projects at the University of Tampa, such as their new MFA program, but he remains involved in FLAC as President Emeritus.

What’s in the future for FLAC?
We are preparing to celebrate our tenth anniversary next year.  We have submitted a panel proposal for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference in Seattle in February. Rick Campbell is planning the schedule for the Other Words Conference for November, and he is even planning the conference for next year. Gianmarc Manzione and Rick have risen to the challenge of a growing Writer’s Circuit by splitting it into a two-part, two-coast tour, which begins this fall.

An area of future service for FLAC is in after-school programs for children. Reduced funding of the arts in public schools has caused a growing need for writers to work with schools. As an organization of writers, we have the resources to create and support creative writing projects across the state for after school and under served students. We recently secured partial financial assistance from Publix for this project. Lisa Lanser-Rose and I attended the Empower 500 Symposium to prepare for it.

Our future plans include incrementally growing the Other Words Conference while retaining its intimacy. The Writer’s Circuit will continue its high quality of visiting writers. FLAC will continue to support independent publishing, and increase the number of our member institutions. We have pursued grant opportunities to support our projects where appropriate.

Stay involved
Ideas? Comments? Post on our Facebook page or email me at

Keep writing.  



Dr. James M. Wilson
President, Florida Literary Arts Coalition

Friday, July 12, 2013

By Decree: St. Augustine’s Proclamation

2013 marks the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon’s voyage and discovery of Florida. The 2013 Other Words Conference honors this historic milestone. Themed “Writing Florida: The First 500 Years,” the 2013 conference expressly focuses on Florida’s varied historical and literary masks while also providing a platform for seasoned and novice writers to continue the imagining of Florida.

The annual conference is held in St. Augustine, the nation and Florida’s oldest settlement. The historical backdrop of the city adds to the importance of this year’s honorific conference. St. Augustine Mayor Joe Boles also recognizes the significance of the 2013 Other Words Conference.

The Mayor issued a City Proclamation officially declaring November 7-10 “Other Words” Conference week. The proclamation reads:


Whereas, the Ninth Annual 2013 Other Words Conference, sponsored by the Florida Literary Arts, has been held for six consecutive years at Flagler College, in St. Augustine, FL; and

Whereas, the goal of the 2013 conference is to bring together writers, editors, agents, publishers, book sellers, grant administrators, directors of writers' colonies and retreats, and other interested folk in one place; and

Whereas, themes for discussion include but are not limited to Fountains of Youth, Conquistadors and Missionaries, Robber Barons, Land Scams, Mosquitoes, Hurricanes, Hanging Chads, Spring Break, Retirement Villages—the Stuff of Life; and

Whereas, the discussion of Writing Florida: The First 500 Years, will include panels, readings, workshops, discussion of the literary arts such as how to write stories, make the information accessible to a large audience, how to sell it, how to fund it, and nurture it is a major emphasis of the 2013 Conference; and

Whereas, sessions will offer writers in-depth work with Other Words core faculty members; and

Whereas, the objective of the conference is to bring together hundreds of the region's literary arts people and form a regional coalition that promotes our mutual literary efforts in as many ways as possible.

Now Therefore, the City Commission of the City of St. Augustine does hereby proclaim November 7-10, 2013 as Florida Literary Arts Coalition “Other Words” Conference Week.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I hereunto set my hand and do cause the Seal of the City St. Augustine, Florida, to be affixed on this 11th day of February in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and in the four hundred and forty seventh year of the founding of St. Augustine, the Nation’s Oldest City.  

Signed, Mayor Joe Boles

We're looking forward to seeing you there!
Register Today!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

FLAC at Empower 500

The Florida Literary Arts Coalition will be making more friends at the Empower 500 Symposium on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We will invite Florida English teachers to come to our Other Words Conference, see our writers on the Writer's Circuit, and, perhaps, assist us assist them in our new literacy initiatives. See you there?   Empower 500 Symposium

Monday, July 1, 2013

Other Words Workshop Opportunities

Florida Literary Arts Coalition; Friend of Facebook

Join us for the Ninth Annual Conference of the Florida Literary Arts Coalition 
“Writing Florida: The First 500 Years”

Workshop Opportunities

Whether you're a novice or an advanced writer, three full days of workshops are designed to help you hone your craft.

Friday, November 8:
  • Writers of all skill levels can depict believable characters and memorable moments with Jeff Bens
  • Make personal life experiences accessible to readers in a poetry workshop led by Erica Dawson
  • Learn to visualize scenes in Pete Duval’s fiction session

Saturday, November 9:
  • Join Terri Witek for a hands-on poetry workshop, re-imagining the Crisp-Ellert museum
  • Balance scene and exposition in Ira Sukrungruang‘s memoir workshop
  • Mark Powell’s Fiction workshop will discuss Fiction “from the Bottom to the Top"

Sunday, November 10—Advanced Workshops
  • Non-Fiction by Ira Sukrungruang on the “Lyric Essay”
  • Mark Powell on “Reading Like A Fiction Writer” 
  • Take to the streets of beautiful historic St. Augustine to poetically remap the nation’s oldest city with Terri Witek. Be sure to bring good shoes, a camera, and a notebook for this one!

For more information on workshops, please visit our website.

Lodging in Historic St. Augustine

For 2013, 24 Bed and Breakfast Inns are offering a discount to Other Words Conference attendees. For a full list of participating inns, click here. A two-night minimum is required to receive the 15% discount. More discounted hotels can be found on our conference information page. Be sure to ask for the Other Words Conference rate to ensure you get the best deal!
Other Words Literary Conference

Friday, May 31, 2013

YellowJacket Press Submissions open for 2013 Meinke Prize

FLAC Member YellowJacket Press is pleased to announce the 2013 Peter Meinke Prize for a poetry chapbook by a Florida poet.  Submissions must be postmarked June 20-July 5, 2013.  The contest is free, but only one manuscript per contestant may be submitted.  All entrants must be permanent adult residents of Florida.
Poetry manuscripts for the Peter Meinke Prize should be no longer than 20 pages of poetry, along with a title page, table of contents and acknowledgments.  Include a brief bio, date you became a Florida resident, notice of previous publications of specific poems, if applicable, and SASE.  Manuscripts will not be returned.  
Long considered a Florida treasure, Peter Meinke was the director of the Writing Workshop at Eckerd College for over 20 years and is the author of over a dozen poetry, fiction and nonfiction books, including The Contracted World: New and Selected Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press) and The Shape of Poetry, (The Writer, Inc.).  In 2009, Meinke was appointed the first ever Poet Laureate of St. Petersburg.  Currently, he teaches for the MFA program at The University of Tampa.  For more information about Peter Meinke, see his website at

YellowJacket Press, Florida’s premier publisher of poetry chapbook manuscripts, and a non-profit organization, established the Peter Meinke Prize in 2011. Previous winners include Melissa Carroll won for her chapbook The Karma Machine, and J.D. Scott for Night Errands. 
The winner(s) of this year’s contest will be announced by August 20, 2013, will receive $100, 30 copies of the book, and will be invited to read with other YJP poets in September.  Members of the YJP Advisory Board will judge the manuscripts anonymously.

Send submissions to:
YellowJacket Press, Peter Meinke Prize
1410 E. Paris Street,
Tampa, Fl. 33604. 

No e-mail submissions.

YellowJacket Press is a non-profit, independent literary press.  The mission of YellowJacket Press is to support emerging and established poets in Florida with an annual chapbook contest, chapbook publications, and public readings. YellowJacket Press creates a means for poets to share and promote their work, and nurtures a sense of community among poets and audiences across the state.

For more information about YellowJacket Press or the chapbook contest check the website at,  the YJP Facebook page or contact

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Other Words Conference Update

Call for Proposals and Book Fair Participation

The Other Words conference welcomes proposals for 1:15 minute panels on the theme of "Writing Florida: The First 500 Years” for the 2013 Conference, to be held on the historic Flagler College campus. The conference is open to all who are interested in the contemporary practice of literary writing, and will offer a mixture of panels, workshops and readings.

Proposal Themes

The theme can be a variety of topics: Fountains of Youth, Conquistadors and Missionaries, Robber Barons, Land Scams, Mosquitoes, Hurricanes, Hanging Chads, Spring Break, Retirement Villages—the Stuff of Life.

However we entertain all ideas—the conference includes panels and readings on a variety of topics, from a special tribute to Edmund Skellings, late poet laureate of Florida, to the nuts and bolts of writing and publishing.

Details and Registration

Click here for details about registration, plus creative writing workshops, manuscript consultations and more.

Publishers and journals may sponsor readings by their authors—details to come on the FLAC/Other Words blog, Facebook page, and website.

Stay tuned to the blog for updates about scheduling, participating writers, conference hotels, and more.

Enter Your Proposal Today

Please include:


  1. Panel Title

  2. Description (up to 500 words)

  3. List of up to 4 participants with names, affiliation (for example, which university, museum, press, etc.) and complete contact information including e-mail addresses. Please indicate if you are conference sponsors or institutional members of the Florida Literary Arts Coalition when you submit. Indicate which participant will be the main contact; that person will hear from the conference by mid-summer. Please submit early: we regret that the number of available slots means only the most competitive proposals will be considered.

  4. List any AV or other special requests for your panel.  

Deadline: June 1, 2013

Submit proposals to:
Rick Campbell, FLAC

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Congrats to Terri Witek and Lola Haskins

Florida Literary Arts Coalition members Terri Witek and Lola Haskins won silver and bronze respectively in the 2012 Florida Book Awards. Witek and Haskins won for their poetry collections, Exit Island and Grace to Leave. Click here to learn more about Florida authors who were honored.

The Florida Book Awards is an annual awards program that recognizes, honors and celebrates the best Florida literature and books about Florida published in the previous year. Click here to learn more about this program.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Finishing Line Press poetry competition

The deadline for the Finishing Line Press chapbook-length poetry collection competition is February 15th. The contest is open to women who have never before published a full-length poetry collection. Click here to learn more.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

National Poetry Series Deadline Approaching

The deadline for the 2013 National Poetry Series contest is coming up on February 15. Those interested can read the contest guidelines here. Good luck!

The National Poetry Series was established in 1978 to ensure the publication of five books of poetry each year. Winning manuscripts are selected through an annual open competition, judged by five distinguished poets. Each winning poet receives a $1,000 cash award in addition to having his or her manuscript published by a participating trade, university, or small press publisher. Publishers currently include HarperCollins Publishers, Fence Books, University of Georgia Press, Penguin Books, and Milkweed Editions.   Recent judges have included John Ashbery, Patricia Smith, Nikky Finney, Dean Young, Campbell McGrath, D. Nurkse, and D.A. Powell.  Among the list of more than 150 esteemed NPS winners are award-winning poets Billy Collins, Stephen Dunn, Mark Doty, Marie Howe, Nathaniel Mackey, Naomi Shihab Nye, Eleni Sikelianos, and Terrance Hayes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Amina Gautier's Florida Writer's Circuit dates announced

Amina Gautier's Florida Writer's Circuit dates announced:

Miami Dade College, Miami, Monday, Feb 11
Valencia College, Orlando, Tuesday, Feb 12
College of Central Florida Wednesday, Feb 13
University of South Florida, Tampa, Thursday, Feb 14
St. Leo University, St. Leo, Friday, Feb 15
University of Tampa, Tampa, Tuesday, Feb 19
Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Wednesday, Feb 20
Edison College, Port Charlotte, Thursday, Feb 21
Dr. Amina Gautier is the winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction for her short story collection At-Risk. Seventy-five of her stories have been published, appearing in Glimmer Train, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, North American Review, and Southern Review among other places. Her stories have won awards from the Crazyhorse Fiction Prize, Zoetrope—All Story Fiction Contest, Glimmer Train Fiction Open, Jack Dyer Prize, William Richey Award, Danahy Prize, and Schlafly Microfiction Award as well as scholarships and fellowships from Breadloaf, Ucross, and Sewanee Writer’s Conference and a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Award.

NPR picks Enid Shomer's novel as one of the year's best

NPR chooses Enid Shomer's "The Twelve Rooms Of The Nile" as one of the best historical novels of 2012: Fiction1

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Upcoming reading at Stetson University:  Geoff Dyer will be reading/lecturing/signing at Stetson on Wed. January 23rd at 8PM in Lee Chapel.  Here's a Dyer link if you don't know his work  The event is free and open to the public.