Thursday, January 31, 2008

First Four First Coast Christian Writers Officers


Mary (VPE), Debra (VPM), Lorraine (President), Inez (Treasurer)

In our first meeting last week, I asked everyone to fill out a brief form with their contact information. I also included a list of all the officers positions and asked everyone to number, in order of priority, their interest in serving in one of the following leadership roles:

  • President
  • Vice President of Education
  • Vice President of Membership
  • Vice President of Public Relations
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Sergeant at Arms
  • Web Master

Our VP of Education didn't even attend our first meeting, but Debra was so excited about the group that she told her colleague and writing partner, Mary, about the group. So Mary McCormack attended our second meeting and volunteered to serve as an officer--and what a blessing it is to have an NSA member serve in this role!

Inez Holger was my writing partner. We used to meet at Borders coffee shop to read and critique each other's writing. She's a fabulous writer. Her writing keeps you laughing and crying all the way through. She's amazing at writing details about setting and characters. I was so excited when I saw Inez at our first meeting last week and even more excited when she stepped up to serve as our Treasurer.

The blessings go on, no really! Get this--Debra Wilson is a PR specialist and she volunteered to serve as our VP of Membership.  Debra already has many of the skills we're going to need to promote the group in the community and reach our goal of 52 members by December 31, 2008.

Over the past few years, my prayers have become less specific. I pray for the big vision and God always answers. He doesn't always give me the answer I want, but in this case he finally is. I have been praying for a local weekly writing support group with people serious about their writing and this initial leadership team gives me hope that this is finally becoming a reality. I also wanted a group where we could open and close in prayer and provide a ministry for and through writers. For the past few years, I couldn't figure out why God wasn't sending me an invitation. I finally realized that he wanted me to send the invitations!


Jim Ovenshire is the first speaker for First Coast Christian Writers. He presented 15 lessons  he learned from publishing his own book. One of the tips he mentioned was to remember to put your title on the spine of the book! Hey Jim, would  you mind posting all 15 of your tips as a comment to this posting?


Total attendees at today's meeting: 9

Thursday, January 24, 2008

First Meeting of First Coast Christian Writers

Eleven people attended our first meeting on January 24, 2008. Larry Leech, President of Word Weavers, joined us in our kick-off meeting. The Orlando Word Weavers gave me the inspiration to start a similar group closer to home. They have a unique critique format that's magical. After visiting their critique group just once, I realized that I needed to create the same opportunity for writers in Jacksonville. Larry told his story of what Word Weavers has done for his writing career and for many others in the Orlando area.

IMG_1788 - Cropped

Participants had the opportunity to get to know each other and to hear my vision for the group. Several people expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to give and receive support from fellow writers. This was a big encouragement to me and provided me with even more assurance that this group is meant to be.

Everyone also had the opportunity to provide input into FCCW Guidelines that spell out the format of our meetings and who will be responsible for what. We used our guidelines as a sample of how to do a critique the Word Weavers way. Larry led one group and I led the other.

My vision is for us to grow to 52 active members by December 31, 2008. That means that we need at least one new member each week. Is God calling you to write?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

FCCW to Meet Weekly at Christ's Church

Here's the e-mail I sent out today:

First Coast Christian Writers is a new start-up chapter of American Christian Writers

We will be meeting weekly on Thursday evenings from 6:45-8:45 PM at Christ’s Church starting on January 24, 2008:

Christ’s Church – Room 506

6045 Greenland Road

Jacksonville, FL 32258

Go in through the main entry (look for the tall glass windows near the middle of the building).

Go through the main entry atrium and head to the left. Go upstairs. We will be in room 506.

Is God calling you to write?

Are you interested in getting published in 2008?

Would you like support and accountability from other local Christian writers to stay motivated and on track?

Are you willing to provide encouragement to fellow Christian writers?

Are you willing to give candid and gentle critiques to help other writers become better?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then this just might be the best use of your time on Thursday evenings.

We will follow a meeting format similar Word Weavers Christian writers group that meets at Northland Church in Orlando.

Word Weavers is a thriving critique group with about 60-80 members at any given time. They have been very successful over the past 11 years, not only in growing in membership, but also in producing fruitful (published) writers in all genres.

Anyone over the age of 18 is eligible to attend. Please do not bring any children under the age of 18 to the meeting. No childcare is available.

If you aren’t interested in First Coast Christian Writers right now, please pray for the group or forward this message on to someone else who may be interested. If you’d like to be removed from this distribution list, please let me know. I will likely send weekly reminders, similar to this, over the next few weeks since more people continue to express interest and ask questions.

Faithfully  yours,

Lorraine Haataia, PhD


First Coast Christian Writers

Wisdom is more precious than rubies,

And nothing you desire can compare with her.

Proverbs 8:11