Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Coast Fest Has All the Write Stuff

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Coast Fest Has All the Write Stuff

Article excerpt

The writers are coming to the First Coast Writers' Festival this week in Atlantic Beach.

Randy Wayne White will be there.

Connie May Fowler will be there.

Rick Bragg will be there. Rosemary Daniell will be there. Lenore Hart will be there. Lorraine Johnson-Coleman and David Poyer and Nancy Slonim Aronie will be there.

John Cech will be there. Cech is an author of books for children, and he is a professor of English at the University of Florida. His books range from the straight-forward -- well, a bit whimsical -- narrative of a Russian woman's life through two world wars, a revolution, cold, hunger and danger until, finally, she comes to America in My Grandmother's Journey to the totally whimsical The Southermost Cat. The cat, six-toed, natch, is an Ernest Hemingway stand-in who has gone many days without a fish when he hooks into one that takes him all around the literary world.

So, where did an idea like that come from? It's one of the insights Cech will share when he talks about writing for children during the three-day conference.

The First Coast Writers' Festival, sponsored by Florida Community College at Jacksonville, kicks off its14th edition Thursday with preconference workshops from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. by Cech, memoirist Rosemary Daniell and freelancer Andi Reynolds.

The conference officially convenes at 7 p.m. Thursday with a get-acquainted reception and a reading by mystery master Randy Wayne White.

White's new book,Ten Thousand Islands, has just been published. In fact, his visit to Jacksonville is the first appearance to promote the book. His official book tour begins after the First Coast Writers' Conference date.

White continues to collect fans for his Florida mysteries and for good reason. Plots and characters are entertaining, and the skill with which he draws the state, the lost paradise with a few flashbacks of Eden left, will intrigue any Florida buff.

The new book is about the volatile, and lethal, mix of pre-Columbian Indian magic and modern political power, with a few spooky brush strokes in the shadows. …

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