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Looking for that special gift for that special someone?

July 29, 2012

By Chris Coward

In our thirty-four years of marriage, my husband hinted for only one gift: a balloon ride. It was a great Christmas gift that year but—hoo boy—every holiday season after that has been a challenge.

Until now. I’ve discovered a resource with a no-fail selection of one-of-a-kind gifts.

At the Silent Auction sponsored by the Florida Writers Foundation (FWF) at this year’s Florida Writers Conference, you’ll find plenty of unique gifts. How about the chance to choose the name of a killer in mega-bestselling author R.J. Ellory’s next book? (Could be another character; doesn’t have to be a killer.) You could name the character for a friend or family member, or you could have YOUR name in the next Ellory novel, which will be published around the world. Your purchase is tax deductible, and it will help fund programs to promote literacy for children, youth, and adults.

The Ellory prize is just one of many. Other cool prizes are Park Hopper tickets to Disney World, tickets to SeaWorld/Aquatica, a one-on-one Sunday breakfast with publisher Ben LeRoy, and an interview with Lake Mary PD Officer Zach Hudson, named 2012 CNN Hero and Parade Magazine’s Police Officer of the Year. Typically, there are more than a hundred prizes to choose from. Check the Silent Auction Blog often to see the options as the selection grows. The site will be live—drum roll—August 15: http://fwa2012conference.blogspot.com/.

So while it’s true we’ll all be busy at the conference (finding our agent, meeting our publisher, and getting the scoop on the industry), we can still pop in the Silent Auction room to shop for the holidays. Hmmm, maybe I’ll place a bid on the Ellory character myself. What do you think of a world-renowned chef named Al Coward?

If you have any questions or wish to donate an item to the Silent Auction, contact Silent Auction Chairperson Susan Boyd: fwfsilentauction@floridawriters.net.

Speaking of R.J. Ellory, you’ll have a chance to see him all day at FWF’s Celebrity Workshop at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary on October 18. Learn his secrets to becoming a mega-bestselling international author. See http://www.floridawritersfoundation.org/ for details.

Do you have a hard-to-shop-for person on your gift list? Do YOU deserve a really cool gift?

Chris Coward is a member of the FWA Board of Directors, the 2012 FWA conference marketing chairperson, and group leader for the Oxford Writers FWA critique group. She is a former college English instructor, magazine editor, marketing director, and speech writer. 

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