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FWA Member Benefit Spotlight: The Florida Writer Magazine

June 30, 2014

By Larry Kokko

I intend to take the next few months to highlight a benefit of FWA membership. In part, this is so new members can become aware of all that FWA has to offer. I believe even some of our more seasoned members may benefit from becoming reacquainted with established benefits, as well as a growing number of newly stabled ones as well.

This month I want to examine The Florida Writer, our quarterly magazine. The periodical we enjoy has undergone many changes since its inception. At the beginning, six members, armed with long staplers, put together a monthly newsletter. Each member had a specific task to perform: writing, editing, affixing the mailing label, marking off each name as it was labeled, quality control checks, and mailing.

At some point, the newsletter became a magazine called The Palm Magazine, which was mailed by Vicki Taylor, one of FWA’s founding members. Then in 2007 the first issue of The Florida Writer was published through SPS Publications and edited by Sammy Smith.

Today The Florida Writer is a highly professional, quality magazine, edited and designed under the direction of Mary Ann de Stefano of MAD About Words, published by the Florida Writers Association, and printed and mailed by OnLine Binding.

So why is this magazine considered a benefit? This is why:

  • The magazine is members ­only (although extra copies are provided for nonmembers as a marketing/promotion tool).
  • Advertising is affordable. We offer discounts to members who want to reach our circulation of 1700+ with a print ad.
  • Members who want to share news of the writing­related accomplishments can send a notice to be published in the magazine’s “Celebrations” section.
  • Members are invited to submit their creative writing to each issue of the magazine. Those published are selected from submissions that best respond to a prompt that appears in the magazine.
  • We are fortunate to attract industry experts who share their knowledge about writing, publishing, and marketing. Penny Sansevieri, a renowned book marketing expert; Anne Dalton, a lawyer who has advised creatives for 36 years; and Vic DiGenti, author of nine books, all write regular columns that appear alongside articles written by others who have special expertise.

Members can see the latest issue of the magazine for details on any of this or contact Mary Ann de Stefano via email.

Chris Coward, our president, summed up the benefits of The Florida Writer best. “Throughout the years, The Florida Writer has grown in polish and professionalism, but it has never lost its warm ‘family’ feel and never ceased to embody our organization’s motto, Writers Helping Writers. We invite you to peruse its pages for inspiration and nuggets about your craft and industry. Who knows? Something within the pages may make all the difference in your writing future.”

Next month I will focus on the many benefits of the FWA Network.

Kokko, Larry

Larry Kokko is the vice president for administration and membership. He has been an active FWA member for five years. He has several short stories published in anthologies. He writes horror and dark fiction. His first novel, Blood Alley, is in the editing phase with Scriptor Publishing.


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