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Free Islamorada Writers and Readers Seminar set for Saturday, March 8

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Published authors are to freely share advice at the second annual Islamorada Writers and Readers Seminar set for Saturday, March 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Islamorada Helen B. Wadley Branch Library, mile marker 81.7 bayside. Everyone is welcome.

Authors each will speak for about 30-40 minutes on various aspects of the writing life, then take questions and sign and sell their books, if available. Authors of several different genres are represented.
First speaker Jill Zima Borski, creator of the complimentary seminar, will speak at 9:30 a.m. about agents, and whether they are necessary in the era of self-publishing. Author of a memoir, Know that I have Lived, Borski also will share the importance of a “platform” and outlets for self-publishing.

Steve Gibbs, author of a450-page novel, Java, will share the pitfalls of self-publishing and the need for patience. Coordinator of the monthly Latitude 25 Writers Group, he’ll also talk about the importance of feedback in enhancing writing.

Patti Zelch, who attended the seminar last year, will speak about what makes a good picture book and techniques such as alliteration that make a manuscript special. She’ll suggest ways to break into the traditional publishing markets for children’s books, joining professional organizations and attending conferences.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch for the communal lunch break from 12:30 – 1 p.m. Nearby restaurants also are good options to order to-go items.

Keys personality Mayor Sammie “Gonzo” Mays will speak at 1 p.m. Author of Pirate Night Before Christmas, Mays was a National Enquirer Hollywood reporter who photographed Pete Rose in prison. She’ll speak about “finding inspiration and the process of bringing a youth storybook to completion.”

At 2 p.m. is The Reporter’s humor column contributor, Jana Vandelaar. She has published a collection of her articles, entitled Only in the Keys, as well as a children’s book. Vandelaar writes what she knows, and plans a fictional series based loosely on her life as a flight attendant and scuba diver.

The final speaker at 3 p.m. is Brenda Hiatt, whose Scandalous Brides boxed set written with a group of historical romance authors has made the New York Times Bestseller List and the USA Today Bestseller List! Author of 15 romance books published by big New York publishers (including Harlequin), Hiatt will disclose why she has transitioned from traditional to independent publishing.

Financial support is provided by the Friends of the Helen Wadley Library.
For more information, call Borski at 305-852-9886 or email