Save the date! September 24,25,26, 2015
Save the date! September 24,25,26, 2015

A major part of the Florida Heritage Book Festival is the Writers Conference, which attracts well over one hundred writers from all over the southeast. They come to learn, to be inspired, and to network with other writers. For the first time, this year’s Writers Conference will take place at Flagler College and include critique workshops, and multiple sessions on the craft and business of writing. The conference faculty consists of true professionals, some of whom, like John Dufresne and Vicki Hendricks, are among our Featured Authors.

Florida Heritage Writers Conference Schedule

September 25—26, 2014

Flagler College, St. Augustine, FL


Join us for two very different days dedicated to the working writer committed to improving his or her craft through face-to-face guidance by writing professionals. Whether you’re a veteran or an emerging talent looking for that spark of inspiration and feedback on your writing, the FHBF Writers Conference can help you.

Thursday Critique Sessions

Thursday, September 25 – Critique Workshops – 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


There is no single way to write a good book, but we all have to start at the same place by writing those first few pages. But how do we know how good they are, and if we’re on the right track?


The Conference Critique Workshops offer a day of inspiration, motivation and positive feedback from faculty members and fellow students in an intimate setting. Small groups of no more than 12 writers (select Fiction or Nonfiction) will come together to critique each other’s ten-page submissions. Workshop critiques for each individual will last at least 30 minutes, and workshop leaders will provide a written one-page critique to each student.


Please note:   After registering for the September 25 Critique Workshops, your ten-page manuscript is due by Tuesday, September 2, in order to give us time to disseminate materials to the faculty and others in the workshop.  They should be double-spaced and sent electronically to


Faculty includes:

Elizabeth Sims -- author of seven successful novels, including the Rita Farmer Mysteries (St. Martin's Minotaur) and the Lambda Award-winning Lillian Byrd Novels (Alyson Books)

Click here for bio


Laura Lee Smith -- author of Heart of Palm, second-place winner of the 2013 Florida Book Awards, General Fiction category; her work has appeared in New Stories from the South 2010The Florida Review, Natural Bridge, Bayou; has taught creative writing at Flagler College and works as an advertising copywriter

Click here for bio

Friday Writers Workshops

Friday, September 26 – Writers Workshops – 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.


A full day of one-hour writers workshops covering both the craft and business of writing. Take your writing to the next level with practical advice, solid instruction and a chance to network with your fellow writers. Registration includes the keynote luncheon with New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black.


 Friday Conference Workshops


7:30 – 8:45                Registration & coffee


9:00 – 10:00              Elizabeth Sims – “How to Write a Dynamite Mystery or Thriller that SELLS”

                                     Successful mystery novelist and writing authority Elizabeth Sims demystifies the mystery and shows you how you can start with a basic story idea and build a novel-length plot from there.

Gamache-Koger Theater


Chuck Barrett – “Nuts & Bolts of Self-Publishing”

Based on his book, Publishing Unchained: An Off-Beat Guide to Independent Publishing, Nuts & Bolts of Self-Publishing, Chuck offers a glimpse at the options available for authors wishing to self-publish or who wish to take publishing to the next step: independent publishing. This presentation guides you through the benefits and pitfalls of print and e-book publishing, printing options, selecting a printing company, and more.  Markland House


10:00 – 10:15           Break


10:15 – 11:15            DL Havlin – “Crafting Characters to Fit Your Story”

Supporting main characters or well-crafted plots with vibrant, properly constructed, supporting characters, often changes fiction from interesting to riveting … from enjoyable to award winning. This session will assist its participants in creating characters that do exactly that, using proven scientific facts about human behavior and our perception of these traits. 

Gamache-Koger Theater


Zenée Miller – “Learn How to Monetize Your Blog”

Zenée Miller created her first blog in 2009. She made $1.23 in her first month (August, 2009) but sold this blog for $60,000 two years later. Join her and learn how to use your keywords to earn real income online.  

Markland House


11:15 – 11:45            Meet the Speakers: Signing & Sales  (hallway outside Gamache-Koger Theater)


12:00 – 1:15              Luncheon with Keynoter Lisa Black – “My Path to Publication” Lisa Black talks about her writing journey, her books, and how they relate to her day job as a Florida crime scene investigator, including a question-and-answer session with the audience.  Virginia Room


1:30 – 2:30                Vicki Hendricks ­– “How to Get Your Story Off to a Fast Start”

Writers know the importance of getting their books off to a fast start and hooking the reader. Novelist Vicki Hendricks shares some of her secrets, including the importance of creating a protagonist with a need and a goal, choosing point of view, verb tense, and more. She demonstrates the keys to a fast start with first pages from classic stories. 

 Gamache-Koger Theater


Anne Dalton – “How I Stopped Worrying and Learned How to Love Copyright”

Using five legal horror stories as examples, attorney Anne Dalton shows authors how to protect themselves and their writing. Fair use and copyright are ever-changing areas of the law. Learn what’s new, what’s hot, and how to apply it to your craft. Highly interactive and useful handouts too.  Q and A included.  A fun session on a serious subject.   

Markland House


2:30 – 2:45                Break


2:45 – 3:45                John Dufresne"Narrative Transport: Letting the Plot Guide the Writing of Your Story"

Plot: A central character wants something, goes after it despite opposition, and as a result of a struggle, either wins or loses. Let’s take our definition of plot as a starting point and see how we might let the necessary plot do our thinking for us and lead us, quite naturally, to considerations of characterization, theme, tone, point of view, setting, and so on. This is how you, as a writer, might go ahead and think with your plot and begin composing your story, and how you might, in so doing, create the emotional and intellectual experience your reader hopes for.  

Gamache-Koger Theater


Mark Wayne Adams – “Selling Every Word: The Business of Public Speaking”

Mark Wayne Adams, award-winning author, illustrator, and publisher, speaks to over 90,000 people annually. His dynamic session reveals the power of public speaking for authors' audiences and book sales. Learn how to increase book sales at festivals, schools, bookstores, and even lunch! Guaranteed to be an entertaining and enlightening session.  

Markland House


3:45 – 4:15                Meet the Speakers: Signing & Sales (hallway outside Gamache-Koger Theater)


Florida Heritage Book Festival

PO Box 4011

St. Augustine, FL 32085-4011

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