October 7, 2015 General Meeting

Novelist John Chaplick

 John P. Chaplick bridge of the paper tiget Enduring conspiracy forbidden_chronicles_rgb_300__53558.1435867235.1280.1280 The Pandora files Mild mannered accountant? Once upon a time . . . Maybe.

Highly-acclaimed author of thrillers? Definitely.

John P. Chaplick will speak to the Tampa Writers Alliance at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct 7, 2015 at the Carrollwood Barnes and Noble. John has taken a lifetime of experiences and crafted them into richly plotted thrillers that keep readers guessing until the very last page . . . and then waiting for his next book.

How does he do this? He understands people . . . and how to deliver what they want to read.

Currently an instructor in the field of forensic and investigative accounting, fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering, John is also a member of the Florida Writers Association. As a former business owner, auditor, and partner in a national CPA firm, John bases his novels on the lives of his clients . . . and an unusual lot they were.

Yes, truth is greater than fiction . . . but it also provides a rich and solid foundation for “a great story.”

This program should provide an excellent insight into the craft of thriller/suspense writing with deeply insightful character development.

To date, John has published five books, and I, for one, want to know how he does what he does.


Where we meet


See Map

Carrollwood Barnes & Noble
11802 Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33618.

Check out each group for meeting times.


To join the Tampa Writers Alliance and take advantage of all the benefits, see our membership page or fill out the Membership Application


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Visit our resources page for information on craft, conferences, publication opportunities, and protecting your work.

Writing Contests

Please visit our Contests page regarding community-sponsored essay, poem, and other contests.


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TBTFestival Please join us Saturday, October 24th for the 23rd annual Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading. The event is open to the public free of charge.

Location:  140 Seventh Avenue South at Bayboro Harbor, St. Petersburg

To our members interested in selling their books/music at the festival:

If you are a current, dues-paying member of Tampa Writers Alliance, Inc., and would like to spend some time in our booth to sell to the public, please coordinate with us by emailing us at events@tampawriters.org.

If you are not sure if your membership is current, please email membership@tampawriters.org.

writerscorner3Why Poetry is Important for non-Poets

–Sandra Kischuk [sandra_writer@verizon.net]

Some writers self-identify as poets . . . and others are absolutely certain that poetry 1) is no longer significant or relevant in today’s writing world, 2) does not interest them (nor anyone else they know), and/or 3) has nothing to offer for the kind of writing they do. After all, when is the last time you read a novel in rhyming couplets?


According to wikipedia:

Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poetry)

Non-poets often envision those other people (poets) as writers of an archaic style, writers who have not mastered the “true” elements of writing–plot (story arc), character development, and setting, and writers who are not “connected” with the real world.

Not so. Writing, at its foundation, requires words.

Poetry is about three things:

1) the mastery of words–selecting the best words to express a thought, and stringing those words together in phrases and sentences that capture and amplify meaning;

2) economy of words–stripping away the non-essential and knowing when to “stop,” and

3) balance–learning to create a work with internal consistency, where words, phrases, cadence, voice, and images work together to build the work . . . where the writer neither “skips over the important parts” nor “delves too deeply into things that don’t matter.”

Poetry provides a disciplinary framework which, well-learned, can be applied to any other form of writing. Writers who read enough poetry to understand how it works learn to eliminate:

1) overwriting–too many words, too flowery in expression (good poetry is NOT flowery),

2) sloppiness–poetry’s word economy requires precise word selection and phrase construction. This discipline will make your narrative writing crisp and energized.

3) off-topic wandering–sometimes we get so caught up in the flow of words, we write a lot. That is okay, because we often discover what the writing is really about. However, in our editing, we have to understand that any words and phrases that do not contribute to the story must be stripped away.

4) awkward phrasing–the order of your words can affect both meaning and impact. Awkward, convoluted phrasing can create confusion and irritate your reader.

As a shorthand version of writing, poetry encapsulates the greatest meaning in the fewest words . . . and provides a learning shortcut to stylistic mastery of other writing forms. In plain words. read and practice writing poetry to strengthen ALL your writing skills. And no, it does not have to rhyme.