In April 2015, Florida Chapter Sisters in Crime members, Kathy Bain and Susan Santangelo, approached National SinC member, Wendy Dingwall, at the Venice Book Festival about forming a Florida Gulf Coast Chapter. Wendy took up the challenge. She created a flyer, and over several months she posted them at local libraries and sent them out to other author groups in Florida. True to their mission, National SinC also put the word out through their extensive mailing list about our new chapter.
On December 5th 2015, the newly formed Florida Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime voted for our first officers and accepted our bylaws. It was an exciting meeting as we asked for volunteers to chair various positions such as membership, web mistress, programs and publicity. We also discussed the kinds of programs we would like to have in the future.
At our January 2016 meeting our treasurer, Melinda Pierce, had gotten most of the information required to move ahead for our tax id, tax exempt status, bank and PayPal accounts.
For our first official program, our new members gave pitching sessions which turned out to be an entertaining way to get to know our fellow members, as well as learn about their versatile talents as writers. At the same meeting, a prospective member offered us an opportunity to get our name out into the writer’s community, so we jumped on it by putting together a Florida Gulf Coast SinC basket of books and included a bottle of wine for the local League of American Pen Women’s silent auction fundraiser for scholarships.
On February 25th, President, Wendy Dingwall, was honored to act as representative for Sisters in Crime national on behalf of the We Love Libraries program. A $1000 check was presented at their monthly luncheon put on by the Friends of the Bonita Springs Library at the Spanish Wells Country Club in Bonita Springs.
In March we had our very first speaker: NYT best-selling author and forensic scientist, Lisa Black presented her topic: “How I Came to be a Writer.” It was a delightful presentation followed by many thoughtful questions.
On March 19th, several of our members participated in the Venice Book Fair and Writer’s Festival. Though we got rained out at noon-time, the sunny morning we spent was a fun and fruitful time for all who participated.
Many exciting programs, workshops, and events are planned for the future as we strive to fulfill the mission to support women crime writers in every way possible.
Sisters in Crime is our parent organization. Its mission is to promote the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of women crime writers.
The Florida Gulf Coast chapter is centered in Sarasota, Florida, where it meets once a month. For more information, contact us at: FLGulfCoastSinC@gmail.com.