Best Resources For Aspiring Writers In Tampa Bay

July 27, 2013 8:00 AM

File photo of a book store. (Photo credit: ROBERT MICHAEL/AFP/Getty Images)

Writers seem to flourish in the Tampa Bay area, especially in St. Petersburg, declared a “City of Writers” in 2009. Bay area writers have been included on both state and nationwide best-seller lists. If you are new to the writing craft, however, the prospect of getting your ideas on paper and getting your work published can seem overwhelming, if not impossible. Take heart — there are plenty of local resources to help you on your journey of becoming a writer.

Tampa Writers Alliance
Barnes & Noble Carrollwood
11802 N. Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 962-6446

The TWA is a non-profit organization designed to bring local writers together to help and support each other through the long and often challenging process of writing and publishing. All meetings, held monthly at Barnes & Noble Carrollwood, are free and open to the public. Each month, a published writer comes in to speak to the group — sometimes a novelist, sometimes a poet, sometimes writers of children’s literature. If you wish to get the full benefits of membership in the TWA, such as entering your work in writing contests or taking advantage of publishing opportunities, yearly dues are $35. Writers of all ages and ability levels are welcome to join Tampa’s largest network of writers.

WordSmitten Writing Workshop
St. Petersburg, FL 33737
(727) 409-0500

WordSmitten was founded in 1999 by a group of journalists and the organization is a member of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses. The writing workshops take place on the third Thursday of each month and cost $15 per person. During these workshops, beginning and intermediate writers will gain an insight into the writing business by forming critique groups, learning how to write proposal letters, network with other writers and more. These popular workshops sell out fast, so be sure to register early if you plan on attending.

Open Mic Night
Sacred Grounds Coffee House
4819 E. Busch Blvd. #104
Tampa, FL 33617
(813) 983-0837

For writers of poetry and free verse, weekly open mic nights provide an excellent opportunity to share your own work as well as experience the work of others. Sacred Grounds, in the heart of the University of South Florida community, is a well-loved haunt of students and young adults in the Tampa area. This warm, welcoming environment takes much of the fear of criticism out of the writing process. It offers opportunities for constructive feedback and encouragement while you work on finding your voice as a writer. Just remember to return the favor when it’s your turn to be the listener.

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Writers in Paradise
Eckerd College
4200 54th Ave. S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
(727) 864-7994

This week-long conference, held each year in January, is open to literary artists of every kind: novelists, poets, creative writers, non-fiction writers, editors and anyone else with a passion for the written word. Each day is a whirlwind of activities, including panel discussions, workshops, book signings, lectures, screenings and more. Students, professionals and anyone in between are welcome to attend this intensive event. You will have the opportunity to network, share your work for critique and get some solid ideas about how to get published.

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Amanda Mole has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil and cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove. She believes that food provides more than just vital nutrients: it is an irreplaceable part of countless cultural and social activities. As a Tampa Bay resident for the past 21 years, she is well acquainted with the incredibly diverse range of restaurants, bars, and food festivals that the area has to offer. Her work can be found at