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A Strong Showing For Tallahassee Writers In Latest Statewide Awards

Tallahassee author Donna Meredith engaged in a journey of "literary research."
Donna Meredith
Tallahassee author Donna Meredith engaged in a journey of "literary research."

The Capital City's wordsmiths were well represented in the latest list of winners from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association.

The latest awards list from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association is a "who's-who" of Tallahassee's writing community. One of the city's Gold Medal winners is Donna Meredith who took the top prize in the category of Adult Fiction. Her local literary colleagues did well, too. Bruce Ballister snagged gold in the Health category for "Welcome to the Zipper Club." Also a bronze for his adult science fiction novel "Room for Tomorrow." Sam Staley won a Business Gold for "The Beatles and Economics." Susan Koehler's (Keller's) "Dahlia in Bloom" brought home gold in the Children Grades Four Through Six category.
In the Adult Mystery/Suspense arena, a silver medal went to George Encizo (en-SIZE-oh). Katie Clark was a bronze medal winner for poetry
Marina Brown's "Orphan of Pitigliano" was a bronze medal winner for Adult Fiction. And now back to Donna Meredith whose "Buried Seeds" was the gold winner in that category. She had nothing but praise for her wordsmith peers.

"Tallahassee has an absolutely vibrant writers community! They're all wonderful writers. And the incoming president of the Florida Authors and Publishers Association is from Tallahassee, Pat Stanford."

Meredith said the Association's actual awards presentation - done via Zoom because of the pandemic - was not without drama this year.

"Usually it's in person, but not this year. So we all tuned in and there was the Zoom-bombing that happened almost right away. Some crazy person was on cussing in front of a Nazi flag, so no one got to hear their awards given out live."

But that notice soon came in writing, along with gold stickers to attach to the books' covers, her second such accolade.

"I was just so excited to be able to put that out there on my books that this one had won a good medal, too."

As to the plot synopsis, Meredith said there are two female protagonists: separated by more than 100 years of time, but connected by blood and a burning devotion to equality and justice.

"The first woman, Angie Fisher, is inn the current times and she joins the teachers' strike in West Virginia and reluctantly becomes a leader. She finds out that her great, great grandmother Rosella fought for women's rights and the right to vote and control her own body and money. All the things that women weren't allowed to do. So she is an early suffragist. That knowledge of where she comes from helps to give Angie the courage to plunge ahead with this leadership role that she really had assumed because a friend needed her to."

"Buried Seeds," Donna Meredith's opus of activism old and new is easy to find.

"At My Favorite Books, which is a very supportive book store in Northeast Tallahassee. It's also available for any book store to order from Ingrams, or always available on Amazon."

Each copy now includes that handsome gold medal sticker from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association, among several presented to Tallahassee's writers this year.

Follow @flanigan_tom

Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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