This article traces the formation and growth of The Scribblers writing club and the Driftwood publication. We acknowledge for the group the untiring efforts of the many club participants and Brevard writers.
The Scribblers was formed in October 1980 as an informal group of writers, poets, and artists, under the guidance of Thelma Blair, a teacher at Brevard Community College. In November 1980, The Scribblers consisted of twelve charter members, including Josephine B. Scott, President; Lloyd McCalla, Vice President; Louise Burr, Secretary; and Carl Lane, Treasurer. The group met on Thursday evenings at the Melbourne campus of Brevard Community College.
Inchoate members were Kit Carlson, Barbara Conn, Marjorie D. Darke, Pat Duggins, Ruby Faust, Arthur T. Green, Sandy McInnes, Mary Moore, Fran Peterson, Jim Shott, Charlotte Vann, Barbara Wagner, and Marguerite Weber. The membership grew to twenty-five. Meetings were moved from Highland Avenue and held at the Eau Gallie Public Library, the club’s present location. The club operated loosely under Robert’s Rules of Order. Our goals are to share ideas; identify each other’s weaknesses and strengths; give beginners confidence; and to promote fellowship and communication among poets, prose writers, and artists. The Driftwood anthology was created for this purpose.
Louise Burr, a free-lance columnist for The Tribune in Cocoa, became the President in 1981. Driftwood I was born on June 1, 1982. The first staff consisted of Kit Carlson, Editor; Mary Moore, Art Director; Barbara Conn and Louise Burr, advertising directors; and a general staff consisting of Jim Shott, Josephine B. Scott, Ruby Faust, Marjorie Darke, Marguerite Weber, and Charlotte Vann.
It was agreed that the Driftwood should not be a “vanity” publication, and impartial judges were procured. Financing was arranged through a garage sale and by selling advertising. One thousand copies of an eighty-page issue were printed sold at cost for $2.00. Publication of the first Driftwood strengthened the young club and provided initial funding for future issues.
Zack Laney became President in November 1982; Marjorie Darke, Vice President; Fran Peterson, Secretary; Joe Broomell, Treasurer; Josephine B. Scott, general staff; and Ruby Faust, Historian. Other activities in 1982 included a pool party and other social meetings that promoted friendship among members without disturbing the basic aim of the club. Contributors to the Driftwood read their published stories at Palm Bay’s Bethesda Baptist Retirement Home and at several other locations. The club’s membership grew to forty-seven by November 1982. Louise Burr became the Editor of Driftwood II and Ruby Faust handled its publicity; Mary Moore was Literary Editor. In order to maintain the $2.00 cost of Driftwood, local advertisement was sold and fewer copies were printed.
Marjorie Darke served as President; Maurice Blum, Vice President; Marilyn Seibring, Secretary; Joe Broomell, Treasurer; Zack Laney, publicity chairman; Margie Roberts, hospitality chairman; and Ruby Faust, Historian; succeeded by Arthur T. Green as Historian.
Janet Bruce was Editor of Driftwood III; June Blum became the edition’s Art Editor. Approximately 200 entries were submitted, of which 60 were published. Approximately half of the published manuscripts were from affiliated Brevard residents.
Martha Hope assumed the presidency in 1984; Janet Bruce, Vice President; Marilyn Seibring, Secretary; Zack Laney, Treasurer. The Driftwood team consisted of Maurice Blum, Editor; Carl Gasset, business manager; Mary Ellen Moore, Art Editor.
Driftwood IV was released at the Little Professor bookstore, Cocoa Beach. Fifty-six people were present. In October Scribblers took an active part in “The People’s Parade of Achievements” held at the Melbourne Square Mall.
Josephine B. Scott passed away in July 1985 after the publication of her book of poems. Maurice Blum passed away later that year. The Scribblers helped finance the publication of a book of his poems entitled Love in Bloom in his memory.
Paul Diehl was elected President; Coleen Ward, Vice President; Marilyn Seibring, Secretary; Zack Laney, reelected Treasurer; Barbara and Chuck Hubbard, Publicity Chairman; and Arthur T. Green, Historian. Norman Cotton accepted the leadership of Driftwood V with Janet Bruce and Herb F. Smith, Jr., distribution. Driftwood V was dedicated to three deceased members, Josephine B. Scott, Maurice Blum, and Marjorie Darke.
Paul Diehl was reelected President; Coleen Ward, Vice President; Jim Shott, Secretary; Zack Laney, reelected Treasurer; and Arthur T. Green reelected Historian. Adassa Frank was Literary Editor and Peggy Downey, Art Editor. Advertising in Driftwood was eliminated. The distribution committee consisted of Janet Bruce, Herb F. Smith Jr., Kay Grooms, and Louise Schnelle. Again, this Driftwood edition was launched at a party held at the Little Professor book store, Cocoa Beach.
Herb F. Smith, Jr. was elected President; Carolyn Newby, Vice President; Charles Hubbard, Secretary; Zack Laney, Treasurer; Arthur T. Green Historian; Adassa Frank, Literary Editor; and Peggy Downey, Art Editor. The distribution committee for Driftwood VII consisted of Herb F. Smith, Jr., Janet Bruce, and Louise Schnelle. Jim Shott did the typing.
A writing contest was sponsored for Brevard County’s 7th grade students. The winners were published in Driftwood VII. The edition contained 126 pages and was the largest issue produced to date.
Chuck Hubbard was elected President; Janet Bruce, Vice President; Minnie Ragland, Secretary; Zack Laney, Treasurer; Arthur T. Green, Historian; Martha Hope, Literary Editor of Driftwood VIII; Barbara Hubbard, Art Editor; Florence Rosenberg, Publicity Chairman. Jim Shott prepared the manuscript and Peggy Downey proofread. Driftwood again was launched at a party at the Little Professor bookstore, Cocoa Beach. In July, Zack Laney passed away, and Maxwell J. Richards assumed his position as Treasurer.
Chuck Hubbard was reelected President; Martha Hope, Vice President; Florence Rosenberg, Secretary; Maxwell J. Richards, Treasurer, Arthur T. Green, Historian; Carole A. Forsythe, Literary Editor of Driftwood IX; Barbara Hubbard, Art Editor; and Pat Daly, Publicity Chairman. Peggy Downey proofread the publication, and Chuck Hubbard did the typing.
Driftwood IX contained ninety-nine pages and was launched on November 1 at the Little Professor bookstore, Cocoa Beach. The release of Driftwood IX coincided with the club’s celebration of its tenth anniversary.
Minnie Ragland was elected President; Susan Spillers, Vice President; Margarete Miller, Secretary; Maxwell J. Richards, Treasurer; Arthur T. Green, Historian; Pat Daly, Publicity Chairman. Janet Bruce and Stephanie McKinnon, hospitality; Margie Roberts, sunshine chairman.
Driftwood X staff: Peggy Downey, Literary Editor; Rosie Lee Greene, Art Editor; James Badger, Managing Editor; and Maxwell J. Richards did the manuscript preparation, a job he continued for nine years. Driftwood X had 96 pages of poetry, prose and artwork. Our membership reached seventy for the first time in our club’s history.
Arthur T. Green, who served as club Historian from 1983 until his death in May 1992, recorded the history of Scribblers of Brevard to this point in time.
Rosie Lee Greene, President; Sandra Banko, Vice President; Joseph R. Dinda, Secretary, Maxwell J. Richards, Treasurer; Janet Bruce hospitality; Marguerite Roberts, Historian and sunshine chairman; Debra Holzenner, Publicity Chairman. Driftwood XI staff: James Badger, Managing Editor; Margarete Miller, Literary Editor; Patricia F. Daly, Art Editor. Driftwood XI contained 104 pages. Manuscript preparation was by Maxwell J. Richards, and proofreading by Peggy O. Downey.
In October 1992 Rosie Lee Greene was re-elected President for 1993. Sandra Banko, Vice President; Joseph R. Dinda, Secretary; Maxwell J. Richards, Treasurer; Parvin Birjandi, Theresa Hoskin, Marie Plavin, and Minnie Ragland were the Hospitality Committee; Marguerite Roberts, Historian and Sunshine Committee; Theresa Hoskin, Publicity Chairman. Driftwood XII contained 107 pages of poetry, prose and art work. Driftwood staff: James H. Badger, Business Manager; Ruth Rodgers, Literary Editor; Patricia Royer, Art Editor. Manuscript was prepared by Maxwell J. Richards, and proofread by Peggy O. Downey. Driftwood XII was dedicated to the memory of Florence Rosenberg and Arthur T. Green.
In October 1993 Joseph R. Dinda was elected President to serve for 1994. Gail G. Van Ormer, Vice President; Roberts R. Brooks, Secretary; Maxwell Richards, Treasurer; Dianna Narciso and Parvin Birjandi, Hospitality; Henry R. Knefley, Historian; Marie Plavin, Publicity Chairman. Driftwood XIII contained 85 pages of poetry, prose and art work. Driftwood Staff: James H. Badger, Business Manager; Pat Ryan, Literary Editor; Patricia Royer, Art Editor; manuscript preparation by Maxwell J. Richards; and proofreading by Peggy O. Downey. The anthology contained 47 literary submissions and 23 art submissions, and 85 pages. Driftwood XIII was dedicated to the memory of Myrtle Zita.
Gail G. Van Ormer was elected President; Janet Bruce, Vice President; Minnie Ragland, Secretary; Maxwell J. Richards, Treasurer; Rosie Lee Greene, Hospitality; Marguerite Roberts, Historian; Henry R. Knefley, Publicity Chairman. Driftwood XIV contained 96 pages. Driftwood staff: James H. Badger, Business Manager; Dianna Narciso, Literary Editor, Janet R. Stanbro, Art Editor; Maxwell J. Richards manuscript preparation; and Peggy O. Downey proofreader. Driftwood XIV was dedicated in loving memory to Louise Schnelle
In 1996 Gail G. Van Ormer was re-elected President, Carolyn Hutcheson, Vice President; Florence Poor, Secretary; Maxwell J. Richards, Treasurer; the Hospitality Chairman was assigned quarterly. Barbara and Charles Hubbard, Historian; Henry R. Knefley, Publicity Chairman; Janet Bruce, Membership Coordinator. Driftwood XV contained 96 pages of poetry, prose and art. Driftwood staff: James H. Badger, Business Manager; Rosie Lee Greene, Literary Editor; Janet R. Stanbro, Art Editor, who became ill and Rosie Lee Greene completed the job. Manuscript was prepared by Maxwell J. Richards, and proofread by Peggy O. Downey. The Launch party was held at Books-a-Million, in Melbourne.
Florence Poor was elected President for 1997. Helen Spataro, Vice President; Martha Hope, Secretary; Maxwell J. Richards, Treasurer; Walter Latham, Hospitality Chairman; Temple Hughes, Historian; Gilda Phillips, Publicity Chairman. Janet Bruce was appointed Membership Coordinator. Driftwood XVI contained 116 pages, and was the first book to have a spine with “perfect binding”.
Driftwood staff: James H. Badger, Business Manager; Barbara and Charles Hubbard, Literary Editors; Rosie Lee Greene, Art Editor. Maxwell J. Richards prepared the manuscript and Peggy O. Downey was proof reader. The launch party was held at Books-a-Million, in Melbourne. Driftwood XVI was dedicated to the memory of Larry Heiler and Philip Reisler. Florence Poor produced a monthly Scribblers newsletter and paid all production costs for printing and mailing the newsletter.
Janet Bruce became President this year. Gilda Phillips, Vice President; Martha Hope, Secretary; Maxwell J. Richards, Treasurer; Temple Hughes, Historian; Carol and Channing Hayes, Membership Coordinators; Walter Latham, Hospitality; Helen Spataro, Nominations; Bernard Dooley, Publicity Chairman. Scribblers paid for the production and mailing of a newsletter. Carroll Williams was appointed Newsletter Editor and introduced a single-page format to control costs. Driftwood XVII contained 120 pages. Driftwood staff. James H. Badger, Business Manager; Marie T. Plavin, Literary Editor, Fay Picardi, Art Editor. Maxwell J. Richards prepared the manuscript, and Peggy O. Downey proofread. The launch party was held at Books-a-Million, in Melbourne. Driftwood XVII was dedicated to all the poets and writers who contributed.
In November 1998 the following officers were elected for 1999: Janet Bruce, President; Gilda Phillips, Vice President; Evadne Chin and Carolyn Couto, Secretaries; Maxwell J. Richards, Treasurer; Temple Hughes, Historian; Carol and Channing Hayes, Membership Coordinators; Walter Latham, Hospitality; Martha Hope, Nominations; Marilyn Martin, Publicity Chairman. Jim Sineri was appointed Newsletter Editor. Driftwood XVIII contained 93 pages. Driftwood staff., James Badger, Business Manager; Janet Bruce and A. Helen Spataro, Literary Editors. I. Jean Pastula, Ph.D., Art Editor. Maxwell J. Richards prepared the manuscript, and Peggy O. Downey proofread. Driftwood XVIII was dedicated in loving memory of Carolyn Hutcheson and Herbert Wagner. A launch party was held at Books-a-Million, in Melbourne.
Elected in November 1999 were: Carroll Williams, President; Walt Latham, Vice President; Carol Hayes, Secretary; Harry Jennings, Treasurer; Carol Hayes, membership coordinator; Marilyn Martin, Publicity Chairman; Gilda Phillips, Historian; Sally Fairchild, hospitality; Stuart Rothwell, nominations. Driftwood XIX staff: Edith Thomas, Literary Editor; I. Jean Pastula, Ph.D., Art Editor; Jim Badger, business manager. Seventy-two literary submissions were accepted for publication in Driftwood XIX, along with twelve art entries, and contains approximately 160 pages of poetry, prose, and art.
Driftwood XIX is the first anthology to have an ISBN number. The ISBN was donated by club member Sally Fairchild. Also for the first time, literary works were submitted in electronic format in addition to the required paper format. Fifty percent of the current Driftwood publication was submitted in electronic format either on computer disk or via the Internet.
Currently over fifty percent of Scribbler members have E-mail. President Carroll Williams took advantage of this and initiated an electronic communications system that combines E-mail with a telephone tree to reach all Scribbler members with important information in a matter of hours instead of days. In addition, Carroll established the first Scribblers Website at http://www.geocities.com/brevardscribblers. The Website makes full and complete information about Scribblers of Brevard available to anyone in the world who visits the site.
In August 2000 Scribblers of Brevard established two annual literary prizes for student writers; one for prose, and one for poetry. Each prize will be named in honor of a Scribbler member who has contributed to the advancement of the club. Prizes for the year 2000 were designated The Martha Hope Prize for Poetry, and The Minnie Ragland Award for Prose. The prize competition will run through the fall academic semester each year. The competition will be open to a Brevard school, college, or university chosen by the Scribblers board. Brevard Community College was chosen to participate in the first annual competition during the fall of 2000.
The introduction of Driftwood XIX in October 2000 marks the twentieth anniversary of Scribblers of Brevard.
The history of the club from 1992 through 2000 was taken from information provided by Janet Bruce, Carroll Williams, and club Historian Gilda Phillips.
In November of 2000 the officers elected for 2001 were: Carroll Williams, President; Walt Latham, Vice President; Carol Hayes, Secretary; Harry Jennings, Treasurer; Marilyn Martin, Publicity; Carolyn Newby, Historian; Carol Hayes, Membership Coordinator; Sally Fairchild, Hospitality; Nominating Committee Chairman, Bernard Dooley: Driftwood XX staff: Edith Thomas, Literary Editor; Carolyn Staves, Art Editor; Jim Badger, Managing Editor; Peggy Downey, Proofreader.
In January our annual luncheon was held at the Quality Suites where the winners of the writing competition for college students were honored. The Martha Hope Prize for Poetry was presented to Andrea Rothe, and the Minnie Ragland Prize for Prose went to Nancy Andrews.
In May we were sad to learn that Carroll Williams was leaving us for a new home in Arkansas. Walt Latham stepped up from his position as vice president to become interim president until the November election of officers for 2002. Edith Thomas stepped in as Vice President. Bill Allen assumed the able management of our website after the departure of Carroll Williams. Members were invited to contribute their work for the enjoyment of web visitors.
Driftwood XX was published this year and it is the first anthology to have a cover done in color, beautifully created by our art editor, Carolyn Staves. We are very proud of this professional-looking book. It is dedicated to the memory of two members who passed away during the year, Janet Stanbro and Alan C. Thomas. There are 114 poems and prose works and 20 art works including the cover. The number of pages has been increased to 180, our largest book ever. We are grateful for the difficult work of our judges: Kit Adams, Marguerite Miller and Dee Carroll, poetry; Ann Samuels, Pheby Weber and Lyn Dowling, prose.
The cost of publishing Driftwood has increased to the point where giving a free copy to contributors is no longer feasible. A reduced price of $7.00 for the first copy and $10.00 for subsequent copies at our book-signing at Barnes & Noble was agreed upon. There were two signings for this book, one at the Merritt Island location and one in Melbourne. Our printing of 300 copies is nearly depleted.
In November 2001 the proposed slate of officers for the year 2002 was unanimously adopted. Edith Thomas, President; Bill Killen, Vice President; Leila Harber, Secretary; Bill Cedar, Treasurer; Walt Latham, Hospitality Chairperson; Carolyn Newby, Historian with Gilda Phillips as Back Up; Marilyn Martin, Publicity Chairperson; Jim Badger, Driftwoodmanaging Editor; Luigi Tucciarone, Literary Editor; Carolyn Staves, Art Editor; Leila Harber, Nominating Committee Chairperson; Carol Hayes, Membership Coordinator and Peggy Downey, Proofreader
In January 2002 the annual luncheon at the Quality Suites was well-attended. In our writing competition for college students the award for best prose was presented to Dave Hellyer, and the poetry award was presented to Hananiah Russell. The award for prose was given in honor of Hank Knefley, and the award for poetry honored Stuart Rothwell.
This year the Scribblers club has entered into its first collaborative effort. The Strawbridge Art League invited us along with the Space Coast Writers Guild and Cape Canaveral Chapter of National League of American Pen Women to join them in an event which will represent the theme Florida Florida Florida. The juried exhibition of visual and written works will be judged by separate committees with three awards to be presented in each of three categories: art, poetry, and prose. Deadline for entries in all categories is September 9, 2002. Only members of these four organizations are eligible to compete.
Literary and art work for Driftwood XXI has been received and sent to the judges. Publication of the book will take place in the fall. We hope to have books in hand in time for holiday gift-giving.
We have a newsletter called Bylines which is a new publication this year. Our very capable editor is Lou Belcher. This is a big help in keeping up with the workings of the club and the accomplishments of individual members. It also keeps us abreast of other happenings in the writing world.
The club has made a revision to the governing principles of Scribblers this year. The section concerning the annual literary awards for student writers has been removed in order that we may have more flexibility in determining what we can do to encourage budding writers.
Bill Allen continues to perform the webmaster duties, assisted by Leila Harber. The site grows as new ideas are presented. The work they do is much appreciated.
This year the club held two luncheons: the annual member-paid get-together in January and a second club-paid event at San Remos due to a surplus in funds for the year.
The club also sponsored two writing contests: the annual high school contest won by Laura Howard for poetry and Alex Panaccione for prose, and our first members-only contest championed by Jean Pastula. The “FIrst Issue” Contest was won by Peggy Downey (1st) and Laurel Washam (2nd and 3rd) for poetry and Walt Latham (1st), Gilda Philips (2nd) and Frank Cona (3rd) for prose. Jean published the winning entries in a magazine appropriately named “First Issue.”
Driftwood XXII was another resounding success with Lou Tucciarone filling the role of Literay Editor and Carolyn Staves, replaced by Leila Harber, in the role of Art Editor. Congratulations to everyone involved.
Lou Belcher continued her role in the production of Bylines, our club newsletter, and Bill Allen continued his role as webmaster for the Scribblers website.
Officers elected for next year include: President: Edith Thomas, Vice President: Walt Latham, Secretary: Leila Harber, Treasurer: Bill Cedar, Membership Coordinator: Carol Hayes, Literary Editor: Peggy Downey, Art Editor: Laurel Washam, Publishing Editor: Leila Harber, Business Manager: Dianne Marcum, Publicity: Barbara Greenslate, and Hospitality: Kevin Hurley and Bette Kopenhafer
Sadly we had to say good-bye to our long-time member and dear friend John Gedney, including a tribute to his memory at our April 26th meeting.
In a year that was, hopefully, like no other, we had four meeting cancellations due to hurricanes and lost our long-term member Hank Knefley.
In spite of the absences we managed to hold our annual luncheon in January and a second club-paid luncheon in June. With Leila Harber filling the role of Publishing Editor, Peggy Downey as Literary Editor and Laurel Washam as Art Editor, we managed to put out a very professional-looking Driftwood XXIII. Unfortunately the annual high school writing contest had to be cancelled due to lack of response, but we did manage to once again hold a contest for our members, the winners to be published by Jean Pastula in the second First Issue magazine.
Officers elected for the New Year include: President: Jean Pastula, Vice President: Walt Latham, Treasurer: Bill Cedar, Historian: Lou Tucciaroni, Hospitality: Bette Kopenhafer, Managing Editor: Dianne Marcum, Literary Editor and Proofreader: Peggy Downey, and Art Editor: Edith Thomas.