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New endeavors await this spunky writer

Published on: March 15, 2017

Penny Fletcher retires from newspaper writing

The name Penny Fletcher will be greatly missed from the pages of this newspaper. Fletcher has been covering local news in the South Shore area since 1984. She began her freelance writing career at the Tampa Tribune for Frank Sargent’s Outdoor section. At that same time she was writing fiction and nonfiction for national magazines and even for Amazon’s forerunner to the Kindle —­ BookSurge — through the 1990s.

She has received at least 25 honors and awards from the Florida Press Association and the Community Papers of Florida organizations while covering news in the area.

Almost 40 years ago Penny Fletcher arrived in Florida with $300, three kids and a rusted-out car. Things changed considerably since then. After 34 years of writing local news, Fletcher will no longer be chasing stories around the South County area, but she is only downshifting one gear.

Penny Fletcher, retires from newspaper writing after 34 years in South Shore.

Fletcher joined The Observer News family in 2007 and has been filling the pages with interesting news and features for the past 10 years.

Her favorite quote is: “One thing about my job is: You never know what’s coming next. I’ve gone from having tea in a china cup at a multi-million-dollar mansion, to drinking coffee out of a corn can in a homeless camp. And I’ve learned something from just about everybody I’ve ever interviewed.”

While Fletcher may be stepping away from the hustle and bustle of chasing news stories, she will continue to promote her books and editing services. She has three books available on Amazon now: Where The Wild Rose Grows, about a stolen native American girl who finds her true identity; The Sumerian Secret, a fiction based on fact about 5,000-year-old texts and ancient legends; and American Gestapo, a political book that works historically through the U.S. Constitution, the intent of the founders, and what could happen without constant vigilance by “normal, everyday people.”

Her latest endeavor is writing family memoirs and having them professionally bound as keepsakes, along with her other editing services.

The decision to slow down from reporting was hastened a few months ago by a severe auto accident and its resulting surgeries.

Fletcher’s writing will be greatly missed by all, as will her optimistic enthusiasm.

For a complete list of editing and publishing services Fletcher can provide, visit her website at