President’s message – August, 2019

The Arizona Professional Writers Group is reawakening and moving on. We have new members who are excited to be a part of this eclectic group of writers. While there are many writers groups in Arizona, each with their own genre and interest, our group welcomes all writers, both professional and those trying out their craft. Members can attend monthly chapter meetings as well as our annual state conference.

Monthly Chapter Meetings

In Payson, and now again in Phoenix, we have monthly chapter meetings with invited guests to share their specialty. At chapter meetings we also share our current writing projects and learn from each other. We reach out into the community to share our love of the writing process to work with children in various literacy projects. Contact Barbara Lacy in Phoenix at lacyarts@gmail.com or, in Payson, contact Connie Cockrell at connie.cockrell@gmail.com. Announcements of meetings are posted on our blog at https://arizonaprofessionalwriters.org/ and you can “follow” and receive alerts when something is posted; or follow us on Facebook and receive updates and meeting announcements that way. https://www.facebook.com/groups/ArizonaPressWomen/

Fall State Conference

For our fall conference, we have a variety of workshop speakers. As an affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women, NFPW, we are thrilled that the President of this prestigious organization, Gwen Larson, has agreed to come to Arizona to meet our members. We want you to step up and be present for the conference on Saturday, September 28 at the Wild horse Pass Casino in Chandler. Registration is open on our website at arizonaprofessionalwriters.org.

We will first have a membership meeting; you’ll be sent an agenda prior to that. Let me know if there is any topic that you want to bring up at the meeting. One order of business is to vote on the revised and updated Bylaws that have been completed. You’ll receive a copy to review before the conference, so you have time to read it.

For our program, we’ll be offering several topics of importance to writers. A critical topic is “First Amendment Rights.” First Amendment Rights are everything to a writer. We have the perfect workshop for you with experts in their fields. Gregg Leslie is the executive director of the First Amendment Clinic at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Gwen Larson represents the First Amendment Network at the NFPW.

I want to remind you of the NFPW Code of Ethics to review and think about. It is one of the reasons I chose to have speakers on the First Amendment at the conference.

NFPW Code of Ethics

As a professional communicator, I recognize my responsibility to the public which has placed its trust and confidence in my work, and will endeavor to do nothing to abuse this obligation.

 With truth as my ultimate goal, I will adhere to the highest standards of professional communication, never consciously misleading reader, viewer, or listener; and will avoid any compromise of my objectivity or fairness.

Because I believe that professional communicators must be obligated only to the people’s right to know, I affirm that freedom of the press is to be guarded as an inalienable right of the citizens of a free society.

 I pledge to use this freedom wisely and to uphold the right of communicators to express unpopular opinions as well as the right to agree with the majority.

Do you want to bring in more money writing? Mark Athitakis, who has been a freelance writer for more than 20 years and contributed to publications including the Washington Post, New York Times and LA Times, will show you how.

Writers all need comic relief now and then so we have invited Jodi Weisberg, stand-up comic and former Bureau Chief and legal reporter for the Arizona Journal, and retired lawyer, to help us include humor in our writing.

Kristin Gilger, senior associate dean in charge of professional programs for the ASU Cronkite School and co-author of There’s No Crying in Newsrooms: What Women Have Learned about What It Takes to Lead, will share her insights.

I’m looking forward to filling our venue with members, friends and students. Students of English and journalism are invited to attend at a reduced rate. Register at arizonaprofessionalwriters.org. Click on the tab that says “Fall Conference.”

Keep writing,

Marie A. Fasano

Arizona Professional Writers, President

 

 

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