Presidents’ Message – September/October

Gwen Larson & Marie Fasano at the Fall Conference

September was so busy; I didn’t get a message out. So, I’ll combine two months.

Fall Conference
The APW/ANA Fall Conference, “Freedom to Write,” was a success! The speakers were right on with their topics. I picked up insights with each one.

Mark Athitakis gave us ideas on the attributes of a successful freelancer with concrete information about publications and how to approach editors. Jodi Weisburg not only did a great standup comic routine but talked about different kinds of humor with examples of how to use them in your writing. Gregg Leslie and Gwen Larson inspired us with ideas about who will defend the First Amendment and how we can access information for our research.

General Meeting
At our General meeting at the conference we had reports from our Central and Rim Country Chapters. Central is starting monthly meetings again with the first on Oct 12, 2019 with guest speaker Connie Cockrell. (See the October 3 blog entry for more information.) Rim Country continues to conduct their monthly meetings with excellent speakers and some months with the group sharing their writing projects and getting help from each other. The 6th Payson Book Festival is getting started.

The Treasurer’s report showed we are solvent and well within our budget this year. Let me know if those members who were not present at the meeting want a copy of the report. I will send it to you.

Our membership has increased, and we now have 46 members! So, two goals of our current Board have been met – a Fall Conference and increase in membership. Great News!!

We have updated our Bylaws and they were sent out to all members with some comments in return. Since we did not have a quorum, even with proxies, we will vote on the Bylaws at the Spring Conference.

Yes, we will have a Spring Conference, the date to be set at our November 16 Board of Directors meeting in Tucson. That will be followed by a Southern Chapter meeting and get together.

Your President has been networking this year with several literary and journalism groups throughout Arizona getting the APW name out there. We partnered with the Arizona Newspaper Association for our Fall Conference and with the Virginia G. Piper Institute for Creative Writing sponsor our speaker, Mark Athitakis.

We plan to give scholarships to students in the field of communications and honor them at the Spring Conference.

NFPW President
We were honored to have Gwendolynne Larson, our NFPW President, attend our Fall Conference. Gwen interacted with our members and talked about NFPW as a Federation rather than an Association. It is an organization, comprised of a set of smaller affiliates which seeks to bring attention to issues that are of importance to its members. Each affiliate that comprises the federation maintains control over its own operations. She encouraged members to join the First Amendment Network to keep abreast of free speech issues. She also encouraged us to get involved in the NFPW Communications Contest.

NFPW Communications Contest
We encourage our members to participate in the “At Large” section of the 2020 annual National Federation of Press Women’s communications contest because APW currently does not have its own state contest. The contest is open to writers, authors, copy editors, public affairs professionals, photographers, publishers or others in the communications field. Entries must be published in 2019. If you win first place in the “at large” contest, you must join NFPW to advance to the national level. Check the NFPW website for more information.

There are over 120 categories and sub-categories! Some forget we are an affiliate of a national organization and that membership allows us to participate in this prestigious contest – a major benefit to our members. In 2019 four members won awards. Let’s increase that number in 2020.

We also plan to have an Arizona Communicator of Achievement Award, so be thinking of who you want to nominate.

As you can see, APW is the move. We have much to offer to members and to the community. If you have been inactive for awhile, won’t you come to one of our meetings and get involved?

Keep Writing,

Marie A. Fasano
President, Arizona Professional Writers

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