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President’s page – July 2020

Summer is half over and we continue in this COVID-19 crisis. Schools are in confusion about when and how to return, hospitals are overflowing with patients and limiting non-essential surgeries and businesses are partially open or closed. We, as writers, have many different stories to work on to help folks deal with all the anxiety. Are you including anything about these times in your stories or articles?

Are you creating, as our late great Representative and statesman John Lewis said, “Good trouble?” Because of the First Amendment, we writers have a responsibility to speak. and write to inspire others to make certain of justice for all as people in Arizona and throughout the nation peacefully protest the denial of rights and free speech.

I have been inspired by Lewis’ life and work from his time as a teenager on the lunch counters to old age at the Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC, where he never stopped speaking up for the rights of all peoples.

We would be celebrating the successful completion of another Payson Book Festival by now, but must wait until next year. We have been enjoying APW virtual meetings from Central with excellent speakers. Anne Videan regaled us with her ghost writing tales and the research involved. She gave us some great information about what to charge and what to include in a contract. Next month, Susan Anderson will share what it takes to write and illustrate children’s books. Rim Country members enjoy sharing their current projects. Be sure to take a look at what ASU offers to writers each month as I send information about their programs to you.

I spent some time walking and breathing in the clean, fragrant air of the pine forests in Northern Arizona this month with Mac and our dog, Louie. We even had the good fortune of watching some wild horses and yearlings nibbling grass in the meadow with the protective stallion eyeing our every move. A great time to refresh and renew.

Keep writing,

Marie A. Fasano
President
Arizona Professional Writers

President’s page – June 2020

Our APW Annual meeting was a success. We had a quorum and were able to make some important decisions. If you were there, thank you, if you missed it, try again next year.

We honored our Arizona APW Communicator of Achievement, Connie Cockrell, and gave her a gift of the Native American Storyteller doll. Connie has done so much for the Rim Country chapter as Chapter Director and coordinating the Payson Book Festival for six years. She started writing novels in 2011 with a NaNoWriNo project and now has 20 to her name! Congratulations to Connie.

We purchased a ZOOM PRO virtual account that members can use for their own promotion. All you need to do is let me know when you want to schedule an event to promote yourself and your work. Since someone had to be the Administrator of the account, I got the job. This is an excellent perk for members. I am willing to schedule a one-on-one with any member if they want to learn the process. It worked really well for the APW Annual meeting with shared documents, a power point presentation and discussion among those present.

We have updated the Bylaws so they are consistent with our current goals. Go to the website to the member-only section. You will need the code to get in and can contact Jaimie Bruzenak, website coordinator, or me for the latest code.

We are promoting our book, Skirting Traditions. The book, written by APW members, has wonderful accounts of early women Arizona writers. It is available on Amazon and from other booksellers. In addition, members can purchase copies for personal use or for resale at a discounted price by contacting your Chapter Director or Marie Fasano. One idea to promote the book would be to give a copy to your local library.

With COVID-19 cases increasing and hospitals ICU’s filling up, please stay well, wash your hands, wear a mask and encourage others to do the same. A friend gave me a button that I wear. It says,” I wear my mask TO HONOR AND PROTECT YOU.”

Enjoy your summer and keep writing.

Marie A Fasano
President
Arizona Professional Writers

President’s Page – May 2020

Arizona is opening after the shelter in place orders for several weeks due to the COVID-19 virus. How are you coping? Are you ready to join the crowds on the streets and in the stores? I’m not. I wear a mask when I’m out in public and keep social distancing within a group. Family and friends from the East Coast and California are being very cautious. Here in Payson, not so much.

My home town of Elmhurst, New York has been particularly devastated, with overcrowding in the hospitals and funeral homes. Family members who are doctors and nurses in New York have talked of the lack of PPE equipment, wearing the same mask several days in a row. Maybe that’s why I’m still cautious and not ready to join the throng.

Are any of our APW members writing stories that have to do with the corona virus? I would love to hear from you. What have you been doing at home? Writing more? I’m reading lots more. I put down one book and pick up another, or turn on my Kindle and think. “I should be writing more not just reading.” Alas, my energy level has been low, but hopefully, coming back soon.

Here in Rim Country we started our monthly meetings via ZOOM and had some good interactions with our members, catching up on what they are writing. I love the way Marsha Ward talks to her characters. This time she is asking them how to end the story. Each author has her tricks to keep the writing flowing.

Our virtual APW Board meeting will be May 30th. Contact me at mfasano.apw@gmail.com if you want to attend and I will send you the ZOOM information. We will have a virtual celebration of our Communicator of the Year and APW meeting this summer. We hope many of you will join us. We will email you with more information later.

Keep Writing,

Marie A. Fasano
President
Arizona Professional Writers

President’s Page – April, 2020

President’s Page
May 2020

This month has been an interesting one with many of us “sheltering in place” at home. How many more Zoom, Facetime or other virtual meetings have you had? I’m getting quite proficient at Zoom- even had a surprise 90th Birthday party for my husband Mac with his family for him!

Due to the COVID-19 virus issues, the APW Board has decided to cancel the May 30th Conference for this year. We have scheduled a virtual APW Board meeting for that day. Anyone who would like to attend can let me know. I will send you the ZOOM contact info. It might be a way to get more involved without traveling to a meeting. We will announce the Arizona Communicator of the Year. We are looking at some future virtual meetings and will keep you informed.

NFPW has also cancelled their National Conference in Arkansas. A conference will be held in 2021.

People are watching more TV, spending more time getting their news through newspapers and online. Have you thought about sending an article to these media outlets that include information about how the COVID-19 virus is affecting people? There are so many stories out there.

2020 has been designated as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife by the World Health Organization. Since one of my careers included nursing, my intention for my newspaper column “Roaming the Rim,” in the Payson Roundup included writing stories about nurses in various arenas. In the last article, I covered information about how the coronavirus affects the work of the home health nurse. I have some other ideas for articles because of the current situation. I imagine you can come up with some as well. What’s going on in your community?

Stay well. Keep your distance. Wear your mask and wash your hands often.

Keep writing,

Marie

Marie Fasano, President
Arizona Professional Writers

President’s Page – March, 2020

President’s Page
March 2020

Spring blossoms and wildflowers are beginning to bloom in the mountains of Payson, AZ. Usually, I find this time of year exhilarating- this month not so much. We stay home as much as possible to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19. I send healing energy thoughts to my family and friends and now include all the members of APW.

On March 6 we lost a long time member, Carol Osman Brown. Carol had been a member for many, many years, giving of her time and expertise to many of the members of APW. She wrote important newspaper articles and taught journalism with a passion. She and her husband Bing, who we lost last year, were a fixture at our meetings. She helped to start the Payson Book Festival, Inc. and worked energetically in getting sponsors. If you want to send a note of condolence to her sons please contact me and I will send you their address mfasano.apw@gmail.com

The APW Conference yearly planning has set May 30 as the date. It takes place at the Mazatzal Casino in Payson, AZ. This will be a time of gathering and reconnecting. We will have a guest speaker, Communicator of Achievement award, luncheon and a General meeting, including voting on the Bylaws and selection of new officers. Later in the afternoon we will travel to the Rim Country Museum and Zane Grey cabin. If we need to cancel due to the CDC guidelines, we will let you know.

The following members have agreed to run for office:
Marie Fasano- President
Bobbie Bennett –Vice President
Connie Cockrell – Second Vice President and Membership Chair
Cheryl Kohaut – Treasurer
Brenda Whiteside – Secretary
If anyone else has an interest please let Connie know at conniecockrell@gmail.com

So, since we are forced to stay at home, we can write more!

Keep Writing,
Marie A. Fasano
APW President

President’s Page – February 2020

Marie Fasano

In February, Black history Month, I remember the black authors who have influenced my writing and my life. My early thirties were rebellious years for me. I remember reading Maya Angelou’s first book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and thinking how brave she acted. I wondered if I could be as strong as she in difficult times.

For writers, we have Angelou’s inspiring words. “There is no greater agony then bearing an untold story inside of you.” We must write. We must put finger to keyboard and “get it out.”

Another book by a black author that had an impact on my life was, James Mc Bride’s The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother. I had adopted an eight-year-old biracial girl and I needed to understand her experience. His poignant story told of his mother who was loving and caring to all her children, color didn’t matter. I think of these authors often and especially during February.

On Saturday, March 7th our APW Board meeting convenes at 10:00 AM in Phoenix. Any member may join us to learn how APW plans for the future. Email me if you want to attend.

We had scheduled six members to attend the ASU Desert Nights Literary Conference on February 22. After months of planning, the one day of pouring rain cancelled the outdoor exhibit. We’ll try again next year!.

Our APW Conference plans for May 9 are proceeding. It will be held in Payson. More next month.

Keep Writing,

Marie A. Fasano
APW President

President’s message – January, 2020

APW Anthology

As we welcome 2020, we are excited about our many new members coming to our programs in Phoenix Central and Payson Rim Country each month and hearing exceptional speakers.

One item in our history that we almost forgot about is our book, Skirting Traditions. Members of the Arizona Press Women put together this wonderful volume of Arizona Women Writers and Journalists with Brenda Warneka editing. Many of our members, who started the organization in 1953, are included as part of this history.

The book was a project of the Arizona Press Women, Inc. in affiliation with the National Federation of Press Women Education Fund. In 2012, it was approved as an Arizona Centennial Legacy Project by the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission. Profits from the sale of the book will fund scholarships for Arizona students at Arizona colleges and universities.

Recently, I reread several sections. In the first chapter of the book, member Jan Cleere writes of Sharlot Mabridth Hall who fell in love with the Arizona Territory and helped push it to statehood. Sharlot was one of the first inductee’s in the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame.

Member Marion Gold showcased member Pam Stevenson’s story of being one of the first women newscasters on KOOL-TV. Pam did ten interviews a week and has won numerous awards for her documentaries including News Women: 50 years of Change, which is a celebration of Arizona Press Women’s 50th Anniversary.

One of our goals this year is to reintroduce you to this fabulous historical book and encourage you to purchase it through your usual outlets, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. and support our scholarship fund.

Keep Writing,

Marie A Fasano
President, Arizona Professional Writers

President’s message – December 2019

Christmas Luncheon APW RIm Chapter 2019

President’s Page –  December 2019

As we end this year, we want to thank each member who has been participating in all of our monthly meetings with many excellent speakers.

What we have accomplished in 2019

  • We have increased our State and National membership.
  • The PHX Central Chapter is up and running again, thanks to Barbara Lacy. (She will need more help in 2020.)
  • Southern Chapter had a meeting and Barbara Marriot has agreed to be the contact person there.
  • Our Trade Name is current with the Secretary of State.
  • We revised our Bylaws and will be voting on them in May at our Spring Conference May 9.
  • We were involved with ASU for several programs.
  • Our joint fall conference with ANA was a success. Bobbie Bennett helped me with the logistics.
  • We had a successful Payson Book Festival AGAIN thanks to Connie Cockrell and all our volunteers.
  • The website and Faceboook pages are current with interesting information thanks to Jaimie Bruzenak.

The APW Treasury is in good hands thanks to Cheryl Kohout.

Member News

  • Carol Osmon Brown lost her husband and best friend, Bing this year. She had to resign as Secretary and moved with her family to California. I keep her updated about APW happenings.
  • We lost a long time member in 2019 Jane Eppinga and will be having a celebration of her life next year.

The Board of Directors:  We will be having an election in May 2020. In the meantime, we want to thank Joan Westlake for her many years of service on the Board. She is busy with her consulting work. She will be turning over the membership duties to Connie Cockrell as of January 2020. Brenda Whiteside has agreed to replace Carol Osman Brown as Secretary. We thank them for their willingness to help at this time.

Enjoy your Holidays!!

Keep Writing,

Marie A Fasano
President, Arizona Professional Writers

President’s Message – November, 2019

President’s message for November, 2019

Marie Fasano

In November we start planning for the holidays. Some may have family members over to their home; others share the days with friends and neighbors. Lots of writing takes place even if it’s just in cards and email notes.

This year, my first Thanksgiving as president, I am writing to you, the members of APW, to say “Thank you” for your commitment to your chapter by attending meetings to share your writing stories and learn more from excellent speakers.

We have recruited several new members in Central and Rim Country Chapters. There are new ideas to get the word out about you as a writer and to promote APW. Jaimie Bruzenak, our webmaster, has sent out a call to see who might be interested in participating in developing a short video for YouTube or an audio Podcast. Let us know what you think about this idea.

We are excited to announce our plans for 2020 including:

APW representation at the ASU Desert Nights Rising Stars Writers Conference on February 22 by six members: Jan Cleere, Jody Sharpe, Susan Anderson, Jane Ruby, Mary Rechkemmer Meyer and Barbara Lacy. To help with the registration fee, each author will pay a small amount to participate with APW taking up the remainder of the cost. This is just one advantage of being an APW member.

Plans are in place for a spring conference on May 7 in Payson. More info later. Save the date.

Don’t forget Rim Country’s Payson Book Festival July 18, 2020. Sign up early in January to hold your place.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Keep Writing,

Marie A Fasano

President, Arizona Professional Writers

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