President’s message for November, 2019
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!
Marie A Fasano
President, Arizona Professional Writers
September was so busy; I didn’t get a message out. So, I’ll combine two months.
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.
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.
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?
Marie A. Fasano
President, Arizona Professional Writers
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 email@example.com or, in Payson, contact Connie Cockrell at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.”
Marie A. Fasano
Arizona Professional Writers, President
Most of July was spent getting ready for the APW Rim Country Payson Book Festival July 20.
It was a wonderful success. The new Kids Zone had dozens of little ones giggling with the puppet show and lots of smiles from the parents. The workshops, especially the favorites, Marshal Trimble, Arizona’s Historian, and Buckshot Dot, with her songs and poetry, played to a packed room. The 90-plus authors sold many books and enjoyed talking with their readers.
I ran around handling AV snafus and any other problem that came along. It was a fun and exhausting day that we plan to repeat next year.
Now on to the fall conference – FREEDOM TO WRITE – at the Wild Horse Pass Casino in Chandler…. SAVE THE DATE Saturday, 28, 2019. Registration will be through Eventbrite.com.
The Presenters are all set. We are so pleased that Gwen Larson, our NFPW President, will be there to speak to our members in the morning and in the afternoon to share a panel on First Amendment Advocacy. She will be joined on the panel by Gregg Leslie, the executive director of the First Amendment Clinic at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, on the topic Who Will Defend the First Amendment?
At the request of members, Mark Athitakis will present Writing for Free? How to Make Money in Today’s Media Market. For a little levity in the program, we have invited APW member Jodi Weisberg to present a stand-up comic routine – Freedom to be Funny: Stand Up or Sit Down & Write.
For our luncheon speaker The Arizona Newspaper Association brings Matt Adelman, incoming President of the National Newspapers Association, to discuss current issues facing journalists. To round out the day, Kristen Gilger, senior associate dean in charge of professional programs for the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, will speak on the topic of Women in Journalism.
We haven’t had a conference in a few years, so I am excited to meet one of my goals as President and, together with the Board of Directors, bring you this fabulous line-up of speakers in our joint conference with ANA.
As a final note, I will be attending the memorial service for Bing Brown on Saturday 10:00 am August 24 at the Community Presbyterian Church in Payson. It would be wonderful for Carol if she could see some of her APW friends in attendance as well.
Enjoy the rest of the summer.
Marie A. Fasano
President’s Page June 2019
Things are happening!
Bing Brown: As some of you may know, our friend Bing Brown, husband of long-time member Carol Osman Brown, made his transition on May 31, 2019. Bing was a wonderful support to Carol and to APW. He was always there to help and to take photos for us and did it with a smile. We will miss you Bing.
APW Fall Conference: We are well into preparation for the Fall Conference Sept 28, 2019. Be looking to your email and on the arizonaprofessionalwriters.org website for registration information in the next few weeks. We are holding a joint conference with the Arizona Newspapers Association. I met with Tim Thomas, President of ANA, and his staff to plan the conference. We are excited to work together. The day, running from 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., will include a General Membership meeting, our own meetings and a joint luncheon. The Wild Horse Casino Hotel in Chandler, where we are holding the conference, is giving us a special rate for those who would like to spend the night. We will need volunteers to help get the word out and be there to help on Sept 28. Let me know how you want to participate.
Payson Book Festival: Right now, I am deep in planning for the Payson Book Festival Saturday, July 20, 2019. The APW Rim Country members have been hard at work for months. All the Media work is done (my job). The volunteers are all lined up and ready (also my job). The 90 authors and vendors are set to go and the Mazatzal Casino is in good form (Connie Cockrell’s job). We have auction items (due to the gathering skills of Bobbie Bennett) the written program is set (Marsha Ward’s job). We have many sponsors and the children’s programs are ready (thanks to other members of our committee from the community).
Literacy: The Payson Chapter does meet once a month to bring in outside speakers for information and enlightenment to our members, but we are also doing things that I think the chapters might try. We are working with other organizations in the community to promote literacy for children. The children have produced a book and are working on a puppet show for the Payson Book Festival. How many other ideas can members come up with in your own community?
Central Chapter meeting: I attended the Central chapter meeting on Saturday July 20th at the home of Barbara Lacy. In attendance were Lois McFarland, Emily Cary, Brenda Warneka, Bobbie Bennett, Pam Stevenson, Barbara and me. The group was pleased we are having a fall conference and several folks agreed to help with getting the word out. The group wanted to continue the APW group and is planning their next meeting, a luncheon, in Westminster Village in Scottsdale on September 14. Barbara Lacy will let you know more, later. Those in Central can put it on your calendar.
Virginia Piper: That same after noon I attended the Virginia Piper Inaugural meeting of the #PhxLit serve : A collective space for creative writing community organizers to stay connected and communicate as they work towards common goals .
My goals were to network with the literary community; make them aware of APW and the Payson Book Festival. Those goals were met. I have several more contacts who are interested in APW, our fall conference and the Payson Book Festival.
Bylaws: Now back to work on the draft of the Bylaws revision. When I accepted the job of President, my promise was to work to revitalize APW and that’s what I am spending my time doing. It’s exciting to meet active, former and new members.
See you at the Payson Book Festival July 20!
Marie A. Fasano
This has been a month of travel for me for happy and sad reasons. My family held a memorial for my sister, Fran in Long Island, New York near where we grew up. Her children and grandchildren put together a video about her life. They truly honored their “Grammie.” It brought back many memories of growing up in the city. The good part, as with any reunion, was connecting with my diverse family. We then drove to Colorado for a grandson’s high school graduation. As we traveled, I noticed all the variety of colorful blooms from the dessert to the snow peaked mountains.
It reminds me that May also brings the flowering of new ideas. Our plans to revitalize the organization are coming to fruition. This month we finalized our fall conference. On September 28, 2019 we will join the Arizona Newspapers Association for a joint conference at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino in Chandler, Arizona.
The morning sessions will be the APW gathering and general meeting. The luncheon with a guest speaker and afternoon sessions will be of interest to both APW/ANA members. APW has not had an annual conference for a few years and this was one of my goals on becoming President. So be ready to hear more about the conference on our website and Facebook page.
The Rim Country Chapter has completed its school literacy project together with Gila County Library District and the Payson Book Festival, Inc. Through its after-school program, Payson Community Kids now has a book written and illustrated by the children that will be sold at the Payson Book Festival. Their MicrozineWorkshop with Phoenix Poet Laureate Rosemarie Dombrowski and sixth-grade students at Rim Country Middle School produced many Micropoetry books.
Barbara Lacy, director of the Phoenix Chapter and I are planning a gathering of the Phoenix area members at her home on Saturday, June 22 , 10-11 a.m. Take an hour out of your day to join us. We would like to connect with all the Phoenix members. Plan to be there to get an update on APW happenings and future plans. Contact Barbara at email@example.com.
To promote APW, I am planning to attend an inaugural meeting in June of The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing #PhxLitServ, a network for creative writing community organizers to come together and work towards common goals. I hope to make some important contacts and reach new members.
The Bylaws Committee continues to look at what needs changing in our evolving organization. As a member you can view the Bylaws on the member page of our website. We would be pleased to have member input for needed changes. If you don’t have the code for the member page contact our webmaster Jaimie Bruzenak firstname.lastname@example.org
Arizona Professional Writers
“Those April Showers bring May flowers.” What beautiful carpets of flowers we have throughout Arizona because of all the rain this year. On a personal note, the song was one my sister and I sang about three years in a row as children in Mt. Manor, Pennsylvania at talent shows each year. She recently passed away and that song and picture came to mind.
Bobbie Bennett, first VP and Event Planner, and I continue to work on the fall conference. The date is still fluid at this time and as soon as we select a venue and set a date we’ll let you know. It’s good to have members who know the history of the organization and Carol Osman Brown has been a wonderful help to these new officers in sharing the history and helping with the planning.
Since I reside in the Rim Country District I want to tell you what we are doing to promote literacy. Perhaps this will encourage other chapters to do more outreach. Many of you know about the successful Payson Book Festival, now in its 5th year. This year we have several pre-festival workshop projects. Elaine Votruba with the Gila County Library, Public Services is joining the Payson Book Festival on three projects. One project, with the non-profit Payson Community Kids, is working with youngsters to write their own books that will be sold at the Payson Book Festival for all to see. Proceeds will benefit the Community Kids. The older children are preparing a puppet show for the Festival in our “Kids Zone.” The children are excited to be part of the Festival.
Most of my activities these days are devoted to putting together media, planning radio interviews and writing articles to promote the Payson Book Festival.
We want to hear about your writing and new books. Let Jaimie Bruzenak, website and Facebook administrator, know about your projects. Let’s continue to share what we are doing.
There is much in the news now about journalists’ rights. How timely this is since the theme for our upcoming state conference is the First Amendment. We have not had a gathering of Arizona Professional Writers for several years and we are looking forward to meeting members this fall.