April was a month packed full of activity. First of all, Welcome! I’m Connie Cockrell, newly elected President for the Arizona Professional Writers. The biggest event was the April 17th Virtual State Conference. In our short business meeting, we elected new officers. I was elected President, Marie Fasano steps into the Past President role, Bobbie Bennett remains Vice President, and Brenda Whiteside remains Secretary.
Most importantly, we are in need of a Membership Director and a Treasurer. These are vital positions in any organization. Both areas are in good shape, we just need a couple of people to see the value in keeping our organization vibrant by stepping up to volunteer. You can contact me at email@example.com to talk about it.
June was the National Federation of Press Women virtual conference. In the national contest, Dianne Beeaff from Tucson, won second place in the category Collection of Short Stories, with her book titled On Traigh Lar Beach. See her website for info on the book. Wynne Brown, also of Tucson, won second place for the category Newsletter, Web, and Social Media. Her entry, Personal, The Sara Lemmon Project can be found at her website or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Congratulations to both as there were thousands of entries nationwide making competition very high.
Our Communicator of Achievement, Marie Fasano, attended the NFPW virtual award ceremony. We’re sorry to say that she didn’t win. Sherri Burris was selected. You can find her details at NFPW. Congratulations to Ms. Burris.
July features the Payson Book Festival. It is July 17th at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino from 9am to 3:30pm. We have over 70 authors this year. We’ll have a shortened children’s program in the morning and entertainment by Marshall Trimble, Buckshot Dot, and a panel of Grand Canyon experts scheduled for the afternoon. I do hope you can make it to the festival even if you aren’t a “seller”. It will be a great time to catch up!
Speaking of the book festival, we’re doing a lot of posting on our Facebook pages for both APW and the book festival. Take a look at those pages and share the posts. Lots of people sharing creates a big boost in the number of people who get to see the post. It’s an easy way for you to get to know the authors appearing and to help us drive attendance to the festival. Payson Book Festival Facebook page and Arizona Professional Writers Facebook page.
That’s it for July. Everyone stay safe, enjoy the summer, and hope to see you at the book festival!
March is Women’s History Month. This month I published an article in the Payson Roundup on three interesting women who each have non-traditional jobs: a tree trimmer, an airplane and power-plant inspector and a Septic Pumping company owner. It was fun interviewing each of them. There are so many stories out there. You can find stories about other unique people as well. (See article.)
Speaking of the unusual, this month APW Central had speaker Patty Mahoney tell us about her life growing up in a mortuary where she had to keep secrets that she heard as a child. Only now as a mature adult is she able to tell those stories as a writer. Fascinating!
Marylee MacDonald spoke with the APW Rim chapter in February and March. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of marketing and getting reviews for your publications. If you missed it you really missed an opportunity. We are thinking of having a workshop later in the year with this same topic to learn more from her expertise. Don’t you think that’s a good idea?
If you haven’t been attending the virtual meetings you are missing out on exceptional opportunities for learning how to improve your writing. This is just one benefit of your membership.
We will have an annual APW virtual conference again this year on April 17. We have two excellent speakers – Jan Cleere and Linda Pressman. It will be a half -day program from 9:00 AM to 12:00 noon with a membership meeting 9-10, Jan Cleere speaking from 10-11 and Linda Pressman from 11-12. Short but informative. Come join us. The Zoom invite will be out soon.
The APW Book Club is rolling along. We have become a cohesive group hearing how each member developed their story, sharing their ideas about their book. All members are welcome to join us the fourth Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM.
Several members of APW have won awards in the NFPW Communications Contest. What a group we have! Winners are being posted on the APW website and our FB page and will be recognized at our annual meeting.
At the annual meeting on April 17, 2021, we will be voting for officers for 2021-22.
The Slate includes:
President -Connie Cockrell
Past President- Marie Fasano
Vice President- Bobbie Bennett
Secretary Brenda -Whiteside
Treasurer – open. We need a volunteer-Interested? Email me at email@example.com
As we start the year, 2021 we can be hopeful that the rhetoric will be more civil and that we will stay focused on the truth. COVID vaccines are getting into the arms of healthcare workers, teachers and us elders and by summer we will see a good number in the population with some immunity. We are also hopeful that the economic strain on individuals and businesses will ease. Safety remains an issue with masks and social distancing still a necessary component of our lives.
As for APW, we already have several excellent speakers scheduled for Central and Rim Country chapters for the next few months and the APW annual meeting planned for April. The APW Book Club, under the leadership of Karen Lateiner, is thriving with wonderful discussions and sharing of each individual’s process in developing their book. For February, Brenda Warneka, one of the editors of our publication, Skirting Traditions, will meet with us and share the fascinating histories of the Arizona Press Women.
APW Rim Country plans to have the Payson Book Festival open July 17 this year with many authors, a wonderful children’s show and workshops with inspiring speakers and songwriters.
More members have entered the NFPW communications contest this year than last and we look forward to excellent award winners from our group. Our application for a $1000 scholarship has been sent out to Arizona colleges and universities. If you know an undergraduate student, studying in the fields of writing or journalism, encourage them to apply through the arizonaprofessionalwriters.org website. We would not want that gift to languish.
We are looking for members to step up to take some leadership positions, particularly for President and Treasurer, for the upcoming elections. If you have an idea you want to serve, and have questions, please drop me an email. We need you!
Right now I am snowbound, but cozy at home, here in Payson with much needed moisture for our dry Arizona. Stay safe.
Marie A Fasano
Arizona Professional Writers, President
Happy Holidays to all members!
We are thankful for the treasures and friendships we have received this past year and we all look forward to 2021 with hope and promise. This has been a difficult year for many folks. Most of us have stayed close to home to be safe. Hopefully, this gave you an opportunity to write more novels, articles, newsletters and blogs.
I had some health issues in the last month and am now getting back to the real world. It hasn’t stopped me from taking part in several meetings of Central and Rim Country, hearing great guest speakers each time. It’s so easy to turn on the computer and be with wonderful, intelligent, articulate folks at these gatherings. Our members are terrific!
Our new APW Book Club, hosted by Karen Lateiner, is thriving with highlighting members books and having very lively and interesting discussions. Feel free to join us the last Saturday of every month. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom url.
Jaimie Bruzenak has kept us informed on our website and FB page. She can add you and your books to our new section called Holiday Bazaar to showcase our members’ books and websites. If you want to be included send your information to Jaimie at email@example.com.
We will be looking for some new officers for 2021. If you have any interest in taking a more active part in this thriving organization let me know. Our Bylaws are on the website under the members section. Here you can get an idea of what each position entails.
Here is another reminder to enter the NFPW Professional Contest under the At-large section. Several members have already entered their books, newsletters and articles. Go to NFPW.org for more information.
The APW Conference plans for April 2021 are going forward. We will look at the health of our community as we get closer. More information will be sent as our plans come together.
To close 2020, I wish each APW member the best of health and happiness.
Marie A. Fasano
We hear so much on the news about the upcoming election. Whomever you choose, your obligation is to vote. As writers we have the power of our pen to bring out injustices where we see them and to voice our opinion in a civil way. So be sure to vote.
I wrote an article that was published in the local paper honoring Ruth Bader Ginsberg for all she has done for gender equality.
We have a responsibility from the First Amendment to speak the truth and not feel cowered by negativity. I have had my candidate’s sign torn down three times and then defaced. I just keep putting one back up. I refuse to live in fear.
The NFPW Communications Contest is on! Go through all your published writings for 2020 and pull up your best material to enter the contests. There are numerous categories from which to choose. I’m sure one fits your writing style. Several of our APW writers have won awards over the years. Although we do not have an Arizona specific contest, you can enter the At-large section. Check it out at NFPW.org
Let’s see how many members we will have this year in the contest. See our website ArizonaProfessionalWriters.org or our Facebook page for more information. In fact, you can subscribe to our APW blog so you get notification whenever something new is posted. You’ll see the latest blog entry when you go to ArizonaProfessionalWriters.org. Look on the right-hand side for the signup.
Monthly meetings: I don’t understand why more members have not taken advantage of all our virtual meetings. We have had two guests a month from either Central or Rim Country chapter with all members invited. From my viewpoint, most are outstanding. They have created much discussion on a variety of topics.
Recently at the last Central meeting a Book review group was created. See it on the 4th Saturday of the month. Again check out the info on FB and our website. You will receive the zoom invitation before the program.
2021 Membership: APW is alive and thriving. Why not take advantage of all we have to offer. Membership renewal will be due soon. You will be receiving a notice from Connie Cockrell, state membership chair, for state dues or from NFPW if you are a national member.
APW Board meeting: Our next APW Board meeting is scheduled for December 5.It will be a virtual one and all members are invited. More informatioin in November.
Marie A. Fasano,
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg kept going even with a devastating pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Now she is gone. She was such an example to many. She fought for her beliefs for gender equality early in her career. She had no fear when she gave her dissenting opinion for a Supreme Court decision.
When I think of my own aches and pains and medical difficulties I think of Justice Ginsburg and how strongly she felt about continuing on despite her illness. How I need to do the same.
It reminds me of the many writers who are telling stories of their own adversities and how they overcame them. Stories they share with their readers. Often the readers are helped knowing others have experienced the same or similar experiences.
How fortunate we are as writers to have that gift of storytelling to share.
When you join us for our monthly meetings you will be enlightened by our guests and the discussion that follows after the telling of their own stories.
Please consider joining us each month. Now that we are virtual, members from any part of the state can take advantage of our speakers.
I learn something each time. I’m sure you will, too.
Arizona Professional Writers
August is the month for Voting Rights. On August 26, 1920 the 19th amendment finally was ratified to give women the right to vote. Suffragettes worked for many years to achieve that right. A new book for middle school students titled, Finish the Fight written by the staff of the New York Times, remains a fascinating read for any age. It shows us how diverse the women were who helped make suffrage reality. It became, not only a white women’s struggle, as has been told in so many history books, but one for women of diverse cultures.
We learn that the Native American Haudenosaunee practiced a form of representative democracy that gave significant power to women. Mary Church Terrell, an African American championed both suffrage and civil rights. There were many other African American women, Latina and Chinese women who fought for the vote as well.
APW Central has continued to present interesting speakers each month in Zoom format, so all members are invited to attend. APW Rim Country has monthly Zoom meetings and will be having speakers starting again next month.
Buckshot Dot just informed me that a long time Payson member, Rebecca George, has passed away. She was an author, book reviewer, philosopher, musician and naval veteran. We send her family our condolences.
Are you still practicing social distancing and wearing a mask outdoors? I hope so. I see others getting lax, but numbers of Covid cases continue to blanket our state and country.
Arizona Professional Writers
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.
Marie A. Fasano
Arizona Professional Writers
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
Arizona Professional Writers
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Marie A. Fasano
Arizona Professional Writers