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

Rim Country Meeting October 9, 2019

Marsha Ward

Arizona Professional Writers Rim Country Chapter will host Marsha Ward, renowned Historical Fiction Writer at 1:00 p.m. October 9, 2019 at the Majestic Rim Retirement Home, Tyler Parkway Payson.

Marsha, an award-winning poet, freelance writer, journalist, editor, and novelist has over 900 pieces of published work, including her acclaimed novel series, The Owen Family Saga, and other works of fiction.

She will share how she researches her Old West themes.

Robert J. Randisi, Editor, says of her writing, “Marsha Ward must have a door to the past. She steps through it to the Old West, watches, listens, then comes back and writes about it vividly.” Join Marsha as she tells you how she does it.

Central Chapter Series Author Talks – October 12, 2019

Central Chapter Series Author Talks

Members and non-members of Arizona Professional Writers are invited to hear prolific novelist Connie Cockrell, Payson, AZ, tell how she manages to to keep her several series going at the same time.

The meeting will be from 10 a.m-1 p.m., Saturday, October 12, 2019, at Shepherd of the Hills United Church of Christ, 5524 East Lafayette Blvd., Phoenix, AZ.

A salad lunch will be served, $10. R.S.V.P required: 480-620-1358.

Connie says her life, which includes a 20-year Air Force career, time as a manager at a computer operations company, wife, mother, sister and volunteer, provides a rich background for her story-telling.

Cockrell grew up in upstate NY, just outside of Gloversville, NY before she joined the military at age 18. Having lived in Europe, Great Britain, and several places around the United States, she now lives in Payson, AZ with her husband: hiking, gardening, and playing bunko. She writes about whatever comes into her head so her books could be in any genre. She’s published 20 books so far, has been included in six different anthologies and been published on EveryDayStories.com and FrontierTales.com. Her book, Gold Dreams, won a 2019 new Mexico-Arizona Book Finalist Award.

Connie is always on the lookout for a good story idea. Beware, you may be the next one!

She can be found at ConniesRandomThoughts.com or on Facebook and on Twitter at: @ConnieCockrell or find her books on Amazon.

September 11 Rim Country Chapter meeting

The Arizona Professional Writers Rim Country Chapter monthly meeting will be held Wednesday,  1:00 p.m. September 11, 2019 at the Majestic Rim Retirement Home on Tyler Parkway in Payson. We welcome members and guests.
 

Brenda Whiteside

The speaker, Brenda Whiteside, is the author of suspenseful, action-adventure romance who writes stories of discovery and love entangled with suspense.

 
What is a suspense novel? Reviewers get it wrong. On-line articles group suspense in with mystery. It might not be important for a reader to know the difference between mystery and suspense, but it’s important for the author. Readers are drawn to certain authors and certain stories, and they might not be able to tell you why. But it’s important for the author to nail down their genre, especially in a series, so the reader knows what to expect. Brenda will cover the differences and share her half-dozen tips on how to approach writing a suspense novel.
 
Join us on September 11.

Save the date- Central Chapter Meeting Oct 12

Save the date- Central Chapter meeting October 12. We will be meeting from 10-1 at the Shepherd of the Hills in Phoenix. Connie Cockrell, APW member and prolific author, is our speaker. More details will follow soon.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup

It’s coming up fast! Register now!

Download and print the APW State Conference 2019 Flyer. The date is September 28 so get your registration in soon! Students can attend at a reduced rate.

.

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