From beginning to end, the conference that purported to get the Missouri Writers Guild back on track was a success.
The first day, the members spent the time with intros and the next day’s agenda.
We all agreed that new blood and a fresh outlook is needed in the organization.
The members decided on nine subjects:
• Conference Planning
• Membership Qualifications
• What can the Guild do for the Chapters
• What the Chapters can do for the Guild
• Leadership Development
The attendees were instructed to pick two topics to attend on Saturday. This member chose Contests and Membership Qualifications.
Contests. Our discussion about contests covered several different topics, from establishing qualifications to entering the state contests and opening contests to those living outside Missouri.
Qualifying entries was discussed as well as how judges are determined and vetted. It was determined that judges need to enjoy the genre they are judging for a contest.
Many chapters hold contests involving the local youths. The St. Louis chapter is especially focused in this endeavor. Anthology contests were encouraged to bring in revolving funds for prize money.
Membership Qualification. This subject was a hot topic in this member’s view, the differences between Full and Associates.
One very outspoken young lady told of her self-published books. She became a full-time writer on her sales and expressed her dissatisfaction with the term “associate”. Her book sales were substantial. But because she wasn't a traditional author—Agented or Small Press—she didn’t qualify for the “full” designation. Although the difference in benefits were small, she felt ostracized by the title Associate.
This member brought up the recent change in membership qualifications for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, SFWA. This organization now allows self-published authors who are making a certain amount of revenue with their books to join.
In addition, the conference included:
- Discussion about how and when yearly dues should be collected.
- Traditions, locations and dates for future conferences
- Grants and how to advertise them
- Support for the individual chapters.
- Website improvement.
|Clearly, this member is working hard|
Historian Paul Bass was superb. He gave the members a thorough talk about MWG’s hundred years and encouraged chapters to write their own history as well.
Overall, it was a fine event for this fledgling author to attend. I thank the members and the Guild for the opportunity.