I joined the MWG a few years ago. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and while I thought the experience was interesting and looked good on my list of credentials, there wasn’t a lot of activity. Now, admittedly, like a lot of authors, I’m not exactly a joiner in the sense that I’m going to breeze into a room full of people I don’t know and just jump into the middle of things.
Two years later, I decided I was ready to volunteer. Last weekend, I got elected president of the Guild.
Lest you become too excited over this development, let me assure that it wasn’t difficult or even a nod to my capabilities—there was no one else running . . .
I believe that the MWG should be a respected organization that assists and empowers writers throughout the state, or even beyond.
I believe that everyone should know about us, particularly state and local governments, chambers of commerce, journalism organizations, booksellers, publishers, agents, newspapers, libraries, and schools.
I believe that the MWG should be a point-of-contact for all these groups, and especially for those aspiring to become authors or technical writers or illustrators or publishers or journalists.
I believe we should be active and visible on the state level, and regionally through our chapters.
The Missouri Writers Guild was organized in 1915—this is our 100th anniversary year. I intend to ensure that the MWG is around and alive and kicking for the next 100 years, and beyond.
Let me tell you how we’re going to do this:
This past weekend, we hosted a planning conference with thirty Chapter reps from around the state. We brainstormed, we broke into small groups, we discussed and debated and took notes and made lists.
An excellent start.
However, we cannot lose our momentum or our enthusiasm.
To that end, I’ve been working almost non-stop on Guild business since Sunday evening. Our first Board meeting will be May 1st. We have an action committee, appointed at the conference, who will have a report for us in the areas of next year’s conference, website issues and suggestions, and Guild/Chapter communication.
Already, some of those website ideas have been implemented and the conference committee is making decisions. Additionally, we have a contest committee that is working on revamping and expanding our annual contests, a new chapter is being formed, and the Board is working on bylaws changes and membership levels.
Other ideas put forth include additional levels of membership, a statewide writing contest, increased and better technology, more frequent communication between Guild and Chapters, and a lot more! It would take hours for me to list them all.
If you are or were a member of the MWG, I urge you to renew that membership and stay with us. Adopt a wait-and-see attitude, at the very least. Good things are coming, changes are being made, and I think you’ll be pleased. If you aren’t, drop me an email and express your feelings—vehemently, if you wish; let me know what you’d like to see from the Guild or maybe, just possibly, how you’d like to become involved. I assure you, there’s room for everyone.
If you’ve never been a member, now is the time to join us. Go to our website, missouriwritersguild.org, and fill out a membership application.
Why should you join? Why renew?
To hang out with other writers. To learn stuff. To socialize. To be involved. To make a difference. Connections, mentoring, education, resources—we’re not just an annual conference. There’s going to be a lot more to come . . .
We’re listening to our members, and we’d like you to join us!