Writer Wednesday—Guild Membership

Last week, I wrote about why you should join the Missouri Writers Guild, or the guild in your own state or area. Today, I’m going to include a blog I wrote for the MWG website that talks about the improvements and changes we’ve made over the last ten days:


Good morning, MWG members!

I thought I’d take a few minutes to update you on what we’ve accomplished since the Sunday morning meeting at the end of the planning conference:

Newsletters and contest information are available to the public on the website; we’ve added a new FAQ page; whenever Chapter information is added, a new Chapter page is automatically created and can be edited. The new Help page has login instructions as well as screenshots.

Board meeting notes are and have been posted in the Members Only section. Contact information is and has been listed, and Chapter descriptions are and have been available—as long as Chapter members upload that information. Also in the Members Only section is a new page: Planning Conference Results.

The Library is now called the Bookstore, and is searchable. Additional buy links have been added, and the book covers display perfectly fine. If you have an issue, please check your computer settings. If you don’t see your book from the old site, please update. The idea behind this new website is the ability for members to update their own information as it changes.

New additions coming soon to the website include a searchable Members Only directory, social media links added to profiles, a dynamic home page, and the ability of members to upload their photos.

The Conference Committee has been hard at work for the last ten days; Mary-Lane Kamberg is chairing, as per the Bylaws. There is also a new Conference page on the website, which will be updated as information comes in and decisions are made.

We have a new Contest Committee, headed up by Judy Stock. Any contest questions or ideas can be sent to her via contest@missouriwritersguild.org.

On Friday, a post-conference survey was sent to all members on the mailing list, approximately 250 members. Nineteen have been submitted. However, initial results indicate that nearly everyone agreed the location was convenient, that we accomplished a lot, and everyone felt included and that their ideas were heard. Thirty percent had not been to the website this past week. Nearly everyone was optimistic about the future of the MWG, and most were inclined to volunteer in some capacity. When the survey is closed on Friday, April 24, I’ll have the final results.

The MWG Board has been communicating via a Facebook group and is preparing for our first meeting on May 1 at 7:00 p.m. Some things on our agenda include the membership issue and chapter liaisons. And there’s great news too—we’ve had one new Chapter application, and four new member applications in the last ten days, plus quite a few renewals.

Speaking of Facebook: in the breakout session notes from the planning conference, it was mentioned that we could certainly communicate via social media. Since late January, the MWG Facebook page has been very active with posts and news from members and things of interest to Missouri writers, as well as updates to the website and the Guild itself. I encourage everyone to “like” us there, so you, too, can be connected and learn what’s happening. We also have a Twitter account and will likely be adding other social media sites.

A new feature on Facebook is a forum. Anyone can post a question or answer or start or add to a discussion. I encourage you to take a look, maybe drop a line or two.

Another concern from the conference was the MWG logo. Some time ago, a contest for a new logo was announced. I’m sorry to say, we had no entries and little interest. According to the Bylaws, “The official emblem of The Missouri Writers’ Guild shall consist of a quill-like pen and shall be under the control of the Board of Directors. Its custodian shall be the Treasurer.” So, if anyone would like to submit a logo which includes a “quill-like pen,” the Board would be happy to consider the change.

So there you have it—this is what we’ve been doing since the planning conference. Please feel free to comment and/or ask any questions at all; we’ll be happy to answer and respond!


Now, if you are a MWG member, you’ve just learned what’s happening; if you are not, and you are a resident of Missouri or any of our neighboring states, hop on over to the website and join us. If you live elsewhere, Google your state organization and sign up today.

Why? Go back and read last week’s Writer Wednesday . . .


Writer Wednesday—Why You Should Join the Missouri Writers Guild

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!