Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Farewell Message

My term as president of TGCW is coming to an end. I want to thank you ALL for sharing your trust, and struggles, as we formed a family. I also want to thank each of you for the EXTREMELY generous Christmas gift. It has been my honor to serve as your president. I am so grateful for the opportunity you gave me. I have enjoyed watching you grow as confident writers, and a successful writers group.
So, what does it take to make a successful group?

First and foremost, it takes you, the members. It takes your enthusiasm, dedication, participation, and your loyalty. It also takes a strong and capable board, and the efforts of volunteers.

These last two years you have been served by some amazing volunteers.

Your Vice President, Laurie Kolp, has worked tirelessly for two years to seek out and “book” speakers for each meeting. Her efforts have brought us strong speakers with valuable information to share. She also helped to organize two writing workshops, all while dealing with her mothers’ illness, eventual passing, and numerous publications including her beautiful book Upon the Blue Couch  (not to mention raising three amazing children). She somehow manages to smile, to share a kind word with everyone she meets, and to go out of her way to help keep TGCW on track. We look forward to her term as our new President.

Your Treasurer has been Debra McElwee, a dedicated and detail-oriented woman who has helped keep our head above water despite a small bank account. Her efforts in filing and finalizing our “nonprofit and tax exempt” status as well as managing our monthly budget have added nicely to our stability as a group. I only hope I can successfully fill her shoes next year.

Lanell Stuart served as secretary our first year, and did a WONDERFUL job keeping accurate records of our meetings. Unfortunately, she had to give up the position after that first year - due to health problems. Lisa Black took up her duties for the second year and secured our meeting location at the apartment complex. While I have enjoyed getting to know Lisa and watching her grow as a writer, work and personal responsibilities have prevented her from being at some of our meetings. We have missed both of these ladies and hope to see more of them in 2015. Merrilynn Williams, a very talented and vigilant author, will be taking over the office of secretary. We are delighted that she is willing to serve as our record keeper.

Much of our spotlight in the public eye has come from our wonderful publicist Kathy Haskins. She set up and maintained a website for the group for the last two years. She has also been great about using her wit and intelligence to seek out individuals, spread word of our meetings, and invite new members. I’m excited to see what she plans for us as our new vice president.

Carol Weishampel - who never ceases to amaze me as an author, a friend, and a humanitarian -will be taking over as our publicist. She often seems to be everywhere at once. She manages to care for a large family, travel several months at a time, publish a new book almost every year, often presents new tips and opportunities for other writers, and generously contributes to our processes and plans.

I look forward to many more years with these amazing women, and watching our writing family grow. So, your goals for 2015:
1)      Bring your unique skills, talents and insights to share with the group.
2)      Invite friends, strangers, and coworkers to a meeting.
3)      Increase your word count, number of people reading/critiquing your work.
4)      Try something new such as entering contests, trying for different submissions, attempting a different genre, and attending workshops/conferences.

Thank you again for everything. Happy holidays and HAPPY WRITING!

Sylvia Ney
Texas Gulf Coast Writers