Northern Virginia Writers Club

January 2023 Meeting Agenda

1/28/2023  1:00 PM

I.  Call to order – Club Pres. Michelle McBeth.

II.  Roll call

a)        Names and types of writing (length and genre).

a.         In person: Michelle McBeth (SciFi), John Wren (Thrillers, Mystery), Jason Maddux (SciFi/YA), AJ George (Thriller, Horror), Paula Weiss (novelist), Darius Jones (Cosmic Horror, poetry), Dennis Finley (Memoir), Tina W (Romantic Fantasy), Traci Carter (Historical Romance), Donna Davis (spiritual autobiography), Karen Pailey (essays), Lori Eaton (Hist. Fiction, mystery), Carolyn Klein (poetry/dark fantasy). 

b.         Online:  Elizabeth Reese (History Non-Fict, Hist Fict), Jane (Fantasy-SciFi), C Axell (YA Fantasy).

b)        Triumphs and failures.

a.             Paula: Book on display in Sterling Library, a nice moment. 

b.             Dennis: Facebook drama and shutdowns in trying to promote his memoir.

c.             Maddux: Two recent acceptances (including a Flash piece started here at the Club).

d.             Darius Jones and AJ George: “Writers, Beware!” especially of agents approaching new

e.             Discussion: Good resources to consult to avoid being scammed: Jeff Herman’s “Guide to Editors, Publishers and Agents” and the Editorial Freelance Assoc. website. Also, official “Writers Beware” website.

f.              Lori recommends: “Seven Drafts: Self-Edit Like a Pro,” by Allison K. Williams.

III. Approval of minutes from last meeting

a)        No December minutes to approve. 

IV.  Officer’s Reports

a)    President (McBeth)

a.    Upcoming meeting potential topics:

i.   February- Group critique or roundtable?

1.   We decided on Roundtable for Feb.

2.   Group critique (of stories, poetry, novels, queries, book covers, etc.) for later
meeting, most likely March.

b.   VWC Journal Submissions due

i.   Due: March 31. See guidelines on VWC website. As always, follow the guidelines!

c.    VWC Board of Govs’ meeting.

i.   Feb. 4 at 11 a.m.

ii.  Need to request link from State Club to attend.

b)        Vice President/Membership Chair (Maddux).

a.         Congrats to new members! 35 members total so far. We’ve been growing.

b.         Looking at opportunities to sell books in person. Things like our successful “Art on
the Avenue” in Alexandria last year.

c.         Discussion: From unincorporated association to incorporated association for our club. Now
incorporated in state of VA. We’re separate from VA Writers Club now. Will apply now for 501(c)3 non-profit status.

c)        Treasurer

a.         Splurged (a bit) on 15th anniversary at winery. Worth it!

b.         Approx. $5,500 in assets on year end on 12/31/22.

c.         AJ has more details, if needed.

d)        Secretary

a.         No report.

V.  Old Business

a)        Upcoming writing resources/contests:

a.         SFWA Convention in May in Calif.

in June in Pittsburgh, PA. (Darius will attend.)

c.         Dennis has list of contests now open—will share.

d.         Traci developing local “Writer” Events Calendar to post on our website and share on
our Twitter feed.

e.         AJ: Book Signing event at Cascades Library to come in Oct.  

f.          Darius: Eye to the Telescope has “Fungi Poetry” open call until Mar. 15.

b)        Membership renewal dues due

a.         Get them in!

VI.  New Business

a)        Elections

a.         Nominations from the floor:

i.             Motion by Dennis: Moves to renominate all nominees/Club officers to another year term in 2023.

ii.           Seconded by Donna.

iii.          Approved by voice vote with no objections.

b.         2023 officers, as elected, are:

i.             President – Michelle McBeth

ii.           Vice President – Jason Maddux

iii.          Secretary – Darius Jones

iv.          Treasurer – A.J. George

b)        Call for volunteers for website, Golden Nib Coordinator

a.         Carolyn volunteered for Website duties.

b.         No takers yet for Golden Nib contest. (Coordinator can’t enter contest). Lori might help. ?

c)        Lois’s message follow-up (offer to help local authors participate in book signing events at Occoquan, Viva Vienna and other events). 

a.         Need headcount of writers here at Club who can participate, to learn how big a space
should be booked.

b.         Targeting Occoquan in June.

c.         If you want to participate: Realize you will need to bring your own books and let Lois
Wren know you want to participate. Also, try to bring some giveaways (branded
pens, bookmarks, notepads, etc.). Deadline to inform John/Lois via email: Feb.

d.         You can do on-site signing or just leave signed books for others to help sell.

e.         Traci: Have branded name tags NVWC members can wear at events.   

d)        Programming for the year

a.         February – Roundtable discussion.

b.         March – Group Critique session.

c.         Idea for speakers:

i.             Lori: serialization subscription, on serializing your novel, stories, etc.

ii.           Dennis: Polly Lietowsky (My Word Publishing) who wrote her own book and could speak to many developments it takes to write, edit and promote your book.

iii.          AJ: Have one meeting on craft of writing (creating compelling characters, plotting,

iv.          Traci: Marketing your writing on social media (Twitter, Pinterest, Mastodon, and different platforms). Also cover Tech products for writers (Scrivener, Grammarly, ProWriter, etc.).

v.           Paula: Pitfalls in publishing. Scams to avoid, finding reputable editors/agents, etc.

vi.          AJ: Have speaker on “traditional” publishing path: Submitting to agents, querying,

vii.        Darius: How to work with a graphic designer on your book cover, illustrations, Website, etc.

e)        Business from the floor – None.

VII.         Speaker – None

VIII.      Adjournment – Club Pres. McBeth.