In the past few years, a number of venerable Chicago writers organizations have bit the dust. Among them: Chicago Women in Publishing and Midwest Writers Association. How could this happen? Simply put, it was a lack of volunteers. The good news: IWOC is still standing tall. And not by accident. To keep this organization going, it has taken people who volunteer either to serve on the Board of Directors or on a Committee because they understand the vital role IWOC plays in Chicago’s community of writers -- and in the success of their own careers.
But the unvarnished truth is, volunteers are becoming harder and harder to come by. For the last several years, it’s largely been the same group of volunteers who have been willingly and gallantly serving. To my great relief, they’re going to continue to do so. But it’s neither fair to them nor to IWOC to keep depending upon the “usual suspects.” It would be wonderful if new people volunteered along with them, bringing in fresh ideas of their own. The beauty of this is, the more people who volunteer, the easier it is for everyone. And the more beneficial to IWOC – and you.
1) TO MEMBERS: Nominate a candidate for the Board of Directors. Submit names to the Nominating Committee, by Tuesday, August 22. Who would you like to see on the Board of Directors? Among IWOC members, whose ideas, energy, and all-around get-along personality do you believe would serve IWOC well? If you know someone, do tell. If that happens to be you, that would be the best of all!
2) Run for the Board of Directors. Serving on the Board is not time-consuming. It’s actually fun. The time commitment is nominal. We meet for one hour a month on Zoom. Plus, you’ve got the bully pulpit for presenting your ideas, bringing them to fruition, and creating the IWOC “of your dreams” – which could help your own career as well as those of your fellow IWOC’ers. To qualify as a candidate, you must be an IWOC member who also appreciates the value in IWOC and has the desire and viable ideas to make it even better.
3) Join a Committee. Committees are what keep IWOC going strong! Choose one that jibes with your interests, skills, or desires. The Program Committee is always in need of members who can generate ideas for our monthly programs. Those programs are IWOC’s educational engines that help members like yourself succeed as freelancers and as writers. Interested in serving on this all-important Committee? Contact Program Co-chairs Jeff Steele or Betsy Storm. Other Committees: Membership, Public Relations, Stet Newsletter, Social Media. Getting involved in this way will boost your confidence, polish your skills, and add cachet to your résumé. I speak from experience.
We all have a stake in this organization. There are reasons you joined IWOC (or may want to), whether it’s to get more work, learn more about the business and craft of writing, find networking ops, or venture out of your writer’s lair to meet new like-minded friends. But keeping IWOC beneficial, relevant, and vibrant doesn’t happen by magic. It needs members getting involved. Please do.
If you’ve questions about any of the above, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not a member? Become one! And start taking advantage of all the benefits that members enjoy.
-- Laura Stigler
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