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2022-23 Year in Review: It was a Very Good Year | President's Post by Laura Stigler

31 Aug 2023 6:45 PM | Laura Stigler (Administrator)

In last year’s review, we tipped our pink sequined hat to Sir Elton John, exclaiming in full voice that after the Covid fog had finally lifted, IWOC was indeed still standing. Today, with a debonair tip of a gray felt fedora, let us now settle back all cozy in the Pump Room’s Booth One, order up a bottle of Jack – a glass of ice on the side, light up a Chesterfield and reminisce about the year that was, Sinatra style. 

2022-23 IWOC Programs 

Dig this..

He may not be Chairman of the Board, but Jeff Steele sure makes one helluva Chairman of the Program Committee. He and ace Co-chair broad Betsy Stormalong with contributions by other IWOC members, jam-packed the year with the following programs. Anyone who came and saw, came out wiser businesspeople and savvier self-marketers, loaded with ideas about adding more “value added” aspects to their writing services

  •  IWOC’S Ever-popular Annual Writers’ Roundtable, where everyone gets their say. (This is the only program not recorded, so all participants can speak freely.)
  • Self-Publish Your Book Checklist: Award-winning Graphic Designer, Illustrator, and author of numerous self-published, whimsically illustrated books, Greg Borowski took the spookiness out of self-publishing with his tried-and-true, step-by-step approach.
  • Supporting Freelance Investigative Journalism in Chicago: Eric Ferrero, Exec. Dir. of Fund for Investigative Journalism, scouted for writers who fantasize about being the next Nellie Bly.
  • The Power of Branding: Strategies to Successfully Market Your Writing Services were laid out in easy-to-follow doses by Christian Cook, author and public relations wiz.
  • Working with Adobe inDesign and inCopy: Book and magazine publishing veteran Rhonda Jackson demonstrated how even graphically challenged writers can create eye-catching visuals to accompany their content.
  • Tax & Accounting Tips for Freelancers, razor-sharp CPA Gavin Piasky engagingly provided clear, practical, law-abiding info and answers to the many taxing questions on many a freelancer’s mind.
  •  Using Storytelling to Gain More Business, IWOC Member and professional storyteller held us rapt with his own stories of how to incorporate that talent when pitching prospective clients.
  •  Feng Shui for Writing Productivity, Feng Shui practitioner Kim Downey interactively showed us the way to organize our office environment to optimize our writing productivity.
  • Price Your Work for Profit, a hands-on, how-to workshop presented most ably by business and creative coach, Jessica Abel.

Got ideas for writing- or business-related programs? Contact Jeff. We welcome them all! 

2022-23 IWOC Parties

You think the Rat Pack was crazy? Oh, man, they were amateurs compared to a pack of us IWOC writers. Last December, we let it all hang out at our December Holiday Party at Café Ba-Ba-Reeba! For our August Greektown wingding, we partied till the wee small hours at Athena. (Ok, it was till 8. Gimme a break.) And for the second April in a row, we celebrated the Spring Equinox at the Weber Grill. Wow-ee Wow Wow, it was good.

IWOSC Programs

IWOC members also attended, free of charge, programs offered by our West Coast sister outfit, Independent Writers of Southern California. This year, they were treated to:

  • Exploring Narrative Structure in Your Writing
  • Start Writing and Keep Writing with Scrivener

IWOC and IWOSC were not the only ones who put on cool programs. We passed the word to IWOC members about these world class events:

Promoting our members

We’re always telling members to come blow their horn. Or we’ll blow it for them. And so we did...

  • Thomas James Thorson revealed the fourth book of his Malcom Winters Mystery series, Bad Fortune.
  • “Poet with a Guitar” Mark Fishbein produced and hosted the Afterwords Chicago Global Poetry Night, live at the After-Words Bookstore, where he and a cadre of fellow published poets read their works and signed their books "afterwards."
  • Laura Stigler’s prose entry, “Requiem for a Piano Bench,” won the honor of being published in the 2023 Anthology produced by the esteemed TallGrass Writers Guild
  • Cindy Bertram announced the airing of her weekly TV show “Good Ship Happens” and her new website going live, Good Ship Happens.
  • Kathryn Occhipinti’s new audio book Caterina Travels to Italy was nominated for the "Cover of the Month" contest on 
  • Jeff Steele celebrated his one-third century anniversary as a freelance writer.
  • Jay Schwartz had just published his short story, Car-Pain Diemon Amazon.
  • And as we do every year, IWOC participated in the Printers Row LitFest, displaying and selling our author members’ books at our table while talking to thousands of passers-by on the virtues of IWOC and how we help freelance writers of every stripe succeed in their careers. (Volunteer to help staff the table and join the fun at this year’s LitFest on the weekend of September 9 & 10. Contact organizer George Becht.)

Perk alert

Associate Members can now access the Job Board and Job Sites page. (Upgrade to Professional Level and have your Specialties and Areas of Expertise displayed on the Online Directory – the better potential for clients to hire you!)

So, set ‘em up, Joe

Yeah, yeah, the year went by all too fast. But hey, before we close down this joint for the night, let’s have one more round of whatever suits your zoot as we toast the coming year. If you’re an IWOC member, hold on to your fedora. Some pretty wild stuff is coming down the pike. If you’re not a member, quit your dilly-dallying and join already to get in on it all. 

IWOC. We’re your kind of group, baby!

-- Laura Stigler

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