Tracy Simmons Speech on KAC Future Plans
Tracy Million Simmons presented likely changes that will be happening with KAC in the next year and what KAC might look like in the years to come. She gave this information at the D5 meeting today. The link below is for the recording of that speech.
The Board of Directors for the Kansas Authors Club met for a summer business meeting on Saturday, August 13, 2022, from 10:00 to 12:00, by Zoom. Those in attendance were Tracy Million Simmons (president, transitional manager); Kristine Polansky (vice-president); Monica Graves (financial officer); Cathy Callen (secretary); Anne Spry (D1); Adelaide Bauman (D3); Gretchen Eick (D5); and, Jim Potter (D6). Minutes from the March 26, 2022, board meeting were reviewed, corrected, and approved. The financial report submitted by Monica Graves was reviewed; Tracy sends quarterly reports to Monica, and finances are reported to be in good shape. District representatives took a few moments to report on activities within their districts. Contest managers submitted updates regarding the number of submissions to the various literary contests, with total submissions reported to be within normal limits when compared to previous contests.
A significant portion of the August 13th meeting was spent discussing the restructuring of the organization and the need to finalize changes to the bylaws for approval by members in October. The Board voted unanimously to approve changes and to submit the final version to members for their review. (see link below) Also discussed were plans for the Kansas Book Festival in September at Washburn (Kansas Authors Club will sponsor an informational table), and the upcoming Kansas Authors Club annual convention, to be held in Lawrence in October. We were reminded that there was an “early bird special” conference fee for those registering by September 1.
The nominating committee is preparing a slate of potential officers for 2023. There are still openings, and interested applicants can contact Kristine Polansky. See the list of open positions below.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:55 a.m. The next board meeting is scheduled for October 8, by Zoom.
Submitted for website publication by
Cathy Callen, State Secretary
Note: The proposed 2023 bylaws are being emailed to every member by end of day on 8/19/2022. If you do not receive this email, please contact Tracy to confirm that your details in our master list are correct.
Make Your Mark on Our Growing Organization!
Do you have talent to spare? Time to invest in your community of writers? We are looking to fill the following positions in 2023.
State Secretary: Job Duties (quick version) attends 3 board meetings each year plus the annual membership meeting in October. Our Secretary keeps the minutes, prepares a summary for publication, and will work closely with the manager and President as a member of the executive board.
State Financial Officer: Job Duties (quick version) attends 3 board meetings each year plus the annual membership meeting in October. Our Financial Officer reviews financial reports generated by the Manager quarterly, sets our budget in coordination with the Manager each year, and works closely with President as a member of the executive board.
District Representatives: Each district needs a representative to the board. The commitment includes attending 3 board meetings each year plus the annual membership meeting in October. This is a great way to get to know Kansas Authors Club in more depth and to perform a service for your local community of writers. If you are interested in helping out at the district level, talk to your District President about the many ways you can be involved. Note that District Representatives are elected or appointed at the district level. Pay attention to memos from your officers as districts will begin filling local positions toward the end of this year.
Contest Managers: We are actively seeking individuals to manage our 2023 adult poetry and youth writing contests. This person should be comfortable using Submittable (and/or willing to learn how to manage things on the back side). An enthusiasm for promoting and growing our contests is always a plus. Contest managers are charged with selecting judges for the contest, assuring that entries meet the requirements, answering contest questions, and preparing the awards presentation at the annual convention each October. Contest managers work closely with each other and with the Manager. We do ask that managers not enter the contest that they are managing while they are serving in the position. (So if you are a prose writer, managing the poetry contest might be the ideal job for you!)
Publications and Website: Do you have experience with layout and design? Are you proficient (or willing to learn) programs such as Microsoft Publisher and/or Adobe InDesign? Would you like to gain experience with website work or email newsletter services? Perhaps you would be interested in joining our publications team. We currently produce a print yearbook and an electronic newsletter, and publication opportunities within Kansas Authors Club may just be growing! Extra eyes for editing and proofreading are also always appreciated.
Social Media Contributors: If you follow us on Facebook, you already understand the power of teamwork to give an organization a presence. If your district (or area of writing interest) is underrepresented, perhaps you would like to join our teal of social media contributors. We also could use assistance with Twitter and Instagram.
The next meeting of the Kansas Authors Club state board will take place Saturday, August 13, 2022, at 10:00 am via Zoom. If you have items of news or concern to submit, or would like to receive a link to attend, please use the contact forms on the Board of Directors page or reach out to your District Representative.
Reports of Officers, standing committees, special committees
Notice of meeting held:
KAC elected officers Tracy Million Simmons, Kristine Polansky, Monica Graves, and Cathy Callen met via Zoom on Thursday, February 10, 2022, to discuss KAC issues and begin preparations for the spring Board meeting. That meeting will be held by Zoom at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 26th. An agenda will be published on the website prior to that date, and all KAC members are welcome to attend.
Issues discussed at this pre-meeting included the handling of KAC funds, Financial Officer reporting requirements, a review of the budget to be published in the yearbook and presented to the board at the spring meeting, the distribution of funds to KAC districts, and a possible change to secretary note requirements for the yearbook. Other items will be added to the agenda, such as a new Chapbook contest, questions about future sponsorship of the youth awards book, a memorial gift in honor of past president, Prem Bajaj, and any changes recommended to the current job descriptions for elected officers.
Save the Date: Saturday, March 26, 2022 @ 10:00am
Kansas Authors Club
Spring Board Meeting
March 26 Meeting Agenda (tentative as of 3/1/2022)
Call to Order
Reading and Approval of October 2021 Board Minutes
Reports of Officers, standing committees, special committees
Next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 13, 10am (via Zoom).
Summer Board Meeting Highlights
Kansas Authors Club is an all-volunteer led organization. Our current leaders and officers meet three times each year. The following summarizes the August 2021 Board meeting. The full document is available to board members on the "Board Member" section of our website and to all members and interested parties by request.
KANSAS AUTHORS CLUB, Summer Board Meeting August 7, 2021 (by Zoom)
President Duane Johnson called the meeting to order at 1:41 p.m.
Those in attendance (15) were:
President: Duane Johnson
Vice President/website manager/book awards: Tracy Million Simmons
Financial Secretary: Kristine Polansky
Secretary: Cathy Callen Molineux
District 1: Anne Spry
District 4: Jeff Guernsey
District 5: Connie Rae White
District 6: Jim Potter
District 7: John Sanders, George Phillippy, Sheryl Brenn, Millie Horlacher, Wayne Horlacher
Publications: Reaona Hemingway
Writers in the Community: Marilyn Johnson
Minutes from the April 2021 meeting, submitted in advance, were accepted as submitted. (1)
The agenda for this meeting was accepted with one change (April, not August as date for previous minutes)
The following reports were submitted in advance of the meeting and are attached at the end of this document:
District 5 Connie Rae White (2)
District 6 Jim Potter (3)
District 7: Sheree Wingo, secretary (4)
Other district reports were given during the meeting.
District 1: Anne Spry reported that much of the District 1 activity has been directed toward the fall convention (report attached). Much effort has also gone into securing quality programs for monthly meetings. A marketing committee has been established in an effort to get more members.
District 2: No report sent or given
District 3: Several meetings have been held. A new member from Charlotte NC has contributed good energy. Districts 3 and 4 are considering some joint programming for the rest of the year.
District 5: Connie White was excited to report an upcoming in-person meeting, their first in a year and a half.
District 6: Jim Potter reports that District 6 is not meeting in person. An attempt was made to meet at a bookstore last month, but it was noisy. The group is returning to Zoom meetings.
District 7: In addition to the written report submitted in advance and attached to this document, District 7 reported that many members attended gravesite services for Marjorie Brown. An update on their writing contest (open until August 15) was given, with 13 poetry and 12 prose entries.
Financial Secretary, Kristine Polanski, gave a summary of KAC finances. At the beginning of the quarter, there was a balance of $13,644.88. At the end of the quarter, the balance was $16,214.83. After this report was submitted, $3,000 was transferred to the Treasurer. The complete financial report is attached to this document. (5)
Treasurer’s report: Treasurer Monica Graves submitted a report in advance of the meeting. Her report is attached. As of the end of the quarter, the balance in the checking account was $4,434.34. A deposit of $3,000 from the Financial Secretary was anticipated at the beginning of the new quarter. (6)
Membership: Deb Irsik has reported 38 new members this year. (7)
Nominating Committee report: Tracy Million Simmons reported that efforts to secure nominations for next year’s Board are going well, with just a few positions left to fill. (8)
Restructuring: Tracy reported on efforts by a restructuring committee to bring KAC’s Bylaws and practices into the 21st century. The idea will be to simplify and stabilize the organization. One of the first changes proposed by the committee will be a recommendation to change the structure of the KAC Board itself. The wording of the proposed change to the Bylaws is attached to this document, but basically the suggestion will be to change the Board structure from its current 35 members to a more manageable one of 11 members to include the president, vice-president, financial secretary, recording secretary and one member from each of the 7 districts. This will be presented at the fall meeting of the membership for discussion and, hopefully, approval. (8)
Publications: Reaona Hemmingway reported that the printing of this year’s yearbook was delayed due to a heart attack suffered by one of the Mennonite Press staff. Reaona said she had received several compliments on the yearbook cover, with kudos to its designer, Carol Yoho. Reaona reminded everyone to make literary contributions by October 15th for next year’s yearbook.
Writers in the Community: Marilyn Johnson submitted a report (attached) detailing efforts by KAC members to promote writing as well as KAC membership. (9)
Website: Tracy reports that 90 people are now signed up for the “members only” part of our website.
Poetry Contest: Linzi Garcia, poetry contest manager, reports the acquisition of “stellar judges!” for this year’s contest. Three of the eight have finished their work and sent the results to Linzi. There were 277 poetry submissions this year (report attached). (10)
Prose Contest: no report given
Youth Contest: Jolene Haas reports that there have been 181 submissions for the various youth contests. (11)
Awards: To date, Anne Schiever reports that there have been no recommendations received for KAC awards. The deadline for nominations is being extended to September 1st.
Book Award: Tracy Million Simmons reports 3 submissions to the children’s book award contest, 10 submissions for the Coffin Award, 3 submissions for the Martin Kansas History Book Award, 7 submissions for the “It Looks Like a Million” contest, and 10 submissions for The Nelson Poetry Book Award. (12)
Convention report: An extensive convention report was submitted in advance by Anne Spry of District 1. That report is attached. In addition, Anne updated us on the technical issues surrounding the efforts to present a “hybrid” conference, for both in-person and internet attendance. One of three simultaneous workshops will have a live feed, with the other two available for later viewing. It will be noted in the program, which workshops will be live-streamed. All workshops will be available for viewing for three months. One issue is that the IT staff go home at 5:00, so covering the Saturday banquet and speaker still needs to be figured out. (13)
If the in-person conference must be cancelled, all the speakers will be recorded.
Date of Fall Board Meeting: The KAC Board will meet by Zoom on Saturday, October 2, 2021, at 1:30, instead of during the conference to give more time for conference activities.
Cowboy poet: Duane is requesting that donations for the Cowboy Poet be sent in care of Reaona Hemmingway.
American Rescue Plan grant: Duane is in the process of writing a grant to secure funds for KAC. He described the process as excruciating. He was thanked for applying for a different grant last year.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:55 p.m.
Cathy Callen Molineux, recording secretary
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If you have news of writing events that would be of interest to all Kansas Authors Club members, or if you are a member (dues current) who would like to announce an achievement, please submit your news via this form.