Constitution and By-Laws

Constitution and By-Laws

of the

Authors Guild of Tennessee



Name.  The name of the organization shall be Authors Guild of Tennessee, hereinafter referred to as “AGT.”  AGT is a nonprofit 501(3)(c) corporation for the State of Tennessee and the United States Government.


Mission.  We are an association of Tennessee authors working together to promote and market our books.


 Government.  The officers of AGT shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer.  These officers plus two (2) Members-at-Large shall constitute the Executive Board which shall have control and general management of the affairs of the organization, its funds, and physical assets. Any vacancies occurring during the year shall be appointed by the Executive Board until a replacement election can be held.  If an Honorary Member is requested, she/he shall not constitute part of the quorum and will not be a voting member. To conduct business a quorum of the Executive Board shall consist of a minimum of four members.


Elections.  The election of officers as well as Members-at-Large shall be every year, beginning on January 1 of the first year and ending on December 31.  The Vice President shall chair a Nominating Committee choosing two other members to make up a slate to fill open positions of the Executive Board. If an office shall be vacated by resignation or other cause, the Executive Board shall recommend a member to fill the vacated office.

  1. A candidate for election to the Board shall have been a member of the AGT for a minimum of six (6) months before serving on the Executive Board. Exceptions to this policy may be made at the discretion of current board members.
  2. The Nominating Committee shall submit a list of candidates to the general membership by email prior to the December meeting for a vote.
  3. The Board members may be elected for three (3) consecutive one-year terms, or four (4) years maximum), for each individual office.


Membership. All applications for AGT membership must be submitted in writing to the Membership/Vetting Committee and include a copy of one of their books.

  1. Membership criteria are stated on the pages following the Policies and Procedures sections.
  2. Membership in AGT is non-transferable.
  3. AGT may not exceed fifty (50) members.


Dues and Fees.  The annual dues and fees shall be adjusted by the Executive Board subject to approval by a quorum of the general membership.


Meetings.  General membership meetings shall be scheduled once each calendar month.


Amendments.  The Constitution and By-Laws may be changed or amended by a vote of a simple majority of the general membership by email.



 The Executive Board duties shall make policies and set short- and long-term goals for AGT.

A majority vote of the Executive Board may recommend to the membership that AGT amend provisions of the Constitution, By-Laws, and Policies and Procedures that must then be ratified by membership to change a provision.

General duties of the Officers of the Executive Board shall be as follows

  • President shall preside at meetings, formulate a vision for AGT with the assistance of the Executive Board, and represent AGT in its relations with individuals and other organizations.
  • Vice-President. In the absence of the President, the Vice President shall serve in place of the President by presiding at meetings and carrying out other presidential responsibilities.
  • Secretary. The secretary shall record the minutes of regularly scheduled monthly meetings, Executive Board meetings, and at special meetings if requested by the chair.  On approval of the President, the minutes shall be sent to the Web Assistant to be posted on the AGT website.
  • Treasurer. Shall maintain a checking account in the name of the Authors Guild of Tennessee and make monthly reports.
  • Assistant Treasurer. Shall fulfill the duties of the Treasurer whenever he/she is not available and assist the Treasurer whenever necessary.
  • Members-At-Large. The purpose of the Members-at-large is to provide a broader representation of the membership.
  • Executive Board Honorary Member. The Honorary Member shall assist the Executive Board if requested by the President, but shall not be a voting member on the Executive Board.
  • Executive Board Elections. The Executive Board shall consist of the five (5) officers and two (2) Members-at-Large. The Executive Board Members shall be elected by a majority vote.


Liability.  The financial liability of AGT is limited to the funds approved by the Executive Board.

Committees \ Chairs.  The Committee Chairs shall periodically meet with their members outside the general membership meeting and report to the membership with copies of their progress to the Executive Board, if necessary.

  1. Library Committee. The Library Committee shall establish a library of books donated by members.  These books shall be brought to each monthly meeting and loaned to members with check-outs and check-ins being recorded.  Books may be borrowed for one (1) month.
  2. Marketing Committee. The Marketing Committee shall propose events that AGT may participate in as a group or as individuals.  Shall indicate the pros and cons of each event along with the following details:  dates, location, price, coordinator’s name, telephone, and email address.  A follow-up of the event shall be summarized after any participation.  Individual members are free to participate in any event on their own.
  3. Membership/Vetting Committee. The Chair’s responsibilities shall be to examine books of prospective members to see if they are compatible with AGT guidelines. Prospective members shall receive AGT’s Membership Criteria letter and an application form.  The application must be returned to the Membership/Vetting Committee before their book is reviewed.
  4. Nominating Committee. The Vice-President shall serve as Chairman and be in contact with members annually in November.
  5. Program Committee. The Program Committee shall arrange monthly programs that shall inform members about trends in publishing and marketing.
  6. Publicity Committee. The Publicity Committee shall reach out to media groups (radio and television stations, newspapers, magazines, etc.) that might be interested in promoting AGT’s members and their books.
  7. Retail Committee.  Shall place AGT books in retail outlets that should result in the greatest amount of sales.
  8. Training Committee. The Training Committee shall conduct training sessions either individually or as a group for Skype, AGT website, blogging, and social media, etc.
  9. Website Committee. Their goal shall oversee the AGT website, shall be the liaison between the website master and AGT, and shall compute and chart website invoices.


of the

Authors Guild of Tennessee


The following manual lists the responsibilities for each board and committee member:



  1. Shall preside at meetings and perform other duties as outlined in the Constitution.

Vice President:

  1. Shall stand in for the President as needed.
  2. Shall serve as chairman of the Nominating Committee.
  3. Shall orient new officers and committee chairs on their responsibilities.
  4. Shall welcome new members and introduce them at AGT meetings.
  5. Shall assign a current member to serve as a contact person for a new member.
  6. May be a liaison to all AGT Committees.


  1. Shall record the minutes at the monthly general membership and Executive board meetings.
  2. Shall maintain a membership directory with contact information for each member.
  3. Shall keep a Policies and Procedures notebook of job descriptions and copies of AGT forms, tax documents, reimbursement forms, etc.
  4. Shall send letters of condolences, appreciations, encouragements, congratulations, etc., to AGT members as is appropriate, and in a timely manner.


  1. Shall have all AGT checks signed by either the Treasurer, the President, and/or the Assistant Treasurer.
  2. Shall receive and record all payments, including dues from members.
  3. Shall propose and maintain an annual budget for all AGT expenses, including, but not limited to: office supplies, printing, signs, website, legal fees, licenses, bank fees, and general operating expenses. The budget must be approved by the AGT Board and be available for inspection upon request.
  4. Shall submit a Treasurer’s Report at the regular monthly meeting. This report may be submitted by email to the membership in advance.  Any member may bring an item to the floor for discussion of the budget at that meeting.
  5. Shall maintain a dues chart, indicating all members and the amounts they have paid.
  6. Shall work with the Board regarding tax issues.

Assistant Treasurer:

In the Treasurer’s absence, the duties of the Treasurer shall be accomplished by the Assistant Treasurer.

Member(s) at Large:

  1. Shall offer advice regarding any items on AGT’s Board agenda.
  2. Shall assist the Vice President in welcoming new members and in designating the new member’s contact person.
  3. Shall assist the Vice President in orienting new officers and Committee Chairs regarding their responsibilities.



  1. Shall provide the Executive Board with a copy of their job descriptions.
  2. Shall be responsible for acquiring members to their committee.
  3. Shall inform their committee members about committee activities at each monthly meeting and/or by email.
  4. The outgoing Chair shall meet the incoming chair at the earliest possible date following the new appointment to give an overview of responsibilities and requirements.
  5. The Executive Board shall appoint all committee heads on an annual basis.


Committee Members shall establish a lending library as per the Constitution.


  1. If a member signs up to take part in an event, payment for that event should be submitted to the Treasurer within the time period allotted by the coordinator of that event.
  2. If payment is not made by that allotted time period, that member will not be permitted be a participant.
  3. Members who have their books displayed for sale at an AGT event, but are unable to attend that event, are expected to pay the same amount of money as those attending.
  4. Members who pre-pay to attend an event, then are unable to attend said event, will not be allowed to receive a refund for monies paid unless they find a paying substitute.
  5. Event Coordinators shall have their portion of the event fee paid by AGT as compensation for organizing the AGT participation, serving as event liaison, and overseeing the setup and book collections.


Once a Membership Application Form and a book copy are received by the Chair, two members of the committee will review the book and notify the Chair if the book is acceptable.

  1. The submitted work must achieve a level of quality that matches professional editing and art standards.
  2. The decisions of the Membership/Vetting Committee shall be final.
  3. A Welcome Package will be given to each new member with a letter of acceptance.
  4. Appropriate dues and the badge fees, as well as committee choices, must be made before the prospective member is officially approved.
  5. The Membership Chair shall email the new member’s particulars to the Website coordinator and the membership once the member is officially approved.
  6. If need be, the Chair shall send letters of rejection, notifying the applicant to pick up their book(s) or pay return postage. Any books not claimed shall be donated or discarded.


  1. The Committee shall consist of three (3) members appointed by the Vice President as Chair.
  2.  The Committee shall be in contact with one another in November to draw up a slate of officers.
  3. The nomination of officers shall be as follows:  the  Vice President, Secretary, and Member-at-Large shall be elected for a two-year term beginning in 2014; the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and two Members-at-Large for one-year terms.
  4. Every year elections votes shall be taken by email for officers at the December meeting for:  President, Vice President, Treasurer, Asst. Treasurer, and two Members-at-Large.


The committee members will report their findings to the Chair who will arrange a date for the speaker to present at a monthly AGT meeting.


The Chair shall assign a specific East Tennessee district to each committee member.

  1. The Committee shall write press releases on new members, new book releases, member awards, and events in which AGT is participating and send them to the appropriate media along with any photos.
  2. The Chair shall maintain a listing compiled by committee members of newspaper, radio, TV, magazines, and other media outlets along with contact information.  These outlets shall cover counties where we have author representation.

Retail: The Chair:

  1. Shall be familiar with owner/manager at each AGT retailer, providing the specific store with contact information (brochures, business cards).
  2. Shall continually re-evaluate success levels at each location as well as sales of individual titles.
  3. Shall search new retail opportunities and be prepared to successfully convince retailer to provide space for AGT books, working towards acquiring the most space, best exposure, and lowest commission that can be agreed upon.
  4. Shall assign committee members to stores in specific areas.
  5. Shall assist the committee member to order signs or display materials for AGT set-ups at retail locations.
  6. Shall coordinate book signings and other events at the retail outlets.
  7. If needed, shall submit a gas bill to AGT for ten (ten) cents a mile to the  Executive Board for approval.

Retail:  Committee Members: 

  1. Shall be responsible for a specific geographic district assigned by the Chair.
  2. Shall serve as the contact person for their assigned retailers and maintain an ongoing relationship with owner/manager.
  3. Shall be responsible for restocking AGT inventory as well as maintaining a neat appearance of the AGT display.
  4. Shall ensure that all books are priced with removable sticker or that prices are provided to the retail store.
  5. Shall visit retail store once a month, or as agreed upon with retailer, to collect net payment for sales if payment is not mailed directly to AGT Treasurer.
  6. Shall have retailer mail money for net sales to AGT with breakdown of books sold.


Shall conduct training sessions (either individually or as a group) for Skype, AGT website, blogging, and social media, etc.


  1. Shall oversee the AGT website to keep it current and accurate.
  2. Shall be the liaison between the webmaster and the Authors Guild.
  3. Shall compute and chart website invoices, if needed.

Criteria for AGT Membership


  1. Applicant must have at least one published book within the last five years that is compatible with AGT guidelines and is edited with a serious literary effort.
  2. Applicant must be agreeable to market all AGT books at sales events.
  3. Applicant must be willing to contribute to AGT by participating in at least one committee and attend periodic monthly meetings.
  4. The Membership/Vetting Committee shall review the application and evaluate the submitted work. If the Committee recommends the applicant, the applicant shall be invited to join the Authors Guild of Tennessee.
  5. Once the applicant joins AGT, dues and badge fees must be paid within thirty (30) days of acceptance. Dues shall be adjusted on a monthly basis as to when the member joins (or rejoins) AGT.
  6. The applicant shall have thirty (30) days to join a committee.
  7. When the applicant’s dues, badge fees, and committee choices are made, the Vetting committee chair shall furnish the member’s information to the AGT membership and to the website coordinator.
  8. To stay in good standing with AGT, a member must follow the above criteria, conform to AGT’s Constitution and By-Laws, and pay their dues on time.

Departing Authors Guild Procedure.

  1. Any member wishing to not renew membership in the Authors Guild shall notify the Chair of the Directory.
  2. The Chair of the Directory shall notify the President who, in turn, shall notify the general membership and the Web Master of the situation.
  3. The non-renewing member shall have their name and books removed from the website and shall no longer be notified of any AGT emails.
  4. The non-renewing member is responsible for collecting their books from AGT’s Retail Chair and AGT’s Lending Library or paying return postage for said books. Any books not claimed shall be donated or discarded.