Meeting Minutes

February 2021

AGT monthly meeting for February 2021 on Zoom

The Authors Guild of Tennessee held an online video meeting on February 4, 2021.  The session began at 11:00 with a welcome by AGT President Cheryl Peyton.

The following members were online:

Sue Kite, Kaye George, Sam Bledsoe, Randy Carpenter, Jim Hartsell, Mary Gaines, Brooke Cox (new member), Bobbi Chapman, Leoma Gilley, Dave Curran, Jerry Morton, Donna Habib, Vicki Bennett, Linda Fitzpatrick, Art Stewart, Cheryl Peyton and Cyn Taylor.

No guests were online

January minutes: Minutes of the January Zoom meeting have been approved online.

Treasurer’s report:  Treasurer Mary Gaines reported a balance of $2,214.83 in total available funds.

Committee reports:

Membership: Kaye George introduced our newest member, Brooke Cox. Cox writes in the genre of Middle Grade and YA Adventure, filling a gap for AGT. Cox also writes non-fiction, homespun southern tales and was a 2016 Selah finalist for Debut Novel. Cox’ newest book, Until the Moon Rises was released last week.

Library:  President Cheryl Peyton spoke on behalf of Library Chair Laura Derr who gave options for AGT members to continue checking out books from the library. Members present via Zoom voted to reinstate our library book exchange so as to continue with AGT policy of reading and reviewing at least one member’s book every month. Laura Derr will email a list of all the books she has in the ‘tote’ at her home. Then, she’ll meet with any members once a month to the parking lot of the Faith Lutheran Church between 11:00 and noon with the library of books. It was decided to select a date in February to meet with her. Cheryl requested that interested members let her know any day/days that YOU CANNOT MEET between 11:00 and 12:00 and she will pick another day. Members can also return members’ books they have checked out on that day to Laura.

Other options: After Laura sends an email with all the library books she has, at your request, she will send the book you choose to you, and you can return it in a month by mail Also, Sue Kite. and possibly others, are willing to send their PDF book files to your computer for you to read. Please make your requests for books in this format directly to the author.

Bobbi Chapman hopes to have the directory ready, possibly to distribute during the first book exchange.


Secretary: Cyn Taylor reported that despite AGT member Mary Gaines’ year-long effort to get AGT books into Dollywood, our contact, Jeff Conyers replied that they only sell Dolly’s books and cookbooks and have no interest in expanding at this time.

At the request of AGT members, Taylor will follow up with an email to Conyers this spring with a request that Dollywood consider allowing AGT members to set up tents in the Dollywood parking lot to sell our books.

It was suggested that AGT authors consider composing a cookbook to sell for charity. If we can manage to do that, Taylor will also check with Conyers about having the AGT cookbook placed in Dollywood. Taylor will be sending an email to members asking for recipes to compile the book. We will discuss publishing options once we see the response from members.


Website: Leoma Gilley sent the new password via chat during the Zoom meeting. PW: WeRthe@4books.


Announcements: Cheryl advised that we need the following volunteers: someone to produce the eZine and members, and a chair person for Publicity. Sam Bledsoe will continue to head the Marketing committee for the present time. We need volunteers for all three committees.

Program: Members Cheryl Peyton, Brooke Cox, Leoma Gilley, Cyn Taylor, Kaye George and Linda Fitzpatrick shared writing tips to assist authors in staying focused and energized.

These included:

  • If you have permission, use friends as characters in your books. Cheryl is doing this.
  • Focus on vocabulary, grammar and elements of style.
  • Read and write a lot, especially in your genre.
  • Don’t use words in your dialogue that you don’t hear in common language.
  • Develop good writing habits. For example, set a writing schedule and number of words for each day.
  • Choose a location where you can achieve the best results.
  • Think through what you want to say with your writing.
  • Practice writing a short story, then cut it to the bones. This may help you edit your books more efficiently.
  • Read good books on writing such as Stephen King’s On Writing or Donald Maass’ The Fire in Fiction.
  • Take courses and read in your genre.
  • Ask advice and tops from other published authors.

We will hear from the other authors who will share their advice and experience at the March Zoom meeting.

Meeting adjourned at: 12:00 p.m. followed by socializing by several who could stay on. The next Zoom meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.  Please note the time change.


Respectfully submitted,

Cyn Taylor/AGT Secretary 2021