Meeting Minutes

July 2023

AGT Monthly Meeting for July 2023

The Authors Guild of Tennessee held their monthly meeting on Thursday, July 6, 2023, at the Faith Lutheran Church, Knoxville. Social time and book exchange began at 10:30 a.m. with the business meeting starting at 11:15 a.m.

The following members were present:

Bill Barbour, Vicki Bennett, Linda Best, Sam Bledsoe, Randy Carpenter, Bobbi Chapman, Dave Curran, Danita Dotson, Sonja DuBois, Barb Dunn, Russ Fine, Linda Fitzpatrick, Kaye George, Stanford Johnson, Jim Hartsell, Wes Hibbert, Mark Hicks, Morris Hudgins, Ernie Lancaster, Jerry Morton, Angela Newland, Kathy Parr, Cheryl Peyton, Brenda Sellers, Frank Snyder, Cyn Taylor, and Curt Young.

Guests: Sherry Fine, Jill Sbi, Stephanie Addante, Christine Harris, Tim Joseph.

Welcome – Cheryl welcomed all in attendance and asked guests to stand to be acknowledged. Guests explained their backgrounds and books. Cheryl also congratulated members who have published new books: Jim Hartsell, Bill Barbour, Cyn Taylor, Deana Charcalla, and Leoma Gilley.

June minutes: Minutes of the June meeting have been approved online.

Treasurer’s report:  – Russ

Balance as of June 1, $2,459.66.  Balance as of June 31: $2152.22. Book sales: Preferred Pharmacy – $31.50. Winsome Stroll – $18.20. Payments: Walmart – $108.70, Docucopies – $91.25. Clearbags –$38.45. PrintRunner –$76.41. Pumpkinfest – $42.84. Author Payments $59.49. Pending Transactions: Author Payments – $7.69. Expense (Writing Contest) – $241.45.

Report on Committee Activities:

Committee Chairs:

Shows, festivals: Cheryl reported that she had applied for space at the Franklin Pumpkinfest in Franklin, TN. She has asked for a two-stall space on the main street with room for ten. We have nine members so far. Cheryl also reported that the Tennessee Book and Readers Convention will be held September of 2024. Applications are due in March. She has sent out the information to members, and she asks that we make our own arrangements if interested.

Library: Bobbi asked for books that will be donated to the Tellico Village Library. Members willing to donate should bring two signed copies of each book. The books will be sold in a December fundraiser.

Writing Contest: Jerry is working on donations to offset expenses for awards. He will be meeting with one of the teachers at Lenoir City High School to determine the theme for next year, which is likely to be poetry.

Retail:  Linda Best reported that Sweetwater Valley Farm is no longer interested in selling our books. Ft. Loudon’s giftshop manager is considering our books. Sequoya museum has no space for us and stocks mostly children’s books. Farragut Pharmacy rejected the offer of a bookcase, yet management is enthusiastic about selling our books. The plan is to promote the pharmacy as a boutique. The Pharmacy will be featured in Shop Farragut.

Website: Bill Barbour did a video recording of the speaker today and will out a link on the web site.

New Books: Jim Hartsell will have the final book in his Boone series, Finding Home, and he is working on a children’s book. Bill Barbour has published The Rain, a sequel to his first book, The Wind. Cyn Taylor has a new book in her Smoky Mountain series coming out on Amazon. Deana Charcalla published Wyatt the Tarantula’s Wild Day at the Zoo.


Our guest speaker was Steven Friedlander who spoke on ways to market books. Steven is a lecturer at the University of Tennessee’s School of Journalism and Electronic Media. He has worked as an editor and a writer for almost four decades-first in New York City on a variety of magazines and parody projects and for the past 15 years as CEO of A3 Creative Group, an education-focused communications and marketing company. For five years he was the editor-in-chief of Cityview, Knoxville’s magazine.  He has edited magazines, books, annual reports, white papers, brochures, posters, and newsletters; overseen strategic communications, marketing, and public relations campaigns; produced events on Capitol Hill; and developed websites, videos, and DVDs.

His talk centered around the marketing potential of keeping in touch with connections one has made over the years—school, workplaces, social groups, etc. He spends part of every day reaching out to his connections he has found to be mutually beneficial. Steven advised us to first determine our positioning, who we are and what it is that we do, and then determine our branding, or how we convey our positioning. This is what we want to share with our connections.


Cheryl adjourned the meeting at 12:15 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for August 3 at 10:30 a.m. at the Faith Lutheran Church.