Meeting Minutes

June 2024

AGT Monthly Meeting for June 202

The Authors Guild of Tennessee held their monthly meeting on Thursday, June 6, 2024, at the Faith Lutheran Church in Farragut. Social time started at 10:30 and the business meeting at 11:00.

The following members were present:

Stephen Lyn Bales, Jeff Carlson, Bobbi Chapman, Dorie Cummings, Gayle Curtin, Laura Derr, Sonya DuBois, Russell Fine, Linda Fitzpatrick, John Forcum, Kaye George, Jim Hartsell, Wes Hibbert, Carrie Jones, Ernie Lancaster, Kathy Parr, Cheryl Peyton, Nancy Pressley, Ron Pressley, Brenda Sellers, Art Stewart, and Victoria Winifred

Visitors: Sherry Fine, Stan and Beverley Borgia, Cassie Sylvester, and Gary Butler.

Welcome – Cheryl.

Stan Borgia introduced himself to the group as a former FBI agent who has one crime/detective novel ready for publishing. He plans to apply for membership in our group. Cassie Sylvester has a published novel. Gary Butler has written fantasy fiction.

Jim Hartsell announced that he has found a professional reader for audio versions of his Boone series.

Kaye George announced she has a new three-book publishing deal. She needs to produce one book every 10 months.

May Minutes: Minutes of the May meeting have been approved online.


Treasurer’s report:  Russ

Balance as of May 1      $2,778.33

Balance as of May 31      1,818.25

Income: $40 membership dues, $30 cookbooks.

Book sales:

Phoenix Pharmacy    $127.20

Winsome Stroll           $76.94

Preferred Pharmacy    $10.50

Total Payments:

Trade show equipment –     $45.51

Trade show booth fees —    $63.87

Author payments —           $161.34

Writing Contest expense:  $845.00


“Authors in Grocery Stores” sales opportunity – Victoria reported on a national program whereby several grocery chains offer space for authors to reserve weeks to set up their individual displays and sell their books. In our area the one participant is Kroger’s. During your week, you can be at the store every day, all day, if you wish, or any part of the time during store hours. The cost is $70 a year plus a one-time enrollment of each book title for $25. The stores will pay the authors 62 % of the sales. Victoria has signed up for three weeks – one in July and the other two in the fall.


Reports by Committee Chairs:

  1. Festival Facts – Nancy P., Bobbi, Victoria

Nancy explained her survey form she uses to collect authors’ responses to questions about the physical aspects of the venues, the crowds, sales, and if they’d sign up again.

Bobbi noted the upcoming shows: Lavender Festival on June 15, 8 a.m.- 4 p.m., “Summer on Broadway,” June 21, 5-9 p.m. and June 22, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the “Salty Dog” festival in World’s Fair Park, July 19-20. Only she and Stephen have signed up for the show with a low non-profit rate with thousands of attendees expected. Bobbi would like two more participants.

  1. Membership – Kathy reported we have two new members since our last meeting. She’ll send around the contact information.
  2. Retail — Cheryl advised that the IGA store in Townsend has some shelving made now and will soon complete the project to receive our books.
  3. Writing Contest. Art reported the schedule hasn’t been set for the fall semester. He will keep us updated as needed.



Cheryl introduced our speaker, Dr. Jeff Ringer, a UT Associate Professor of undergraduate and graduate courses in composition theory, pedagogy (teaching methods), rhetoric, and religious expression.

Dr. Ringer spoke on the topic of AI and Writing using a power point slide presentation covering various topics:

What is Generative AI?

It is a technology that scrapes data from the Internet. Using large language models, gen. AI identifies patterns and then reproduces these according to prompts it receives from the user. What AI cannot do is to judge value, either in quality of writing or importance and validity relevant to the subject.

Historical View. We’ve been here before (sort of)

In the history of writing, any new technology has set off societal freak-outs. Beginning with the invention of writing itself in the early centuries before the modern era, Plato was totally opposed to the written word. He argued that it would cause a loss of memory because people would rely on that which is written, forgetting what they had heard. Socrates also never wrote anything down.

When the pencil was invented, it was looked at with suspicion. When the eraser was added, it caused a panic. It was thought that the ability to erase what was written would change writing to spontaneous rambling, without thoughtful deliberation.

When computers and word processers were invented, they fundamentally changed the idea of writing. People then had to ability to delete or add to their original writing with little effort.  On this subject, Dr. Ringer recommended the book A Better Pencil by Dennis Baron in which the author analyzes how technology shapes how we write.

Conceptual View

The advent of gen. AI raises question of what is the nature of writing itself and how do we conceive of authorship. The social view of writing is that it involves other people’s output that has come before, that all language predates us.

Teaching Generative AI

AI produces much text that is poorly written, ie., using metaphors that draw attention to themselves as they are overblown and even ridiculous.

AI is good for invention – coming up with new ideas that you haven’t thought of as it has a vast data base to explore.

AI is valuable for writing on a subject the writer doesn’t know, ie. medical terminology and technical information.

What we’ve learned is that effective writing (rhetoric) is built on narrative which the author alone can supply.

Prompts to AI take a lot of time and repetition to come up with anything useful as AI can’t interpret relevancy.

Bottom line: Generative AI won’t replace writers.

Dr. Ringer emphasized that he did not address the ethical problem with gen. AI such as copyright infringement which he sees as a major problem going forward.

Bio: Dr. Jeffrey M. Ringer is an Associate Professor of undergraduate and graduate courses in composition theory, the method of teaching, the study of effective messaging, and religious expression at the University of Tennessee.



Meeting adjourned at 12:20 p.m. As the first Thursday of July is the 4th, Cheryl suggested that we meet on the 2nd Thursday, July 11th. No objections were made so we will meet on that date same time, at the Faith Lutheran Church, beginning at 10:30 a.m. for social time and book exchange with the business meeting starting at 11:00 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Cheryl Peyton, Secretary Pro tem