Meeting Minutes

March 2020 Minutes for Authors Guild

The Authors Guild of Tennessee met on March 5, 2020 at Faith Lutheran Church, Farragut, Tennessee. The meeting was called to order at 11:05 by President Cheryl Peyton.

Welcome – Cheryl

Members Present: Vicki Bennett, Jared Jackson, Pat Ledford, Susan Kite, Pat Crumpler, Carol McClain, Cyn Taylor, Sally Boyington, Darlene Underwood, Mary Gaines, Jerry Morton, Ray Strobo, Kaye George, David Curran, Randall Carpenter, Jim Hartsell, Jared Jackson, Tilmer Wright, Russ Fine, Cheryl Peyton, Bobbi Phelps Chapman, Linda Fitzpatrick, Sam Bledsoe, Don Pardue, Danielle Asher, and Donna Habib.

Visitors: Carrie McConkey, Leona McGilley, Sherry Fine

February minutes. Approved

Treasurer’s report (Mary Gaines) Beginning balance, $2195.00. Ending $1962.12

Announcements: Cheryl. The board met today to draft a budget for the year. Once Mary finalizes it, it will be shared with the members.

Brief updates from the following Committee Chairs:

Fairs and Festivals: Country Kinfolk in Lenoir City—March 14, 10-5. $35 split among all who go. Three have signed up.

Misc.: Cheryl offered the AGT receipt printer to anyone who wants it.

Sentence Structure exercise:  Placed and Misplaced Modifiers. Cheryl read the same sentence several times, each time rearranging the word “only” and thereby changing the meaning.

Exs., I only poked him in his one eye with my stick. I poked only him in his one eye with my stick.

New books:

Kaye George’s cozy mystery Revenge is Sweet is coming out in two weeks. The second in the series is coming out in June

Sue Kite has a novelette coming May 1, and a children’s book coming out in the fall.

Walter Lambert may need help in overseeing retail stores due to health issues. If anyone is interested, please see Cheryl.

Program:  Chair Linda Fitzpatrick requested topics to assist her in lining up future speakers.

She then introduced today’s speaker, Dr. Linda Best, a friend of Sam Bledsoe’s.  Dr. Best has been teaching creative writing for 40+ years. In recent years she has done a series through collaborative writing and is active on Twitter. Her handle is @DrLindaB.

She spoke on the value of collaborative writing. When she found that students often wrote grammatically correct essays that said nothing, she began researching collaborative writing. By working with others, even on the same work, one’s writing improves. Writing with a partner lessens the effort.

Back in New Jersey she had received government grants for programs she developed to encourage young people’s reading, writing, and civic awareness.

Some tips for writing she offered included reading everything out loud that you write and putting down ideas fast, without worrying about perfection.

Her tip for marketing is using Twitter. You can shape your audience by sharing your ideas with others. On twitter she interacts with a writing community. She has close connections in #Iamwriting and others.

Being limited to 280 characters, you can develop your “elevator” pitch to market your books. This economy of words teaches you to write with a focus.

What you can post on Twitter:

An excerpt of your writing

Response to writing prompts

Vss—very short story

One exercise is to take one word and tell a story in 280 characters.

Picture prompt. Like above, only given a picture

Post a photo, gif, emoji, and just plain writing.

Twitter will collect data about your usage. Boosting your numbers will appeal to publishers. Agents and publishing company’s check your Twitter usage.

Learn about Twitter by reading and commenting. If you have questions, get in touch with Linda. Her email is


Meeting adjourned at: 12:10. Next meeting: April 2, 2020.