Meeting Minutes

May 2024

AGT Monthly Meeting for May 2024

The Authors Guild of Tennessee held their monthly meeting on Thursday, May 2, 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:

Bill Barbour, Gene Berryhill, Randy Carpenter, Bobbi Chapman, Deana Charcalla, Dorie Cummings, David Curran, Gayle Curtin, Linda Fitzpatrick, John Forcum, Kaye George, Wes Hibbert, Jerry Morton, Kathy Parr, Cheryl Peyton, Nancy Pressley, Ron Pressley, Frank Snyder, Art Stewart, Becky Tucker, Jeri Weems, and Victoria Winifred.

Welcome – Cheryl. Our newest member, Gene Berryhill, was asked to say a word about herself. Dr. Berryhill, a Fulbright scholar, is a former professor of art and art history. Her first book, Ripples from the Holler, is historical fiction, based on the adventures of her ancestors who were part Cherokee and originally lived in East Tennessee, migrating to Arizona where her grandfather hoped to be a cowboy.

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

Treasurer’s report: – Cheryl (from Russ Fine) Balance as of April 1, $3298.80. Balance as of April 30: 2,778.33. Total amount of Expenses in April totaled $379, including payments for a speaker, trade show equipment and DII Graphics for name badges.

Reports by Committee Chairs:

Festival Facts – Nancy reported that the Dogwood Festival this past weekend was very successful, that the three participants, Ron, Bobbi and herself, sold nearly 100 books, total.

Program – Cheryl. Danita wrote that speakers are scheduled for the next few months.

Retail – Cheryl advised that our books were recovered from the building of the now-closed Café in Loudon. There is still no word on when the IGA in Townsend will have shelving built for us. Ernie continues to check with the owner Todd Lowe. When the shelves are installed, we’ll place the extra books from the Phoenix Pharmacy there and all those from The Café.

Training –Gayle reported on a source for producing a marketing video to install on YouTube. Members can contact Gayle for more specifics and contact information.

Writing Contest – Jerry reported that the plaques and prize money will be given out this week to the six winners in the three classes from this second semester.

Grant application — Art advised that he has submitted the grant application and we should hear by July if we will receive over $10,000 with which to purchase AGT books for 14 libraries over the next two years, along with paying AGT members for one-hour presentations at the libraries on how to write and publish books.

Website – Bill had contacted our website manager Harry McKinney to complete the revision of our website banner from the leather background and logo to a colorful picture of the sunrise over the Smokies with our name. We feel it better represents our members who live in East Tennessee and their books that are fresh and entertaining.


Bobbi Chapman, who joined AGT in 2013, our first official year, spoke on the topic of Marketing our Books. In the front of the meeting room she had set up a 6’ table on which she displayed two posters of her book covers, along with a rack with all her books. Next to the table stood a 7’ pullup colored poster of the cover of Sky Ranch with a statement below that book presentations are available.

Bobbi related her success in producing and marketing a flyfishing calendar years ago when she lived in Idaho, a business that won a national award for marketing. As co-chair of the Festival Facts Committee, Bobbi went over the protocols for Festivals and Self Marketing (attached to this email).

Her tips for selling your books in fairs include making eye contact and engaging an attendee who stops by your booth by asking an open question like, “Are you enjoying the fair?” If the customer appears interested in one of your books, hand it to them. Bobbi has found that this establishes a connection with the book that often leads to a purchase.

Other sales tips and reminders of being courteous when selling with others are on her handout.

In the Question-and-Answer period that followed, Bobbi informed us that she contacts social groups and service organizations to offer herself as a speaker, without charging a fee if she can display and sell her books. This usually turns out to be an excellent sales opportunity.


Meeting adjourned at 12:10 p.m. The next meeting will be held June 6, 2024 at the Faith Lutheran Church, beginning at 10:30 a.m. for social time and book exchange.

Respectfully submitted,

Cheryl Peyton, Secretary pro tem