Meeting Minutes

Minutes for November 2019 AGT Meeting

AGT meeting, November 7, 2019

The Authors Guild of Tennessee met on November 7, 2019 at Faith Lutheran Church, Farragut, Tennessee. The meeting was called to order by President Cheryl Peyton at 11:00 a.m.

The following members were present: Jared Jackson, Cheryl Peyton, Jim Hartsell, Randall Carpenter, Nan Klee, Jody Dyer, Walter Lambert, Don Pardue, Jody Sims, Cyn Taylor, Bobbi Chapman, Danielle Asher, Denise Sherriff, Darlene Underwood, Tilmer Wright, David Curran, Linda Fitzpatrick, Jody Dyer, Russ Fine, and Laura Derr.

Guests present: Aaron Russell and Judith Didier.

October minutes: Approved as written.

Treasurer’s report (Jim Hartsell) Opening balance: $1,173.84. Closing balance $1,235.07. The Treasurer’s report was approved.

Jim had several checks to hand out from retail sales. The best stores for sales are American Commissary and Preferred Pharmacy.

In response to a reader’s request for more children’s book in Spanish, Jim is in process of translating his three children’s books and they will be published soon.

Brief updates from the following Committee Chairs

Ezine: Cheryl needs to meet with Elizabeth Horton-Newton to plan next Ezine.

Fairs and Festivals: The Jackson Square-Oak Ridge Festival is Nov. 29. So far three have signed up. The weekend conflicts with Cheesecakes and More Book Fair, so we would only participate at Oak Ridge on Friday. Oak Ridge is a good community to sell books.

Danielle will send out an email if we cancel our participation in an event.

Nominating: Jody Dyer will be holding a Nominating Meeting this month.

Executive Board: Cheryl will set a date for the Executive Board meeting soon to go over budget, dues reduction, and changes to simplify policies

Marketing:  Jody Sims thanked those who attended National Authors Day event November 1 at the Union Bookstore. Jim Hartsell had a good turnout for his reading. We will receive at least $100 back for or participation.

Publicity: Cyn Taylor sent out four press releases in October. She needs to hear from members when they are doing book signings or releasing new books. She sends to ten different media. We can also send out press release when we participate in book fairs and festivals but she needs at least two weeks’ notice. She also needs photos, especially head shots.

Retail: Bobbi Chapman reported that the Oak Ridge retail store, Locally Grown, has not been a good location for our books. Only three books sold there in the last year, so the annual fee of $120 to sell our books there is not worth it. Bobbi pulled our books and brought them back to authors. Tilmer Wright shared that Knoxville Soap and Candle has our books in a separate back room. Tilmer will ask the owner to post a sign at the entrance to make customers aware.

Announcements. Cheryl suggested that we have a more social party meeting in December and bring food. Instead of a speaker, each author can participate in response to a theme or cue. Jody Dyers sent around a sign-up sheet for participants.

We discussed a donation of books to Peace Lutheran. Instead we will make a monetary donation.

David Curran reported meeting with his new-found relatives after learning he was switched at birth. He was wonderfully received and is working on a book about the experience.

Jody Sims will give a presentation tonight to the Knoxville Writers Guild on “The Authors Page” program on WUOT Sunday mornings. Jim Hartsell will be the featured author in two weeks

Program: Cheryl introduced our speaker, Aaron Russell, the publisher of the Historic Union County Newspapers. Cyn Taylor, Susan Kite and Tilmer Wright have contributed to the newspaper regularly. Aaron invited everyone to contribute.

Aaron came to newspaper publishing with no business experience after a series of life-threatening illnesses. He found he could work from home mostly on computers in starting up the business. He first started a website,, then started a magazine, but always wanted to start a newspaper. Currently he publishes a weekly on-line newspaper. Once a month he publishes a printed newspaper. The system works well because it controls costs and many residents prefer a hand-held newspaper. The printed paper is distributed free to readers.

The newspaper is all local news. Submissions should be 500 words or less, and need to be one week in advance, no later than noon Tuesday. The paper is published the following Monday. This is a great opportunity to plug your published books. Aaron also manages websites. He is doing Cyn Taylor’s website.

The meeting adjourned at 12:10. The next meeting is December 5.


Respectfully submitted, Laura Derr, Assistant Secretary