Meeting Minutes

November 2023

AGT Monthly Meeting for November 2023

 The Authors Guild of Tennessee held their monthly meeting on Thursday, November 2, 2023, at the Faith Lutheran Church, Knoxville. Social time and book exchange began at 10:30 a.m. Business meeting started at 11:00 a.m.


The following members were present:

Arlene Anderson, Bill Barbour, Randy Carpenter, Bobbi Chapman, David Curran, Laura Derr, Sonja DuBois, Linda Fitzpatrick, Kaye George, Leoma Gilley, Jim Hartsell, Morris Hudgins, Ernie Lancaster, Jerry Morton, Angela Newland, Cheryl Peyton, Nancy Pressley, Ron Pressley, Art Stewart, and Curt Young.

Guests: Richard Carver


Welcome – Cheryl.

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

Treasurer’s report:  – Cheryl

Balance as of Oct. 1, $2439.80. Balance as of Oct. 31: $2581.13. Income: $30.00

Total amount of Expenses in October $116.83. Book Sales: $163.16. Outstanding checks: $141.60.

We received a thank you note from Larry Best for our funeral flowers.

53 students from Lenoir City high school signed a thank you card to Randy following his talk to the two writing classes.

Bobbi showed the group her new book titled Africa: On My Own and Unafraid

Reports by Committee Chairs:


  • Dues are increased to $40 for 2024. We had spent more than our income, so the Board felt this was necessary.
  • Policy change: A member must attend at least 3 meetings per year in order to renew membership.
  • The Directory is online on the website and will no longer be printed. Members can print it if desired.
  • Not as many members are reading and reviewing books as needed. This is an expectation to help each other.

Next year Officers and Committee Chairs

  • President: Cheryl Peyton
  • Vice-President: Bill Barbour
  • Secretary: Leoma Gilley
  • Treasurer: Russ Fine will stay on temporarily
  • Asst Treasurer: Gail Curtain
  • Member at large on board: Kay George
  • Member at large: (still needed)
  • Chair for Directory: Barb Dunn
  • Chair Fairs and Festivals: Deana Charcalla
  • Chair Librarian: Laura Derr
  • Marketing/Publicity: Frank Snyder and Curt Young
  • Membership: Kathy Parr
  • Program: Danita Dodson
  • Taxes: Bobbi Chapman
  • Training: Cheryl suggested Victoria Winifred who’d not present today to respond.
  • Website: Bill Barbour
  • Retail: Art Stewart

Fairs and Festivals.  Cheryl –Eight of us attended the Mountain Makins Festival in Morristown. It was a nice weekend with a good number of people coming by.

Three AGT members people attended the sale at the Yacht Club in Tellico. Over 1,000 people came, and the three sold a record number of books. The fee was $35 and included lunch.

The next opportunity is the Knoxville Christmas Fair, Nov. 10-12 at the Expo Center. Cheryl will send out a request for shifts to those who have signed up.

We want to appreciate Cyn Taylor for all her hard work for the Guild over the years. She will not be renewing membership as she is doing a lot of traveling and writing.

Training:  Bill Barbour is working with Sam on a training program about using our website.


Our guest speaker was AGT member Linda Fitzpatrick. Her topic was “Expand your Readership using Marketing Fundamentals.” We all confront the ongoing challenges of expanding readership in a dense and competitive environment.  Linda described some marketing fundamentals of national brands she’s worked on over the years, and illustrated how some of our most successful members have used those very foundations to expand their fan base.

3 fundamentals:

  1. Time and consistent effort
  2. Decide what you’re building on: Know WHY you are writing
  3. Understand consumer language: what are people saying about your book?

Consistent effort is vital: Kay wrote 468 query letters before she was accepted by a publisher.

That publisher helped her build readership, and led to polished instincts that led to being a national best-selling author.

Linda is planning a one-hour “Accountability Workshop,” 11/8/23 on Zoom 12-1 for $20. Sign up on She will give a 30-Day Challenge. You pick 3-5 things, play around with them for 30 days and come back and see how you did. Find new ways to build readership. Form a new habit over 3 months.

The resources page has been redone on the website. Be sure to check these out. Members can sign up for help in several areas.


Meeting adjourned at 12:17 p.m. The next will be at Mimi’s Restaurant in Turkey Creek on December 7 at 6:00. BYOB.

Respectfully submitted

Leoma Gilley, Secretary