Meeting Minutes

October 2023

AGT Monthly Meeting for October 2023

The Authors Guild of Tennessee held their monthly meeting on Thursday, October 5, 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, Stephen Lyn Bales, Bill Barbour, Sam Bledsoe, Bobbi Chapman, Deana Charcalla, Dave Curran, Gayle Curtin, Laura Derr, Sonja DuBois, Russ Fine, Linda Fitzpatrick, Kaye George, Jim Hartsell, Morris Hudgins, Ernie Lancaster, Angela Newland, Kathy Parr, Cheryl Peyton, Nancy Pressley, Ron Pressley, Brenda Sellers, Frank Snyder, Victoria Winifred, and Curt Young.

Guests: Sherry Fine.

Welcome – Cheryl.  Remembrance of Linda Best. Her funeral mass is at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Lenoir City on Oct 20, 10:00 a.m. visitation, 11:00 a.m. Mass, 12:00 p.m. service at the columbarium, and all are invited to lunch afterward.

It is National Teacher’s Day. Several members were teachers and raised their hands when asked to identify themselves.

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

Treasurer’s report:  – Russ

Balance as of Sept. 1, $2,389.95. Balance as of Sept. 30: $2,439.80. Contributions: $30.00 Membership Dues: $60.00 Total amount of Expenses in September $93.12 Outstanding checks: $0.00 Balance today: $2,439.80.

Reports by Committee Chairs:

  • In November, we will have a slate of nominees to elect for next year. Please let Cheryl know if you want to commit to another year in your current role or have a special interest in some area of service.
  • Ernie modeled his yellow shirt with the Authors Guild logo that his daughter imprinted. $30 each for shirt with AGT logo and author’s name. Give Ernie your name and size if you would like one.
  • Cheryl displayed her oil painting of the Mona Lisa.
  • Kaye told us about publisher Owner Jay Hartman is looking for works about diversity in the workplace or the diversity of the author’s background. Kaye reports that Hartman is very good to work with. Submissions should be sent to:
  • Victoria Winifred has a new book No Time for Halloween that’s in her new mystery series.
  • Linda F spoke about marketing and market research. She’s been working with someone in the fiber arts sector. She came up with four descriptions of your attitude to marketing. She handed them out for each person to circle one that best represents them and put their name on the back. She will report in February. A quick tally revealed a similar number of choices for each description.
  • Upcoming events. Cheryl – Local Voices Authors Fair this Saturday at the Blount Country Library– set up by 8:30. Bring a light-colored tablecloth or sheet to cover books during breakfast. They furnish a table and 2 chairs.
  • Mountain Makins festival to be held Oct 28-29 in Morristown. This is a great event for books. Cheryl will set up Friday night for the Preview evening event. Residents are invited to browse for purchases over the weekend. We encourage authors to sell books for others if they need to be away but will be returning. Take cash/charge and write it down.
  • Book donation to TV Library – Bobbi

24 authors have contributed at least 2 books. Other donations can be made today. The library desperately needs money to continue its operation since it lost its funding.

Writing Contest – Bill, Danita, Stephen, Linda, and Laura reported on their talks to students.

  • Bill’s experience was similar to last year. The 9:00 class didn’t participate. So, in the afternoon, the writing instructor, Angela, called on people. Angela says it is valuable for the students, but you may not see it while you are there.
  • Stephen’s experience was similar to Bill’s. Nature poetry was his topic. He gave a pre-assignment to go on a nature walk with paper and pen. 2 volunteered to talk. For the afternoon he brought in flowers to talk about color. The students opened up. They all learned what persimmons were. These kids don’t go outside.
  • Linda asked, “Where were you born?” Everyone had an answer. She picked 3 poems: What is poetry? The oldest, Iliad and Odyssey, are full of the emotions of war. Mary Oliver – instructions for living a life: pay attention, be astonished, tell me about it. Jay Ivy, hip hop artist. He wrote The Poet Who Sat by the Door.
  • Laura talked about rhyming and rap. She watched a lot of rap videos to prepare and learned a lot. Watch Little Mama! was one. The
  • students related to rap poetry.

Retail: Cheryl

Cheryl is updating the inventory list for each location.

Training:  Sam Bledsoe They will be sending out another survey. Please respond so they can come up with fresh ideas for marketing. They plan to check with the Marketing Dept at UT for speakers.

Awards didn’t get as much input. We don’t know much about them, so there’s a learning opportunity.


Our guest speaker was AGT member Leoma Gilley who spoke about the software Publisher Rocket, a marketing tool for writers that identifies the most effective keywords to use on Amazon listings to help sell books. One provision is their “competition analyzer” which helps authors find comparable titles, what categories they are in, and which phrases attract the most readers.


The meeting adjourned at 12:15 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for November 2 at 10:30 a.m. at the Faith Lutheran Church.

Respectfully submitted,

Leoma Gilley, Secretary