Montana Women Writers 2020 Review
By Janice McCaffrey, Secretary
Overall Montana Women Writers had a good year. We met in-person January and February enjoying chit-chat and catching up with one another. Two meetings, March and April, were cancelled due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, but then Barbara Shiffman came to the rescue with her Zoom.
We had interesting speakers who brought their expertise, perspectives, and ideas to us. In January, Barbara Shiffman demonstrated how to set up Amazon Author Pages and offered to help anyone who needed assistance. February, Kathy McKay talked about the publishing team she works with as editor. We welcomed and have enjoyed getting to know members of Kalispell’s Children’s Book Writers Group.
May brought Jess Owen explaining and answering our multitude of questions about online promotions. And in June we were inspired to broaden our beliefs by Frances Erler’s Power of Fantasy. As usual we took the summer off to enjoy the beauty of Northwest Montana and maybe write.
In September, Haiku To You, Too! was presented by Barbara Shiffman. She taught us about different forms of Haiku and had us write some individually, with the group, and one specifically about the pandemic. We laughed a lot. And the experience spawned Haiku blogs for the Montana Women Writers website. That same month we discovered that a supporter of local authors, Cindy Ritter, owner/operator of Bad Rock Books in Columbia Falls, needed major repairs on the building. Montana Women Writers organized a GoFundMe campaign and worked together to upload it, publicize it, and start the donations. Within two months, the goal was surpassed with a grand total of $14,395.
The speaker for our October meeting misunderstood its starting time which threw us a lemon. But enthusiastic members made some delicious lemonade sharing motivational ideas, helpful writers’ websites, and suggestions for 2021 meetings. November, traditionally, the last meeting of the year, we were joined by Carol Marino, Community and Entertainment Editor of the Daily Inter Lake. It was a lovely afternoon, like having a tea party with a new friend . . . without the tea.
Montana Women Writers has established an internal Resource Directory to share our experiences with members. We continue as a sister-group to Authors of the Flathead and encourage participation with their meetings and annual conferences. Kathy Dunnehoff presents writing craft topics every first Thursday of the month via Zoom. For details go to authorsoftheflathead.org.
We wish everyone a healthy and productive new year, as we look forward to another fun, informative, supportive year of Montana Women Writers.