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2017-2018 Year in Review, President’s Post by Laura Stigler

09 Sep 2018 3:18 PM | Anonymous

Well that went fast. Guess that’s how it goes when you’re getting great things done! Ready for another trip in our way-back machine to see exactly what we did get done this past year? Once again, don your rear-view goggles, Mylar jumpsuits, hold on to your helmets and let’s get to it:


In terms of financial figures, IWOC is in fabulous shape. Thanks to fashioning new efficiencies and cutting costs, IWOC is destined to continue living a long and illustrious life in service to its members. And while we’re on the subject…


In the last year, Membership has increased by 20%! How did that happen?


New Membership Chair: Having only been a member since last October, already Alicia Dale is earning multiple stripes with her initiatives, networking citywide, reaching out to potential members, and reeling them in with a warm IWOC welcome. In June alone, IWOC gained 7 new members. A record! Thank you, Alicia.

Life in the Freelance Lane (LIFL): This traveling show with its merry band of IWOC-ers (Jeff Steele and yours truly, with (in rotation), Sally Chapralis, David Steinkraus, and George Becht) continued picking up speed – and members, making appearances at colleges (North Central, Harold Washington), Libraries (Merlo, Niles-Maine, Oak Park, Skokie), and (drum roll please) on Sept. 24, the American Writers Museum! Dreaming of joining the band? Contact Jeff Steele.

Adding two more ostrich-sized feathers in our caps:

  • IWOC has landed a partnership with the City of Chicago’s Business Affairs & Consumer Protection Dept.(BACP), where we recently presented LIFL to an SRO crowd and will continue presenting as “regulars” there;
  • The Career Transitions Center of Chicago (a “good works” organization introduced to us by Membership Chair Alicia Dale) has received such positive feedback after our recent LIFL presentation, they’re already making room on their calendars to have us back for repeats.


How else are we attracting new members – and keeping current ones?

Crowd-Pleasing Programs

A standing “O” for our Program Committee, Chaired by Jeff Steele who, along with committee-mates, Vlad Herard, Alicia Dale, Sarah Klose, Julie Polanco, Tom Lanning and Sally Chapralis brought in guests who spoke on such all-the-rage topics as “Convention Writing,” “How to Create a Podcast,” “Branding and Marketing Your Business,” “Turn Your Book into an Audiobook,” “Ghostwriting” and “How Content Strategy Creates Brilliant Copy.” And then there was the IWOC Roundtable, a perennial favorite.

Events of Interest

Only IWOC members are alerted to events that, while not offered by IWOC, may still be of interest to them. This year, members were e-blasted about the “Sell More Books” Seminar, “Freelance Pitch Clinic” and the “Writing Workshop of Chicago 2018.”

Member News e-blasts

Just implemented. And the positive response has been overwhelming. Any member who wishes to tout their latest wins can now have them e-blasted to our 700+ contacts. Nice perk! Send your big news to Alicia Dale.


Our Stet Newsletter has gone through many transitions over the last three decades – but none more dramatic and frankly, more fun, than this! Now appearing as an interactive, living Blog, not only does the latest IWOC-, writer- and business-related news come to you, but you can come to it – by contributing posts! One big benefit: you’ll be raising your own SEO ranking – so essential for attracting the world’s attention to your name. Submit postings to Cynthia Tomusiak.

Our Group

11 months ago, we’ve created an IWOC group on to raise our profile amongst writers of all levels, all disciplines, all over town. We’re already up to 360+ members, adding more every day.

Special Discount

Non-members attending our monthly programs can now receive a 10% discount on their first year of membership if they sign up at the meeting. Consider it a rebate of sorts – and our way of saying “thank you” for coming – and joining!

Gift Memberships

Know any writers who can benefit from IWOC’s benefits? Next time a holiday or special occasion rolls around, help increase membership by giving an IWOC Gift Membership! To do so, contact Alicia Dale.

A Brochure Facelift

We’ve nipped and tucked IWOC’s brochure to give it a more millennial look. And it’s turning heads. Help promote IWOC by picking up a few at the next meeting and passing ‘em around wherever you go!

Speaking of turning heads, mine’s spinning from all we’ve accomplished this year. Yours, too? Then let’s jump off this way-back machine and start planning IWOC’s path to the future. Together. Hang on to your Mylar jumpsuits, though. They’ll come in handy for Halloween.

- Laura Stigler

(Members can comment by clicking on the vertical dots next to the headline.)


  • 05 Oct 2018 4:17 PM | Alicia Dale
    Oh wow, Laura, thanks for the shout out(s)! All I do is tell the story of a professional writers organization full of friendly, accessible professional writers of all types who promote their own freelance careers while advancing the profession of freelance writing. The rest just happens. My head IS spinning from all this great activity! Looking forward to the coming year!
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