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2018-2019 Year in Review - President’s Post by Laura Stigler

01 Sep 2019 6:31 PM | Anonymous

On August 29, Mayor Lightfoot reported on the State of the City. The news? Not good. In stark contrast, and as Commander- in-Chief of IWOC, I can definitively declare that the State of IWOC is very good. Nay, excellent. Most notably, IWOC is way more financially solvent than our fair City – thus enabling us to not only cover our operating costs, but to continue offering programs, parties, perks and other things (that don’t necessarily begin with “p”) aimed at benefitting the careers and, dare I say, even the morale of our members. There’s something going on here. Call it an energy surge. But it’s palpable, much of it owed to what has transpired throughout this past year, namely...

  • Our exploding Social Media outreach, thanks to Tephra Miriam. She has nimbly taken all our social media platforms to a whole new, fun level that raises IWOC’s profile to a whole new, fun level. (Plus, we got 600 members – and counting every day!).
  • A 33% increase in IWOC membership since September 2018. Membership Chair Alicia Dale, with her unstoppable flow of ideas and gregarious nature, has gone full throttle in attracting and maintaining an outstanding caliber of members. Check out their profiles in the Online Directory and see for yourself:
  • Professional Members: Joseph Wycoff, Matthew Mayer, Manuel Galvan, Jay Schwartz, Chris Zambory, Carrie Pallardy, Chloe Riley, Patience Kramer, Richard Pallardy, Chris Ruys, Dan Gillogly, Ben Durham, Tonia Humphrey, Greg King, Jim Ardito, Desiree Mulkey, Francine Friedman, Terry Nugent, Natalie Roth, David Witter, Morgan Carey Bergren,  Ted Barnhart
  • Associate Members: Daise Imakando, Donna Gregory, Anne Hagerty, Christina Michael, Sandra Steele, Allison Torem, Lucia Mouat, Jennifer Posternack, Michele Popadich, Maria Rodriguez, Roberta Krause, Genevieve Waller.
  • Ongoing program excellence. Program Chair Jeff Steele and his stalwart Committee of Vladimire Herard, Betsy Storm and Julie Polanco, along with contributions from Ms. Dale have continued to bring in programs that both informed and entertained. Members who missed any can download the podcasts on our Members Resource page and relive such career-polishing gems as: The Chunky Method of Writing, Benefit Big by Blogging for Business, Secrets of Copywriting Success, Real Time Networking, Perfect Your 90-second Pitch, Pump up Profits by Increasing Your Efficiency, How to Build Your Success through Online Video Stories, Understanding Content Strategy to Create Brilliant Copy, and How to Use LinkedIn for Freelance Success.
  • Promoting our members. Proud of their breaking news and accomplishments, horns were tooted for:
  • Laura Stigler (the Chicago premiere of her fun-woman show, “Nashville Notes: The Diary of a Mad Songwriter”)
  • Tephra Miriam (Escape to Pearl City, Book 2 in her YA Clown Town Adventures fantasy fiction series; published children’s book A Monster or a Microwave; signed on as contributor of articles to media powerhouse Kivo Daily)
  • Roberta Allen (the book launching of her memoir Examined Lives)
  • Jarmila Del Boccio (winning Word Weaver’s Georgia Peach contest for Soli’s Saving Grace and debut of The Heart Changer, both historical fiction)
  • Francesca Peppiatt (her story published in Chicken Soup for the Soul’sRunning for Good” edition; staged readings of her play, “The Girls: Together Again” and her one-person show for Chicago Writers Bloc)
  • Alicia Dale (spoke on “Negotiating Tactics” at SheSays Chicago “Who’s Your Momma” event)
  • Julie Polanco (raising funds for Purple Asparagus Food Justice Org via publication of her children’s book, The Flavor of Friendship)
  • Manuel Galvan (hosted Roundtable Meeting at Union League Club to discuss Chicago’s mayoral candidates)
  • Kathryn Occhipinti (her collaboration with Chicago’s Italian American Voice, Fra
  • Kathleen Spaltro (The Great Lie: The Creation of Mary Astor bio to be published by University Press of Mississippi; articles published in Illinois Heritage)
  • Karin McKie (directed dramatic reading of Phantom Collective production, "Last Thoughts of Mary Stuart")
  • At the 2019 Printer’s Row Lit Fest, IWOC promoted books authored by IWOC-ers Adela Durkee, Veronica Hinke, Tephra Miriam, Kathryn Occhipinti, Karen Sandrick, Betsy Storm and Marci Rolnik Walker
  • “Life in the Freelance Lane: Business Basics for Freelance Writing Success,” hosted by Laura Stigler, Jeff Steele and David Steinkraus, the presentations are becoming ever more in demand, with appearances this past year at the Wilmette Public Library and encores performed at Skokie Public Library, City Hall, Chicago Career Transitions Center, and most recently, at NextDoor Chicago. Benefitting the writing community at large, the talks also have been benefitting IWOC, inspiring over a dozen attendees to join IWOC!
  • Parties. Not talking political ones here. Just the fun kind, and we had ‘em – the Winter Holiday soiree at Café Iberico (delicioso!) and at Athena for IWOCFest (Νόστιμα!)

Yup. 2018-19. As the song says (and what Mayor Lightfoot couldn’t say), “It was a very good year.”

Any ideas for 2019-20? Do tell in the comment section.


- Laura Stigler

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