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Patricia Harvey <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 30 Mar 2010 09:39:56 -0700
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Ms. Chester,
Sign me up to do the contest. I'm not a PWA member, but I am a working professional writer (OK, I admit I write non-fiction). 
I'm willing to work with anyone who has an interest. In fact, I had been thinking that Norman Galaxy of Writers should sponsor an annual city-wide school contest and possibly partner with PWA in the future.
This is too important to let slide. Kids who are waiting for a chance to shine need that chance.
Patricia Harvey

--- On Tue, 3/30/10, Chester, Deborah A. <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Chester, Deborah A. <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: what you should know
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 9:37 AM

#yiv202602925 P {

Greetings, fellow writers --
I am concerned about the present state of PWSA and its future.  Your officers have called no meetings this semester, as you know, which has left the membership hanging in limbo.
This is supposed to be a student-directed organization for your benefit.  You decide how you want to structure it.  You decide what you want to do with it.  I'm supposed to advise you when you need advice.
Well, you need advice now.
Last semester, PWSA developed wonderful plans to hold a writing contest in an area school.  Teachers were contacted, and they were enthusiastic.  Local authors were asked to provide copies of their books as prizes, and they did this gladly.
There's been no contest.  The teachers and students have been left hanging.  The authors who donated prizes want to know what's happened.
It's one thing, folks, to let down the PWSA membership by not following through on meetings, gatherings, and events.  It's another to show this kind of irresponsibility to the community, especially children, not to mention professionals with whom you might want to network or seek out as mentors some day.  It throws a bad light on PWSA and the PW program as a whole.
Maybe you don't realize just how beloved PW is in the Norman community or how many individuals in this town and state have attended PW classes over the years.  We have a tradition stretching back 80 years, and we shouldn't tarnish it by careless or irresponsible actions.
My recommendation to the officers is that they either follow through and hold the contest, or they apologize to the teachers, students, and writers whom they let down.  You owe these people that much courtesy, and there's nothing shameful in making a genuine apology and explanation.
My recommendation to the general PWSA membership is that you stop sitting back and waiting for something to happen in your organization.  If you want a club, then support it by showing active interest and participation.  If PWSA bores you, or you don't like the way it's set up, then get involved and change it.  If you're too busy for a club, or don't actually want one, then stop asking for one to be provided to you.
My attempts to contact the PWSA president this semester have gone unanswered.  I do not know whether she's busy with other obligations or has resigned as president without notifying PWSA.  The other officers do not seem to be stepping up to fill the gap.  A couple of members have expressed concern and even tried to revive the situation to no effect.  The membership at large is doing nothing ... maybe because you didn't know about some of this.
So the only thing I can do now is notify you all of the situation as I understand it.  If I'm in error, correct me.  As your club adviser I'm willing to help you. You have only to ask me.  But PWSA belongs to you, and you are letting it die.
Deborah Chester