Dear Wordsmith Studio Family:
When we collectively started this exciting venture, we began under the slogan “Done but not over.” Now, almost one year later, it is thrilling to see how far we’ve come as a community and the work we’ve done together to support each other as writers, bloggers, and friends.
As we approach our one year anniversary, it is just as exciting to think about what comes next: where we’ll go from here, how we’ll do it, and what the community will look like for the next year and years to come. So, it is time to begin thinking about what comes next.
Part of what comes next is ensuring that, as we consider and determine what the Wordsmith Studio community will look like in the future, we are able to maintain the hard work we’ve all done so far.
A round of applause goes to April Galloway, who has been essential in establishing and hosting the current Wordsmith Studio web site. The web site hosting fees for the next year have come due and the steering committee members decided to pay these fees that are necessary to keep the web site running for the next year. With the fees paid, this gives the web site one more year and the community, as a whole, time to come together and decide what happens next.
A few of the questions the community will discuss in the coming month include, but are not limited to:
The Web Site:
1 Do you like the current site?
2 Do you use the current site?
3 Do you think that having a web site is important for the community?
4 If you think a web site is important, do you have suggestions for changes to the site?
Last month an organizational structure chart for Wordsmith Studio was posted.
1 If you didn’t get a chance to review the structure, please do. It will be made available again for these discussions.
2 Did you understand the structure?
3 Do you have any questions about the structure?
4 Do you agree with the structure? For example:
a Do you feel the community needs to become a non-profit with a Board of Directors or continue with moderators?
b Do you agree with only being able to belong to one Group (Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Design, Multimedia)? Or would one community group with genre specific forums be better?
c Do you see the need to have group leaders and a Board of Directors?
d Do you agree that there should be three leaders for each group?
e Do you agree that the Board of Directors should have nine members?
1 It has been mentioned that the community could have a newsletter to be sent at some interval. Would you like to see/participate in a newsletter?
2 Would you want the newsletter mailing list to utilize the services of an email company such as Mail Chimp or (they are several other options)?
1 It has been discussed that the community should have WSS merchandise for sale. If this were the case, would you be interested in (theoretically) purchasing WSS merchandise?
2 In order to sell merchandise, we will have to move towards a more formal structure, such as, a non-profit with a Board of Directors (including a Treasurer) a tax ID number, accounting system, etc.
In order to host and maintain the web site, create and send newsletters, and sell merchandise, there will be expenses to manage the community and financial obligations that would need to be met. Would you be willing to contribute to the overhead costs? If so, what would you suggest; a small annual membership fee? Monthly fee? Donation only?
As you can see, there have are some wonderful and important questions the community needs to consider.
Each of you is an important member of this community; you are the community. Now is the time to define how you see your community. If what you envision is exactly what exists right now, say so. If you would like see some changes made to what the community currently is, please voice your opinion. Here is how you have your voice heard. You will have your choice of places to leave comments. Information will be put on the WSS web site, on Facebook, on Google+, and on Linked In. If you feel that an outlet has been missed for the material to be reviewed and commented on, please say so and it will be made available. It is YOUR Wordsmith Studio. The objective is to make it easy for you communicate your feelings.
In order to make the coming year and the workings of the community as a whole run smoothly, the following timeline for discussions has been set:
March through Mid-April: Open forum community discussions (held in various locations to enable the most engagement) regarding the topics outlined above and any other topics raised by you during these discussions. As these discussions progress, the general consensuses on ideas and visions for the future of the community will become voting points for all the members. To facilitate the conversation, these topic areas will be highlighted for one week. You are encouraged to give feedback on any area at any time, so if you miss a week, don’t feel that you have missed your opportunity to speak about the topic from the week before. There will be time for one week of general comments and discussion at the end.
Mid-April: Votes on the ideas and visions from the discussions that will determine the structure of the community going forward.
Mid- through Late-April: If the community decides to stick with the current group structures, individual group elections for group leadership.
April 28-30th: Wordsmith Studio Board of Director Elections (if a Board of Directions is deemed necessary by the community).
We are so excited by where we are now and so anxious to hear where you see us going. Please be sure to participate in these important discussions beginning now through the middle of April. Have your vision and voice heard then watch your vision for our community become a reality.
(Steering Committee Sisters)