Board Chooses Conference Date

The 2012 NSNC Conference will be in Macon, Georgia, May 3-6 at the Marriott Hotel.  Macon is 85 miles south of Atlanta. The board voted to accept Ed Grisamore’s recommendation at the regular business meeting last Sunday with a quorum present. The conference chair recommended this date since Macon is the “prettiest place on earth in the spring.” It was also the time when we were able to get the hotel and the needed amenities with the best rates. Further details about the conference will be announced as soon as they become available.
 
Reports from several board members were received prior to the meeting. Tracy Beckerman, social chair, reported that she has set up a new account at Twitter @NSNCgroup. Members who have not yet “liked” our page are invited to do so and to keep up with news posted there. Future projects include looking into cross-posting between Twitter and our Facebook page and social media links for visitors to post from on our website.
 
Discussion of the writing contest led to the suggestion that we suspend cash prizes. It was felt that most people enter the contest to receive the publicity and prestige of winning in a national contest, rather than for the cash prizes. Other contest matters that came up were contest entry fees,  judges honorariums, contest deadline, certificate type, and contest categories. These items were referred to committee for recommendation.
 
Membership chair, Rose Valenta, had a proposal on how to distribute 10 autographed copies of “Deadline Artists” donated by NSNC member and co-editor of the book, John Avlon. Consensus was they will be given to the first ten people paying for a three-year membership this fall. Rose will be working on the fall membership drive within the next few weeks. Information is still needed for the member directory for those who want a free expanded listing on the website to publicize their writing skills and/or speaking availability. If you did not receive the NSNC email with details on this, contact Rose via the feedback form. Project deadline is November 1.
 
President Pollock reported that we had a large surge of traffic on the website October 4 and 5, mostly regarding the website article on the Top Ten American Columns in History . WebEditor Sheila Moss said that the referring sites sending most of the traffic were Twitter, Facebook, and other discussion forums. Interest created by the book release and surrounding publicity are largely responsible for expanded interest leading to the web traffic.
 
Newsletter Editor Bob Haught reported that the newsletter mailing list has been updated. Many members are still not opening the newsletter, he said, and some addresses are bouncing, a problem he wants to follow-up on. If you are not receiving the Columnist Newsletter via email at the first of each month, please let us know by updating your contact information with director@columnists.com.
 
Funding for the conference is a concern due to the economic turndown and reluctance of sponsors to commit until the last minute. Brian O’Connor, chair of the conference committee, gave a detailed report prior to the meeting with numerous recommendations for specifics needed to assure an economically successful conference.
 
President Pollock concluded the meeting and thanked board member for enduring the meeting, which was difficult but productive in business accomplished.
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