Charter Club Partnership Program
Updated October 23, 2013
Our History: In 2009 the WWA Board of Directors approved the Charter Club Partnership Program as an incentive to recruit new members, encourage writers groups around the state to join the WWA as single units, promote membership renewals, and provide the WWA with potential volunteers and membership input. The program was announced at the WWA's 2010 Spring Conference with four initial Charter Clubs. There are now 21 Charter Clubs with more than 160 individual members in the WWA. (For their own internal reasons, two have since become inactive.)
Founded in 1948, the WWA is a volunteer organization open to writers of all genres, providing services and networking opportunities to help its members improve their literary skills, encourage participation in the writing craft, and to seek publication.
Briefly, the Charter Club program works like this: Any local writing club, critique group, or gathering of five or more people, including online groups, interested in the writing craft can enroll as a Charter Club in the WWA. There is no enrollment fee for a Charter Club to sign up.
Benefits: When enrolled, each member of a Charter Club - and remember, a club must maintain a minimum of five members--will receive a 20% discount on his or her WWA annual membership fee. The discount will apply as long as the Charter Club exists.
In addition, once enrolled, members of a Charter Club can receive a 20% discount on their registration fee to a WWA conference if a minimum of four or more Charter Club members register together. A club's contact person should coordinate this with the Conference Registrar. Other benefits also are offered.
There is also a discount for submitting entries in our many writing contests, which offer cash prizes themselves, and an incentive reward program to encourage our Charter Clubs to attend our conferences, enter our contests, and recruit additional WWA members. This latter benefit is now under review and likely will be modified.
The Rules of Engagement: A Charter Club is required to provide a contact person who is responsible for updating the club's membership and informing the WWA of any changes in the number of WWA members in the club. Duties of a CC's contact person:
Maintain communications with the WWA's Membership Recorder on the status of the CC, letting the WWA know if the CC is losing or gaining members, or if a CC is considering disbanding.
For our records, the WWA will only acknowledge the addition of a new individual member to a Charter Club (in other words, someone requesting a WWA membership fee discount) when the Charter Club contact person verifies that individual is a member of the Charter Club.
Each Charter Club retains its independence and autonomy of operations. The WWA dos not dictate how you wish to run your local writing group. We do ask our Charter Clubs to consider offering a helping hand when we need assistance for a WWA-sponsored activity, to encourage other individuals to join the WWA, and share information with the WWA of writing- or literary-related events or activities within their community and area.
For more information on the Charter Club Partnership Program, contact the program manager, Bill Kelly, charter (at) wiwrite.org.
Following is a Q&A about the program and the WWA, you may find helpful:
Q. Why should my writing group want to join the WWA? What's in it for us?
A. The Wisconsin Writers Association is a service organization for all genres in the writing craft--poetry, scriptwriting, fiction, and nonfiction--providing resources and learning opportunities for writers at all levels of experience. We offer an excellent, informational website,www.wiwrite.org, with an ongoing forum page; sponsor an annual three-day Fall Writers Conference in Wisconsin Rapids and co-sponsor a rotating one-day Spring Writers Conference that offer speakers, workshops, a book fair, and panel discussions; our new Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp for writers working on a book-length project; offer cash prize awarding writing contests; critique groups; Facebook site; have our own book publishing imprint; a wonderful literary magazine, Creative Wisconsin; an informative Wisconsin Writers' Newsletter and regular E-News bulletins; and opportunities to network with like-minded writers from across the state, including many published authors, editors and other publishing industry professionals. We're actively working on developing new services, improving our current ones, and are open to suggestions and new ideas.
Q. I'm already a WWA member, if my group becomes a Charter Club do I get a refund on my membership fee this year?
A. Sorry, no refund. That would complicate recordkeeping and lead to possible errors affecting your membership. Your individual Charter Club discount will be applied starting next year.
Q. Does my writing group need to have five current WWA members before we can apply for a Charter Club designation?
A. No. If your group already has five or more members who also are members of the WWA, it certainly makes applying for a Charter Club designation simpler, but it is not required. Members of your writing group can join the WWA at the same time the group applies for a Charter Club and receive the 20% membership discount immediately. It works best if your group's contact person coordinates such new WWA membership submissions with our Membership Recorder.
Q. Can members of my group who join the WWA for the first time use the 20% discount rate immediately?
A. The short answer is yes. It works best that at the time you submit your Charter Club Partnership Program application all new registration fee checks are sent to our Membership Recorder at the same time. That avoids confusion and delays in processing your Charter Club application. Checks should be made payable to: WWA, Inc. Mail the checks to Loretta Kottke, Membership Recorder, P.O. Box 085270, Racine, WI 53408-5270. Loretta's email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Hey, a student membership to the WWA is cheaper than the Charter Club rate, why should I join or form a Charter Club?
A. Because a Charter Club still saves you money. As long as you have a valid student ID, you can enroll in the WWA at the student rate. As long as you are a member of the WWA you can be a member of a WWA endorsed Charter Club. Charter Clubs offer discounts to attend the WWA's Fall Conference, writing contest entry fees, and prizes for participation in WWA activities. All are good reasons why students should still join a Charter Club, or better yet, form a student-run Charter Club on campus.
Q. I belong to more than one writers group, can my membership be counted in all of them?
A. Yes. WWA membership fees are determined by individual participation in the WWA, not by Charter Club. A WWA member can belong to any number of Charter Clubs, yet owes dues just once per year for WWA membership. If you allow your WWA membership to lapse, so does your membership in any and all Charter Clubs you are registered in. Also, no matter how many writing clubs you belong to, you are only counted once regarding any benefits offered through the Charter Club Program.
Q. My writing group has many members; if five of us join the WWA do all group members receive Charter Club benefits?
A. No. While a writing group may have as many members as it wants, only those who register for membership to the WWA can receive Charter Club benefits. Only WWA members are considered Charter Club members.
Q. What happens if my Charter Club loses members and drops below the five minimum WWA member threshold requirement?
A. Simply stated your club loses its privileges and cannot claim fee discounts or be eligible for incentive rewards. While the minimum number of members is five, we recommend you have at least seven members in your CC to ensure your club always maintains its eligibility.
Q. I pay annual dues to my local writing club, is that counted as part of my WWA membership fee?
A. No. Each club is an independent organization and its dues are used exclusively by that club and not shared in any way with the WWA. If you pay dues to an individual writing club, that has nothing to do with your WWA membership.
Q. I don't belong to a group, how can I get the discount?
A. The Charter Club Program is intended to encourage groups interested in the writing craft to join and work together for the benefit of their members. You could join one of our existing Charter Clubs if that is practical. If you know of four or more individuals who like to write, organize a group and apply for a Charter Club designation. It also is possible to form a virtual Charter Club with writing friends you converse with over the Internet.
Q. Can a club add or remove eligible members?
A. Yes. Each club is required to designate a Club contact person. That contact person, and only that designated contact person, can inform the WWA Membership Recorder about any changes in the club's membership. Remember, a club must maintain a minimum of five members to remain eligible as a Charter Club, so it's to the club's benefit its members remain paid WWA members.
Q. What's in it for the WWA?
A. First, more members to take advantage of the services and resources we offer. Second, we hope Charter Club members will be interested in volunteering. We are a volunteer organization and can always use more willing hands pitching in. Third, we see our Charter Clubs as an excellent resource for information on the needs of our membership. Finally, we hope our Charter Clubs will encourage other individuals to join the WWA.
Q. What's in it for the writing group?
A. Saving money and prizes. Charter Club members can enroll in the WWA for 20% less than an individual annual enrollment fee. Also, participating clubs in the WWA Charter Club Partnership Program may claim a 20% discount off the registration fee for their enrolled members to attend any WWA-sanctioned conference if a minimum of four Charter Club members or more registers for a conference. Charter Club members also receive a 20% discount on their initial entry to any of our annual WWA-sponsored writing contests. We also offer incentive prizes for clubs that recruit more WWA members, attend our fall Wisconsin Writers Conference, and for participating in the WWA writing contests.
Q. Will a Charter Club be run by the WWA?
A. No. Each writing group maintains its autonomy. The name of the program is the Charter Club Partnership Program. We wish to partner with local writing groups to advance both of us. The WWA has no interest in directing the way you run your writing group. We only hope you join the WWA to take advantage of the services we provide.
Q. How many WWA Charter Clubs are there?
A. At this time there are 20 active Charter Clubs across Wisconsin, with more than 160 individuals enrolled. Two of the first CCs disbanded.
Charter Club Partnership Program Active Clubs, October 2013
CC002 - Yarnspinners; Hayward, Northwest (2010); Contact, Boyd Sutton,
bdsutton (at) centurytel.net
CC003 - Northwest Regional Writers; Grantsburg & Frederic, Northwest (2010); Contact,
Boyd Sutton, bdsutton (at) centurytel.net
CC004 - Moraine Writers Guild; Kewaskum, Southeast (2010); Contact, Dave Rank,
davejrank (at) ameritech.net
CC005 - RedBirdRedOak Writers; Milwaukee, Southeast (2010), Contact, Pam Parker,
impqqp (at) aol.com
CC006 - La Crosse Area Writers Group; La Crosse, Southwest (2010); Contact, Andy Davis, rupub (at) acegroup.cc
CC008- Rome Writers; Nekoosa, Northcentral (2011); Contact, Dianne Genz,
genz (at) scacable.com
CC009- Writers of Wausau; Wausau, Northcentral (2011); Contact, Susan Engelbrecht,
spete (at) dwave.net
CC010- Northern Lakes Writers Guild; Amery, Northwest (2011); Contact, LaMoine MacLaughlin, lammacl (at) amerytel.net
CC011- Door Pens; Door County, Northeast (2011); Contact, Nancy Rafal, mrsticket (at) gmail.com
CC012 - St. Croix Writers of Solon Springs; Solon Springs, Northwest (2011); Contact,
Jan K. Jenson, jkjenson01 (at) yahoo.com
CC013 - Janesville Area Writers Club; Janesville, Southcentral (2011); Contact, Edna Thorp,
CC014 - Oshkosh Area Writers Club; Oshkosh, Northeast (2011); Contact, J.S. (Janet) McCormick-Church, tamarlane7 (at) gmail.com
CC015 - Writers at the Portage; Portage, Southcentral (2012); Contact, Elayne Clipper Hanson, eclipperhans (at) charter.net
CC016 - Washington County Writers Club, West Bend (2012); Contact, Jackie Granger, jackiegranger (at) att.net
CC017 - Green Bay Area Writers Guild, Green Bay (2012); Contact, Timothy Nilsson,
tjnilsson (at) hotmail.com
CC018 - Writers Voice, Eagle River, Northcentral (2013); Contact, Karin Schmidt,
kmahss (at) hotmail.com
CC019 - South Central Wisconsin Writers, Madison Area, Southcentral (2012); Contact,
Robin Steinweg, robinsteinweg (at) yahoo.com
CC020 - Amberg Writer's Group, Northeast (2012); Contact, Billie A. Williams,
billie (at) billiewilliams.com
CC021 - Writers' Exchange, Ladysmith, Northwest (2013); Contact, Ruth Ralston,
slograndma (at) yahoo.com
CC022 - Inspiration Café, Waukesha, (Student, Waukesha County Technical College) Southeast (2013); Contact, Gail Sweet, gssweet (at) wctc.edu
CC001 - Minds Without Boundaries; Manitowoc, Northeast (2010-13)
CC007 - Fox Valley Writers Club; Appleton, Northeast (2011-13)
Q. Who do I contact?
A. For more information on the Wisconsin Writers Association and its Charter Club Partnership Program, contact Bill Kelly, WWA President and Partnership Program manager, email@example.com.