Ormskirk Writers' & Literary Society - OWLS - was established in 1963 by Dora Doyle to promote local writers. Founder member Ron Bartholomew contributed to the Waverly Encyclopaedias and was widely published in Practical Mechanics Magazine. A successful playwright, he opened his house to us for weekly meetings and served us with tea and home made cakes for many years. As Otis lifts Chief Engineer he also designed the press button control boxes used in lifts to this day. ALT="Ormskirk Writers' & Literary Society">

Thursday, 8 March 2012

A G M 2012

Owls AGM minutes 5th March 2012

PRESENT: Cec, Alex, Keith, Sarah, Saime, Tim, Bryan, Tricia, Carol, Liz, Kate,Jean, Ishbel, Nick, Val.

Keith pointed out that as the AGM is generally the meeting of any organisation
that people tend to avoid, we did really well to get such a good turn out.

Keith expressed his time as chair over the year had passed quickly.He has enjoyed the critique and company Owls have provided.
Poor weather can be off-putting, but when one makes the effort, evenings turn out to be rewarding with fun and excellent writing. He congratulated member’s successes in publication and thanked the committee for hard work behind the scenes, Sarah and Saime for minutes, Alex for financial work, and Judy for providing refreshments at her own expense. He highly he thanked everyone for great fellowship and fun, and for not
imposing stress upon him in his role as Chair.

We have had 21 meetings since the last Owl AGM. The following is a brief
synopsis. 9 m general manuscript nights, and 5 themed manuscript nights;
non fiction, fantasy, script, love on the rocks, a school play for
children night, a workshop on dealing with character and situation led by Tricia ,
and a a write on the night based around objects in stories led by Sarah . Also a
literary evening, and a meeting for magazine analysis, useful, critique of magazines accepting submissions. And a guest speaker evening with poet Stephen Beattie and novelist Mark Porter. And of
course the Jo Cowell night in-house competition for a children’s story, a Dora Doyle night with guest speaker poet Jim Bennett, and the Christmas party.
On average of 10 members attended each meeting and we have hosted 10 visitors, 2 of whom have signed up as members. Thank you to all members for attendance and support of the club, and all the written contributions and manuscripts. The members are what make the club.
an enormous thank you to Saime as stand in secretary and to other owl members who have filled in secretarial duties while I was away travelling. The minutes were brilliant – a real treat to read. Clearly a lot of time and effort went into them.. Thank you to all members for support and encouragement shown in making this group so successful and enjoyable to be a part of.
I’m looking forward to a really exciting year of OWLS ahead.

Alex circulated the financial report to owl members earlier this week.
This year Owls did several things in-house which incurred lower
Expenses but the room rent did dent the accounts by £400.50, Which the issue can be addressed at the committee meeting next week.
NAWG is costing us £40 annually and. Owls discussed the pros and cons of its membership:
• PROS: regular emails, competitions, a magazine open to submissions, e-zine, workshops,and club a national profile, links people together for appraisal.
• CONS: poor notification process from NAWG incurs fines if mailing list not kept up to date. Few read or benefits from its magazine. We can have a national profile in other ways, e.g. (websites / our blog /facebook)
Alex proposed to cease membership to NAWG in July when our current membership expires. Liz seconded this and the majority of Owls voted in favour of this proposal.
Jo Cowell being run in-house did not have the same expenses as a national competition – so no income, but little expenses / judging fee etc.
Dora Doyle Evening incurred a financial loss, but members agreed that there was a great gain in terms of morale and enjoyment.
A card was sent on behalf of the club notifying the family of the evening.
Cec and Bryan’s separate charity poetry books raised a total of £35, which members agreed would stay in the charity pot, to have in hand, or for charities connected with members. A pot to dip into.
Finances are a bit tight to pay for the room but we can rectify this by encouraging new membership. Alex proposed that fees stay the same at £24full membership and £10 for students.
A higher fee for students (£12/£15)was suggested but Alex’s proposal to maintain the fees as they are was seconded by Ishbel and carried on vote.
Bryan's suggestion that the accounts should be accepted as un-audited was seconded by Tricia and carried by Owlclub members.

The competition theme was a Children’s story. It was held in-house on 18th July. All present voted and Sarah won a £10 book token.

. The committee will discuss how to proceed with this competition for next year.
. Suggestions from Owls members included working with the library, on a
combined event celebrating all founder members. It was unanimously agreed
that the Jo Cowell will continue in one form or another, whether in house
or wider. There was a feeling that some things have disappeared that are
important to the club and must be continued.

Ten Owls flocked to hear Jim Bennett,who runs The Poetry Kit: the second largest poetry site in the world, and is a well known figure on the poetry scene.
We were treated to work about Liverpool, and famous figures and historical events. Jim took questions from the owls. He said a poem is like an onion with layers. It must engage the emotions. He finished by saying that to be a poet you must read poetry.

. Suggestions were made for next year’s Dora Doyle evening. The committee
will discuss ideas. It was proposed that Dora Doyle will continue, Cec
seconded this, and it was carried by the group.

. Glass Owl prize: Alex
This was a bit of an experimental exercise in its first year. The marking
scheme turned out to be more complex than expected, taking a piece of
work, improving it three times and scoring became complicated, although it
was generally felt to be a great idea for improving work. The committee will
discuss an easier reformulation for the prize, to make it more user friendly.
Nonetheless in this first year, people did contribute and improve their work. The competition was especially close between two at the top. The prize wasawarded to Tim.Well done Tim!

. President’s Report: Cec
Cec has had to miss a few meetings due to health and bad weather. He thanked the committee for splendid efforts and noted that every member has contributed to the success over the year. Everyone has gained something, which is what it’s all about.
He encouraged everyone to do more, perhaps by serving on the committee to help reshape and improve the club.
He went on to lead a round of applause for all the committee members and members of the club.

. Election of committee.
Liz and Tricia are stepping down from the committee after a term of faithful service with Thanks for their commitment and hard work over the term .
New members stepping up to the committee are: Nick and Elaine. Positions will be clarified at the committee meeting on Monday 12th March.
The Committee as of March 2012 is:
President: Cec
Chair: Keith. Vice Chair: Margaret Secretary: Sarah
Treaseurer: Alex Committee member: Saime Committee member: Elaine
Committee member: Nick

. MembersSuggested nineteen items to go on next year’s programme:
Please continue to forward suggestions to the secretary for the committee to
fit into the programme in their planning meeting on Monday.

. We also had a fantastic suggestion that refreshments served at our
meetings could be run on a rota basis. We will discuss the best way forward
with this at the committee meeting. Thank you for the suggestion. Great idea
and many thanks to Judy for so faithfully providing refreshments for so long.
It was a great evening, with lots to think about and look forward to in the year ahead.
Next group meeting on 19th March 2012, is a manuscript night. Public and prospective members will be welcomed.

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