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Showing posts with label NCWN Conference. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NCWN Conference. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Al Manning, Netwest Board Representative and County Rep


Let Me Introduce Al Manning
By Glenda C. Beall

After five years of serving Netwest as Representative on the Board of North Carolina Writers’ Network, Al Manning has traveled countless miles from his home in Haywood County to the old White Cross school building, former home office of NCWN, a few miles north of Carrboro, near Raleigh. Some meetings were held in other areas such as Peace College in Lexington, NC and he made the trip to represent NCWN West. He has also attended five Fall Conferences, starting in Wilmington, then Raleigh, Asheville, Raleigh again, and Winston-Salem. It is hard to believe but there are some members who haven't met Al. I interviewed him by email and he was kind enough to answer a few questions for me.

He believes his most important role as Netwest Representative has been sitting face to face with other board members, and explaining the what, how and why Netwest exists. Board members from the middle of the state or other areas, who have never traveled to the mountains, have no concept of the distances involved. Al has taken pleasure in explaining to those who have questioned why NCWN West exists, how someone from Hayesville, for example, must drive for almost 2 hours just to get to exit 27 on I40, and then drive to exit 282 at RTP for a conference.
“This would get their attention,” Al says, “and made it easier to justify the support Netwest received from NCWN.” That has been a problem for years as new people come on the board. They have no concept why NCWN has a chapter out in the mountain area and why this group was formed.
The Board meeting this summer was by conference call and that will likely be the case in the future now that NCWN has a virtual office instead of the White Cross School building.
“But we do get together at the conferences. A breakfast meeting is usually scheduled for all the board members present, and there we can discuss what needs to be done to keep all the NCWN programs on track.” Al says.
According to Al Manning, “Netwest is the model that NCWN wants and needs to evolve into. Our ability for mass communication is wonderful, but working in small groups usually gets more accomplished. There are many writing groups in NC, some very active, others, almost in name only. As we have found out here in Netwest, all it takes is one eager person to get the organizational process started. We are greatly admired by other sections of NC, but they haven’t found that one eager person yet.”
I must add that it takes a dedicated person to lead and the cooperation of members working together.
“Coffee with the Poets is another model that is highly admired,” said Al. “Forget about Robert’s Rules of Order, minutes, formal agenda, etc. Just get together and do what you enjoy.”
At the 2007 Spring Conference Al said he spent an hour with the president of the NC Poetry Society discussing the possibilities for this type of activity. “She found impressive the numbers you were drawing for a mid-week morning event.”
Being a loyal, long-time member of Netwest, Al feels that being around other writers, discussing current projects, and hearing their latest can’t help but improve any aspiring writer.
“Through the Yahoo group and the newsletter, all Netwest members have a constant source of useful information. Netwest does a great job of encouraging its members to participate, and to get involved.”
Al spent 21 years in the United States Navy, and 16 years teaching microcomputers at Haywood Community College. Both required technical writing, from high-level briefings to articles in Data Management and Inside Data Processing Management Association. Only after he retired from teaching in 1998 did he begin to write for his own pleasure.
“My most enjoyable writing is my blog (amanning.blogspot.com) because there I can write about whatever floats my boat. I do have a suspense novel completed awaiting editing, and I am working on an autobiographical account of my experiences in the very early days of the computer industry,” Al said.
His book, Curmudgeon’s Book of Nursery Rhymes is available at your local friendly independent bookstore. When he reads from this book, his sardonic humor keeps his audience laughing. Al won second prize in the Charlotte Writer's Club Children's Story contest. His entry was titled King Wilfred of Woppingsham.
Al is moving closer to his daughter and his young grandson. He will no longer serve as the NCWN West Board Representative or Haywood County Representative. Al, we all thank you for your service to Netwest and will keep up with you on your blog. We’ll look for you at the NCWN conferences.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Netwest Member, Mary Jo Dyre, named to Board of Candy Maier Scholarship Fund

Candy Maier Scholarship Fund for Women Writers
Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Candy Maier Scholarship Fund for Women Writers?
“The Candy Fund” is a non-profit organization, a project of the Western Carolina Coalition for Social Concerns (WCCSC). It provides scholarships to women twenty-one and older who are applying to attend conferences, classes, workshops, retreats, and other programs offering shared writing experiences. Women must be residents of Western North Carolina or Upstate South Carolina and must be applying for a program offered by a WNC-based agency or one held in WNC.
How large a scholarship does The Candy Fund provide?
The Candy Fund will pay up to $250 or 50% of a program’s cost, whichever is less. Recipients can apply for multiple scholarships but cannot receive more than a total of $500 from The Candy Fund.
How can I donate to The Candy Fund?
Your contribution is 100% tax-deductible. Make checks payable to WCCSC, with “The Candy Fund” written on the “For” line. Send donations to:Candy Maier Scholarship Fund for Women Writers27 Maple DriveAsheville NC 28805
How do I get more information about The Candy Fund?
Email thecandyfund@yahoo.com.

This group has provided scholarships to women for Netwest workshops, for NCWN Conferences, and other writing events in Western North Carolina. Think of them when you need financial help to attend an event, and especially when you want to donate to a worthy organization where you know your money goes to someone who puts it to good use. An excellent article in WNC Magazine quotes some of us who had the benefit of a Candy Fund Scholarship. Mary Jo Dyre, writer, of Murphy, NC will be a fine addition to the working Board of the Candy Fund.