Notes from July 9, 2023 General Membership Meeting

Oregon Chapter. National Writers Union

The meeting opened at 4:03 PM with introductions.

Oregon Chapter President Marty Hart-Landsberg reminded those attending that our next meeting is set for Sunday, September 10 at 4:00 PM. Lura Frazey, Chapter Treasurer, later provided the following links for the September 10 meeting:

Time: Sep 10, 2023 04:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

        Every 2 months on the Second Sun, until Mar 10, 2024, 4 occurrence(s)

        Sep 10, 2023 04:00 PM

        Nov 12, 2023 04:00 PM

        Jan 14, 2024 04:00 PM

        Mar 10, 2024 04:00 PM

Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.


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Meeting ID: 861 8655 5977

Passcode: 735400

1. Minutes from our last meeting were approved.

2. Lura Frazey presented on her experiences and challenges as a writer and on some of the lessons that she has learned as she followed and practiced the craft. Her talk was followed by a discussion with questions and answers. Lura’s talk is summarized in notes provided by her at the end of these minutes.

3. Reports were presented from union delegates to regional AFL-CIO Labor Chapters. Michael Funke (Bend) reported on the historic settlement reached by nurses represented by the Oregon Nurses Association at the St. Charles Medical Center and mentioned that bargaining by the teachers union and OSEA has been postponed. Please see Michael Radical Songbook at Michael will be attending the Oregon AFL-CIO convention as an NWU delegate. Bob Rossi (Salem) reported that the Marion-Polk-Yamhill Labor Chapter is planning a Labor Day celebration at the local AFSCME office and invited everyone. Bob is writing a weekly labor column for the Marion County Democrat’s newsletter and is sending out a weekly labor alert by email that NWU members can receive upon request. He also reported that the workers at Salem’s A.C. Gilbert House Museum are organizing. Pat Riggs-Henson (Eugene/Springfield) reported that the Lane County Labor Chapter will be holding a Labor Day event and invited NWU members to attend. She offered to help with the Marion-Polk-Yamhill event also. The matter of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) union opposing State Representative Paul Holvey was raised. Pat also spoke about NWU outreach to young and aspiring writers and to members of the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation. Pat will be the Oregon AFL-CIO convention as an AFSCME Retirees delegate. She will provide us with copies of convention resolutions for discussion. Chapter President Marty Hart-Landsberg appealed for everyone present to join and be active in the NWU.

4. Treasurer’s Report: Lura Frazey reported that at the end of May we had $7,336.73 in the treasury. We need to pay for convention delegate expenses out of that.

5. Jobs with Justice upcoming (September) dinner: Marty reported that Portland Jobs with Justice is holding their annual fundraising dinner in Portland on September 7. The keynote speaker will be author Kim Kelly. There was some discussion about whether we can sponsor this event or not. It does not seem that we have money available to do that.

6. Oregon AFL-CIO convention: Marty opened discussion on the upcoming Oregon AFL-CIO convention and stated that our convention representatives should be people with some union experience. Michael Funke will represent us, but we have one other open seat as well. We should have a discussion on convention resolutions prior to the convention. Michael Funke, Marty, and Pat discussed covering costs of attending the convention, contacting Emily at the Oregon AFL-CIO office, and doing an Oregon table at the convention.

7. Mike Sullivan suggested taking out an advertisement in the Labor Day edition of the Labor Press.

8. Future meetings: Marty encouraged members to do presentations and suggest readings at our meetings.

9. Our website: we should discuss whether our website should be available to members to post their work on.

10. Michael Funke raised the issue of the UFCW’s opposition to Representative Holvey and whether we should take a position on this. Discussion followed without resolution. Pat will send out information supporting Representative Holvey.

The meeting closed at 5:24 PM.

NWU Oregon Presentation Notes – Lura Frazey – 07/09/23
Three Things I’ve Learned on My Writing Journey

1. Persuasive Writing Formula – This is a powerful formula you can use to tell a story that moves people to action.
a) The grab. This is your headline (write it last). Good = spark curiosity, Better = give news, Best = Promise a benefit to the people you are writing to.
b) What’s the problem? Create a vivid description of how the problem is affecting the readers personally.
c) What would be the result of using the solution? Describe how your reader will benefit from what you are trying to persuade them to understand, believe, or do.
d) What’s the solution? Describe what you are proposing and give evidence about why it is the best solution to stop the problem and benefit the reader.
e) Call to action. Give the reader something they can do about the problem and make it as easy as you can for them to take that action.

2. Learn to interview well and you’ll end up with the raw material to write well.
a) Good overview = The Art of the Interview: Lessons from a Master of the Craft by Lawrence Grobel.
b) Listen to or read interviews until you find two or three interviewers that are getting the results you need for the type of writing you are doing. Study those interviewers, analyze their technique, practice their methods.

3. Join a supportive writing group (this is NOT a critique group)
a) The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron contains a description of supportive creative groups that I found helpful. I believe that’s in the appendices. This blog post by Eugenia Rosa gives the highlights of Cameron’s philosophy about creative groups (she says “for women” but my group hasn’t found gender to be an issue):
b) If you can’t find a supportive writing group, create one.
i. Develop a very specific list of the qualities members should have the purpose of your writing group.
ii. Network for members — look for a good fit in terms of personalities, willingness to commit to the group and to be supportive, enough overlap in the type of writing you’re doing that you can be helpful to each other.
iii. Make decisions together and protect your group dynamics.

Lura Frazey is co-author of Life Beyond My Body: A transgender journey to manhood in China, winner of the 2017 Lambda Literary award for Transgender Non-Fiction. A freelance copywriter for many years, Lura has written everything from egg carton labels to online magazines. She has ghosted for movie stars, scripted Nobel Prize winners, and turned engineering jargon into plain English. She is currently working on a novel inspired by an old family story.

Notes from June 4, 2023 General Membership Meeting

Oregon Chapter of the National Writers Union (NWU)

The meeting opened at 4:04 PM.

Minutes from the previous March meeting were approved.

Chapter President Marty Hart-Landsberg provided the following updates:

  1. We are affiliated with the Oregon AFL-CIO and our dues are paid up to January of 2024
  2. We have NWU signs and buttons available. Please contact Marty if you can use these. We will need some for the coming Oregon AFL-CIO convention
  3. We should promote our Oregon Labor Media and Resources page and keep it updated

It was also suggested that we provide a link to our page to the Oregon AFL-CIO website.

Bob Rossi reported on the recent Oregon AFL-CIO organizing conference. There was not much there for freelancers and writers, but a four-page handout from one of the workshops did highlight the steps taken in the successful union campaign run by the NewsGuild at the L.A. Times. There were interesting discussions. Liz Shuler, President of the AFL-CIO, addressed the body. The Writers Guild strike was mentioned many times.

Pat Riggs-Henson reported on the Lane County Labor Council, the restructuring taking place in the Council, the campaign being run by the UFCW against Representative Paul Holvey, and the coming Labor Day picnic. We discussed the viability of Central Labor Councils and Chapters and how these might meet the challenges of the 2024 elections.

Elissa Edge reported on the Marion-Polk-Yamhill Central Labor Chapter (MPYCLC). Officers are needed. Virtual meetings worked better than the MPYCLC’s face-to-face meetings do. Bob Rossi supported the report and talked about the recent Salem-Keizer School Board elections. Pat Riggs-Henson suggested that a plan for the MPYCLC could include quarterly face-to-face meetings.

Michael Funke reported on labor activism in central Oregon. Labor has had some political victories there. The St. Charles Medical Center nurses may strike. The Oregon Nurses Association is running workplace and community campaigns there. Michael has a blog and podcast that the Chapter lists on our website.

Lura Frazey gave the treasurer’s report. We have not received a financial report from the national union office. Our Oregon AFL-CIO dues are paid. We do not have confirmation that our donation to the Portland tenants rights effort has been processed.

Marty Hart-Landsberg reported that the Oregon AFL-CIO convention will be held in Bend on September 21-23. We need to find out how many delegates we are entitled to and get this information out to our members quickly. Pat Riggs-Henson and Jay Wells expressed interest in attending the convention as delegates. We need literature for our table. Pat and Marty will work on developing literature. We need to know what our convention expenses will be.

Notes from March 12, 2023 General Membership Meeting

Oregon Chapter of the National Writers Union (NWU)

Three people attended the meeting. Two officers sent word that they could not attend. The meeting opened at 4:00 PM.

  1. Introductions were done.
  2. It was moved, seconded and carried that the minutes from our previous meeting be approved.
  3. Oregon AFL-CIO affiliation: It was reported that out affiliation is still in motion. Michael Funke was appointed to represent our Chapter on the Central Oregon Labor Chapter (COLC). Michael discussed the COLC presence in central Oregon. Michael does a podcast. Elissa Edge reported on the work of the Marion-Polk-Yamhill Central Labor Chapter (MPYCLC). Elissa Edge was appointed to represent our Chapter on the MPYCLC. Marty Hart-Landsberg will send a letter certifying Michael Funke as our representative to the COLC.
  4. Eviction Representation for All: It was moved, seconded and carried that we donate $50.00 towards the purchase of a statement in the voter’s pamphlet supporting the Eviction Representation for All measure.
  5. Chapter building: It was reported that Marty Hart-Landsberg and Bob Rossi recently met with a Portland-based freelancer regarding NWU. It was decided that Marty Hart-Landsberg and Michael Funke will follow up with another pro-labor freelancer. We hope to organize a Zoom meeting with 3-6 freelancers. Making personal connections with freelancers are necessary for Chapter growth.
  6. Fair Shot Oregon: Supporting the Fair Shot Oregon campaigns was raised. Marty Hart-Landsberg and Michael Funke will follow up.
  7. Legislative attacks on journalists and other writers in Florida: Such attacks could come to Oregon. These are attacks on all writers and on freedom of expression.
  8. Getting an article about our Chapter in The Northwest Labor Press: Michael Funke will follow up.
  9. Discussion on our Chapter e-mail and social media: It was suggested that we should forward Oregon AFL-CIO e-mails to our Chapter members or ask the Oregon AFL-CIO to add NWU members to their lists. No decision was made.
  10. Our Chapter’s labor resources list: It was agreed in principle to add to our list.
  11. Discussion on our Chapter using labor media: A freelancer and Bob Rossi may appear on Michael Funke’s podcast.
  12. Chapter tee-shirts: This project has been tabled.

Michael Funke would like to talk to NWU members in central Oregon about local activism. Michael can be reached at

The meeting closed at 5:00 PM.

Our next meeting will be held on Sunday, May 14 at 4:00 PM. The Zoom information is as follows:

The Zoom link and related connection information is as follows:

Meeting ID: 868 3316 9280

Passcode: 433196

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+12532158782,,86833169280#,,,,*433196# US (Tacoma)

 Dial by your location:  +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

Meeting ID: 868 3316 9280

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Bob Rossi

Chapter Secretary

Notes from January 8, 2023 General Membership Meeting

National Writers Union Oregon Chapter

The meeting opened at 4:18 PM with 5 people present.

We began the meeting with introductions.

Marty Hart-Landsberg reported on the following:

1.       He had good initial contact with the leadership of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the National Writers Union. Additional follow-up is needed.

2.       Our Chapter previously endorsed Measure 114. That is now in the courts. We also endorsed the Eviction Representation for All measure in Multnomah County. That measure is headed to the May ballot in Multnomah County.

The Chapter is open to endorsing issues brought forward by Chapter members. Please send in your suggestions and Chapter leadership will try to respond within one week.

Lura Frazey reported that the Chapter has $7372.13 in hand. Our $100 donation to the HarperCollins strike fund has not been processed through NWU. The strike continues.

Discussion on Oregon NWU Chapter tee-shirts. It was suggested that we produce a Chapter tee-shirt with our union logo and a state map. Bob Rossi will coordinate with Elissa Edge and Pat Riggs-Henson. We need a camera-ready graphic from our national union.

Discussion of Oregon AFL-CIO affiliation. It was moved, seconded, and carried that we affiliate with the Oregon AFL-CIO. Sister Pat Riggs-Henson offered to be our delegate. Delegates serve between Oregon AFL-CIO conventions Our President will appoint a delegate. If members are interested in serving in this capacity, please notify Brother Hart-Landsberg before our March meeting. Brother Hart-Landsberg will notify our national union of our decision to affiliate. A copy of our affiliation letter will be included with these minutes.

Discussion of our reading of What 1930s Radicals Totally Knew: Scott Borchert on the Federal Writers’ Project by Scott Borchert and Susie Day.

Members are invited to suggest readings for discussion at our meetings. These should be on-line and accessible. If you have a reading to suggest, please notify us before our March meeting.

Our meeting closed at 5:30 PM.

Our meeting schedule is as follows:

        Mar 12, 2023 04:00 PM
        May 14, 2023 04:00 PM
        Jul 9, 2023 04:00 PM
        Sep 10, 2023 04:00 PM
        Nov 12, 2023 04:00 PM
        Jan 14, 2024 04:00 PM
        Mar 10, 2024 04:00 PM

The link to these meetings is:

Meeting ID: 861 8655 5977
Passcode: 735400

One tap mobile
+17193594580,,86186555977#,,,,*735400# US
+12532050468,,86186555977#,,,,*735400# US

Dial by your location
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 861 8655 5977

Notes from November 13, 2022 Steering Committee Meeting

Oregon NWU Chapter Steering Committee Meeting

Present: Elissa, Stefan, Lura, Marty, Bob

We discussed our organizing capacity and building our chapter. After lengthy discussion the following decisions were made:

1. Continue to meet and invite people into the processes of getting to know one another, finding common interests and common work.

2. Remain independent as a chapter within the National Writers Union.

3. Meet every other month and do shared readings and discussions of the readings.

4. Stay connected to other NWU chapters.

5. Have Oregon NWU tee-shirts made (Marty, Elissa, Bob)

6. Possible support for the strike at HarperCollins: making a donation, leafleting (Marty, Bob)

7. Our first reading will be: We will discuss this at our next meeting.

Our next meeting will be held on Sunday, Jan. 8 at 4:00 PM. Our meetings will be informal, with a fling-the-doors-open approach. Members and friends can gather in a coffee shop and participate together.