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
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Meeting ID: 861 8655 5977
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 www.theradicalsongbook.com. 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): https://eugeniarosa.com/guidelines-for-the-artists-way-creative-circle
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.