We are extremely fortunate and grateful that Barnes and Noble provides a community area in its bookstore for the various groups of Tampa Writers Alliance, Inc. to meet free of charge, and, as someone who previously volunteered 11 years of his life toward a non-profit social service organization, I am equally grateful to our volunteer moderators (Elliot, Annette, Alan, Frank) and officers/executive committee members (Tom, Bob, Marggie, Kim, Alane, Alan) who contribute their time and effort to promote and support TWA. Without Barnes and Noble — combined with the efforts of our volunteer staff — we would soon fold as an organization.
We’d be nothing, of course, without our members. Through regular attendance and spreading the word about us, our members help promote us as well. To that end, we thank you.
Not all in life is free, however, and as far as we go with everyone’s efforts, we have expenses, mostly regarding media, such as our Web site, Meetup.com’s organization fees, and our humble thank-you’s via gift cards to our speakers. We also pay the booth costs for our members to be able to sell their music CDs, books, etc., in the annual Tampa Bay Festival of Reading held each October.
While membership dues are a hard requirement for posting and receiving critique’s of one’s writing in our critique group, much of what we do, such as the Poetry group, Screenwriter’s group, and other groups, is easily accessible by the public and we do not enforce dues for those offerings. No one associated with the Alliance benefits monetarily. Every dollar goes right into our programs and expenses, and our budget is completely transparent and available to the public.
Again, to Barnes and Noble and everyone who directly supports Tampa Writers Alliance, Inc., thank you, and if you are a beneficiary of any of our meetings — perhaps you only drop in to the monthly general meeting every once in a while — please consider becoming an annual dues-paying member and help support Tampa Writers Alliance, Inc.
— Mark Taylor, president