Tennessee Mountain Writers, Inc.
The Case of the Missing Website
It all began a couple of days after I'd emailed the last Tennessee Mountain Writers newsletter. The day was cold and quiet. I was combing through the returned emails from those whose addresses had not been updated in my program, when several new messages appeared. They told me that the TMW website, www.tmwi.org/, could not be reached through links in the newsletter, or by any other route. This puzzled me. Whenever I prepare the newsletter, I check the link to the website is correct by clicking on it. The last time I had checked, it was there.
Thinking, perhaps, those sending the messages were having difficulties with their computers or internet service, I clicked the link. Nothing, except the dreaded words, "Page not found." I typed the address into my web browser, Firefox, then my other browser, Safari. Again, nothing but those awful words. It was true. The web site had disappeared.
Where could it have gone? Had a rival conference stolen it? Had Homeland Security deemed it a threat to the safety of the nation? Had a black hole in cyberspace swallowed it? This was serious.
There might be a time during the year, when such a disappearance might not be too disruptive, say, the middle of July, but this occurred in the last week of January. The February 1, 2009 deadline loomed close for the submission of entries to the TMW contest. The competition is held in conjunction with the TMW Annual Conference, to be held this year April 2-4, 2009, at the DoubleTree Hotel, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Those planning to attend the conference, and enter the contest, would be able to enter each category once without a fee, as long as their poems, essays and novel chapters were accompanied by registration forms and fees, postmarked by midnight on the first day of February. That very week, people were searching for the registration forms to download.
The TMW Publicity Committee had sent out paper copies of the conference brochure in December, including the contest rules and forms, but we heard that not everyone who expected one received one. (If you think you are on our snail mail list and didn't receive a copy of the brochure, or would like to be, please let me know, and I will pass on you name and address to the Membership Committee.) But paper copies can be lost, accidentally recycled too soon, or, in time-honored fashion, eaten by the dog.
Writers needed the TMW website and they needed it immediately.
To quote Charles Dickens, in A Tale of Two Cities "It was the worst of times." To quote him further, it was also, "The best of times." Just because the contest deadline was near, I distributed the newsletter to remind people to send in their entries. Those who responded went, as instructed, to the website, and reported the disappearance almost as soon as it happened.
I, in turn, promptly did what any sensible person would do given a problem above her pay-grade. I passed it to those able to find an answer to the situation. In this case, President Carol Grametbauer, and TMW web wizard, K'Cindra Cavin.
K'Cindra soon discovered the problem.
"Our web host experienced serious technical difficulty over a period of several days which left many groups without representation on the internet."Through Carol, K'Cindra consulted with the TMW Board, and quickly gained approval to solve the problem.
"This unexpected interruption in visibility prompted us to make a move that we had previously discussed. We are now with a new host and it's mega-great!"
So, now we all understood. There was no conspiracy to undermine TMW, or our contest. To ease the disruption caused by the nonappearance of www.tmwi.org/, Carol discussed the problem with Wanda Grooms, chair of the Competition Committee. They agreed to extend the contest deadline. "We are really sorry the problem happened at such an unfortunate time," says Carol, "and TMW apologizes for any inconvenience," Our thanks to all those who communicated the absence of the site. Because you alerted us so quickly, we were able to make the moves required in a timely manner. It's gratifying to know there are so many of you out there reading and responding to the newsletter.
Some of you have pointed out that the formatting of the newsletter can be peculiar. This seems to be one of the oddities of an electronic newsletter. It is composed in Word and transferred to my email program, which tries to reformat it the way it sees best. I correct it, send it to myself and rectify any further changes that occurred in cyberspace. Then, I send it to you. Sometimes your program will make its own alterations, especially in font size. The way to avoid this would be to send the newsletter as an attachment, but many of you do not want to receive attachments, so, at this point, I can only say, I'm sorry for any irregularities.
I hope to see many of you at the conference. Please introduce yourselves. There's still time to register at the early bird full conference rate of $185, if you send the form before March 26, 2009. After that, it rises to $200. There are similar discounts for partial attendees too. If you want to know more about the conference, or download registration forms-I'm taking a deep breath here-go to the website, www.tmwi.org/. It's there now. I just checked.
Events & Contests
Tennessee Mountain Writers Inc.21st Annual Conference
Write on TrackApril 2 ~ 4, 2009The DoubleTree Hotel ~ Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Ronda Rich David Brill Keith McDaniel Lynne Berry Lynn Cardwell Chris Roerden Cathy Smith Bowers Beverly Conner Kelley Walli
This project is funded in part under an agreement with the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Sue Richardson Orr announces
Learning Events presentsDarnell Arnoult's Memoir Workshop Series
"Taking Measure: A Course in Memoir"
What is memory? How many stories does it take to tell a life? Who wants to hear it? In four weekend sessions over twelve months, participants will explore the possibilities and limitations of memory, the exponential power of deliberate recall and the variety of forms memoir may take.
March 21 to 22, 2009 Weekend #1June 27 to 28, 2009 Weekend #2Sept 12 to 13, 2009 Weekend #3Jan 30 to 31, 2010 Weekend #4
The cost of the workshop will be $210.00 per weekend, due two weeks before each workshop. All workshops will be held in the former Orr Mountain Winery building between Sweetwater and Madisonville, Tennessee. Sessions will run 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 to 3:00 Sunday. Morning snacks, coffee, hot tea, soft drinks, water and lunch will be provided both days. Lunch will be from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, 11:30 to 12:30 Sunday. Saturday night dinner will be on your own, with a suggested restaurant of the day for those who want to eat with group members.
The Magnuson Hotel, exit 60 off I-75, is offering a special rate of $58.00 per night for 1 to 2 people for course participants. Extra people are $8.00 each. Rooms at the Magnuson are equipped with refrigerators, microwaves, and wireless internet. There is an indoor pool, a hot tub and free breakfast bar. Mention Learning Events/Sue Richardson Orr when making reservations. Phone number is 423-337-3541. ** Please e-mail Sue Richardson Orr at <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>email@example.com or call 423-420-1152 if you need more information or want to register. ** Workshop group is limited to 15.
Commitment to all 4 week-ends required.
REGISTRATION FORM for Memoir One Workshop Series
First Session Date March 21 to 22, 2009 Cost $210.00
Check to Sue Richardson Orr enclosed for _____________
Mail to: Sue Richardson Orr 359 Pumpkin Hollow Rd
Madisonville, TN 37354
Marian Lewis is the contest chair of the Alabama Writers' Conclave (AWC). She says, "I would like to bring our annual writing contest opportunity to the attention of your members. There are eight categories including traditional and free verse poem, several types of fiction and a nonfiction category. And . . . the prizes aren't too bad either. The deadline for entries to be sent to me is April 30th (postmark). (See guidelines at <http://www.alabamawritersconclave.org/>http://www.alabamawritersconclave.org/."
Marian's address is:
250 Hartside Rd
Owens Cross Rds, AL 35763
She adds, " I would also like to invite TMWI members to attend the annual AWC meeting being held this year at the Hilton Birmingham Perimeter Park Hotel, Birmingham, Alabama on JULY 17-19, 2009. Please visit the AWC website to view this year's program and for more information <http://www.alabamawritersconclave.org/>http://www.alabamawritersconclave.org/."
Marian intends to attend the TMW conference this year, and I'm sure she'd be happy to discuss the AWC contest and the conference.
B.J. Gillum reports the Roane County Writers Club and the Kingston Public Library Foundation will present the first annual Writers and Artists Expo at the Kingston Community Center November 7, 2009. This all day Saturday event will feature the theme "Ghosts of Roane County", an hour of monologues written by the Roane County Writers Club and performed by local thespians, followed by a program and book signing by the famous Forensic Pathologist and author, Dr. Bill Bass.
Authors will present their books, poets will read their work and works of art will be on display and for sale. Hours will likely be from 10 am to 7pm but might vary slightly. Inquiries should be directed to BJ Gillum @ <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>email@example.com or call (865) 354-8658.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the newsletter. If you know of an event interesting to writers, please let me know. I'll put it in the next newsletter, alongside any writing successes you like to share. Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.