AGM Minutes – 13th March 2018

Minutes  of AGM,  Nethergate Writers 13/3/18  Dalhousie Building Room 2S11

Present: Richard, David C, Craig, Rosie, Roddie, Sue and Ray.

Apologies: David F, Abby, Fiona, Aileen,  Susan, Colin

Minutes taken by Roddie.

The meeting was convened by the chair at 7.06 pm.

Minutes of 2017 AGM: These were approved (proposed Craig, seconded – Richard).

Matters arising: Rosie asked if the £1 meeting donation should continue- this was a universally supported.

Treasurer’s report:   Book stock list was the same as last year, bar for one sale (212 volumes remaining).  Some minor royalties (£0.35) were received from Amazon on old stock.

Money received– subs of £91.  Outgoings: bookmarks, web site and SAW subscription- these almost balanced.

Bank balance at 20th February- £725.20.  Not much net change since last year.

Web master’s report: Website – 32 posts in the last year. 457 unique visitors

Most popular pages were all ‘Meet the Nethergate Writers’ – followed by the pieces on Craig’s Rep contest win, Colin’s publication in Mind the Time and Roddie’s inclusion in New Writing Scotland.

Twitter – now up to 92 followers – most liked post was about our visit to Literary Dundee’s Write Stuff event in April.

Facebook – 130 folk Like our page.

Most Liked were again the Meet the Nethergate Writers posts, plus our Christmas and New Year greetings and the link to the Pecha-kucha presentation.

Chairman’s review of 2017: (David C) There had been 12 meetings (plus one cancelled) of the group with a maximum attendance of 12, minimum 6 and an average of 7.5 persons. Currently we have 15 members.

Events that the group or members took part in included: the Petcha Kutcha evening (Rosie and Abby, Feb17th, 2017- available on You Tube); the Dundee City of European Culture bid spearheaded by Craig; attendance at the Write Stuff meeting during the Dundee Literary Festival.

Notable successes of members in 2017 were as follows:

Colin- reading his poem at the Lit Fest from the anthology “Mind The Time” published by Nutmeg Magazine.

Roddie – published a short story in “She Said, He Said, I Said” New Writing Scotland published a letter and haikus in The Courier; a poem published on line at the Open Mouse website and he won second place and also had a highly commended poem in the Great Broughty Ferry Library Poetry Competition.  The latter will be published in a booklet by the library in 2018.

In an early win for 2018, Craig was awarded a runner up prize in the DCA Creative Writing Competion.

Engagement with membership; issues from review:

Dundee European Capital of culture bid:  This was headed by Craig, but sadly died a death as a casualty of Brexit. Roddie pointed out recent news about attempts to set Dundee as a cultural hub, which may give a second life to that project.

Membership of SAW: Craig proposed that we keep on membership for another year. Seconded by Roddie.  This was agreed by the group.

Engagement with membership:  It was recognised that there is a problem of access for members who do not attend Zoe’s classes. Some solutions were` suggested.  David suggested a NW meeting on a regular basis while the class was running. The difficulties of scheduling another evening meeting for members was highlighted.   Rosie suggested that the fortnightly meetings of NW out with class terms should continue, this was supported by the majority.   Roddie suggested that NW members not in the class could email round their pieces when the class was running, for comments from members. David said he would be happy to email all NW writers regarding options on meetings/feedback.

A possibility suggested by Craig was that all NW members be contacted with view to having a discussion in the first NW meeting after classes finish to discuss these options.  Another topic for discussion suggested was what form future classes run by Zoe should take.

Fifty Shades of Tay update:  Craig and David C remarked that this had been the most successful joint project of the revived group to date.  Craig and Abby had met with a designer/publisher who could produce and print 200 copies for £400.  It was anticipated that the pamphlet would sell for a minimum of £3 with production costs of approx. £2/copy.  The booklet would have cover art and be A6 in size.  Craig reminded all members to forward their corrected versions to him ASAP.

Discussion turned to marketing. Rosie would compile a list of where NW books had sold before and consider selling through the website and possibly through Paypal.  Other possible outlets proposed by the group included: local shops, literary Dundee, Waterstones, Discovery Point, the Tourist Office, The V and A, local libraries and the West End Gallery.

Election of office bearers: Fiona had indicated that she did not want to continue as secretary, Abby might consider the position and since there were no other nominations, this position was held over. David C was proposed as chair (Craig) and seconded (Roddie) and this was ratified.   Rosie was the only nomination for treasurer (David C) and seconded (Ray) this too was ratified as was Craig to continue as web master (proposed- Rosie, seconded-Sue).

Plans for 2018:  Possibilities for further involvement with Creative Dundee- possibly to be investigated by Abby.

Literary Dundee- Roddie currently liasing with them. Other possibilities to investigate include approaches to West Fest (raised by Roddie), other festivals (raised by Craig) and to the local libraries for readings/platforms for Fifty Shades of Tay.

Roddie would continue to circulate details of up coming competitions/opportunities for publication. He also noted that taking account of the new data protection laws in compiling and keeping member contact lists would be necessary and said he would investigate what changes may be needed.

There being no other business, the meeting closed at 8.15 pm.

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