How to Reach Out: The Basics of Our Member-Only Listserv

December 2019

By Jen Grogan, Guild Administrator

Confused about how the Guild’s member-only listserv works? This post is here to answer your questions!

To begin with, a listserv is a system for managing email transmissions to and from a list of subscribers. In a practical sense, it means you send email to one address, and the email goes out to everyone who is a subscribed member of that group.

So how do you use the Guild’s listserv? First, you have to be a member. For the safety and security of members, our listserv is restricted to members-only, and the administrator (normally yours truly) is responsible for inviting new members to the group and periodically combing through the group to remove people whose membership has been expired for a certain length of time. Don’t worry—if you miss your renewal date by just a few days we won’t boot you off immediately!

The invitation you receive on joining the Guild (or letting us know that you need a new invitation if you missed out in the past) will look something like this:

To accept, just click on the “Accept this invitation” button below this text, as shown in the above screencap.

You should then see a little notification letting you know that you’ve successfully joined the group, and offering you links to visit the group’s homepage, email the group, or learn more about Google Groups in general.

If you see this, you’re all set to go! By default you will receive all emails sent to the listserv individually, but if you want to you can change your settings so you receive emails in batches or in daily digest version, or no emails at all. Please be aware, though: the listserv is the biggest and most common way for the Guild’s administrator and board to communicate with the membership about upcoming events, changes to Guild policy, and other important news. If you request to receive no email from us, we take that seriously and will only email you directly on very rare occasions, but it may mean that you’ll be out of the loop on a lot of important news. For this reason, we recommend members stick with the digest or batch version, so they can skim through messages at their leisure but not miss out on important official announcements.

If you’re interested in how to update your Google Group Settings or in other information about the listserv, check out our listserv how-to page, complete with more screencaps and more detailed information about settings.

Sometimes, though, something goes wrong. If, from here, you click on the group’s homepage link as shown above, you might see a notification that tells you that you are not authorized to view this page, because you’re not a member. But how can that be the case? You just accepted the invitation!

What’s happening in this instance is most likely that you are logged in as a Google user, but not with the address that the invitation to join the group was sent to. If you joined the Guild using your professional email address, editor@cooleditor.com (for example), but that address gets forwarded to your Gmail account which is maybe awesomeperson64@gmail.com, and then you clicked the accept link, Google is smart enough to realize that the person who received the invitation accepted the invitation, but when you get to the group’s homepage it sees that awesomeperson64@gmail.com is trying to view the group page, and that person isn’t on the list of member email addresses who can view the page. This can also happen if you don’t have a Gmail account, but you do have a Google account for, say, YouTube or some other Google service.

If this happens, you have a few choices.

First, you don’t necessarily need to view the group’s homepage in order to enjoy all the benefits of the Guild’s listserv. Once you’ve accepted the invitation to become part of the listserv, you will receive emails and can send emails to the group just like everyone else, and you could happily never look at the group page. Even if you want to update your email settings in the future so, say, you receive digest emails, you could just email the adminstrator and ask them to make that change.

Photo by Crystal Leigh Shearin from FreeImages.

Second, you could ask the administrator to send you an invitation under a different address (like your Gmail address, or the non-Gmail address used for your Google account). The administrator would then revoke your old invitation (because we don’t want you getting emails twice!) and then send a new invitation.

Third, in rare cases where your invitation isn’t working for some reason, the administrator may offer to just manually add you to the group. This comes with the same caveats as the first option, but is a handy way to get around technical issues that sometimes show up when inviting email addresses that, for some reason, Google seems unwilling to cooperate with.

Once you’re on the listserv, we ask that you read and follow our listserv guidelines at all times and be respectful of your colleagues. And, lastly, if you have any questions or concerns, please email info@edsguild.org for assistance!


The Northwest Editors Guild’s private, friendly listserv is just one membership perk now available to editors across the United States. Members also have access to a job board (refreshed weekly), free and discounted resources, neighborhood meet-ups, and much more. Visit Join the Guild to review member benefits so you can get the most out of your membership in 2020.

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Jen Grogan

In addition to being the Guild's administrator, Jen Grogan is a mother, writer, editor, and web content specialist based out of Seattle, where she lives with her husband, their baby son, two loud but adorable cats, and too many books. She’s written for Women Write About Comics and a few other online venues, but has not yet convinced herself to call any of her fiction manuscripts complete. As an editor, she encourages others to do as she says, not as she does. In her free time (mostly theoretical right now) she enjoys knitting, hiking, calligraphy, leading school tours for the Seattle Art Museum, and traveling. You can find her online at jengrogan.com.