Programming Committee Roundtable

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The powerhouse behind member meetings, workshops, coffee hours, and other special events, the board’s programming committee, consisting this year of Kelley Frodel, Kristin Carlsen, and Pm Weizenbaum, is vital to the smooth operation of the EdsGuild. Earlier this year, we got these busy ladies to sit down for a little while and talk to us about their responsibilities and what it’s like working for the board.

What year of board service are you in?

Kelley Frodel: This is my second year on the board.

Kristin Carlsen: This is also my second year on the board.

Pm Weizenbaum: I just started this year.

What made you decide to join the Programming Committee this year?

Kelley: I was on the Programming Committee last year, and it was a great way to become more involved with the Guild and feel more closely connected to the editing community in general.

Kristin: I enjoyed being involved with this committee in 2016 and wanted to continue with it for my second year on the board. The Programming Committee members (all of us, or at least a couple of us) come to each member meeting a bit ahead of the social half hour, to greet the speaker(s) and help guide the room setup. Just being around as attendees start showing up, greeting the speaker, and working with the other Committee members means you’re mixing with a lot of people and getting to know them better, which is one of the main reasons I joined the board in 2016.

Pm: I just kept having so many ideas for things the Editors Guild could do! And now that my kids have grown and flown, I’ve got the time to volunteer. So I joined the board, and this seemed like the logical place to contribute.

What’s your favorite project that the committee has planned?

Kelley: Last year we put on a Copyediting Fiction Workshop, and that felt like a huge success. We had high attendance and a lot of good feedback. It felt great to help organize an event that editors in my community benefited from.

Kristin: That’s a tough question. I agree with Kelley that the workshop was wonderful to be a part of. It had been a little while since the Guild had put on a workshop, so getting the first one running was a significant move forward. We learned a lot from doing that event and from the surveys we issued to the attendees, and we will use that information going forward to plan the next workshop. It would be hard to pick a favorite member meeting—I’ve gotten something significant out of attending all of them (and helping plan many of them).

Pm: The upcoming July member meeting, “Engaging with Other Editors: Fostering Our Community,” definitely. One of my passions (despite my Editorial Introversion Syndrome) is supporting a sense of community, and in the editorial community I have truly found my people, my tribe. Organizing the panel and generating ideas has been fun and inspiring; I can’t wait to share all this with our own community.

What do you like best about serving on the Programming Committee?

Kelley: My team members on the Programming Committee are so much fun to work with. I love brainstorming ideas and figuring out how to streamline processes. It’s a great crew!

Kristin: I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the other members of the committee. I had been a Guild member for a while before joining the board, and had formed some connections to other members, but there’s nothing like serving on the board to get to know all the board members, and then to get to know the people on your same committee even better! It’s clear to me how much these other people care about the Guild.

Pm: The sense of teamwork, especially how well we share and trade the tasks in front of us. It’s like a dance.

What do you like least?

Kelley: This year, we wanted to expand our locations for member meetings in order to make it easier for editors in different locations around Seattle to attend. But researching and reserving new locations took a little bit more time than we thought, and so that has led to a little bit of scrambling, which can be stressful. I still think it is great that we decided to do this though!

Kristin: I’ll second (again) what Kelley said above. Finding new locations took more effort than we’d thought going into it, but it is totally worth it!

It can get a little stressful as member meetings approach and we try to make sure all details have been taken care of, but thankfully the work is shared as a team, which makes all the difference.

Pm: As the new member, I worry that I’m overlooking important aspects of our job (like details at the start of the member meetings!). I’m so grateful that we’re a three-person team, and that the K’s bring so much experience to our table.

What’s your favorite editing-related event that you’ve been to? (It doesn’t have to be an EdsGuild event!)

Kelley: The Red Pencil Conference in 2015 was a lot of fun. I attended interesting panels, reconnected with editing certificate classmates, and made some new connections with fellow editors. I have come to love networking events like this, which make me feel like part of a community.

Kristin: I’ve enjoyed the two Guild conferences I’ve attended, in 2013 and in 2015. At both of them I met new people, learned a lot from the sessions I attended, wished I could somehow be in two places at once to attend more of the sessions, and just enjoyed being surrounded by other people who care a lot about words and their work as editors. (I appreciate that about member meetings, too!)

Pm: Can I count a monthly event? I discovered the Far North Editors “satellite” group at Red Pencil 2015, and have very much enjoyed driving up to Mount Vernon each month for a proper teatime with editors who don’t get down to Seattle much. More community!

What have you learned from your time on the Programming Committee?

Kelley: Organization goes a long way! I’ve always loved to-do lists (who doesn’t, right?), and I have made use of them during my time on the Programming Committee.

Kristin: Being on the Programming Committee has definitely sharpened my organization skills. I’ve needed to keep tweaking my system of lists and reminders to be sure details don’t fall through the cracks too often (this is an ongoing process!). I’ve gotten to know a lot more about what happens behind the scenes at Guild events, which gives me a fuller picture of what the Guild does and a deeper appreciation for it.

Pm: Three brains are far better than one. Each of us brings different strengths, and we really benefit from the balance that this offers. In fact, we enjoy how well we complement each other.

What do you personally hope to accomplish by the end of this board year?

Kelley: I hope to help put on another successful workshop and ensure that our member meetings run smoothly. I love being part of an organization that helps provide personal and professional growth for fellow editors (myself included).

Kristin: My goals include putting together successful member meetings for the remainder of 2017, helping plan and put on a workshop, and looking for new ways to support the membership in general, as part of my role of Board VP of Member Services.

Pm: I am working to build a stronger sense of cohesion among our farther-flung members, especially in Portland, because we Seattleites enjoy so many intangible benefits from our organization.

Do you have any advice to people considering service on the Programming Committee in the future?

Kelley: I might be biased, but I think the Programming Committee offers one of the biggest opportunities to have an effect on your editing community; receiving feedback about meetings and workshops can help shed light on what fellow editors are looking for and what they would like to learn more about, which we strive to offer in future events. It really is a lot of fun to be part of that. (And, of course, you can also pursue meeting topics and workshops that you would like to learn more about! So that’s fun, too.)

Kristin: Kelley covered this really well. I’d just add that if you’d like to feel more connected to the Guild community, joining this committee is one really great way to do that.

Pm: If you’ve got a combination of ideas, sociability, and willingness to take on simple organizational tasks, this is a tremendously satisfying way to contribute to both the present Guild and its future direction.

Many thanks to Kelley, Kristin, and Pm for sharing their experiences with the blog, and for all the hard work they do! If you’d like to attend a board meeting or if you have questions about the board, e-mail the board president. To see what has been discussed in board meetings, visit our Board Meeting Minutes page. If you’re interested in serving on the board or otherwise assisting the Guild, visit our Volunteer page.

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