New Mexico Press Women
February 2005 Vol. 28 No. 1
for Convention 2005
We've got something for everyone again this year in "A Way With Words," the 2005 NMPW conference on April 15-16.
Expect dynamite workshops aimed at newshounds, PR folks and writers of all stripes.
Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, we can offer media coach Susan Peterson, whose all-morning workshop is "Telling Your Story in a Media Crazy World. " A former NBC and CBS correspondent, Susan will provide perspective on the media and the changing face of journalism and talk about what affects news coverage, shapes headlines and influences reporters.
Jonathan Price will deliver a workshop on "Web Writing that Works." Jonathan is a professional web writer and editor. He'll offer tips about tailoring prose for e-mail, Web pages, and discussion lists. He's written and edited hundreds of articles for web sites and, with his wife, Lisa, has recently published "Hot Text: Writing that Works."
In the afternoon the Las Cruces chapter has arranged a field trip to the Middle Rio Grande with endangered species expert David Cowley, a professor at NMSU. He's studying whether the agriculture drainage system could serve as a refuge for the silvery minnow and other native fish. Another of his recent projects was comparing conditions on the Rio Grande in 1874 and 1975, using specimens from the Smithsonian. (Surprisingly, the river may not have been cleaner in 1874.)
After the field trip, we'll end the day and the conference with a wine tasting at a local winery.
Our banquet speaker is Susan Seligman, director of the New Mexico Anti-Defamation League for 16 years. She has a degree in communications and has handled press relations in several political campaigns.
Long-time members will notice that the timing and duration is a little different this year. In response to members with kids who have complained that it's difficult to give up a weekend, we've shifted to a Friday night awards banquet and workshops on Saturday. The meeting will end Saturday afternoon with the wine tasting.
Sandia National Laboratories has agreed to sponsor the meeting with a donation of $2,000.
Thanks to our generous sponsors and the success of last year's convention, NMPW is reducing conference fees this year. For NMPW members, early bird registration, by March 25, is $100 or $120 after. And for those on a tight budget, Sandy Schauer, the green eye-shade lady, tells us we can afford several scholarships. Watch for details.
The conference hotel once again is the Sheraton Uptown, across from Coronado Mall.
Something Old, Something New
John Córdova of Hirst-Córdova Public Relations has given NMPW a $1,000 donation for two scholarships in memory of Lee and Marie Hirst, who were members and friends of NMPW. NMPW traditionally awards two $500 scholarships to students. This year, thanks to John's donation, we will give two $1,000 donations.
College costs have risen so dramatically over the past several years that $500 barely covers books. So thank you John for allowing our scholarships to increase to $1,000 each.
(PRSA's New Mexico chapter recently named its Vista Award after Lee and Marie. In 2001 they were the first recipients of the award for outstanding lifetime
achievement in public relations. They died less than two months apart last year.)
Las Cruces Press Women will award the $600 Ruth Sneed Memorial Scholarship for the 15th year. The chapter established this endowed scholarship to honor a former NMSU food marketing specialist and longtime Press Woman. In 2004, the chapter updated its scholarship agreement with the NMSU Foundation and agreed to use a blind application process this year.
The scholarship is given to an NMSU junior or senior with a minimum 3.0 grade-point average. Applicants must be studying journalism, combined with studies or a background in home economics, extension education, agriculture or related areas. Preference is given to New Mexico residents and those with demonstrated financial need.
Silent Auction and Jewelry Boutique:
Donate your good goods!
We also count on the silent auction to fund these scholarships. Scholarship ringleader Laurie Mellas Ramirez needs those donations! Have an uncle in the retail business? Have some Christmas gifts that aren't quite you? Feeling some buyer's remorse about an impulse purchase? Bring them to convention or the Albuquerque meeting. And don't forget to let Laurie know you have them, so she can make out an auction bid sheet. Laurie also needs help with the auction.
And don't forget jewelry. Last year we held the first Jewelry Boutique with items donated by members. It not only raised money but was great fun too! Next time you open your jewelry box, look at those pieces you don't wear any more and pass them along to a good cause. Contact jewelry monger Sherry Robinson.
Contest Czar Connie Gotsch reported that this year's contest drew 49 entrants and 121 entries. This compares with 64 entrants and 156 entries last year. She noted that three publications that had entered every year previously did not enter this year. During a board discussion about why entries were down, we observed that entry fees have gotten pretty expensive, which is fine if an employer pays but discourages freelancers from entering. If you have some thoughts on this, please let Connie know.
We've also noted a slippage in contest deadlines - one month disappeared from the contest year. We expect to fix this next time around.
Vice president and membership wazir Emily Drabanski reports that NMPW had 66 members in September but 42 now. And yet membership in local chapters is up. That sparked a discussion in a recent board meeting. One problem we identified is a hitch in national's billing. But state members will be pushing harder in their local chapter meetings to get members to join both local and state, and Emily will be leaning into luring former members back. If you know of any former NMPW members out there, please let her know.
High School Communications Contest material went out to high schools around the state. The deadline for entries is Feb. 25.
Kathy Córdova reminds us that March 1 is the deadline for Communicator of Achievement nominations. Usually local affiliates nominate one of their own and then a state committee selects a winner. For information contact Kathy.
Lynn Cline is doing well with the Zia Awards competition, with 15 books and a dozen judges. This year's subject was children's books. "There are some lovely books as well as a few that I believe barely qualify as literature for children," she writes. "But we'll let the committee decide that."
The Zia Award, a visible, prestigious accomplishment in writing circles, celebrates an outstanding New Mexico author. Each year NMPW presents the award at the annual meeting.
The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government will host a national FOI meeting in Santa Fe on May 13-14. NMPW, which is a FOG member, will support the national meeting with a small sponsorship.
Albuquerque Press Women heard KRQE reporter and helicopter pilot Bob Martin, who recently returned from a month in Iraq with New Mexico National Guard troops. Previously, he spent two months with anti-Taliban rebels in Afghanistan and was embedded with the U.S. Army for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Bob is an ENMU alum.
In January UNM economist Larry Waldman shared his view of the state's economy and sparked a lively discussion of Wal-Mart.
D'Lyn Ford, president of Las Cruces Press Women, reports that vice president Linda Harris' programs have attracted new members and a steady attendance of about 15 participants for the last three meetings. The chapter now has 22 members.
On Jan. 27, Marilyn Haddrill, long-time freelance
writer and successful Web host, gave a program, "Reinventing
Your Writing," explaining how she learned to retool
her writing to make money writing for the Web. Haddrill
is an expert at reinventing herself. She's written for
the El Paso Times and Dallas Morning News, then was
a travel writer for Fodor's Travel Guides. She evolved
into a medical writer. Now she writes for online vision
reference sites http://vision.about.com
Previous meetings have covered feng shui, digital photography, and the League of Women voters.
The Northern Chapter on Feb. 5 heard author and New York Times science correspondent Sandra Blakeslee during their monthly luncheon. Chapter president Carol Clark, who covers crime and education for the Los Alamos Monitor, says turnout at the northern meetings have been good. They're now working on bylaws and committees.
The National Federation of Press Women has endorsed Sunshine Sunday on March 13, along with a week of observances that follow.
Sunshine Sunday will focus upon the importance of freedom of information and the public's rights of access to government. Participating daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, online sites, and radio and television broadcasters will feature editorials, op-eds, editorial cartoons, and news and feature stories that drive public discussion about why open government is important to everyone, not just to journalists.
NFPW is urging members to become involved at the local level through libraries and state First Amendment Coalitions.
Available from a link on the NFPW web site, www.nfpw.org, the Sunshine Week web site (www.sunshineweek.org) will provide op-eds and articles for use by print and online media, story ideas, video news packages, stories of citizens using FOI laws to get information to help their communities, information for libraries setting up community FOI programs, and links to online FOI information and resources.
The national organization will hold its convention this year in Seattle in September.
National reminds us of its Free for Four Recruitment Program: If you recruit 4 new members for NFPW, you will receive a free membership for the coming year. And the affiliate that recruits the most new student members between September of 2004 and August of 2005 will receive a prize at the 2005 conference in Seattle. The cost of joining NFPW as a student member has been reduced.
Congratulations to Laurie Mellas Ramirez, who received the 2004 Gerald May Staff Recognition Award from UNM. It's the university's highest honor for employees. Nominations come from co-workers. Laurie is editor of Campus News and the UNM expert's guide for news media. She founded UNM's work-life committee to help employees balance work with outside responsibilities.
Carolyn Edwards and her husband, NMPW auxiliary member in good standing Dennis Edwards, have achieved their long-time dream of retiring in Angel Fire. Their new contact information: PO Box 2019, Angel Fire, NM 87710-3019. The street address is 52 Valle Grande Trail North. Phone is 505-377-1078 or cell 505-595-0175.
"We had a condo here for more than six years and fell in love with this beautiful valley in the mountains of northeastern New Mexico. We bought our home two years ago, but we couldn't move until we both retired," she writes. Carolyn retired (emphasis on "tired") from ENMU last January after spending 22 years in public relations, promotion, marketing, publications, advertising and special events. Dennis was community president of Wells Fargo Bank.
Cary Herz writes that life is good. And it is. She also realized a long-time dream of visiting the Galapagos Islands. "The beauty of the place, the wildlife, the pristine-ness are hard to describe." She is one year removed from chemo, with continuing good reports. "It is all a miracle," she writes. Her doc says "whatever I am doing, I should keep doing. To me that means yoga class, acupuncture, Chinese food therapy and low stress (that is the hardest part). And keeping a positive attitude."
Kathy Córdova got a nice review of her book "Concha! Concha Ortiz y Pino" in the Albuquerque Journal. Kathy says she came to the book through her writing for La Herencia magazine; publisher Ana Pacheco introduced her to the great lady. The interviews and the writing were a delight, Kathy says.
Pari Noskin reports that Albuquerque now has a chapter of Sisters in Crime, and she's president. "I love the group and the wonderful board members who have volunteered to give it such an energetic beginning," she writes. The chapter's name is Croak & Dagger.
And UNM Press has published her second book, "The Belen Hitch." Pari also was a presenter in TVI's Literary Series.
The e-zine Appoloslyre.com published Connie Gotsch's flash fiction, "Contra Wish." Read it at www.apolloslyre.com through February. Connie is the author of other cyber-fiction: "A Mouth Full of Shell" and "Snap Me a Future." Find out more at www.authorsden.com/conniegotsch
Sharon Niederman has just published her first novel, "Return to Abo" with UNM Press. This has been a labor of love for Sharon, born of stories she has collected from New Mexico ranch women over the past two decades. She describes the story of three generations of women struggling to make peace with each other and the land as everything she knows about New Mexico. And here's an offer you won't hear often: "If you don't love this book, I guarantee your money back," she says. To preview the novel, visit Sharon's website at www.sharonniederman.com.
Our sympathies to Edith Treadwell, of Las Cruces, whose husband Hugh died Jan. 22, and to Sarah Ford, of Santa Fe, whose husband Jack died recently.
Several members have daughter news. Ann Palormo's daughter Cynthia is a producer for "The Amazing Race 5," which aired on CBS. When CBS officials saw the first rough cut of the show, they renewed her contract and made her field producer for "Amazing Race 6," giving her the opportunity for world travel.
Edith Treadwell's daughter Pamela, the outgoing president of the Arizona Bar Association, recently presented an award to Sandra Day O'Connor.
And Linda Harris's daughter Christine was named the music coordinator for a newly designated arts magnet school in Albuquerque.
We'll miss Lynn Cline and Emily Drabanski at convention this year. Both sing with the Santa Fe Symphony Chorus, and they have a concert the same weekend.
Nancy Denker, owner of the print shop Focus Ink in Albuquerque, was a finalist in the 2005 Enterprising Women of the Year award from the National Association of Women Business Owners. Nancy's not an NMPW member, but she responded generously last year to our request for convention bag handouts.
Sherry Robinson is now the proud proprietor of New Mexico News Services LLC. Founder Hal Rhodes passed the baton and retired. The tiny syndicate provides opinion columns for mostly rural, community newspapers in New Mexico. [The transition paperwork and the education in LLCs is one of those growth experiences. And that's why this newsletter is late. - Ed.]
Events of Interest
WORDHARVEST writing workshops will offer three new one-day workshops in March.
On March 5, Pat Mora will teach "Family Matters: A Memoir Workshop." Mora, an author of poetry, nonfiction, and children's books, has published more
than 20 books for young readers.
On March 12, Jennifer Gale Pego and David Pego will present "Storytelling in the Digital Age" about recognizing a good story and selling it on the Net.
On March 26, author and psychotherapist Bill O'Hanlon will offer "Clueless in Publishing Land? 10 Secrets to Get Your
All workshops are $125, including materials, lunch and snacks, except the Pego workshop, which is $150. Advance registration is required. To register or for information, call 505-471-1565, contact e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.sfworkshops.com.
New Mexico Press Women
Board of Directors
H (505) 822-9852
W (505) 844-0645
H (505) 438-0347
W (505) 827-6392
H (505) 326-4969
W (505) 566-3377
High School contest:
H (505) 454-1511
H (505) 898-8492
W (505) 841-6052
H (505) 281-5513
W (505) 823-3864
Communicator of Achievement Chair
Cell (505) 770-4246
H (505) 271-3563
W (505) 277-5915
Las Cruces Chapter
Northern New Mexico Chapter
Cell (505) 490-0938
W (505) 662-4185, ext. 25
Let us know what you're doing!
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