South Carolina Writers’ Association
These Bylaws supersede all other previous Bylaws.
Approved on the following date:
May 15, 2010
South Carolina Writers’ Association, Inc.
This Organization shall be known as the South Carolina Writers’ Association, Inc.
The purpose of the South Carolina Writers’ Association shall be as follows:
(a) To develop, administer, and operate programs designed to foster and improve the writing talents of its Members and the literary arts communities of South Carolina.
(b) To provide a creative environment in which the Members can present on a regular basis manuscripts for critique by the Organization.
Members of the Organization
Section 1. Composition: The Membership shall consist of all Board Members, Honorary Members, and all other active Members as approved by the Board.
Section 2. Term of Membership: Members will remain on the roster of the Organization so long as they remain in good standing unless the Organization’s Board of Directors deems that a person’s Membership is no longer in the best interest of the Organization.
Section 3. Honorary Membership: Honorary Membership may be conferred by the Board of Directors as a mark of respect on persons who have rendered outstanding service in the literary field.
Eligibility for Membership
Section 1. Application for Membership: Applicants must be eighteen (18) years of age and pay an annual Membership fee as set forth annually by the Board.
Section 2. Membership Fee: Membership is paid annually. One hundred (100%) percent of the fee must be paid at the time of joining or renewal. When a Member renews, 365 days shall be added to the term of the Member’s Membership. Annual fees are non-refundable.
Section 3. Membership Renewal: Dues for Membership renewal are set by the Board of Directors and are payable yearly, within a thirty (30) day grace period. A Member failing to pay dues shall be denied attendance at local Chapter Meetings, eligibility to serve as a local President or on the Board of Directors, eligibility for submission to or publication in SCWA’s newsletter or literary journal, eligibility for the Members’ discount on annual Conference registration, and any other privileges associated with Membership.
Section 4. Failure to Pay Dues: A Member failing to pay dues within thirty (30) days of expiration will be dropped from the Organization’s Membership roster.
Section 5. Transfer of Membership: Memberships in the Organization may not be transferred to any other individual for any reason.
Section 6. Non-Discrimination: No individual shall be denied Membership to the Organization for reasons of race, creed, color, sex, physical handicap or any other status protected by the laws of the State of South Carolina and/or the United States governments.
Section 7. Unaffiliated Members: Individuals may join the statewide Organization without affiliating with a Chapter. Members are not required to reside within South Carolina.
Meetings of the Membership
Section 1. Chapter Meetings: The Organization’s Chapters shall meet at regularly scheduled locations and at regularly scheduled times and dates as deemed appropriate.
Section 2: Annual Conference: An Annual Conference may be held for the entire Membership of the Organization.
Section 3. Special Meetings: Special Meetings of the General Membership may be called at the discretion of the Board. A general Business Meeting shall be held annually.
Section 4. Notice of Special Meetings: Notices of Special Meetings of the General Membership shall be sent not less than fourteen (14) days before the meeting.
Section 5. Quorum: No quorum of Members shall be required to conduct meetings of the General Membership.
Section 1. Definition of a Chapter: A Chapter of the Organization is any group of members of the statewide Organization who:
(a) Meet regularly for purposes of critique, education, and/or networking.
(b) Declare their meetings to be official meetings of the Organization.
(c) Abide by the Bylaws of the Organization.
Section 2. Creation of Chapters: A Chapter may be created by the Board or the Chapter Liaison at any time. A Chapter may also be created upon written request of one or more Members of the Organization, so long as the criteria outlined in Article VI Section 1 are met.
Section 3. Dissolution of Chapters: A Chapter may be dissolved by the Board if, at any time, the Chapter does not meet the criteria outlined in Article VI, Section 1.
Section 4. Fiscal Authority: No Chapter or Member shall be authorized to take in monies or use the nonprofit status of the South Carolina Writers’ Association without the expressed, written consent of the Board. No Chapter or member is authorized to commit funds of the Organization for any purpose without the expressed written consent of the Board.
Board of Directors
Section 1. General Powers: The Organization shall be governed by a Board of Directors, which shall have final authority in all matters affecting the Organization. The Board may, by majority vote, delegate such of its powers as deemed expedient.
Section 2. Composition: The Board shall consist of no less than nine (9) and no more than thirteen (13) Directors including a President, First Vice President, Vice President-Conference Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and the immediate Past President, Ex-Officio.
Section 3. Qualifications: Members of the Board of Directors shall be a minimum age of twenty-one (21), an active Member of the Organization, and expected to contribute their time and abilities to the purposes of the Organization as stated in the Bylaws.
Section 4. Duties: Each Board member shall:
(a) provide guidance and support necessary for the successful achievement of the Organization’s purpose as stated in the Bylaws
(b) assist with planning the Organization’s programs of service
(c) provide appropriate authority for professional Organization administration
(d) develop an annual budget
(e) assure that there is adequate funding for the Organization’s activities
(f) maintain fiscal and Organizational accountability.
Section 5. Election of Directors:
(a) Election of Directors may be held during the month of November in the event that the number of approved nominees exceeds the number of open Board vacancies. Term of office begins January 1. All Organization Members shall be eligible to vote.
(b) Nominations for Directors shall be accepted by the President from the General Membership until October 30. Nominees for Directors shall submit written biographies and a completed Board Questionnaire by October 30 to the President. All nominees shall be reviewed and approved by the Executive Board. Nominees will be notified of their candidacy status prior to election or appointment.
(c) Interim vacancies on the Board or among Officers shall be filled by the Board at regular Board Meetings or at any Special Meeting called for that purpose.
Section 6. Term of Office:
(a) Unless otherwise specified at time of election, the term of each Director shall be two years. Terms begin on January 1.
(b) Elected Directors shall be eligible to serve three successive terms. Following a hiatus of a minimum of one year, a former Director may be nominated and re-elected.
(c) Directors shall serve out their terms unless they resign or are removed.
(d) All interim terms of less than one year shall count as one full year. All interim appointments shall serve the balance of the vacated Board position.
Section 7. Meetings of the Board:
(a) The Board shall meet quarterly.
(b) Special Meetings of the Board may be called by the President as desired or upon request of the majority of the Board.
(c) To expedite the business of the Organization, Special Meetings may be held via the most practical method at the discretion of the Executive Board.
Section 8. Notice of Meetings:
(a) Notice of regular Board Meetings shall be given at least one (1) week prior to the meeting.
(b) Notices of Special Board Meetings shall state the purposes for which the meeting is called.
Section 9. Quorum: The majority of the Directors in office at the time of any regular or Special Meeting of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Section 10. Compensation: No Director shall receive remuneration or compensation for services as a Director. Expenses incurred by Board Members in approved conduct of SCWA business shall be reimbursed upon presentation of proper receipts to the Treasurer.
Section 11. Absence of Directors: If any Director misses two (2) Board Meetings within a twelve (12) month period without excuse or explanation, confirmed in writing to the President and approved by a vote of the Board, that Director’s position on the Board shall be declared vacant and shall be replaced in accordance to Article VII, Section 5 of these Bylaws.
Section 12: Resignations: A Director may resign at any time by giving written notice to the President. Such resignation shall take effect at the time therein specified and, unless otherwise specified, the acceptance of such resignation shall not be necessary to be effective.
Section 13: Removal of Directors: Any Director or Officer may be removed with cause, other than as outlined in Article VII, Section 11 of these Bylaws, by a vote of the majority of all Board Members at a regular Board Meeting or a Special Meeting called for that purpose; provided however, that no Director shall be removed without at least two (2) weeks notice prior to the meeting at which removal is to be considered. Notice shall be sent either by U. S. Mail or by electronic mail to the last addresses provided. Reasonable efforts shall be made to contact the Director.
Section 1. Officers: The Board of Directors shall elect annually the offices of President, First Vice President, Vice President-Conference Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. Officers shall be required to pass along complete documentation of the duties of their offices, including all deadlines, to their successors.
Section 2. Term of Office: Elected officers shall serve for one (1) year. Officers may be re-elected providing their term remains active.
Section 3. Duties of the Officers:
(a) President: The President shall be the chief executive officer and shall preside at all meetings of the Organization as well as meetings of the Board of Directors. To qualify for the position of President, a Director shall have been on the Board for a year, unless no qualified candidate shall be available.
(b) First Vice President: The First Vice President shall perform the duties of the President in President’s absence and shall assume the position of President in the event of the President’s resignation or removal.
(c) Vice President-Conference Chair: In September of each year, the Board shall elect a Vice President-Conference Chair to lead the Organization of the following year’s Annual Conference. The Vice President-Conference Chair shall not perform the duties of the President in the President’s absence and shall not assume the position of President in the event of the President’s resignation or removal.
(d) Treasurer: The Board will contract with a qualified unaffiliated accounting firm to perform bookkeeping, financial reporting and/or audit or review duties as needed annually. The Treasurer shall review and present the financial reports at each Board Meeting and Executive Committee meeting; work directly with the Board in preparation of budgets; monitor and approve bills payment. The Treasure is also responsible for annually reviewing the Organization’s bookkeeping/accounting firm.
(e) Secretary: The Secretary shall record and report on the minutes of regularly scheduled Board Meetings, as well as any Special Meetings of the Board, and meetings of the Executive Board.
Section 1. Composition: There shall be an Executive Board consisting of the elected officers of the Board and to include the immediate Past President, Ex-Officio.
Section 2. Duties: In the intervals between Board Meetings, the Executive Board shall meet when deemed appropriate and exercise all the powers of the Board except for the removal of Directors and Officers.
Section 3. Meetings: Meetings of the Executive Board may be called at any time by the President of the Board or upon request by not less than three (3) members of the Executive Board. Any such requested Meeting shall be held within five (5) days of the receipt of such request at a time and place as designated by the President.
Section 4. Quorum: A simple majority of the Membership of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum.
The following appointed positions may be filled by Board Members, or by any other person over age twenty-one (21), who is an active Member of the Organization, and expected to contribute their time and abilities to the purposes of the Organization.
(a) Newsletter Editor
(b) Chapter Liaison
(c) Membership Coordinator
(d) Literary Journal Editor
(e) Webmaster or Webmaster Liaison
(f) Contest Chairperson
(g) Publicity Chairperson
(h) Grants Chairperson
Section 1. Fiscal Year: The fiscal year of the Organization shall begin January 1 and end December 31
Section 2. Annual Budget: By the second Board Meeting of each fiscal year, the Board shall adopt an annual budget for that year. The annual budget shall be based upon projected expenditures and anticipated revenue related to Organizational activities that include its Annual Conference, Literary Journal, Membership Newsletter, local workshops, Website, literary contests, and other projects as determined by the Board.
Section 3. Dissolution of Organization: Should the Organization be dissolved all remaining assets shall be donated to a 501(c)(3) organization such as the South Carolina Endowment for the Arts.
These Bylaws may be amended by two-thirds (2/3) vote of a quorum of the Directors present at a regular Board Meeting or at a Special Meeting called for that purpose. The proposed amendments shall be delivered to each member of the Board at least two (2) weeks prior to any meeting at which the amendments may be voted on.
Addendum – Conference Reservations
On April 26, 2010, the executive committee unanimously approved by e-mail for Carrie McCullough to sign a contract with the Hilton Hotel for the 2012 SCWW Conference to be scheduled on Oct. 18-20, 2012, and the 2013 SCWW Conference to be scheduled on Oct. 17-19, 2013, in order to secure dates and the same cost. The 2011 contract has already been signed. There is an 18 month cancellation option and the ability to reduce down the contract 11 months prior to each conference.
Addendum – Conference Policy
The following policy was approved by an e-mail vote of four by the executive committee on May 26, 2010. One committee member did not respond.
SCWW Policy on Conferences
It is the policy of the SCWA to provide an annual conference for the membership when possible. The Chair has the discretion to review and adjust the guidelines for each conference.
Payment of Conference registration does not ensure acceptance to the Conference. Examples may include, but are not limited to, restrictions on the number of attendees or past instances where the Board has removed an individual from membership or the conference.
It is within the discretion of the Conference Chair, or of a Conference Co-chair in the event the Chair is not readily available, to bar an attendee at the Conference who is involved in conduct that may tarnish the reputation and/or goals of SCWA or poses a perceived danger to attendees or faculty of the Conference, from attending any other Conference activities.
The host hotel/location or SCWA may notify law enforcement when they feel it is appropriate. In case of illegal activity, law enforcement will be notified.
Attendees barred from the conference will not receive a refund for any portion of the Conference or related expenses.
South Carolina Writers Association Policies
Due Diligence and Ethics Policy
It is the policy of the South Carolina Writers’ Association to make every effort to abide by all applicable Federal, State and/or Local laws.
Conflict of Interest Policy
Language is included in the South Carolina Writers’ Association By-Laws which limits business transactions with the Board of Directors and requires full disclosure of potential conflicts. The policy required Directors to abstain from discussions and voting that present a potential conflict.
The South Carolina Writers’ Association encourages volunteers and others related to the organization to report any violation of policy, procedure or ethics; illegal activity or other misconduct by anyone related to the organization. No person who in good faith reports a violation shall suffer harassment, retaliation or adverse consequence.
Document Retention Policy
All short term and long term storage of administrative and financial records are provided in a safe, secure and confidential manner. Depending upon the type of record, the appropriate length for retention complies with legal and funder requirements. Records relevant to foreseeable or pending judicial or administrative investigations or proceedings are preserved until the actions are concluded.
Private Inurements Policy
It is the policy of the South Carolina Writers’ Association that it fulfills its responsibility to act as a competent and trustworthy steward of its resources and is behaving in a way that is consistent with the following IRS requirement: A section 501(c)(3) organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, such as the creator or the creator’s family, shareholders of the organization, or other designated individuals, or persons controlled directly or indirectly by such private interests. No part of the net earnings of a section 501(c)(3) organization may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. A private shareholder or individual is a person having a personal and private interest in the activities of the organization.
Executive Session Policy
It is the policy of the South Carolina Writers’ Association that the President or Chair has the right to call for discussion into Executive Session that requires confidentiality. This includes legally acceptable items approved for Executive Session that usually are put into place to protect an individual. These may include but are not limited to discussion about a specific Member or a specific contract negotiation.
Directors are reminded that what is discussed within Executive Session is to remain confidential, although any action or motions must be made in an open meeting.
In the event a Member of the South Carolina Writers’ Association behaves in such a manner that is considered not in the best interest of the organization, it is the policy of the South Carolina Writers’ Association to discuss membership termination in Executive Session. Any Director directly involved with the individual must recuse from voting on any action taken. The Member in question may have the opportunity to present his or her case to the Board.
It is the policy of the South Carolina Writers’ Association to have some consistency and guidelines for Chapter Meetings. The purposes of the Chapter Meetings are as follows:
- To enhance Members’ writing skills
- To teach and/or learn about the business of publishing
- To critique the written works of the Members
- To inform Members of Organization events
- To share news of Members’ publication credits
Persons interested in joining the Organization may attend no more than three (3) Chapter meetings in seeking information about the Organization or a particular Chapter. Members are encouraged, but not required, to declare an affiliation with one of the Chapters of the Organization, either at registration or by informing a Chapter President. Members may choose to affiliate with any Chapter and are not restricted by location or any other basis; they may change their Chapter affiliation at any time. If a member chooses not to join a Chapter, they will be noted in the records as ‘unaffiliated.’ All members in good standing may attend any Chapter Meeting of any Chapter, regardless of Chapter affiliation.
At the initial meeting of a new Chapter, and subsequently on an annual basis, the Chapter shall choose a Chapter President.
- The Chapter President shall be chosen from among the local Chapter Members.
- The Chapter President shall be chosen by majority vote of the local Chapter Members, in good standing, at attendance at that meeting.
The Chapter President shall:
- Find a suitable location, time and dates for Chapter Meetings
- Preside over Chapter Meetings to ensure an orderly and quality meeting. A Chapter President may limit the number of member critiques due to the time allotment and/or the number of Members due to space constraints. In the event of overcrowding at Chapter Meetings, the Chapter President is encouraged to consult with the Organization’s Board of Directors and the Chapter Liaison in developing solutions to accommodate Members.
- May, along with that Chapter’s Membership, restrict the content of critique material based on South Carolina’s definition of obscenity: Obscenity is typically defined as material which, to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, taken as a whole: 1) Predominately appeals to prurient interests 2) Lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value 3) Depicts or describes nudity, sex or excretion in a patently offensive way.
Alternately, individual Members may ask to be excused from listening to and critiquing any material they personally find offensive.
- Maintain a list of Organization Members affiliated with that Chapter.
- If notified by the Membership Coordinator of a Chapter Member’s failure to pay annual dues, the Chapter President may at his/her discretion ask the delinquent member to cease attending the Chapter Meetings until the dues are paid. In the alternative, if the Member can demonstrate financial hardship, the Chapter President may allow the Member to continue attending the Meetings, but only if the Membership Coordinator is informed of and approves the decision.
- Communicate with the Organization’s Board of Directors or other officers, either directly or through the Chapter Liaison.
Chapter Workshop Policy
It is the policy of the South Carolina Writers’ Association to provide development opportunities to our Members and attract new members. It’s important for the South Carolina Writers’ Association, as an organization, to offer free and open workshops because they constitute an essential element of our continued eligibility for various sources of fiscal support.
- No Chapter may advertise or host a Chapter workshop or seminar without the expressed, written consent of the South Carolina Writers’ Association Board of Directors.
- No Chapter may apply for, secure, or commit funds using the name or non-profit status of the South Carolina Writers’ Association without the expressed, written consent of the South Carolina Writers’ Association Board of Directors.
- All Chapter workshops and seminars must be free and open to the public.
- The event cannot discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or associational preference.
- A one hundred dollar ($ 100.00) stipend is available to support approved Chapter workshops.
- Modest reimbursement for speaker’s travel costs also may be available.
- Chapters may choose to work with the Treasurer and the Chairman of the Grants committee to secure monies for the workshop(s). However, any grant applications must be submitted to the Grants Chairperson for approval before being submitted for funding.
- A Chapter Representative must contact the Board President or the Chapter Liaison to request the Chapter Workshop Information sheets which include Compliance, How To and a Request Form before hosting a Chapter workshop.
It is the policy of the South Carolina Writers’ Association to provide an annual conference for the membership when possible. The Chair has the discretion to review and adjust the guidelines for each conference.
Payment of the conference registration [fee] does not ensure acceptance to the conference. Examples may include, but are not limited to, restrictions on the number of attendees or past instances when the Board has removed an individual from Membership or the conference.
It is within the discretion of the Conference Chair, or of a Conference Co-Chair in the event the Conference Chair is not readily available, to bar an attendee at the conference who is involved in conduct that may tarnish the reputation and/or goals of the South Carolina Writers’ Association or poses a perceived danger to attendees or faculty of the conference, from attending any other conference activities.
The host hotel/location of the South Carolina Writers’ Association may notify law enforcement when they feel it is appropriate. In case of illegal activity, law enforcement will be notified.
Attendees barred from the conference will not receive a refund for any portion of the conference or related expenses.
At the discretion of the Conference Chair, a discounted conference fee may be offered to Members of the Organization whose dues are current at the time of the conference registration and through the annual conference.
- The Carrie McCray Memorial Literary Awards are open to anyone attending the annual conference.
- Members of the contest committee or the South Carolina Writers’ Association Board of Directors are not eligible to submit to the competition.
- Anyone winning or placing in a category cannot enter the same category the following year; anyone winning or placing in the Carrie McCray Memorial Literary Awards two consecutive years is not eligible for one year in any category.
- All work submitted must be original and unpublished, except for publication in the South Carolina Writers’ Association newsletter.
Special Appointments Policy
The Board of Directors of the South Carolina Writers’ Association may establish special appointments that may include but are not limited to the following:
Newsletter Editor: The Newsletter Editor will disseminate Organization information and other information that might be of interest to the General Membership through a regularly issued newsletter. The Newsletter Editor may appoint a Co-Editor at his or her discretion. Content for the newsletter may be submitted by the General Membership of the Organization, but published at the discretion of the Newsletter Editor.
Chapter Liaison: The Chapter Liaison will facilitate communications between the Board of Directors and Chapters, and encourage and assist Chapters in holding local Chapter Workshops. In the Chapter President’s dues are unpaid or in arrears, the Chapter Liaison will contact the Chapter President to discuss a solution.
Membership Coordinator: The Membership Coordinator will maintain the active membership list, bill members for their dues, and facilitate membership drives. When a Member’s name is removed from the membership list, the Membership Coordinator will notify the former Member and affiliated Chapter President.
Literary Journal Editor: The Literary Journal Editor is responsible for all aspects of the publication of the annual literary journal. These responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Submitting a budget for Board approval
- Acquiring three (3) judges for each category
- Preparing the document for printing
- Selecting a printer
- Overseeing the production, storage, and distribution of the journal
Judges for the annual literary journal shall be published authors, agents, editors or other qualified industry professionals.
The Literary Journal Editor may appoint a Co-Editor(s) at his/her discretion.
Webmaster or Webmaster Liaison: The Webmaster will maintain the website, making any updates or changes requested by any Director.
In the event the Board of Directors contracts with an outside professional, the Website Liaison’s responsibilities will be contingent on the capabilities of the individual and may include but are not limited to communication between the Board of Directors and the Webmaster and making minor changes to the website.
Contest Chairperson: The Contest Chairperson is responsible for all aspects of any contests approved by the Board of Directors, including but not limited to the Carrie McCray Memorial Literary Awards, the High School Junior and Senior Writing Competition. These responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Submitting a budget for Board approval
- Acquiring three (3) judges for each category of the Carrie McCray Memorial Literary Awards
- Acquiring one (1) judge for each category of the High School Junior and Senior Writing Competition
- Production and presentation of all awards
Publicity Chairperson: The Publicity Chairperson is responsible for press releases, public service announcements, listing in various conference directories, SC BookFest and any other publicity related to the annual conference, literary journal, workshops or other activity as directed by the Board of Directors.
Grants Chairperson: The Grants Chairperson will identify and apply for grant money, track applications and provide all necessary documentation to ensure grant monies are received and properly utilized.
Blog Administrator: The Blog Administrator will coordinate and update the information and posts on the Organization’s blog.
Advisory Board Liaison