When one chapter closes…

It’s easier than I would have thought to say goodbye to In Print. As a founding member, I guess I let the organization go when I stepped down from ALL responsibilities. I held many titles, wore many hats, and accomplished many amazing things through the Professional Writers Organization I helped begin with fellow writers Kristin Oakley, Kathleen Tresemer, Carol Ahrens, and Pat Noel.

It’s been eight years since we sat around Kristin’s kitchen table and talked about how the writers’ groups that were currently accessible to us were not meeting our personal needs or what we wanted in an organization.

I’ll be the first to admit, I never thought we’d really pull it off!
Pipe dreams, you know? Frustrated with not getting our writerly goals met, we were just shooting the shit and fantasizing.

Thankfully, there were stronger minds and movers and shakers at that table.
And brownies.


And it was good.

For a solid five years, In Print Professional Writers Organization offered area writers a place to meet, other authors to learn from and commiserate with, workshops to grow, guest speakers to influence, and a plethora of other options. We met monthly as well as offering outside prospects. The Prompt Club, Writers as Readers Book Club, Word of Art, In Print Radio which continues to offer authors a platform with the help of Bob Francis, field trips, contests, and the opportunities offered by our affiliate, Chicago Writers Association, allowed IP to provide resources, exposure, and connections to those in the field.

Thanks to the connections of Kristin Oakley, we attended UW-Madison writer events like Weekend with your Novel, the Writer’s Institute Conference, Write by the Lake, and had Media Goddess Laurie Scheer provide multiple workshops throughout the years.

Of the five founding members, three are published, two multi-published, three have led workshops at conferences, and one also teaches at UW-Madison. One is still finding her creative way, and one has stepped away from writing altogether, but that doesn’t change their initial impact on our group.

Not only are we IN PRINT, we are PROFESSIONAL WRITERS.

It saddens me that In Print is shutting down. I feel the potential was there to continue to influence writers of all ages, genre, and ability. We had big dreams we never got to—including a journal publication, our own writers’ conference, and non-profit status!

Selfishly, IP served MY purpose, and for that I am grateful.

The last In Print Professional Writers Organization meeting
will be Saturday, February 2, from 1 to 4 pm
at the Cherry Valley Public Library,
755 East State Street, Cherry Valley, IL 61016.

If you are in the Rockford area and looking for writer support, I encourage you to attend this meeting. A chance to talk to other writers, compare notes, needs, and desires. Who knows…when one chapter closes, perhaps another opens?
All you need are like-minded, dedicated writers and brownies.

Other options in the area include the Northern Illinois Novel Knights,  Rockford Writers Guild or OWLSOgle Winnebago Literary Society. I highly recommend CWA for all they have to offer including book reviews and awards, a conference, and the Write City Magazine.

I’d like to close with a Thank You to In Print for all it allowed me to accomplish.
Thank you to Kristin, Kathleen, Carol, and Pat. We created something good, ladies. I will carry these experiences with me forever.


About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
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8 Responses to When one chapter closes…

  1. Lolita Ditzler says:

    Thank you for the opportunities.

  2. Mary Lib Skerkoske says:

    You do such a beautiful job of writing and expressing your feelings, Mary! I’m a proud 5/6 grade teacher!

  3. What a fitting tribute to In Print. You, Kristin, and Kathleen, in particular, did an amazing job bringing In Print to life and nurturing it through its infancy.
    As they say, “All good things must come to an end”. ~Geoffrey Chaucer

    • I only focused on the founders because of the finality. If I mentioned every invaluable member who worked hard and improved our organization, this post would be miles long. THANK YOU, LINDA! You were integral to our growth. And kudos on running a fabulous book club.

  4. Caryl BRnes says:

    I loved it especially when I first moved permanently back to Rockford eight years ago. Thank you to you, Mary, especially…Prompt Club was wonderful for me….and to thevother founders and members. I didn’t notice the radio program in here…that still stuns me because it’s so ambitious and great.

    • Thank you, Caryl, for the kind words and continued support! One of the best benefits of being part of In Print was getting to know and spend time with the members. And you are right–I need to mention the radio! I will update my post now.

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