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An Update on COVID-19

posted Nov 17, 2020, 5:41 PM by Dana Lockhart

Yes, we're still here! And we're doing everything we can to keep our members safe and sound.

We've been meeting at our regular time and date every month, but instead of meeting in person we've been utilizing online conferencing programs. Specifically, we have been using Google Meet, a free-to-use conferencing app similar to Zoom. The ease of using Google Meet and the current unlimited connection time have made it the primer choice for our needs.

While I'm sure we all miss the personal connection of being in the same room together, temporarily moving to an online medium has afforded other bonuses as well. Our last meeting, on November 14, we were able to have a speaker from Las Vegas, Nevada speak for us! We've also had several speakers from St. Louis since we've switched to online conferencing, saving them a long round trip back and forth to our little town of Hannibal, MO. In that same vein, we've also pulled in participants from New Mexico and Colorado who ordinarily wouldn't have been able to sit in on our meetings otherwise.

Using Google Meet for a NaNoWriMo write--in. Members left to right, top to bottom: Aaron Taylor, Ryan Cort, Jessica Foster, Ryan P. Freeman.

As much as I'd like to give an estimated time of when we'll be back together again face-to-face, it's really hard to say. I was following up on an email from a potential speaker just a couple weeks ago that I had emailed back in April. Back then we had talked about hoping the virus would pass by July! And here we are in November! There's no telling where the world will be in the coming months. For now, we'd rather be safe than sorry, and do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19.

We'll let you know as soon as we know when we'll meet in person again. I'm really crossing my fingers that we can celebrate our third guild birthday together in January, but even a couple months from now it seems very unlikely. But I will definitely be looking into it in the very least. We'll see!

Until then, we'll see you on Google Meet at the next meeting!

Keep writing!

-Dana Lockhart
President of HWG

A Guild's Response to COVID-19

posted May 14, 2020, 2:10 PM by Dana Lockhart

As the pandemic known as COVID-19 continues to rack up the number of infected and fatalities, the Hannibal Writers Guild is responding by temporarily moving our meetings online. Even thought the state of Missouri has been opening back businesses, we will continue to have online meetings until the situation stabilizes. 

You may have already attended our first virtual meeting with David Alan Lucas and his talk on creating a layered villain. We  have our next online meeting lined up for June with guild president Dana Lockhart, who will be presenting "The Writer's Free Toolkit." At that point, we will re-assess the situation to see if we'll be able to meet in person again.

As we develop our online meetings, it opens up the possibility of using them in the future. In the event of hazardous driving conditions or sudden venue closure, we can move meetings online. Not only that, but we can do virtual write-ins and open mics! 

We're still exploring our options as far as platforms for online meetings, but at the moment we're seriously considering Youtube Live. We know that some of our members don't use facebook, so using Facebook Live would be a bit unfair. I personally don't care much for Zoom. If you have any input on streaming platforms, feel free to reach out to hannibalwrites(at)gmail(dot)org and let us know! Are there other ways you'd like to utilize online meetings? We're open to your feedback!

Stay safe out there, Hannibal Writers. Wash your hands, maintain a distance of 6 ft, and use masks and gloves where possible. The sooner the virus is put to bed, the sooner we can meet up again!

Write on!

-Dana Lockhart

Our 2nd Birthday

posted Mar 11, 2020, 8:07 AM by Dana Lockhart   [ updated May 14, 2020, 12:32 PM ]

A little belated all around, but the Hannibal Writers Guild turned two this year.

Our first meeting was January 9th, 2018. It was at the Mark Twain Brewing Company right under a thundering loud speaker playing classic rock music. There were around 8 people in attendance, including myself, a reporter from the Courier, a representative from an Iowa writers guild, and a college English professor. We talked about what we liked writing and what direction we hoped the guild would take.

Ironically, our first birthday party in January 2019 was cancelled due to weather conditions, and our January 2020 birthday party had the same exact problem! Something about the first couple weekends of January is just a little unkind to us, it seems. 

We've had a lot of changes since we got started. We've bounced around locations, trying to find somewhere quiet but also free to have our meetings. We've had two elections for officers to fill the positions. We've participated in two Steampunk festivals and successfully generated donations to the guild. 

With the turn of a new year, the guild celebrated its second birthday. We had our official birthday party on February 22, 2020 at the Riverside Restaurant. For a casual event, turn out was great, with 9 people. The food was great, the company even more so. I only regret that I forgot to take pictures of the event! 

We've grown a lot in two years. With steady members, quality speakers, a full officer roster, and now a potential permanent meeting location at the Riverside Restaurant, I feel like we're in a great spot to launch into the future. And we couldn't have done it without you! It's the members of the Hannibal Writers Guild that make it what it is. 

Where will we be in another year, I wonder?

-Dana Lockhart
Hannibal Writers Guild President

Things They Are A-Changin'

posted May 26, 2019, 10:23 AM by Dana Lockhart   [ updated May 26, 2019, 10:33 AM ]

The Hannibal Writers Guild has steadily been growing since it's creation in 2018, in large part due to the dedication and guidance of Ryan P. Freeman, founder and first president. It is with great sadness that we announce that he is going to be moving out of the area and has stepped down as president. We will miss him and what he brings to the guild. In a way, it will never be the same without him.

I remember when I first met him. It was at the first ever meeting of the Hannibal Writers Guild. Freeman had been going to the St. Louis Writers Guild meetings for some time and yearned for the community of his own native Hannibalians. Hannibal is "the home of Mark Twain," after all. There had to be other inspiring writers in the area!

So he made a charter, proposed a Hannibal branch of the Missouri Writers Guild, and with their approval the Hannibal Writers Guild was born. We wouldn't be here without the aspirations of one man who brought us all together.

It is big shoes to fill. I don't know if I can fill them, but I will certainly try. For now, I am acting-president and will do my best to continue to grow the Hannibal Writers Guild in the way that Freeman would have.

Stay tuned for the announcement of official officer election sometime this early fall to officially fill in the spot as president.

May your words flow like a river and your ideas never dry out!

-Dana Lockhart

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