I Am In Print – Celebrating Five Years

by Mary Lamphere

In Print, the professional writers’ organization that I helped create, turns five in March. That is pretty impressive. Not just to me, but to the hundreds of writers that we’ve served in a variety of ways over the last five years. Five years!  Condensing five years of highlights into a manageable blog has been quite the challenge. I’ve collected pages and pages of notes, hoping to pull together my thoughts on In Print for a promotional post in support of our I AM IN PRINT Five Year Celebration at Cliffbreakers on Saturday, March 12, 2016.  There are so many memories I have of members, meetings, retreats, guests, and general literary experiences associated with In Print, it’s hard to narrow them down. I adhered to the advice, Writer, edit thyself, and with the help of a deadline, I’m done.

Here are my highlights of Five Years of In Print:

  1. Creation.  It was about six years ago that five discontented aspiring writers got together to create a group to meet our literary needs. First, we had to decide what those needs were! We wanted a group that would, specifically, support us as writers, and generally, support allwriters with learning, networking, and publication. We adopted “Promoting creativity, commerce, craft and the community of writers” as our first mission statement. Our goal was to include writers of all genres and levels of experience and education in pursuit of professional recognition. We found an established group to align ourselves with and have greatly enjoyed the benefits of being an affiliate of the Chicago Writers Association. Then, finally, we came up with the name. In Print. And what an apropos name it has turned out to be.
  2. Program Director.  My first official gig on the IP Board was as Program Director. I got to schedule two years of monthly meetings! I was in charge of contacting professionals in the business and booking them as speakers. I got to plan, and occasionally execute, in-house programs on craft subjects like The Plotting Party, Come as Your Character, and The First Page.
  3. The Prompt Club.  I had been in another prompt-inspired short story group and when I left there, I brought the idea to In Print. We began our club the summer after IP opened and are still going strong nearly five years later. Of the many short pieces I have had published, every singlestory came out of The Prompt Club.
  4. Word of Art.  My baby. This collaboration of authors and artists was also inspired by an outside project I participated in. I used that model and made it my own. Word of Art and Word of Art 2have been the most surprisingly successful and fulfilling things I’ve participated in as an author or an artist. The joy created by recognizing the collaborative talents of authors and artists has been a wonderful experience. Word of Art 3D is going to be even better. Seriously! Stay tuned!
  5. The Five Year Celebration.  Just the fact that a group of us sitting around a kitchen table could create an organization that touches so many other writers’ lives is pretty impressive. We’re hoping this event gets the attention our members deserve. We also hope that other area writers who are searching for support, instruction, and opportunity will find us! In Print is an organization for all. As a co-founder, member, supporter, and writer, I’m proud to be IN PRINT.

In Print has truly accomplished a lot in only five years and we hope to continue to grow– offering more to the members, supporting the community, and conquering the literary world.  If you are a writer, a reader, or a lover of words, I hope you will plan to attend our celebration. Your celebration.

Thank YOU for your continued support of In Print.

The anniversary event will take place Saturday, March 12, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm at the lovely and historic Cliffbreakers Riverside Hotel & Conference Center. Tickets are $20 and include soft drinks, appetizers, desserts, and a program. There will also be a cash bar and silent auction. Tickets can be purchased online using the PayPal link below (there is a $1 / ticket surcharge).

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