Board Minutes

Hamilton Mountain Writers’ Guild

Board Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 7:00 p.m. Zoom



Present: Neil, Bob, Anita, Teresa, Michael, Margaret

Absent: Sarah

The Board welcomes its newest members as recommended by the nominating committee – Bob Nothnagel and Sarah Farr.

Approval of previous minutes from Nov. 4, 2021 – Motion made by Anita, seconded by Teresa.

Business arising from the minutes

Though there weren’t many members, the AGM went smoothly.

Regarding membership dues: Coordinators will send a request for dues from their teams. We discussed receiving dues by Feb. 15.

Plagiarism Policy will be displayed on the website and sent to coordinators for distribution to teams.

Calendar of events:

Board meetings will occur in January, March, May, July, September and November.

April – Coordinators follow up meeting for cross critiquing

September – Budget proposal and board declaration

November – Prep for AGM

The guild presented N2N a cheque from profits of book 5 on December 1, 2021.

Treasurer’s report was presented. As of Jan. 19, 2022, there is $3050.45 in the bank. (Some members have paid membership dues for 2022)

New Business:

Regarding By-Law Clarification Article 2.1, we discussed allowing members who have moved from the Hamilton-Wentworth area to retain their membership status.

Bob made a motion  to authorize the eligibility of the  members to retain membership in the guild. Motion seconded by Margaret.

Neil made a motion to allow Bob to take temporary chair and Anita seconded.

The floor was passed to Bob.

Nominations were called for: President/Chair of the Board

Anita nominated Neil. Bob called for any other nominations—there were none.

Margaret seconded.

Vote: All voted in favour of Neil to continue as Chair/President of the Board

Bob motioned to return the meeting to Neil.

Michael seconded.

All approved.

Nominations for the Executive:

Bob nominated Michael for treasurer. Teresa seconded. Michael accepted. All voted in favour.

Anita nominated Margaret for secretary. Bob seconded. Margaret accepted. All voted in favour.

Teresa, Bob, Anita, and Sarah are directors as well as the above executive.

Ontario Corporations Form, Schedule A. We discussed filling out the form to be sent back to Neil for filing.

We discussed the status of current membership regarding Covid impact in attendance at zoom meetings and participation in team meetings.

Also, we discussed how to attract members to join committees. A committee night was suggested either stand alone or as part of a guild meeting.

Regarding Book 6 Proposal: After perusing each item on the proposal, the Board has declined to accept the proposal as presented at this time.





Hamilton Mountain Writers’ Guild

Approved Board Meeting Minutes

Thursday, November 4th, 7:00 pm,  Zoom


Present: Anita, Neil, Teresa, Margaret, Michael

Absent: Carmenn

The Board welcomes its newest member as recommended by the nominating committee – Margaret March. Motion # 1 – To accept Margaret March as an acting member until the AGM where final assent is given.

Additions to the agenda   – 3 items (6 – 8 in new business)                                                                                                                                                  Approval of previous minutes from Sept. 16th, 2021 –Motion made by Teresa, seconded by Anita, passed

Business arising from the minutes                                                                                                                                    

1. Board Members: The Nominating Committee consisting of Bob, Christine, and Anita have nominated one Guild member at this point. That member is Sarah Farr. Discussion and response to the Nominating Committee. – Consensus vote, yes.

Treasurer‘s report                                                                                                                                    1. Current Balance                                                                                                                                                                     2. The proposed budget for 2022 * Motion # 2 – The proposed budget be accepted in preparation for assent at the upcoming AGM made by Michael, seconded by Anita. Passed

Chair’s report – no report

New Business:

  1. AGM – set up of agenda, supporting documents needed (slate of directors, budget for 2022, eligible voting members) chair, posting these documents on the website for viewing in advance of the meeting – completed
  2. Membership 2021 – update the form we have ** Motion # 3 – To accept the Membership Form 2022 as completed made by Anita, Seconded by Margaret. Passed
  3. Plagiarism policy and two supporting appendices *** Motion # 4 – To accept the Plagiarism Policy 2021 made by Neil. Seconded by Michael. Passed
  4. Calendar for 2022 – Board Meetings and tasks * Motion # 5 – To accept the calendar of scheduled board meetings for 2022 made by Neil, seconded by Teresa. Passed
  5. Book Crawl events for 2021 – 2022 – discussed
  6. N2N cheque to be delivered and photo opportunity prior to Christmas.
  7. Neil moving to Welland – may have to discuss the By-Laws about a % of membership that can live outside Hamilton Wentworth. Currently, by law reads 100% membership from the Hamilton Wentworth Region.
  8. Carmenn – not attending Board Meetings. Neil to make a phone call to Carmenn and determine next steps for his participation on the Board.

Next Meeting:  January 19th, 2022




Hamilton Mountain Writers’ Guild

Annual General Meeting Minutes  Draft

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Meeting was hosted by Sarah Farr

Neil Chopp chaired the meeting and read the territorial acknowledgement. Board members present, Neil Chopp, Anita Joldersma, Teresa Karlinski, Michael Wagstaffe, Bob Nothnagel, Margaret March and Sarah Farr.

Neil thanked past board members; Sandra McDonald, Rita Douglas and Carmenn Kocznur for their contribution to the board in past years.

Attending members and proxies were counted to determine if we had a quorum to vote for the 2022 board. Quorum was determined. We discussed how the vote would take place. Sarah had designed an electronic poll wherein each member could accept or decline the designated board members. There were 13 voting members present and a couple of proxies.

Financial Statement: The proposed budget for 2022 was presented by the treasurer Michael Wagstaffe. He read the proposed budget and noted the current bank balance was approximately $2900.00. Michael proposed we accept the budget. Susan seconded it. The budget was passed.

There was a discussion about submission fees of $25.00 for anthology 6. Daryl asked about the cost of publishing the book. Neil answered that there had been no cost as the Book 5 committee had formatted and published the book themselves. Then he suggested with Anthology 6 if that committee had no costs, we might consider giving each author a free copy of the book.

Anita mentioned that part of the $25.00 submission fee covered the cost of promoting the book.

Neil mentioned that it also went toward promoting previous anthologies 1 to 4.

Election of Directors: Christine Carleton as a member of the nominating committee reviewed the slate of directors proposed for the 2022 board and made a motion to accept the slate as read.

Neil Chopp

Sarah Farr

Anita Joldersma

Teresa Karlinski

Bob Nothnagel

Margaret March

Michael Wagstaffe

Susan made the motion to accept the slate of directors

Sarah launched the electronic poll and all voting members cast their votes with 100% acceptance.

Committee Reports: Promotion Committee: Sarah Farr mentioned the launch party for anthology 5 and previous anthologies were also promoted. There was also a presentation on CHCH, and an interview in the Mountain News. She hoped the members would share on social media as well.

Membership Committee: Anita Joldersma has an updated list of full members. The committee is looking into how to welcome new members and possibly having a Zoom meeting for them.

Programming Committee: Bob Nothnagel mentioned Zoom meetings the committee had. Also, there was a Book Brush presentation and some writing prompts. He asked if members wanted something specific would they pass on the suggestions to their coordinators.

Communications Committee: Neil Chopp mentioned they’ve worked with the promotions committee regarding media release. Also, they produced a generic proposal template, produced a copy of the proposal the Book 5 committee put to the board. Neil, Bob and Shawn worked on the guild website getting rid of spam. The committee also worked on a plagiarism policy and produced a pamphlet.

Neil mentioned that registration needs to be reignited.

Note: Committees met during 2021 via Zoom or emails.

Next Annual General Meeting: December 2022

Meeting was adjourned

Hamilton Mountain Writers’ Guild

Board Meeting Minutes

Thursday, September 16th 7:00 pm, Zoom

Present: Neil, Michael, Teresa, Anita

Absent: Carmenn

Additions to the agenda – Author copies added to New Business Item 3

Approval of previous minutes: Motion by Anita to accept minutes from the July 21st, 2021 Board Meeting, Seconded by Teresa. All in favour – consensus achieved.

Business arising from the minutes

  1. Coordinators Zoom meeting – Scheduled for Tuesday, September 28th, 7:00 pm with the purpose of best practices, information sharing, accuracy of memberships within each team, request Anthology 5 feedback. – Neil
  2. Plagiarism Policy update – no update – Neil – will have this prepared for the November Board Meeting
  3. Board Members: The Nominating Committee consisting of Bob, Christine and Anita have nominated one Guild member at this point. That member being Margaret March. Discussion and response to the Nominating Committee. – Neil Discussion took place on the recommendation to have Margaret March join the Board in an acting Director until the AGM. Consensus agreement. Anita will take the notification back to the Nominating Committee who will inform Margaret.

Treasurer’s report: no report required

Chair’s report – no report

New Business:


  1. Anthology 5 – Virtual Launch – already approved by online voting. Scheduled for Sunday, September  26th at 2:00 pm – Sara coordinating the agenda
  2. CHCH Morning show – Monday, September 20th, 7:20 am – Sara to be interviewed
  3. Requisition submission to the treasurer – Motion # 1 by Neil – To accept the three requisitions as written for: 1. recognition for the proofreaders, cover design and 2. for the website payment, 3. author copies purchase from ADP Amazon. Seconded by Anita. All in favour – consensus achieved
  4. Book 6 Motion # 2 by Neil The Board will be open to Anthology 6 proposals from the membership. Seconded by Michael. All in favour – consensus achieved.
  5. No opening of the HPL for Guild sessions in the coming fall.


  1. The Team is eager to begin work on Book 6! We would like to hear any details available so we can plan and get to work on submissions. In addition, we’d like to see the word count options reinstated a la Book 4 (2000, 5000, or 8000 words). If one is to be favoured, we’d prefer 5000 words. At the previous Board meeting, it was suggested that 2500 was favoured by most so perhaps a poll could be arranged? We would also like the option to submit two pieces for Book 6 (i.e. one poetry submission and one non-fiction submission) especially given the perceived low-page count of Book 5 as it would help “thicken” Book 6.
  2. A new avenue of promotion was discussed: podcasts are apparently gaining in popularity while radio is becoming obsolete. One Team member has a contact who is a popular Canadian podcaster so it shouldn’t be difficult to set up an interview. Perhaps not an agenda item? Perhaps the Promotion Committee should simply submit a proposal?
  3. Book 5 virtual launch September 26: Sarah hasn’t been getting many responses from members willing to participate. Can the Board help with this?
  4. Book 5 cover art issue: my copy does not look particularly professional with the artwork misaligned to the Amazon template. Not sure if anyone else has experienced this but I’d be happy to assist with correcting it if needed.


  1. Will we be buying author copies of the book? Yes, 25 have been purchased. See New Business item # 3
  2. What day is the writing team co-ordinators meeting?
  3. Membership committee meeting minutes (attached) just received for information.
  4. Is a nomination committee update ready? they might need more time
  5. AGM – quite possible to do on zoom, what has to be on the agenda (a) board members affirmed, (b) a budget (has Michael worked on one?) (do we need a committee for that? If voting is necessary can be done by the zoom poll feature) A simplified form of an AGM will be held on Dec. 1 at the start of the Guild Zoom meeting. Members will be notified twice in advance of the AGM.

Next Meeting:  November 4th, 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Adjourn:



Hamilton Mountain Writers’ Guild

Approved Board Meeting Minutes

July 21h, 7:00 pm, Zoom



Present: Anita, Teresa, Sandy, Mike, Neil.

Absent: Rita, Carmenn

Additions to the agenda

(Added to new Business – Guild email address, membership committee report)

Approval of previous minutes Motioned to accept by Sandy, Seconded by Teresa, all in favour.

Business arising from the minutes

  1. Coordinators Zoom meeting – Will September be a good month? Agreed to establish a meeting for September, 28th.
  2. Plagiarism Policy update – At the editing stage of a policy within the Communications Committee. Should have a draft ready for the Board September meeting.
  3. Ebook pricing Following discussion, a $4.99 cost of eBook will be applied to Anthology 5.
  4. Board Members update and AGM – Five Board members agreed to stay on and two members have put forth a resignation. Resignations Sandy McDonald (general director)and Rita Douglas (secretary) reviewed by Neil Chopp. Discussion on how to temporarily fill the vacant positions. The decision to establish a Nominating team (Nt) to include one Board member and three other members. The Nt will designate a chair other than the Board member. The Nt will recommend two candidates from the paid membership as acting board members to fill the vacancies. The Board will meet and make a recommendation and respond to the Nt. Nt will contact the candidates. If the candidates agree, then, they will join the next scheduled Board meeting. Upon AGM, the two acting Board members and the standing Board members would be voted upon by the membership to represent them for the coming year. Neil will seek a leader/coordinator to take on the Nt.


Treasurer’s report: no report required

Chair’s report – no report


New Business:

  1. Anthology 6 inquired by Michael.

There are no details available for Anthology 6. The Anthology 5 committee members have agreed to act as consultants for any members wishing to complete Anthology 6. A new set of members will take the lead for the next publishing. Authors in our writing teams are looking forward to the next publishing. Much work has to be done to complete an Anthology successfully. Anthology 5 committee members will help the new team; making a proposal to the Board, intention signatures, templates, formatting, permission forms, etc. Neil will put out the word to all members once Anthology 5 is published.

  1. Hamilton Mountain Writers Guild email. Neil indicated the new email address:
  2. Membership Committee Report. Anita identified the Guild dues for 2021 and 2022 as $25.00. With the year broken into Trimesters for prorated dues.

Jan – Apr. – $25.00,

May – Aug. – $20.00 and

Sept. – Dec. $10.00.

*With consideration if the person joining is near the end of a trimester.


Next Board Meeting:  Thursday, September, 16th, 2021

Adjourn: 8:15pm.



Hamilton Mountain Writers’ Guild

Approved Board Meeting Minutes

May 20th, 7:00 pm, Zoom

Present: Anita, Teresa, Neil, Michael, Sandra

Regrets: Rita, Carmenn


Additions to the agenda – Discussion on membership of the Board – new business

Approval of previous minutes from March 25th – Motion to accept by Teresa, seconded by Michael. All in favour.

Approval of in camera minutes from March 25th – Motion to accept by Sandra, seconded by Teresa. All in favour

Business arising from the minutes

  1. Hamilton Mountain News – paper article returned to promotions committee – Information only (attached) Discussion took place about the article and how it should present more current up-to-date information for the readers. Outcome: in any future media release, the Board should have a look at the article.
  2. Membership numbers – Anita 58 writers currently in the Guild.  Anita indicated she will reach out to the coordinators and membership who have yet to pay their full membership fees.
  3. Committees and members – Neil Names have been added to the four Guild committees The Committees will be published on the Website once checked for final accuracy by each committee chair
  4. Logo/Brand initiation Discussion ended in consensus that now is not the right time to proceed with a new logo/brand.
  5. Coordinators zoom meeting – agenda and purpose. Neil will establish a coordinator’s zoom call for the purpose of getting the coordinators together for a discussion on various topics; best practices, information sharing, make things more interesting, members accuracy, and before we meet in person once again.
  6. Process for developing plagiarism policy Discussion on the process to date. Communications Committee to take on the task of write-up. A policy may include definitions, types of plagiarism in the guild, suggestions for assisting members, and methods to properly source material

Treasurer’s report: no report required

Chair’s report – no report

New Business:


  1. Writing group numbers: a review of writing group numbers

Team one – 6 (willing to accept new members)

Team two – 11

Team three – 7 (willing to accept new members)

Team four – 8

Team five – 9

Team six – no response

Team seven – 5 (willing to accept new members)


  1. Promotions Committee proposal: The Promotions Committee proposal was reviewed and signature noted by chair Sarah Farr. Motion to accept the proposal Sandra, seconded by Anita. All in favour.
  2. Board decision: Board Chair to send a note to all current Board members. Requesting their interest to renew as a Board member. If possible, look back to our opening meeting in October 2019 to determine the length of service for Board members and have this included in the note. A report will be provided by the Board Chair for the next Board meeting.


Next Meeting: July 21, 2021 7:00pm

Adjourn: 8:30pm




Hamilton Mountain Writers’ Guild

Approved Board Meeting Minutes

March 25th, 7:00 pm Zoom


Present: Anita, Carmenn, Michael, Teresa, Neil. (Sandra joined at 7:30 pm.) Absent: Rita

Additions to the agenda – none

Approval of previous minutes – Motion to accept the January 28th, 2021 minutes – Anita. Second by Teresa, all agreed.

Business arising from the minutes

  • Website updates deferred to later in the meeting.
  • Zoom of Coordinators deferred to later in the meeting.
  • New member Coordinator for HMWG – has not materialized since the MAPS team focus has changed.

Treasurer’s report: report of financials as of Feb. 28th, 2021. Michael indicated there is a balance of 3,224. Recent membership dues and book 5 fees have been added to the balance since last reported in January.

Chair’s report – 1. Process for any media release. Neil indicated, no policy exists for the governance of media releases. The Promotions Committee presented a draft article for the Mountain News to the Communications Chair. Members of the Communications Committee reviewed the article. The Communications Committee made changes and then approved the article for its release. The article was returned to the Promotions Committee, with a note attached: Any further changes would require additional communication committee review, not permitting any unilateral changes to be made. The article titled: “Hamilton Mountain Writer’s Guild keeps on writing during the Covid19 Virus” will be presented as information at the May 20th Board meeting.

  1. Neil issued a request to the Membership Committee Chair – Anita for a current membership count in the Guild to be completed before the May 20th Board meeting. The process and frequency to complete the membership count is assigned to the Membership Committee.
  2. Recognition for proofreaders. Neil reviewed the need for recognition of the four Book 5 proofreaders. These guild members have done a remarkable job in assisting all writers interested in having a piece included in Book 5. They have been working on proofreading since early February and will continue to April 14th. Two recognition ideas were discussed and a consensus was acquired for;

(1). Book 5 acknowledgment, (2). $25.00 gift card for each proofreader to be presented at a later date when the book is available for publishing.

  1. Promotion committee renewal. Neil indicated the MAPS team has now become the Promotions Committee. The Promotions Committee has received a copy of the terms of reference approved from the October 2019 Board Meeting. *A request was made to have a list of all Guild Committees and members.

New Business:


Items of information:

Membership Brochure 2021 and Guild Membership 2021. Teresa will have a final look at the two documents to ensure these are proofread-ready.

As of March 24th, 13 templates have been received for Book 5. Two more may arrive soon. Members have until March 31st to send their work to the proofreaders.

Team 7 creation and coordinator – Barry has taken on the role of coordinator for Team 7. Discussion on who decides team coordinators will be addressed in a future Board meeting.

Hamilton Arts Council – Save the Arts Initiative Brought to Neil’s attention by Anita on March 8, 2021. Registration was completed. Use the link to see the HMWG information. This is an Arts Council initiative to get the word out to the community about small art organizations within the city.

New Hamilton Mountain Writer’s Guild Brand – Neil asked for feedback on the idea of having a new HMWG logo/brand. The idea was favourable.  A possible best design gift card award for a HMWG member. Deferred to the Board’s May agenda.


Presentation of the Membership Committee Minutes and an updated Terms of Reference – March 23, 2021 meeting.

Discussion and tasks from the minutes:

  1. Any emails intended for the whole guild or individual writing teams will be filtered through the Communication chair.
  2. Writing team leaders, liaisons, or helpers will now all be referred to as, ‘coordinators’ for consistency.
  3. Prorating membership dues, maximum membership, new member orientation document for writing teams, and the replacement of writing coordinators will be addressed at a later date by the Membership Committee.
  4. Twice yearly or as needed, a writing team coordinator’s meeting will take place. The Board will specify the approximate meeting dates. There was consensus to have the Board Chair initiate a writing coordinator zoom meeting with an agenda within a couple of weeks. Teresa will draft an agenda.
  5. The Membership Chair will request from each writing coordinator a quarterly update of their team roster. This will assist with the on-going accuracy of members within the guild.


Website renewal?  Neil has been working through the website. Bob has agreed to mentor Neil on the changes for bios and article/information. Neil requested more time from the Board to meet with Bob and complete these tasks.


Book 5 proofreading timeline. The timeline of February 1 – March 31 was decided upon in 2020. The proofreaders then have two additional weeks to work with a writer to complete proofreading. Carmenn indicated it would be good to have these deadline dates on the Guild’s Website so folks have a common/central location to go to for clarification. Agreed, guidelines for future books and dates will be posted on the website.


The age requirement to join the guild. Discussion and consensus on the following points:

  • A person under the age of 18 may attend the Guild meetings at the Terry Berry in the accompaniment of a parent. If interest is shown in writing, the adolescent can be re-directed to programs that may be offered by the HPL, if applicable.
  • A person must be over the age of 18 to be an Associate or Full member.



  1. Need for plagiarism policy. The Board agreed that a policy is required to address any issues with plagiarism in a member’s writing for distribution or publishing. The Board was not able to establish a process to create a plagiarism policy at this time. Discussion included having a plagiarism statement in the new membership literature and in a ‘release for publication’ for Book 5. Anita indicated the guild could utilize Ron Henry’s summary of suggestions for giving credit to work that is not original.


Start time: 8:14 pm

Motion to go into In-camera by Neil, second by Anita

  1. In-camera minutes will be stored separately from regular agenda minutes and will be approved separately in the next scheduled Board meeting.
  2. Issue 1

Motion to exit In-camera by Neil, second by Carmenn

Concluding time: 8:26 pm

Next Meeting: May 20th, 2021

Adjourn: 8:30 pm



Hamilton Mountain Writers’ Guild

Approved Board Meeting Minutes

January 28th 7:00pm, Zoom


Present: Anita, Teresa, Sandra, Mike, Neil

Regrets: Rita, Carmenn

Approval of Nov. 25th minutes – motioned by Anita. Seconded by Teresa

Business arising from the minutes: Neil

  1. Website fees – no response from original creator on fees she is paying.
  2. Website updates – Neil is becoming more familiar with the website administrator work and has set up a current events link.
  3. Writing teams are in flux. Three teams have coordinators only for dispersing information, three teams have leaders. Let’s have a team leader/coordinator zoom meeting prior to Feb. 17th full guild zoom. During this leader zoom discussion about responsibilities and speaking at the Feb. 17th

Treasurer’s report – Mike

  1. Mike indicated there is $2,938 in our account. 28 paid members, 9 members paid for book 5
  2. Will coordinate with Anita on memberships and book 5

Chair’s report – new writing and special interest groups – Neil

  1. The Guild has allowed for 5 new groups to begin. These will be led by a Guild leader where members can contact the leader for work with in a specific genre or special interest.
  2. SCI/FI – Maryanne, Mystery/Thriller – Christina, Romance – Ginelle, Children’s Literature – Terry, Marketing/Advertising – Barry.
  3. Karel has resigned from the Guild. Discussion of how Karel was a part of the initial Board set up and NPO application. A comment of recognition should be included in the Feb. 17th Guild Zoom




New Business:


  • Methods to encourage members to attend monthly zoom meetings (Feb. 17, Mar. 17, Apr. 14, and May 12) Is there anything the Board can do to make involvement a win/win for members to participate?
  • Strategies to encourage team coordinators to discuss the editor’s style guide with their members to assist with the clean copy – let’s host a leaders/coordinators zoom meeting before Feb. 17th. Agreed. Neil will set up a zoom request for the leaders/coordinators and Teresa will create the agenda for discussion.
  • Suggestions to assist team coordinators to be more interactive with their teams and meet regularly.


  • Update on book 5 process and commitment #’s 12 Fiction, 6 Non-Fiction, 3 Poetry. Perhaps we may need to consider allowing members to submit a piece in more than one genre. Discussion should take place in the Book 5 committee on this very soon.


New member processes:

  • new member pamphlet – Discussion about will this be the new members application, with “fill in” capability and who will it be sent to. Board agreement on the pamphlet will become the new member application, yes have it as a “fill in” and it can be sent to both Anita and Mike. Neil will continue to work on the “fill in” component and send a copy to all Board Directors.
  • membership definitions, future book criteria Discussion about using this page in conjunction with the pamphlet to help new members be more informed about the different membership types and eligibility for participation in Guild published books. One line needed to be omitted.

Board agreement on using this additional page for potential new members.

  • workshopping/feedback, contacts for writing teams – Discussion about providing this to new members and to writing team leaders. Board agreement that this document would be good for writing team leaders/coordinators.
  • Historical membership page and information Discussion about these documents currently existing on the website. Board agreement, to replace these documents with the pamphlet, the membership definitions page and a contact email.
  • Website practices for new members – Discussion on the various pathways a new member is introduced to the Guild. Through the website, through a writing team leader or any Guild member.
  • New member coordinator for HMWG discussion – Discussion on this process. Board agreement If a new member coordinator is chosen and agreed upon by the Board, the member must be able to consistently represent the Guild with approved documents for sharing.

Next Meeting:  Thursday, March 25th. 7:00 pm Zoom

Adjourn – 8:25 pm