The Washington Independent Writers group celebrates its 10th year representing Washington's growing population of freelance writers this week with some words about its own story.
"One of the remarkable things about WIW is that it succeeded through the energies of independently minded writers, people who don't usually join committees or belong to groups. But these writers have gotten behind WIW, and by pushing for their own interests they have helped the organization. It's wonderfully symbiotic," said Lisa Berger, president of the association and a public relations analyst for the American Petroleum Institute who moonlights as a freelance writer.
When the group was formed 10 years ago, its founders estimated there were 150 potential members. It now has 2,000. "This is a writers' town. There is an infinite number of sources, research information and outlets for the freelance writer," Berger said.
WIW maintains a job bank for members that matches trade associations, magazines and busineses with freelance writers in need of a writing job. The service lists about 15 to 20 jobs a week, and the association charges the writer 10 percent of a freelance payment or 10 percent of the first three months' salary if the job is full time.
The group also offers workshops, conferences, a monthly newsletter and small informal meetings that enable writers to exchange ideas and materials. WIW also has published "A Writer's Guide to Washington," a book that explains where to find research resources in Washington, and "Questions Writers Ask," a pamphlet about literary agents, book proposals, copywriting and other questions frequently asked by the freelance-writer community.
Currently, WIW's nonprofit foundation, the Washington Independent Writers Legal and Educational Fund Inc., is lobbying to change the Work for Hire Provision of the federal copyright law. The law gives companies that purchase work from writers reprint rights to articles without the author's consent.
The association will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a celebrity auction to be held at the National Press Club April 19 from 8 p.m. until midnight. PROFESSIONAL
The nonprofit American Society of Travel Agents has launched a campaign to explain how groups similar to ASTA are cutting into small-business profits. ASTA members plan on publishing a brochure on the actual cost to small business of nonprofit competition. ASTA also has released a set of guidelines for its business members to follow. Included in ASTA's suggestions are: Watch for nonprofit mailings at home or at the office and send them to the government affairs office at ASTA for examination; alert state-funded organizations such as public schools and universities that compete unfairly with commercial travel activities; contact local IRS officials; and support ASTA's legislative efforts to close "loopholes" that allow nonprofits to operate travel programs within the bounds of existing law.
The Enterprise Foundation, a Columbia-based group headed by developer James W. Rouse, has announced the appointment of F. Barton Harvey III as its new deputy chairman and Patrick M. Costigan and David C. Cramer as field officers for the nonprofit corporation. The foundation supplies grants, loans and technical assistance to 32 neighborhood housing groups in 19 cities across the country. The loans, which are supplied by Rouse Development Co. funds, go to qualified individuals and families who earn less than $10,000 a year or who fit the foundation's criteria. The foundation reaches the recipients through community-based groups and field assistants who work with individuals to rehabilitate houses at a low cost. The foundation also syndicates low-income housing projects.
The Maryland Health Care Coalition Inc. has elected Phillip E. Neary as its new president and Robert Davis as its first managing director. Neary is benefits administrator of General Motor Corp.'s Baltimore plant. Davis, a 10-year veteran in the association management field, is the coalition's first paid staff member since its formation in 1977. The coalition was created as a forum for health care regulators, employers and insurers located in Maryland.
The Electronic Industries Association has appointed Carol Page Rovner director of its International Business Council. Rovner, who was previously a staff consultant to the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on international economic policy and trade, will work on commercial export, import and overseas investment issues for the Washington-based council. TRADE
The Building Owners and Managers Association International has named Dini Sterngold staff vice president for membership development. Sterngold was most recently membership director of the American Bus Association. BOMA has 5,500 members worldwide who work as developers, owners, managers and investors.