SCWA Constitution and Bylaws
CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS
SOUTHWEST CHRISTIAN WRITERS ASSOCIATION (SCWA)

Adopted January 20, 2001
Amended November 20, 2004
Amended March 17, 2007

ARTICLE I.  NAME
The name of the organization shall be Southwest Christian Writers Association (SCWA). It shall be a non-profit, non-denominational group.

Section 1. The SCWA is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue law).

Section 2. The SCWA is organized to (a) fellowship with Christian writers, (b) inspire each other, (c) share news of writing markets and resources, (d) study the practice of Christian writing for the glory of God, (e) encourage new or beginning writers, and (f) share critiquing and receive help to perfect the members’ writing.

ARTICLE II.  PURPOSE
Section 1. The SCWA is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue law).

Section 2. The SCWA is organized to (a) fellowship with Christian writers, (b) inspire each other, (c) share news of writing markets and resources, (d) study the practice of Christian writing for the glory of God, (e) encourage new or beginning writers, and (f) share critiquing and receive help to perfect the members’ writing.

ARTICLE III.  MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. There shall be two categories of membership: regular and honorary.

Section 2. Regular members shall have (a) a saving faith in Jesus Christ, (b) an interest in writing, and (c) paid dues for the current year.

Section 3. Honorary members may be named by the executive board. They shall not be required to pay dues and may not vote on any SCWA business.

ARTICLE IV.  OFFICERS
Section 1. The officers of SCWA shall consist of president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, publicity chairman, and chaplain (optional). They shall constitute the executive board.

Section 2. Officers shall be nominated by the executive board in October, elected in November and take office in January of the following year. Nominations from the floor at the time of election shall be allowed.

Section 3. The PRESIDENT shall have been a member of SCWA for at least two years. He or she shall be a professed Christian who believes in the deity of Jesus Christ. The president shall not serve more than three consecutive terms in office.

ARTICLE V.  MEETINGS
Regular meetings shall be held monthly except by general consent of the membership.

ARTICLE VI.  SEMINAR
Section 1. A seminar, conference, or workshop shall be held annually, if possible. The seminar will take the place of the regular meeting for the month in which it occurs.

Section 2. Registration fees paid by conferees shall cover the cost of the conference, including facility rental fees, copies, the speaker's fee or honorarium and his or her travel expenses.

ARTICLE VII.  MARY JANE MASTERS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
The Mary Jane Masters Memorial Scholarship is established to encourage students and beginning writers with payment of the annual seminar fees and some out-of-pocket expenses related to seminar attendance.

ARTICLE VIII.  DISSOLUTION
Upon the dissolution of SCWA, the executive board shall pay or make provision for payment of all of the liabilities of the organization. The board shall dispose of all SCWA assets exclusively for charitable, educational, religious, or scientific purposes to organizations as shall at the time qualify as exempt organizations under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue law. Any remaining assets shall be disposed of by the court of Common Pleas of San Juan County, New Mexico to organizations, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.

ARTICLE IX.  AMENDMENTS
Amendments to the bylaws may be proposed at any regular meeting. Members shall be notified in writing of any proposed changes. Proposed changes will be voted on at the next regular meeting. The bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of members in good standing present.


BYLAWS

1.  EMPLOYER’S IDENTIFICATION NUMBER
The Internal Revenue Service has issued SCWA Employer's Identification Number (EIN) 85-0334129.

2.  DUES
A. Annual dues shall be (a) set by the executive board, (b) due by March first, and (c) used for approved expenses, such as postage, stationary, office supplies and expenses not covered by seminar registration fees.

B. Dues paid after March 1 will include an additional charge set by the executive board.  Members will receive a discount set by the executive board when they register for the seminar.

3.  DUTIES OF OFFICERS
A. The PRESIDENT shall (a) conduct all meetings and call meetings of the executive board when necessary, and (b) procure speakers for the annual seminar with the help of the executive board, make up the seminar schedule, supervise seminar preparations, assist the publicity chairman with seminar publicity, and “chair”' the seminar.

B. The VICE-PRESIDENT will shall (a) conduct all meetings in the president's absence, (b) be responsible for the assignment of monthly programs, etc., (c) notify the publicity chairman of the program for the monthly newsletter, and (d) assume the duties of the president if the office should become vacant.

C. The SECRETARY shall (a) keep the minutes of the business and executive board meetings, (b) keep the membership list current, and notify the publicity chairman of any changes, (c) send out letters to editors to procure magazines, books and guidelines for the annual seminar, (d) sign checks in the absence of the treasurer, and (e) respond to people who request information about the association or annual seminar.

D. The TREASURER shall (a) collect dues, (b) keep a record of receipts and expenditures, (c) keep the bank account, (d) sign checks, (e) collect and record registration fees for the seminar, and (f) prepare a general budget for the seminar each year and recommend the seminar fee to the executive board.

E. The PUBLICITY CHAIRMAN shall (a) publicize monthly meetings and the annual seminar by means of newspaper articles, posters, direct mail, newsletters, faxes, e-mail, web site, etc., (b) develop and maintain lists of media, schools, and writing groups to which seminar publicity may be sent, (c) prepare seminar publicity, and (d) send newsletters to members and others as directed by the executive board.

F. (Optional) The CHAPLAIN shall (a) promote the spiritual growth and welfare of the group, (b) have a compassionate heart for each member, (c) be responsible for worship activity at meetings and at the seminar, including, but not limited to, devotionals and prayers, (d) keep prayer needs of members before the group, and (e) see that SCWA is represented by appropriate means in the event of illness or bereavement in a member's family.

G. Officers may delegate any of their responsibilities with the approval of the president.

H. The EXECUTIVE BOARD shall (a) act for and on behalf of SCWA, (b) serve as a Nominating Committee and appoint a replacement for any office which may become vacant, and (c) select seminar speakers, dates and locations and set seminar fees and (d) award seminar scholarships.

4.  MEETINGS: TIME, PLACE, AND CONTENT
A. Regular meetings shall be held on the third Saturday of each month except by general consent of the membership.

B. Meetings shall last no longer than two hours and may include an informal program, a critiquing session, or necessary business. Programs may be book reviews, special speakers, or lectures from a textbook on writing, field trips, or other appropriate activities.

C. Meetings shall be opened with prayer and a short devotional.

5.  MARY JANE MASTERS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP ADMINISTRATION
A. Eligibility—As used in Article VII, a student must be age 25 or younger at the time of attending the seminar, be enrolled in a recognized or accredited educational institution or program of study and show evidence of financial need. A beginning writer must not have represented him- or herself as a writer for more than three years before attending the seminar and must show evidence of financial need. Any person, including SCWA members, may apply for a scholarship.

B. Amount—Partial Scholarships shall cover the student or adult seminar fee. Full scholarships shall cover the student or adult seminar fee, one night's lodging at or near the seminar location on the night before the seminar and the noon meal on the day of the seminar. No scholarship funds shall be awarded for any other expenses.

C. Administration—Funds for the Mary Jane Masters Memorial Scholarship shall come from gifts from members and others, sales of books and merchandise donated to SCWA, sales of merchandise bought for resale and books, pamphlets and other materials produced by SCWA. The treasurer shall keep all monies raised by these activities in a separate account. When requested, the treasurer shall notify the president of the amount available to award as scholarships each year. Any member of SCWA may recommend persons to receive scholarships. The executive board shall meet to discuss applications and shall award scholarships based on need. The board may consider other factors when awarding scholarships. The board shall not award more scholarships than the scholarship fund can support.

6.  SMOKING
Smoking shall not be permitted at meetings.

7.  CRITIQUING GUIDELINES
A. Only dues-paying members may present manuscripts for critiquing. Members who wish manuscripts critiqued shall be familiar with these guidelines.

B. No fees shall be charged for critiquing a manuscript at a regular meeting.

C. The president may limit the time for each manuscript to assure time for everyone to participate.

D. No one should make a negative comment until they have praised the piece for its good features.

E. One should never attack the writer, his abilities, or his person, but only suggest ideas that might improve the work.

F. One should not expect the same level of excellence from both beginning and experienced writers.

G. The group is not a mutual admiration society, but a group of Christian writers, meeting to encourage and assist one another in the development of the writer’s craft for the glory of God.
next