40 yrs. History

Celebrating 40 Years of CIWA History
1976 – 1980
by Robin Waldron


This year CIWA is celebrating its 40th year anniversary. To help celebrate, I will write a monthly column looking back over those 40 years. I want to comment here that if it were not for Norma Gardner’s complete faith and participation in CIWA over these 40 years, I would not have much to say in this column. For you see, she saved all the newsletters from the 1980’s forward, and that is where I will find my reporting of the history of CIWA. It is also worthy to note that one of our other devoted CIWA long time members and former treasurer and newsletter editor, Michael Rogers, stored at his house all of the boxes of CIWA historical data. Unfortunately, Michael passed away, and his family did not see the value in the boxes of history it is believed that all the boxes were destroyed. As a result, the collection of Norma’s newsletters is all that is available to guide us through 40 years of CIWA history.

While our record of events as published in CIWA newsletters can be found as far back as 1980, CIWA was actually founded in 1976 by Cheryl (Denk) Haium. The organization was incorporated and received non-profit status in 1997.

Annual dues in 1977 were $15 payable on January 15. A reduced rate of $10 would then be accepted on or after July 1 for the balance of the year with checks being sent to Treasurer, Sandy Boone.

Newsletters were published monthly, and items were mailed directly to the newsletter editor, Veda Eddy. Veda also accepted advertising and managed advertising rates.

Now we know from the very beginning, let’s skip forward to1980 the first of the available record and see what was going on in CIWA.
For members who are long time Indies and who can remember the Ary-Way Mall on South 31may also remember in that mall was a Brean Bookstore where a person could pick up a copy of The Lookout and find tips and tidbits for inspirational writers and it is recorded that several did so.

Meetings were being held at the Greenwood Library lower level, and where in November 1980 thirty-five members and guests gathered to hear guest speaker, Bill Sonneborn, Editor of Michiana Magazine. Sonneborn spoke about what he looked for from freelance writers. I understand from that event, Sonneborn was inundated with submissions from CIWA members.

In October 1980, we learned that again the Indiana Arts Commission awarded CIWA a grant to aid with the cost of their annual conference. WOW! Those were the good old days!

In November I find, where six winners of the conference poetry and prose contest were CIWA members. Sixty dollar savings bonds were awarded the winners donated by National Bank of Greenwood, Franklin Bank & Trust, and Union Bank and Trust.

A Christmas List for Writers appeared in this newsletter and interestingly enough (remembering this was the 80s) listed there was the now almost extinct typewriter.

The quote of the month read: “Write without pay until somebody offers to pay. If nobody offers to pay within three years, the candidate may look upon these circumstances with the most implied confidence as the sign that sawing wood is what he was intended for.” –Mark Twain.

Finally, in December 1980 we learn that Norma Gardner had a photo essay in the Indianapolis Star; Jean Glick sold her Chef Gregory story to Grit; Judy Keene published in the Indianapolis Magazine, Sports, Parade, and Grit; and Sandy Boone published in the Michiana Magazine.

Next month I’ll move on to 1981.

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