From the President

One Hundred Days of Solitude…and counting
Nothing could be harder for a bunch of travel journalists than being told to stay home.  But we’ve done it, doing our part in the ongoing battle to control the coronavirus that has felled millions worldwide and, at this writing, is still surging.
While the calendar included many days knows as “Blursday,” some of us found the enforced isolation productive. To cite just a few: Susan Alcorn and Diane Lebow have completed books, while others have found outlets related to travel and/or pandemics, such as Alec Scott, who placed a piece on the history of plagues in the Globe and Mail. Amy Sherman has been focusing more on food and is now editor in chief of “The Cheese Professor.” Jules and Effin Older are producing videos, Tom Wilmer is podcasting, and many of us turned to gardens: David Laws has a piece about the history of Pacific Grove’s “Magic Carpet” seaside flower blanket. You can read this and many more of our members’ articles on our BATW FACEBOOK page. Don’t forget to post your work there as well!
 
Who’s zoomin’ who? We are
We may not be able to meet in person, but we are meeting more often than ever before — via Zoom on the small screens from your living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens in the Bay Area to New Zealand and beyond.
Our first virtual Chatty hour was held April 7, and got our feet wet as to the fun and versatility of zoom. We shared article ideas, motivational techniques and…a few of us commiserated about changes during the early days of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, our March in-person Meet the Editors meeting scheduled at the Oakland Museum of California Art was rescheduled to a zoom meeting April 21.  We heard from JT Long, content chief of Sausalito-based Smart Meetings and Deborah Kirk, editorial director at Diablo Publications which includes Diablo and Napa Sonoma magazines.
May 8, our Chatty hour featured Alec Scott and Bill Fink discussing work/life balance when sheltering in place, moderated by Amy Sherman.
June 1 brought us BATW corporate partners Laurie Armstrong Gossy, San Francisco Travel; Matthias Kramer, Switzerland Tourism and Joyce Kiehl, Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, sharing how their destinations are responding to the pandemic.
June 17, we heard about Publishing Articles on the Great Outdoors, with veteran writer Tim Cahill and Katie O’Reilly, Sierra Magazine lifestyle editor, moderated by Jules Older.
Coming up: A July 11 zoom meeting with the co-founders of Hidden Compass, Sivani Babu and Sabine Bergmann.  July 16 we will hear about optimizing Instagram from Social Media coach Karen Kefauver.
In the works: a workshop on why editors reject –and accept – article and pitches.
The future of our in-person meetings is still up in the air. We were hoping for August or September, and our hosts for meetings canceled May through July are hoping to host us soon. Stay tuned!
 
Book Project in copy editing
Thanks to all who submitted essays for the BATW 2020 book, tentatively titled Unforgettable. The judges have submitted their evaluations, entries have been chosen and everyone who submitted a story should have received notification of the status of their article.
The participation by the membership was terrific.  We received so many submissions, it was difficult for our panel of distinguished and impartial judges to narrow the field. Each entry was read and evaluated at least twice, by two different judges. Photo submissions are being weighed by BATW volunteer Jim Shubin, who is laying out and designing the book, and Bob Cooper is in charge of copy editing. We are on course for a December publication holiday party – depending on Corona. Many thanks to all!
Progress on the book continues as planned, with the expected publication date of December on schedule.
 
Stay Safe!
–  Judith Horstman

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