“Finding Inspiration in Tiburon” 

by Robert W. Bone


About 40 BATW members and guests swallowed their pride along with a couple of tasty meals while learning important things about “Shameless Self Promotion” at the June 16 meeting on that theme.

The inspirational gathering was held in Tiburon, the popular waterside village on the northern shore of San Francisco Bay.

The spirited PowerPoint program and following discussion on fearless self-assertion was led by President Judith Horstman, who reminded members that their work should not stop with just creating excellent writing and exciting photography.

“Pre- and post-work is essential,” she said, in order for the writer or photographer to sell the product and “promote the brand.”

“Tooting our own horn is tough for most us,” she said. “But it’s essential. Selling ourselves helps sell our work. Few of us have a publicist, but you can become your own PR person.”

“Being shameless is a compliment!” Horstman said.

She then followed up with several methods she has found to accomplish that goal when dealing with editors and publishers, including mastering things like a professional query letter, a short but thorough third-person biography, and other means. (Note: A synopsis of the presentation can be found on the Members Only portion of the website under Forums/Professional Forums tab.)

Later, she said that members will soon be able to read these important points in a section of the BATW website.

Breakfast and lunch were provided through the courtesy of Destination Tiburon and the Lodge at Tiburon, a rustic 131-room inn located a short walk from the shoreline. Several members also stayed Friday and Saturday nights at the hotel, taking advantage of a special price arranged by Stephanie Fermin, who represents the Lodge.

Following an afternoon for members to explore the atmospheric streets on Saturday, they were treated to a two-hour sunset cruise around nearby Angel Island on a vessel captained by Captain Maggie McDonogh. The captain circulated throughout the vessel answering questions of members and others about the ship and the island.

Pizza on the boat was served for members by Servino Ristorante.

Many thanks to Judith Horstman for arranging and presenting this memorable meeting.