Message from the President
Honorary Life Member of the Springfield Writers’ Guild, Lee Ann Russell, passed away on Wednesday, January 11, after struggling with inoperable pancreatic cancer. Her daughters reported she departed peacefully as loved ones read her poetry and they thank you for the many cards, texts, thoughts, and prayers.
Lee Ann became a member of the Springfield Writers’ Guild in 1974. She loved the Guild and served in every official capacity to include: President (1986-1987; 2007-2008); Vice-President three times; Secretary, two years; Treasurer, two years; Director-at-Large, eight times; Contest chair, four times; and Historian since 1993. Lee Ann took special pride and honor preserving the records of Springfield Writers’ Guild. In 2009 Lee Ann was awarded the award of Honorary Life Membership in the Springfield Writers’ Guild. She was an award-winning poet and photographer, placing over 800 times in various contests. Lee Ann, along with Larry Cunningham, were featured speakers for MSU Moon City Series, Ozarks Writers’ League, the Ozark Creative Writers’ conference, the Missouri Poetry society, the Arkansas Poetry Society and the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, and the Springfield Writers’ Guild.
Lee Ann became a member of the Missouri Writers’ Guild in 1978, when she wrote her first book, How to Write Poetry: Ballad to Villianelle. Lee Ann was an Honorary Life Member of Missouri State Poetry Society, and a member of Missouri Writers’ Guild (serving two terms as second Vice President), Poets Roundtable of Arkansas, and Springfield Poets & Friends. Lee Ann wrote a humor column for Springfield Magazine as well as freelance articles and photography for other publications including Writer’s Digest, Poetry Collection, Farm and Ranch Living, Old House Journal, Ozarks Magazine, The News-Leader, Senior Living and The Ozarks Mountaineer, among others. Lee Ann was an expert editor, working with many authors in order to further their books for publication. To Lee Ann’s credit, many of the authors she edited became published authors.
A donation was given to Missouri Poetry Society in her honor.
Lee Ann left open the spot of Historian for the Springfield Writers’ Guild after having this position the last 24 years. The Historian is an appointed position by the SWG President. New member, Amanda Kassner of Ozark, generously volunteered to take the position of Historian. She took the twelve scrapbooks home which Lee Ann created and will bring a report to the next meeting on their contents. Read more about Amanda here.
Meeting Places for 2017
The Springfield Writers’ Guild will continue to meet at the 1711 West Battlefield location of McAlister’s Deli (See map below). Join us at 11:00 a.m. for Mentor Hour as we read and critique members’ writings. The speaker joins us at 1:00 p.m. followed by a short business meeting.
SWG Members: Don’t forget to renew your membership for 2017! Yearly dues run from January-November each year (no meeting in December). Pay online on the JOIN/RENEW page. New members are encouraged!