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2018-2019 December January OWAC Newsletter Featured

This is the Newsletter For December 2018/January 2019

 

 

 

 

OUTDOOR WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF CALIFORNIA NEWSLETTER

DECEMBER-JANUARY 2018-2019

SPRING CONFERENCE IN SISKIYOU BEGINS TO TAKE SHAPE FOR MAY 19-22

Mountains, Waterfalls and Trophy Trout Waters Abound in Beautiful Siskiyou County!

Northern California’s Siskiyou County is full of off-the-beaten path adventures and breathtaking landscapes. With majestic mountains and towering trees, it stands proud, rugged and pure. From fishing and caving to waterfalls and craft brews, adventurous experiences for all the senses are yours in Siskiyou. 

Siskiyou’s abundance of lakes, rivers and streams – including six designated “wild and scenic” rivers – means a wealth of spectacular water sports and sights. Siskiyou claims the headwaters of the mighty Sacramento River in Mt. Shasta and much of the length of the Klamath River – including the lower Klamath Basin. Some of the best bird congregations and viewing experiences outside of Alaska can be found right here. 

Siskiyou has world class kayaking and rafting, and some of the best trout and steelhead fishing around. Thundering waterfalls are abundant throughout the county - some can be reached as a reward of a strenuous hike, and others you can drive right up to. There are no shortages of spectacular sights for all ages and abilities.

Above all of this stands the iconic and majestic Mount Shasta – visible from nearly every corner of Siskiyou and the most visible example of Siskiyou’s volcanic past. It provides four seasons of excitement from hiking and paragliding to skiing and snowshoeing. Mount Shasta also signals the entrance to the eastern part of Siskiyou where lava flows have shaped a truly unique landscape. From obsidian-made Glass Mountain to Medicine Lake, and one of the largest shield volcanoes in the Northwest with more than 700 explorable caves. In Siskiyou, adventure never takes a day off and there’s something for the adventure seeker in everyone. 

So mark your calendars for OWAC’s Spring Conference, May 20-22, 2019, in Mt. Shasta City to experience for yourself all of the beauty and wonders that Siskiyou County has to offer!

 

BOB SEMERAU

From OWAC Executive Director, Bob Semerau

Hello fellow OWAC members,

Keeping it real! That’s what we volunteers work hard to accomplish for OWAC. 

That means a little extra effort from time-to-time.

Effort like that of Board Member, and past president, John Henigin threw together the Santa Barbara Lite Conference, under an incredibly short time-line and with very few resources.

And like the efforts of Newsletter Chairman, Christopher Langley, now turning out his second excellent effort, along with the help of his committee. 

Great work, guys.

Now the question is: What can you do to make OWAC great again?

Send me a note with your ideas and suggestions as well as your interests in helping with running this exciting and worthwhile organization. We have committee positions, chairman seats, and several other helpful places where each member can lend a hand.

As your volunteer Executive Director, I see many ways we can improve, including revising and updating the website, a committee which I chair.

What do you see?

Bob Semerau

Executive Director

Outdoor Writers Association of California

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

949-466-3073

 

Board of Directors

Bob Semerau

Executive Director

(open)

President

 

Carol Martens

Secretary

Members at Large

Betsy Crowfoot

Meade Fischer

John Henigin

Kathie Morgan

Chris Langley

Peter Schroeder

Barbara Steinberg

Carrie Wilson

John Poimiroo

TOM MARTENS ASSUMES NEW ROLE WITH OWAC

I will be changing roles with OWAC. I will continue as a consultant with the Board but will no longer be serving as President as of November 30.

During my term on the board and while acting as President, my work focused among other things on updating OWAC’s legal and operational documents, which were all approved by the Board. Work also included maintaining key documents. 

This work included:

-- Maintaining copies of OWAC legal documents (e.g. 501(c)(3) determination letter, bylaws, Operations and Procedures Manual, annual budget, etc.;

-- Maintaining original documents for all resolutions adopted by the board.

These are my accomplishments during my term on the board: 

-- Wrote and gain board approval for update bylaws, investment Policies, 

 Gift Acceptance Policies and Guidelines, an OWAC Fundraising Plan and Conflict of Interest Policy; 

            -- Maintained the OWAC domain name, OWAC.org, with Network Solutions;

-- Wrote year-end and special fundraising appeal letters;

-- Wrote, administered and analyzed the results of surveys of OWAC members;

-- Gained documentation from the IRS for OWAC’s tax exempt status, so that the organization could be filed as a California Nonprofit Corporation with the Secretary of State’s Office;

-- Attempted to build coalitions by attending occasional meetings of the Bay Area Travel Writers.

Finally, one of the most memorable duties of the President has been to play a key role in helping showcase the work of OWAC members. This work included serving as a judge for the annual Excellence in Craft Contest and managing contests and producing slide shows of images taking during field trips at OWAC conferences. 

This work was all made possible with the help of other OWAC board members and volunteers who stepped up from the membership.

It’s been an honor to have served as its President. I will continue on the OWAC Board as a consultant and I will support the organization to becoming stronger and of more service to its member in any way I can.

 

 

CAROL MARTENS DESCRIBES HER LATEST ADVENTURE

Lady Angler Carol Martens Still Fishing Around

It has been over 7 years since I have fished a bass tournament as a non-boater or Pro. It was in 1988 when my son Aaron and I started fishing as a team until he went pro around 1996. So then I had to go pro as well if I wanted to continue fishing tournaments. I was one of the few women on the West Coast and acquired many sponsors because of the distinction. It’s also how I got my start as an outdoor writer with Won Bass and have written for many communications since then. I have been a member of OWAC for about 20 years serving on the board many times and as President for one glorious year.

This year in October I was persuaded to once again participate in the Won Bass US Open on Lake Mead in Nevada. It was the largest event ever with 224 boats and included in the 448 anglers there was 5 ladies. My friend Liz and I went as a non-boaters which is much easier and a lot less expensive than Pro. What a thrill it was to see Lake Mead again from a boat instead of an airplane. Because of lowering water level lots of brush and trees have emerged and there is an abundance of bait fish and bass.

With all the pre fishing pressure and a weather system that moved through, the fishing was on the tough side. I finished 160thPl. My infamous son Aaron, who has won 3 times in the past, fished as a Pro and my son Chris as a non-boater. It was so much fun that my friend Liz and I have already signed up for the Won Bass Open at Lake Havasu in January. As a senior and great grandmother, I never dreamed I would fish tournaments again! I still have my own boat and truck and try to fun fish at least once a week, so don’t be surprised if I show up on one of your lakes someday soon. I’m still fishing around and loving it.

 

SANTA BARBARA

CONFERENCE PHOTO COLLAGE

Winter Photo Tips

By John Poimiroo

Underexposure, light imbalance, difficulty focusing and comfort are a few of the obstacles that make winter photography troublesome to the casual photographer.

If writing is more your thing, here are some tips to improving your winter photography.

Getting the Exposure Right – Light meters calculate the combination of aperture (size of the lens opening) and shutter speed to render what is being read as neutral gray. However, in snowy winter scenes, the light reflected by snow will cause the meter to underexpose (darken) a scene, making the snow appear to be gray and darkening other subjects in the photo. To avoid this, meter your camera toward something that is similar to neutral gray (the northern blue sky or a rock) or overexpose the photograph by one to two stops (for snow). 

Another approach is to set your metering system to spot metering, then focus on the subject (wildlife, person) when setting the exposure.

Seeing Your Photo on the Preview Screen– With bright light being reflected off the snow, it’s often difficult to see the image you’ve just taken on the camera’s tiny LCD preview screen. In the 1800s, photographers would drape a black cloth over their heads to view images projected onto a ground glass focusing plate, before inserting the film holder. That idea still works. Any dark cloth can be used to shade the preview screen. A convenient tool in the field is Hoodman’s rubber outdoor loupe.

Filters – There are lots of ways to correct exposure imbalances using Adobe LightroomPhotoshop and other digital darkroom tools, but these post-production techniques do not reduce glare or reflections. To do that, a polarizing lens is needed. It intensifies color, reduces glare, darkens skies and adds definition to clouds and snow. To use it, stand 90 degrees from the sun and turn the moveable ring on the filter until reflections and glare are reduced. Be cautious not to turn the filter too far, as too much polarization makes the scene appear unnatural.

Another useful filter is a graduated gray or split neutral density filter. Half this filter is gray, the other side clear. By rotating or sliding the gray side over the brightest part of the scene, both sides of the image will be exposed more equally. Yosemite photographers use this filter to balance the bright cliffs with the shaded valley floor. It’s also useful when balancing bright snow with darker subjects. Cokin makes square filters that can be slid and rotated using a special holder, useful when wearing gloves.

Fast or Slow?– Deciding to shoot with a fast shutter speed or slow one affects the result of your photograph, particularly when it’s raining or snowing. Fast shutter speeds stop the snowflakes and rain drops. Slow shutter speeds blur them, but also can show motion and convey power. Experiment to find which you prefer. 

The balance of shutter speed and aperture also defines focal distance. The faster the shutter speed, less of the foreground or background will be in focus. The slower the shutter speed, more of the foreground and background will be in focus. 

Focus – it’s harder to keep your subject in focus when snowflakes are in the way. Shift your camera from auto focus to manual focus when it’s snowing and back when it’s not.

Staying Cold –Did you ever notice that your car’s windows are clear in cold weather until you get inside? Then your body heat and the vehicle’s heater forms condensation on windows which can keep you from seeing out. The same can happen to cameras. A camera is fine outside in the cold, but when brought into a warm room or vehicle or when tucked into your jacket, condensation can form on its lens, viewing port and inside the camera. To avoid this, put your camera into a camera bag or a zip-lock freezer bag before going indoors. Never shelter a camera inside your coat; instead, cover it with a towel, cloth or open bag when working in rain or snow.

Staying Warm – Just as cameras need to stay cold to avoid condensation, photographers need to stay warm to keep photographing comfortably outdoors. The best way to stay warm and dry is to wear light layers: woolen socks and warm base and mid layers beneath breathable, wind and waterproof outdoor clothing. Wear glove liners, plus mittens or gloves. Fingerless gloves are helpful for working cameras, but protect your fingers with mittens or gloves when not taking pictures. Always wear a warm hat. Knit hats can cover ears and face shields or balaclavas provide the best facial protection when windy. Waterproof boots or shoes designed to keep feet dry and warm in snow are essential. Keep spare camera batteries in a warm pocket. Batteries that have lost their charge due to cold can be revived when rewarmed. Hand warmers help.

By now you might be thinking, “With all that to consider, why bother?” 

Winter is a quarter of the year. That means it represents a quarter of your opportunities to make money, and those opportunities improve when you can offer an editor photographs that illustrate stories on: ice fishing, skiing, ocean fishing, snowmobiling, off-roading, hunting, backcountry skiing, trekking, winter camping and backpacking, ice climbing, wildlife viewing, dog sledding, touring and other adventures as endless as your imagination and ability to photograph them. 

MANY STORIES BELOW WILL INTEREST YOU

 

  1. Meade Fischer Featured Photographer
  2. Responding to a Crisis by John Poimiroo
  3. New Member Amy Halverston
  4. Speaker Sam Dover at the Santa Barbara Conference
  5. Westside of Elk Grover by Barbara Steinberg
  6. A Simple Request from the Raffle Queen Carol Martens
  7. Peter Schroeder on a court ruling that might just scare you to death.
  8. Give so OWAC can give back.
  9. A book Review from Tom Martens
  10. OPOSSUM outreach publicity social media
  11. Minutes
  12. And committee chair people and charges
  13. Excellence in Craft Update
  14. Editor's Note

 

SEE MEADE FISCHER PHOTOS ABOVE:

MEADE FISCHER OWAC PHOTOGRAPHER FOR DECEMBER- JANUARY 2018-2019

These photos were taken during a recent (fall) trip to Lone Pine and the Alabama Hills. I’m in the process of writing a story which I hope to place. 

I do some freelance outdoor writing, but my main thing is writing books that end up on the worst sellers list. 

While I’m not an expert photographer, I do have some comments on this last photo trip. Except very early and very late in the day, the rocks and sand can leave pictures washed out. I found that under exposing them brings out the detail and contrast.  Also, even a trace of clouds makes having a polarizer filter a must.  

In wide open spaces such as Alabama Hills, perspective and distance are difficult to show. My solution is to include foreground, middle ground and background in the same photo. Also, unlike some of my friends, I have no problem with a person or a vehicle in the picture. I’m not striving for art, but rather to give the reader a sense of place, a feeling they might want to be there. 

Meade Fischer

 

 

PARADISE FIRE

HURRICANE FLORENCE

PARADISE FIRE

Publicity, Outreach, Social Media & Marketing Committee 

Chair – Betsy Crowfoot

As Publicity, Outreach, Social Media and Marketing Committee Chair, my first task was to take this mouthful and assign it an acronym: POSMM – or more simply, Possum. Not because I appear to be ‘playing dead,’ but because opossums are found in a variety of climates and habitats; and with four fingers, opposable thumbs, and prehensile tails, they’re good at grasping things. A lot like OWACers! 

The Possum Committee aims to promote OWAC to the media; expand visibility and appeal to potential sponsors and destinations; and increase membership and participation. Because PR placements will hopefully lead interested parties to the website, these tasks are in fact on hold until the website is fully updated. At that point, our campaign will launch, with tentative plans for 1) a recap of the Santa Barbara Conference and teaser for the Spring gathering; 2) an announcement of the Pat Vachini scholarship; and 3) a general release on OWAC, our mission and members.

Volunteers are appreciated, to help write and distribute releases, and provide media distro lists. The area of Social Media (my true nemesis) is also in need of more hip and happening helpers, to make our message know across broad channels. 

Thanks for helping make OWAC a more valuable organization in 2019. Happy Holidays! ~ BC 

 

A Simple Request from the Raffle Queen

Would you please let me know if you have any ideas regarding auction and raffle items for the Spring Conference in May of 2019? We are always open to new ideas and your personal contributions to this worthy cause. The money raised strengthens and makes a difference in what OWAC can do in the future. If you have attended our conferences you know how enjoyable the raffles are and how willing everyone is to buy tickets at the prospect of taking some valuable goodies home. Maybe you have an idea that will make it even more profitable successful!

Enthusiastically Yours, Carol Martens the Auction Queen

Send your reply by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Put “OWAC Raffle” in subject line so I can find you in spam file. Or call 818-883-8125 “ leave message.”

 

 

 

 

Santa Barbara Surf Fishing

Surf Fishing and Buoy Art in Santa Barbara

Fishing isn’t always about catching fish. In fact, for many no fish are caught on angling outings. Often, the anglers must look for something else as a remembrance of the fishing trip. At a surf fishing trip south of Santa Barbara, the thing that was remembered was a collection of ocean buoys that someone has used to decorate the entrance to the walkway that went under the freeway and railroad tracks used to get to the Pacific Ocean. Someone has placed the buoys on the railing of the walkway. It made the outing memorable, because there were no fish caught in a higher than average surf.

Tom Martens

SO WHOSE GOT THE BIGGEST FISH?

The Wildside of Explore Elk Grove

by Barbara L. Steinberg

Word count - 942

Not far from the confluence of the Sacramento, Cosumnes and Mokelumne rivers and the California Delta, Explore Elk Grove’s welcome mat greets millions of migratory birds each fall and winter. Along the Pacific Flyway, winged visitors make their way to nature preserves, parks and refuges. Breathtaking fly-ins of ducks, sandhill cranes, Canada geese, snow geese and tundra swans are the showstoppers, but wildlife viewing is a year-round attraction. Throughout the region, a wide array of feathered friends, mammals and fish are full-time residents. Parks, neighborhoods and rivers are habitat for red-tailed hawks, Swainson’s hawks, falcons, river otters, raccoons, owls, and, yes, Mexican free-tailed bats! Whether you walk, paddle or observe from your car, it’s easy to get up close and personal with nature. 

Keep your binoculars, spotting scopes and cameras close. Much of Elk Grove’s wildside is easily accessible just along Franklin Boulevard. Within its borders, there are 90-plus city parks in excess of 700 acres and more than 28 miles of hiking, biking and walking trails. Get out and Explore Elk Grove!

 

Bufferlands– Sacramento Regional Sanitation District

In the 1970s, the Sacramento Sanitation District looked deep into their crystal ball and saw that communities needed a “buffer” from the wastewater treatment plant. To safeguard growing populations and preserve much needed open space, they purchased 2,150 acres to minimize the potential for odor and other nuisances that could impact the surrounding neighborhoods. The results were nothing short of remarkable. Hidden away along Franklin Boulevard, this important nature area provides hundreds of acres of high-quality wildlife habitat, farmland and open space in a rapidly urbanizing area of California. 

Restoration of historic properties and preservation of riparian habitat make the Bufferlands a must-see for locals and visitors. The Bufferlands supports more than 230 species of birds, 25 species of native mammals and several native fish, amphibians, and reptiles. The Bufferlands is also home to more than 20 species of rare plants and animals, including several threatened and endangered species such as Swainson’s hawk, vernal pool fairy shrimp and giant garter snakes. Opportunities to see this wildlife and nature tourism gem are available through public tours and events, including the annual Walk on the Wildside festival.

Laguna Creek Trail– City of Elk Grove 

With numerous access points and ample parking, this popular trail features two miles of paved, off-street trails for biking, hiking, walking, running and horseback riding. Traversing the lengths of Laguna Creek, treetops and waterways are home to song- and shorebirds. Locals and visitors share the right-of-way with feathered friends and mammals including river otters, raccoons and beaver. 

Cosumnes River Preserve– California Department of Fish & Wildlife

A one-mile universally accessible trail and three-mile roundtrip levee trail and boardwalk provide up-close views of sandhill cranes, shorebirds, riparian forests and wetlands. Bring your own boat for guided kayak and canoeing trips on the last free-flowing river from the Sierra Nevada to the Central Valley. Visitor Center includes interpretive displays and covered deck great for picnicking. All ages will love the weekly “Ducks in Scopes”, where preserve docents provide free scopes and binoculars and expert wildlife identification. Scopes are also set for children. Check the website for dates and times.   

Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge– US Fish & Wildlife Service

The refuge is home to more than 200 wildlife and fish species. Seasonal Pacific Flyway migrations of Greater Sandhill Cranes, shorebirds and wading birds rest and feed on mudflats, wetlands and lakes. The recently restored Blue Heron Trails is located at the Hood-Franklin Road headquarters. Open from sunrise to sunset, free of charge, the accessible paved trailincludes a mile of loops around managed wetlands hosting various migrants such as hawks, shorebirds and interpretive panels. Best viewing is during the migratory season October-May. School groups are welcome. Check online for dates and details about docent-led tours. 

 

Woodbridge Ecological Reserve– California Department of Fish & Wildlife

The wildlife international airport – squadrons of Greater Sandhill Cranes descend during nightly fly-ins September to March. More than 30 other species of birds including ducks, geese, hawks, owls, swans, avocets, coots and stilts join the evening revelry. Managed by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, parking and viewing mound are located on Woodbridge Road. The north site of the reserve, which includes the crane viewing shelter, can only be visited on a docent-led tour. Be sure to check online for dates and times as tours fill quickly.  

Galt Winter Bird Festival

Festival headquarters is the starting point for free educational presentations, wildlife shows, hands-on activities and art displays. Fees vary for group tours to Cosumnes River Preserve, Heritage Oak Winery, and Staten Island. Keynote speakers are world-renown birders and authors. Wonderfully kid-friendly!

Walk on the Wildside

This one-day festival features hands-on activities, live animal shows, entertainment and guided tours of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and the 2,150-acreBufferlands a unique opportunity to see a rare heron and egret rookery—one of only four in Sacramento County. Special twilight tours are offered during the summer and fall.

 

Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival

For more than 20 years, this three-day festival has celebrated the return of the Greater Sandhill Cranes to the Central Valley. Listed as endangered, the cranes are one the largest migrating North American cranes. Sometimes called B52s, their wingspan can reach almost seven feet wide and they can be up to four feet tall. Leaping with wings extended, their mating dance is marvelous! Guest speakers, art show, entertainment, guided tours and dozens of exhibitors!

 

Remember to Leave No Trace – pack it in and pack it out. Follow the brown and white binocular signs to wildlife viewing sites and festivals and online at www.CAWatchableWildlife.org

Check out Barbara L. Steinberg on her Facebookpage that chronicles all of her adventures and her website, AreYouThatWoman.com, to explore undiscovered corners of Elk Grove and California.

Photo Credit Sandhill Cranes and Canada geese. Roger Jones

 

SAM DOVER, CHANNEL ISLAND MARINE INSTITUTE, HELPS ANIMALS AND NEEDS DONATIONS TO HIS NON-PROFIT PROJECT

Sam Dover who was our guest speaker at the Fall Conference in Santa Barbara is a very special person. Sam is the President and Executive Director of the non-profit Channel Island Marine Institute. His wife Ruth is the Vice President and financial advisor. He jokingly said he makes sure she gets paid for her work by giving her a roof over her head and food. Sam has a great since of humor blending with the passion he has for what he does. Because Sam is also the Santa Barbara Zoo vet, his knowledge is vast and may extend far above most

With some interesting maps and photos, Sam explained that the waters off the 153 mile coastline and between the Channel Islands are the most diverse waters in the world. It’s where the cold waters from Alaska and the warm waters of Mexico converge in depths up to 3,000 feet. The 300,000 in marine life is also diverse and abundant. Roaming through these waters you may spot a Blue Whale, one of the largest mammals alive feeding on the tiniest bait called Krill. Who knew there were so many varieties of seals and sea lions? Sea lions can climb and seals can’t. Dolphins are among the most hearty as compared to otters that are considered easy prey and more fragile. Something I didn’t know.

Sam and his team are all volunteers and depend greatly on donations to keep the Institute going.  Their mission is to rescue and rehabilitate and release to the wild. They research and educate as well.

Sam’s passion for helping animals began when he was just a small boy. Today, many of his volunteer helpers are young people and are exhibiting his same passion. He loves to get their parents involved as well to raise awareness and help encourage their children to follow in his footsteps.  You have to be a special guy to do what Sam and his wife Ruth does for no money and little appreciation. I suppose some people get rich with very little money?

In closing, please, please go on CIMWI.org and take a look at this simple and beautiful website, you won’t be sorry. Maybe you will want to volunteer someday or even donate. The animals can’t show their appreciation for all the Institute does, but we can and along with Sam, we can make a difference.

By Carol Martens

editor's notes

                                Chris Langley

The response to the call for material for this month's newsletter has been great. It is so rewarding to work with such a strong group of professional, talented, and creative people. We are still finding our way still, slowly OWAC OUTDOORS its getting its own look and style. I want to remind you that you can be developing your stories as you go along. We could then have a "bank" and not have to "fly by the seat of our editorial pants." We'd love some letters to the editor own subjects of interest to our readers. Much is happening good and bad in our outdoors and I'd love to hear about it. We don't take political stands because of our non-profit status.

Have a wonderful season ahead and celebrate your families and friends. Tell them how much you love them. I am growing to love why OWAC family!! It is so much fun to put real people and faces with name.

                        

                Peter Schroeder    

 

GIVE, SO OWAC CAN GIVE BACK

In the past year OWAC has established the Pat Vachini Scholarship Fund and the OWAC Endowment Fund with initial contributions of $7,250 that have been invested in high dividend stocks. 

We have already earned almost $500 but still need contributions of several hundred dollars more for the Endowment Fund and an equal amount to match Don Vachini’s initial $2,000 donation to the Scholarship fund he set up in memory of his wife. We are on track to pay out next fall the following:

1.    Two scholarships

2.    Donations of several hundred dollars to other worthy causes 

Funds are invested in stable large cap stocks paying high-yield dividends of 5%-6%. Only the dividends will be available for scholarships or other worthy causes, leaving the investments intact and continue to grow, thanks to future donations from our membership.

Please consider making donations to the Scholarship and Endowment funds by either (1) hitting the Donation button on the OWAC website or (2) mailing a check to Bob Semerau, OWAC Executive Director, at P.O. Box 50136, Oxnard, CA 93031.

OWAC is a 501c3 non-profit organization, so your donations are tax-deductible.

                 Pat Vachini

New California Ruling Affects Freelancers

By Peter Schroeder

Have you heard about the new California ruling that is causing many of California freelance writers to lose their often long-held affiliations with some publications? This update is provided by California-based Carole Terwilliger Meyers, Freelance Council Chair of SATW.

Carole recently received a cancellation notice from Northstar Travel Group, for whom she has written regularly for more than 15 years, that as of 1/1/19 they will no longer accept freelance articles due to its legal interpretation of the California Supreme Court ruling in April. 

https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2018/09/07/california-supreme-court-independent-contractors/  

Carole thinks the intent of this ruling is to prevent employers from reclassifying employees as contractors to avoid paying benefits. However, she contends the unintended consequence is preventing freelance writers from earning a living.

More California companies could also follow suit, so she contacted SATW president, David Swanson, who issued the following statement

“As some of you are aware, an April ruling by the California Supreme Court changes the way the state defines Independent Contractors. The ruling, Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles, affects two million residents working in gig economy jobs such as Uber and Lyft, as well as healthcare, beauty salons, real estate, construction, and education. Although the ruling is potentially a boon to some workers, it could also curtail Californians’ ability to work as freelance writers and photographers. You can read more about the ruling here: http://capitolweekly.net/court-who-independent-contractor/  

“I am concerned about how this ruling is being interpreted. Some of SATW’s California-based freelancers were told this week that they could no longer contribute to certain publications, even those based outside of California, because of the legal liabilities the new ruling creates. (Full disclosure: I was one of the writers who was contacted.) When former Western Chapter Chair Christine Loomis brought this matter to my attention three months ago I reached out to my elected representatives. Since then, I have been working with other journalism organizations including ASJA to make sure our voices as freelance writers are heard.

“Here’s what California-based freelancers can do today: Educate yourself on the issues and learn how this ruling may affect your livelihood. Contact your elected representatives.To find your State Senate representative, go to? http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov For your State Assembly member, go to https://www.assembly.ca.gov/assemblymembers.

“The California Senate and Assembly will go back into session on December 3, but in the meantime, your elected representatives are setting legislative priorities for the coming session. It is possible that exceptions to the ruling will be carved out for certain industries.It is important that your representatives hear from you as soon as possible.”

 

# # #

 

Editor’s note: This book review is reprinted by permission of California Fly Fisher magazine (http://www.calflyfisher.com/)

 

Fishing Book Is Powered by Eastern Sierra Streams and Lakes and Beer

 

BY TOM MARTENS

Casting Around the Eastern Sierraby Mike McKenna Published by Cast Away Books, P.O. Box 1909, Hailey, Idaho 83333

            This book author’s skill in writing about where to fish is matched only by his sense of humor as reflected in part of his bio: “When not writing, Mike can often be found fishing or drinking too much beer while watching sporting events with his wife and two sons.”

            An award-winning writer and journalism, McKenna wrote a blog that profiled places to fish in the Mammoth Lakes area of the Eastern Sierra. Some of his fishing buddies suggested he publish his “Mammoth Lakes Insider’s Blog” posts as a book. He took them up, and that became the 160-page, 2018 book called “Casting Around the Eastern Sierra.”

            The book contains two-page profiles of 15 streams, rivers and lakes to fish in the spring, 21 for the summer, 14 for the fall and six for winter. Many of the water bodies are the same, but with tips for catching in each season.

            The profiles include many rivers that anglers know well, such as Hot, Rush, Lee Vining, East Walker, Upper Owens and more. He profiles far more lakes than rivers, including Crowley, Convict, June, Heenan and others. 

The writing on each water body shows McKenna’s skills as a researcher, connection to the local guiding community and sense of humor. 

The book contains the obligatory reference to famous angler and writer, Earnest Hemingway in the profile of Heenan Lake:

“Heenan Lake is Earnest Hemingway’s kind of place. It was Papa Hemingway, after all, who wrote in his classic ode to fishing, The Old Man and the Sea, ‘Anyone can be a fisherman in May.’ It takes a real diehard, a true fanatic, the kind of angler who feels like trout run through his or her veins on chilly autumn days, especially to fish a place like Heenan Lake.”

“’Heenan Lake ain’t for the weak of heart,’ warns Jeff  ‘Goldie’ Franke, a long-time guide at Rick’s Sports in Mammoth. ‘It’ll seriously kick your butt.’”    

McKenna adds: “A day on Heenan Lake can make an angler feel old … There are certainly worse ways to grow old though.”

In his profile of Convict Lake, McKenna captures the flavor of the opening-day pilgrimage many make:

“Families from ‘down south’ will drive all night so they can make season opening casts at Convict Lake before falling asleep in the back seat. Old buddies will stay up late telling fishing stories by the campfire before stumbling across the sea of empties to the lake at sunrise,” McKenna writes. 

“From dawn to dusk, opening day is always filled with toasts to another great season and to those can no longer cast with us. There is an old saying that goes ‘fishing is about a lot more than just the fish.’”

Sometimes McKenna gets a little carried away in describing the High Sierra fish.

“There’s lots of fish in this book,” he writes in the “About This Book” section. “Brown trout as feisty as pro wrestlers; rainbows as rowdy as wild mustangs; cutthroats big enough to be seaworthy; brookies as aggressive as alligators; and golden trout (California’s State Fish) sparkling like stars and forever lingering in angler’s dreams.”

Each water body section in the book contains photos, profiles and newsy tidbits in McKenna’s charming and folksy writing style, but also down-to-business detailed information about where and how to fish, history, conservation and anything else relevant to the area.

In the forward to the book, Ted Carleton tells about how he lured McKenna into moving to Mammoth Lakes and becoming an outdoor writer.

“I started a newspaper based in Mammoth Lakes called ‘The Sheet.’ I needed some help. Called a friend in Hailey, Idaho, who was already a couple of beers in and told her of my dilemma. Imagine that. ‘I’ve got a writer right here next to me at the Red E,’ she said, while seated at the infamous Red Elephant, a glorious dive bar since euthanized,” writes Carleton.

(If you think there is a beer theme in this book, you are correct.) “She put Mac on the phone. He agreed to bring his wife down to Mammoth on an exploratory road trip to check out the place. They stayed for nearly a decade.”

            For the most part during those early Mammoth writing days, McKenna fished mostly with spinning gear, lures and bait.

That changed one day when a reader invited him to try fly fishing.

            “Local guide Doug Rodricks called me up one day … and offered to take me fly fishing,” McKenna writes in the introduction to the book. “That day I learned a bit about fly fishing, but learned a lot more about the real beauty and joy of fishing in the ‘Range of Light.’ Fishing takes you to places that pull you out of the routine, out of your norm. Places filled with the kind of raw, natural beauty we usually only see in our dreams.”

            McKenna’s  book is illustrated with maps provided by a team headed by Mono Lake Tourism that show landmarks or that lead anglers to fishing locations. 

            His book contains a full-page plug for the work of California Trout, Eastern Sierra Land Trust, Friends of the Inyo and Trout Unlimited.

The book is full of photos that were created with the help of locals, Josh Wray and Mike McCoy. Several of the photos contain (what else?) images of beer at the fishing locations.

McKenna has won awards for his writing from the Outdoor Writers Association of California and the Outdoor Writers Association of America. His first Book, “Angling Around Sun Valley,” covered some of Idaho’s most famous fly fishing waters and was selected Best Book of the Year by Northwest Outdoor Writers Association.

            For more information or to get a copy of his current book, see 

http://www.castingaroundamerica.com/shop/

 

 

 

 

OWAC Board of Directors Meeting Monday, Nov.12, 2018

 

DIAL-IN NUMBER 

712-770-4035

Access Code: 141147

7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 12, 2018 

7:05 pm-Call to Order– (Tom)

Roll Call– (Carol) Tom Martens, Bob Semerau, Peter Schroeder, Carrie Wilson, Barbara Steinberg, Kathie Morgan, John Poimiroo, John Henigin, Chris Langley.& Carol Martens

Not Present: Betsy Crowfoot and Meade Fischer

Review and approval of Oct. 8, 2018  Board Meeting minutes-Peter moved to approve and Bob seconded it. General Meeting minutes- John P. moved to approve and Peter seconded it.

Additions to Agenda- Barbara wants us to consider a donation of some type for the Butte County fire disaster. She will research some possibilities. Butte County was one of our conference destinations a few years ago. Because OWAC is a non-profit organization we may be able to bring attention to Butte County needs by writing some articles?

Committee Reports(Peter and Chairs) 

Californian of the Year   (Kathie Morgan) Kathy suggested we invite the previous COY winner, Ray Murray, to our Spring Conference next year so we can give him a round of applause and a platform to share his story. John Poimiroo will personally invite Ray and hopefully he will come as our special guest.

Conference (Carrie Wilson)-It was suggested that Carrie create a theme for the Spring Conference and work from there to have two craft improvement speakers. May 19- 22, 2019

Craft Improvement ( John Poimiroo)-  has had 4 articles for the OWAC newsletter so far. He also has a list of great topics for future articles and will send that list to the board.

Excellence in Craft (Bob Semerau) (See Appendix C for calendar for the 2019 contest) The rules and application will be put in the newsletter.

Investment & Finance ( Peter Schroeder & Bob Semerau)-We have a total of $8,250 in our Vachini and Endowment funds. So far we have earned $463 in dividends. We have $14,438.28 in our bank account after all current obligations have been paid.

Newsletter (Chris Langley) Chris would like more photos for the newsletter, especially photos that have members in them.Various assignments were given to the board members to write for the next newsletter. Deadline is Nov. 20thfor submissions. 

Publicity, Outreach, & Social Media  (Betsy Crowfoot)sent a report to Bob to share with board. She shared her ideas but stated we need to update the web site before she implements her plan.

Membership (Tom Martens)

Raffle & Silent Auction(Carol Martens) Members of the committee have been notified. There are many people who are willing and able to donate to the auctions and raffles. Beginning in our next newsletter Carol will start asking the membership and sponsors for suggestions on items we can use.      

Web Site (Bob Semerau) Mark the webmaster will be deleting all the old information on the website to make room for all the new information

Tom filed Form 990-EZ with the Internal Revenue Service last week. This is done annually.

Next Meeting Date- Mon Jan. 14,2019 7pm

8:15 pm Adjourn- John H moved to adjourn and Bob seconded it. Meeting adjourned.

APPENDIX A

OWAC Board of Directors Meeting 

Monday, Oct. 8, 2018 

Meeting was held at High Sierra Grill, Santa Barbara Airport, 521 Firestone Rd.,

Goleta, CA. 93117, 805-845-7030

3:20  Call to Order – (Tom)

Roll Call – (Carol) Present: Tom Martens, Bob Semerau, Barbara Steinberg, Peter Schroeder, John Henigin, Betsy Crowfoot, Chris Langley and Carol Martens

Not Present: Kathie Morgan, Carrie Wilson and John Poimiroo

Review and approval of Oct. 1, 2018 meeting minutes: Peter moved to approve the minutes and Bob seconded it. Minutes approved.

Finance Report (Bob) $15,769.77 in our bank account

Investment Report (Peter) We have a total OF $7,600 in the Investment fund.

Vachini Fund: We have a total of $2,875 so far in the Vachini OWSP.

Welcome to the New Board Members (Tom) 

Santa Barbara Conference – Late Updates (John, Bob, Tom) Details on Tuesday’s activities.           

Newsletter (Bob) Chris Langley, the new chair for the newsletter, shared some of his ideas for future newsletters. 

The board complimented Chris on his first newsletter that came out this month.

Next Meeting : Teleconference Monday, Nov.12,2018  7pm

3:35 John motioned to adjourn and Peter seconded it. Meeting adjourned.

OWAC General Meeting 

Meeting was held at High Sierra Grill, Santa Barbara Airport, 521 Firestone Rd.,

Goleta, CA. 93117, 805-845-7030

 Monday, Oct. 8, 2018 

3:45 Call to Order (Tom)

Welcome to Santa Barbara Hosts (Tom)

Introduction of Board of Directors (Tom)

Introduction of Executive Director (Tom) Tom announced that Bob Semerau agreed to carry on as our official Executive Director. 

Finance Report (Bob)  We have $ 15,769.77 in our bank account.

Vachini Fund Status (Bob)  So far we have $2,875 in the Vachini OWSP.

Endowment Fund Status (Bob, Peter, Tom)  We currently have $7,600 in the account.and is currently growing very well,

Committee Status – Quick Update (Peter)  We have 12 committees, 12 chairs and about 68 members assigned to a committee. Peter shared that John Poimiroo is off to a great start with his committee.as well as Chris Langely, Kathie Morgan and Carrie Wilson.

4:15 Barbara motioned to adjourn and Betsy seconded it. Meeting adjourned.

APPENDIX B

OWAC Committees and Responsibilities/Charges

Updated 11-10-18 

Californian of the Year

Charge: Select outstanding person for this honor.

Chair: Kathie Morgan

Members: Steve Callan, Tom Stienstra, Patrick Young

Suggested Individual Member Tasks:

--Call for nominations with notices in 2-3 autumn Newsletter issues plus through other outlets;

--Present a list of candidates and issue ballots by January 15;

--Conduct election and advise winner in time to attend the spring conference.

 Conference Committee

Charge: Responsible for planning the annual spring and fall conferences.

Chair: Carrie Wilson

Members: Betsy Crowfoot, Meade Fischer, John Henigin, Gloria Jones, Denis Peirce, John Williamson, Tom Wilmer 

Suggested Individual Member Tasks:

--Members to determine contacts for CVBs, Tourist bureaus, Chambers of Commerce, and other tourist agencies in their home areas for interest in hosting a conference;

--Negotiate contract in coordination with OWAC’s Executive Director;

--Plan conference program in coordination with Craft Improvement Committee;

--Submit updates by Conference Committee chair on upcoming conferences for each Newsletter;

--Submit articles touting attractions of upcoming conference sites;

--Encourage supporting members to attend conferences;

Craft Improvement Committee

Charge: Solicit and disseminate information to help members improve their craft and business practices and their use of technology. Contribute at least one piece for each publication of OWAC’s newsletters. Suggest hitting up winners of current year’s Excellence in Craft Contest for newsletter submissions.

Chair: John Poimiroo

Members: Josh Asel, Chris Collard, Susan Colby, Matt Johnson, Karen Klein, Keith Lair, Tom Leech, Peter Schroeder, Risa Wyatt 

Suggested Individual Member Tasks:

--Contribute at least two articles for every Newsletter;

--Plan Craft Improvement sessions at conferences in coordination with Conference Committee;

 

Ethics Committee

Charge: Review any ethics charges submitted against a member and if necessary recommend an action to the Board of Directors.

Chair: Tom Martens

Members: Bob Semerau, Peter Schroeder, Carrie Wilson 

Suggested Individual Member Tasks:

--Establish protocol for handling ethics charges;

--Review any ethics charges brought against an OWAC member;

Excellence in Craft (EIC) Contest Committee

Charge: Administer the annual Excellence in Craft Contest.

Chair: Don Vachini

Members: Bruce Ajari, Meade Fischer, Lara Kayler, Tom Martens, Mike McKenna, Harry Morse, Bill Shaefer, Bob Semerau

Suggested Individual Member Tasks:

--Review and amend EIC Contest rules;

--Publish beginning late summer in each Newsletter an announcement of EIC Contest along with rules, deadlines, entry fees, and application forms;

--Announce in Newsletter EIC Contest is open to non-members and reasons why, if approved by board;

--Coordinate collection of entry forms and fees;

--Select judges;

--Prepare certificates to be awarded at spring conference;

--Coordinate with Publicity Committee, which will send out award announcements to local newspapers;

--Send thank you notes to judges;

Investment Committee

Charge: Manage OWAC’s Endowment portfolio in accordance with the board-approved Investment Policy Statement. 

Chair: Tom Martens

Members: Peter Schroeder, Bob Semerau, 

Suggested Individual Member Tasks:

--Administer the board-approved Investment Policy Statement (IPS);

--Submit portfolio updates at each board meeting;

--Submit reports in Newsletters;

Membership Committee and Supporting Member Liaison Committee

Charge: Recruit new members and process membership applications; follow up with members who have not renewed membership (list to be provided by Executive Director to committee chair) to determine and hopefully reverse their decision for not renewing.

Provide a conduit between the supporting members and the general membership to address concerns, questions and other issue. Help support the supporting members who are invaluable to the organization and encourage them to attend and participate in conferences.

Chair: Tom Martens

Members: Josh Asel, Steve Callan, Ron Erskine, John Henigin, Bill Karr, John Loo, Paul Lebowitz, Carol Martens, Mike Moropoulos, Jim Niemiec, Ray Rychnovsky, 

Suggested Individual Member Tasks:

--Update membership list of names (alphabetically) and contact information;

--Contact former members whose membership has lapsed in past five years and (1) encourage to rejoin or (2) compile list why they withdrew;

--Contact members who haven’t paid their dues in past several months;

--Propose changes on website to be more solicitous to potential new members;

--Develop solicitation letter or email for potential supporting members;

--Contact all fishing gear suppliers in California and ask to join as supporting members;

--Contact all hunting gear suppliers in California and ask to join as supporting members; 

--Contact all camping and outdoor equipment suppliers in California and ask to join as supporting members; 

-- Develop materials and benefits related to OWAC membership plus conduct campaigns to reach out to prospective members

--Review all California outdoor publications and send solicitation letters or emails to all writers and photographers on mast head;

--Send solicitation to all California members in OWAA, NOWA, BWI, NASJA, SATW, BANG, etc;

--Provide list of new active and supporting members for each newsletter publication;

Newsletter Committee

Charge: Publish six issues annually.

Chairs: Chris Langley

Members: Susan Colby, Jack Eidt, Meade Fischer, Diana Lindsay, Carol Martens, Merit McCrea, Greg Nieman, Tom Raftican, Osceola Refetoff, Ray Rychnovsky, Barbara Steinberg

Suggested Individual Member Tasks:

--Establish bimonthly publications starting Oct/Nov with deadlines on 20thand publication 1stof following month;

--Select and download a professional newsletter template;

--Create standard mast head with names of officers, board members, and committee chairs;

--Assign someone to assure timely submission of monthly reports from OWAC President (Martens), Executive Director (Semerau), Conference Committee Chair (Carrie Wilson), Board Minutes (Carol Martens). Investment Portfolio (Schroeder);

--Assign someone to assure timely submission of minimum of two Craft Improvement articles;

--Featured photographer with short bio plus five images with cut lines;

--New member profile plus photo;

--Member Updates of +/- five members with short comments of their travels, assignments, activities, awards, etc;

--Supporting member press release;

--General California outdoor news;

--California legislative outdoor issues;

--Letters to the Editor;

--Upcoming Outdoor Events;

--Review newsletters of other outdoor organizations for additional ideas (OWAA, NASJA, NOWA, SEOPA, BWI, POMA. Etc.)

Nominating Committee

Charge: The President, Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer shall constitute the Nominating Committee and shall select qualified candidates for the Board of Directors and present a slate to the membership approximately two months prior to the election. The committee shall make every effort to present at least five names for the three positions. (The description of the Nominating Committee is written in 3.II (1) of OWAC’s by-laws.)

Chair: Tom Martens

Members: Carol Martens, Bob Semerau 

Suggested Individual Member Tasks:

--Advertise openings for board member positions in Newsletter 2-4 months prior to conference elections;

--Present a slate to the membership at least five names for three positions;

--Fill board vacancies by majority of board (see bylaws)

--Request from candidates their statements for publication in the Newsletter giving their qualifications and why they want to be board members;

--Conduct election of board members at spring conference;

--Act in compliance with bylaws 3.II(1) to assure OWAC maintains qualified board members;

 

Publicity, Outreach, & Social Media

Charge: Increase awareness of OWAC work and events in the media.

Chair: Betsy Crowfoot 

Members: Del Albright, John DeGrazio, Gigi de Joing, Jack Eidt, Gary Grisham, Yvonne Graham, Kathy Morgan, April Orcutt, Barbara Steinberg. Mike Stevens, Robert Stone, Stan Vandenburg 

Suggested Individual Member Tasks:

--Post on the social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) updates of OWAC activities;

--Create a database with contacts for all California outdoor publications;

--Issue E-Blasts as appropriate;

--Submit general press releases as appropriate;

--Submit press releases to future conference site newspapers with details of speakers available for interviews;

--Submit to local newspapers Californian of the Year and EIC Contest Award winners (coordinate with Californian of the Year and EIC Contest Committees); 

--Compile tear sheets and forward to appropriate recipients;

Raffle and Silent Auction Committee

Charge: Solicit donations of merchandise, books, sporting equipment, accommodations, etc. from supporting members, active members, and others; conduct auctions and raffles at conferences.

Chair: Carol Martens

Members: Bill Adelman, Inga Akasmit, John Henigin, Greg Nieman 

Suggested Individual Member Tasks:

--Solicitation announcements in Newsletter in months leading up to conferences;

--Personal solicitation for merchandise from supporting members;

Website Committee

Charge: Maintain the website and keep it up to date.

Chair: Bob Semerau 

Members: Josh Asel, Tom Branch Jr, Amy Halverson, Lara Kayler, Joseph, Opager, Mark Sevi, Chad Woods

Suggested Individual Member Tasks:

--Stronger enticement for potential new members, i.e., “Reasons to Join” with quick access to membership requirements and application;

--Overall updates;

--Listing of officers, board members, and committee chairs;

--Prompt upload of Newsletters,

--Review websites of other outdoor organizations for additional ideas (OWAA, NASJA, NOWA, SEOPA, BWI, POMA. Etc.)

Unassigned

Bill Brassard

David Bacon

John Burk

Steve Carson

Bob Gaines

Mike Harris

Craig Hanson

Rich Holland

Fred Jones

Bradford Karelius

John Roush

 

# # #

 

 

 

APPENDIX C

 

EXCELLENCE IN CRAFT 2019 SCHEDULE

(For articles published during calendar year 2018)

Jan. 1, 2019 -- Letter sent asking for submissions and includes guidelines … Feb. 15 deadline announcement

Feb., 2019 – Reminder sent to submit by Feb. 15

Feb. 15, 2019 -- Submission deadline. Submission sent to Bob

January/February, 2019 – Letter sent to each person submitting by Bob acknowledging receipt and informing them of deadline for judging.

Feb. 15-28 –Entrants are judged

March 31, 2019 – Judged finished judging

April 10, 2019 -- Letters send to winners saying they won something in the contest to get them to attend conference

April, 2019 – Certificates created

May, 2019 – Winners announced at conference 

 

 

2019 EXCELLENCE IN CRAFT AWARDS CONTEST

Rules 2019

(for work completed in 2018)

Outdoor Writers Association of California 

 

Contest Rules

1.   The purpose of this contest is to judge and reward exceptional "outdoor" writing, reporting, broadcasting, photography, and digital communications produced by Outdoor Writers Association of California (OWAC) members. Entries with clear connection to the outdoors, outdoor recreation, wildlife, wild lands and other outdoor subjects are sought. 

2.   All entrants are required to read and adhere to the Contest Rules, and sign entry forms indicating that they have done so.  Failure to do so can disqualify the entry.

3.   Each entry must include two copies and have a completed entry form attached to each copy.  Separate entries submitted on the same entry form are not eligible for judging. 

4.   Entry fees will not be refunded. It is the entrant’s responsibility to submit entries correctly.  

5.   The fee to submit entries in all categories, except category 26, 27 and 28, is $10. Checks are to be made payable to “OWAC”. One check consolidating all paid entries can be submitted by an entrant.

6.   There is no fee to submit an entry in categories 26, 27 and 28. 

7.   Categories 1 – 25 and 27 – 29 are open to all OWAC Regular members in good standing.

8.   Category 26 is open to all Regular and Supporting members in good standing.

9.   Entries must have been published, posted or broadcast during the 2018 calendar year.

10. With the exception of categories 9, 10 and 26, only one entry may be submitted per entrant in any given category. Two entries may be submitted in categories 9 and 10, and unlimited entries may be submitted in category 26.

11. Entries cannot be submitted in category 29.  It will be chosen from the 1stplace winners of categories 1 – 28. 

12. Entries must be postmarkedby February 15, 2019.  Entries received with a postmark after that date will not be opened and will be discarded or, if a book, returned.

13. OWAC membership dues must be paid prior to entry and current in order to receive an award.

14. With the exception of category 26, entrants must have been paid for their work.

15. With the exception of categories 26 and 28, an entry in one category cannot be submitted in another category.

16. Members who are co-authors may submit different articles under their joint byline in the same category (one entry per co-author, per category), unless otherwise allowed or denied.

17. Categories will be judged by people who are highly experienced and respected journalists, photojournalists and broadcasters, who may or may not be affiliated with OWAC, and have no professional affiliation with any of the judged media. They may reside in or outside California.  

18. Special awards (categories 26 - 29) are reviewed by the OWAC Awards Committee.

19. The authorship of entries in categories will be disguised from the judges.  

20. OWAC Writer of the Year will be selected from entrants winning in categories 1 - 28.

Questions regarding this contest should be e-mailed to OWAC Awards Chairman Tom Martens at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Entry Preparation

§  Submit two copies of the published, posted or broadcast work:

§  Copy one must show name of medium, author’s byline and date of publication/broadcast.

§  A second “Judge’s Copy” must obscure the name of the author (such as cutting out or covering with piece of paper when copied to the best possible). 

§  The entry form prints one form complete with your name and a second form to attach to the judge’s copy

§  Printouts from Internet sites are acceptable as the original work. It is not necessary to submit an original or clipping of the published work. Copies suffice if they are legible and clean. Originals for photographs and layouts are best or superior, or submit high resolution print outs with the copies.Xerox copies or poorly printed copies (bad color etc.) will not do the work justice and may affect the judges’ perceptions.

§  Photos entries and series must be submitted as .jpgs on a CD or flash drive as well. Each photo must be submitted on separate CD or flash drive with its own entry form if it is a single entry. If entering a series, all of the photos in the series should be on the disk. Include only the photos that have been printed.  Do not submit collections of photos for different awards on a single CD or flash drive.Before mailing your entry, verify that the .jpg file on the CD or flash drive will open on a Windows operating system computer. If the entry does not open, judges are not obliged to contact the entrant to get a version that opens.

§  For photo entries, photographs published in any medium (including those taken by lecturers and used in paid presentations) are acceptable.

§  All writing entries must be submitted on 8 ½” x 11” paper, unless the format (such as calendars) makes this impossible. Tear sheets or clips (photocopies) of writing entries are acceptable, as long as they satisfy this size restriction and are legible. Please tape the copies down.

§  For Newspaper and Magazine entries, judges will only take the quality of writing into consideration. Judges will not consider layouts and photos.

§  For Outdoor Medium, Newsletter and Book entries, writing, photography and layout will be considered. This is where presentation will make a significant difference. Present originals for the judges if possible.

§  For Outdoor Medium, the entire content of outdoor sections of the medium will be judged, not just the writing of the OWAC member. This is an award to the medium(e.g., newspaper, radio station, magazine, TV station, website, or other outdoor medium) for the overall excellence of its outdoor reporting. Therefore, representative samples of the entire mediummust be submitted. The OWAC member will be recognized for having submitted the winning entry, but this is not an award to the submitting individual.

§  For radio entries, submit radio show or features in an audio file on a CD or flash drive.

§  For TV/video entries, submit entries in a video file on a DVD or flash drive.

§  For newsletter entries, entrant should identify their role in publication as editor, writer, photographer, publisher, or multiple skills, as appropriate.  Three separate issues unless it is only a bi-annual publication – then two.

§  For book, a revised edition of a previously published book is acceptable, but it must be the first time the book in any edition has been entered in the OWAC contest. Two copies are required.

§  For website or app, submit URL or link. Recognizing that website content changes regularly, it is not necessary to submit a screen capture of the site at a point in time during the judged calendar year, as long as the website was created or updated during that year.

§  For web-only stories, submit printouts of entry, with same guidelines as for newspaper feature, as well as URL. For E-Books, provide a complete copy of the book on a CD or flash drive, along with the distribution url and sales information. 

§  No entries, other than books, will be returned. The condition of returned books, due to shipping, cannot be guaranteed.  As available, judge’s comments will be provided to entrants.

Send Entries To:

OWAC Awards

c/o Bob Semerau

P.O. Box 50136

Oxnard, CA 93031

 

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Number of Awards to be Given

 

Unless the entries in a given category are not meritorious, the minimum number of awards that will be given per category are as follows:

1 – 3 entries – 1 award

4 – 5 entries – 2 awards

6 – 10 entries – 3 awards

11 – 14 entries – 4 awards

15+ entries – 5 awards

Additional awards in any category can be given, if in the opinion of the judge/s, they are deserving of recognition.  In such circumstance, awards should be given in succession of merit: e.g., second place, third place, fourth place, fifth place.  Certificates of Merit may also be given to entries deserving of recognition, as determined by the judges.    

There is no obligation that an award by presented, just because there were entries. Judges may elect to not award a prize or certificate in any category.

Categories and Descriptions

1. Best Outdoor Medium – An outdoor medium is the whole or any regularly scheduled section that is devoted to outdoor news and feature articles, submitted in any medium (print, online or broadcast).  This is an award to the medium, not to a writer, though writers are encouraged to submit their media for consideration.  Best Outdoor Medium is considered to be one of OWAC’s most prestigious awards. Three examples of the entire outdoor medium or its specific section must be submitted.

2. Best Outdoor News Article- A news article is a straight-forward story, without spin and free of all faction, in which the reporter delivers factual, attributed information that is verifiable, submitted in any medium (print, online or broadcast).

3. Best Outdoor Series - A series of news articles connected by subject and numbered Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, etc., with thematic unity from start to finish and published consecutively, submitted in any medium (print, online or broadcast).

4. Best Outdoor Newspaper Feature Story - A newspaper feature is a story that covers a select issue, person or event in depth and usually focus on human-interest elements of a situation, adventure or event, published in a newspaper or on a newspaper website.

5. Best Outdoor Newspaper Column - A column is regular section of a newspaper or newspaper website that gives the writer’s perspective or opinion, such as an essay or first-person report, often on an issue of the day. Three separate examples of the column must be submitted– this means different columns, printed on different days. Sending only three copies of the same column will result in disqualification.

6. Best Outdoor Magazine Feature - A magazine feature is an article that covers a selected issue, person or event in-depth and usually focuses on the human-interest elements of a situation, adventure or event, published in a magazine or on a magazine website.

7. Best Outdoor Magazine Column - A column is a piece of writing that gives the perspective or opinion, such as an essay or first-person report, usually on an issue of the day, published in a magazine or on a magazine website. Three separate examples of the column must be submitted - this means different columns, printed in different issues. Sending only three copies of the same column will result in disqualification.

8. Best Outdoor Newsletter - A newsletter is a report that is published at least three times a year and that contains news or information of interest to a specific group. Three examples of different editions must be submitted.

9. Best Outdoor Book - This award is specifically for non-fiction and fiction outdoor books other than guidebooks.  It includes, such as: memoirs, novels, history, and photography books. Two copies of each entry must be submitted (to be returned by mail).

10. Best Outdoor Guidebook - A guidebook (includes travel and how-to books) provides details of a geographic area or a skill, often both, and is published with the intent to be the ultimate information source for that geographic area or skill. Two copies of each entry must be submitted (to be returned by mail).

11. Best Outdoor Feature Photograph - A feature photo covers a selected issue, person or place, and usually focuses on the human-interest elements of a situation, event or place.

12. Best Outdoor Action Photograph - An action photo captures a moment in time, a real-life event or adventure.

13. Best Outdoor Photographic Series - A series is a formal connection of photographs with thematic unity from start to finish and published as a single work. Not less than three, nor more than five photographs in a series can be submitted.

14.  Best Outdoor Radio Show Short Format - A regularly broadcast or podcast feature covering the outdoors from 1- 5 minutes in length.  Three segments from different broadcasts must be submitted.

15.  Best Outdoor Radio Show Medium Format - A radio show is any broadcast of more than 10 minutes but less than one-half hour or longer in length.  Three segments from different broadcasts must be submitted.

16. Best Outdoor Radio Show - A radio show is any broadcast of one-half hour or longer in length.  Three segments from different broadcasts must be submitted.

17. Best Outdoor Radio Feature – A single radio feature is any broadcast or podcast of 1 to 10 minutes in length. 

18. Best Outdoor TV Show Segment- A TV show segment is any broadcast of 1 to 15 minutes in length, regularly incorporated into a larger TV show.  Three segments from different broadcasts must be submitted.

19. Best Outdoor TV Show - A TV show is any broadcast of 15 minutes or longer in length.  Three segments from different broadcasts must be submitted.

20. Best Outdoor TV Show Feature - A TV show story or segment of less than 15 minutes broadcast once as part of a larger program. 

21. Best Outdoor Video Short – A video short is any broadcast or Internet feature of one to five minutes in length.

22. Best Outdoor Video Medium – A video short is any broadcast or Internet feature of more than 5 minutes but less than 15 minutes in length.

23. Best Outdoor Video Standard– A video short is any broadcast or Internet feature of more than 15 minutes in length.

24. Best Outdoor Internet Site – An Internet site is any website, application software or mobile app, accessible through the World Wide Web.  The entire outdoor section of the site is judged. Note: Website entries should be for the entire website, not just a single page.The submitter must have complete design, content management, imagery and maintenance authority – the submitter does not need to have completed the technical programming, can but does not have to, but he/she should be recognized as the manager of the site.

25. Best Outdoor Internet Article – An Internet article is an individual feature story, column or news report published solely on an Internet site.

26. Best OWAC Conference-related Work - Conference-related work is any work (print, web, photographic, video or broadcast) based on participation at any previous OWAC conference published or broadcast during 2017.

27.  Phil Ford Humor Award - The Phil Ford Humor Award, named after OWAC charter member Phil Ford, honors work that exemplifies Phil’s style of capturing the outdoor world with a wink and a grin.

28. John Reginato Conservation Award - The John Reginato Conservation Award is named after OWAC co-founder John Reginato and exemplifies his life-long passion to conserve fish, wildlife and other outdoor resources. 

29. OWAC Writer of the Year – OWAC members cannot apply for this award.  It is selected by the judges from winners of categories 1 – 28.

The Craft Awards Chair and Judges may move an entry to a category in which the entry is more appropriately suited. Judges may elect not to award in any category, regardless of number of entries. All decisions of the judges are final. 

Good luck!

 

 

WE SUGGEST YOU DOWN LOAD THE ENTRY FROM THE OWAC WEBSITE WHICH ALLOW YOU TO GET A HARD COPY WITHOUT THE REST OF THE NEWSDLETTER

2019 OWAC AWARDS ENTRY FORM (for work completed in 2018)

The 2019 OWAC Awards are open only to Outdoor Writers Association of California members who are in good standing. To be eligible, an OWAC member’s 2019 membership fees must be paid in full.

 

Official Use Only

 

Entrant # _____________

 

A separate, signed entry form must be completed for each entry.

 

Each entry is $10. Pay in full by check made payable to “OWAC."

 

Category Number: Category Name:

 

Name of Entrant: Address of Entrant:

 

Email:

Medium where entry was published, posted or broadcast:

Title of entry:

Name to be placed on Award:

Phone:

Check No ______________Amount ______________

 

 

OWAC Conference-related? YES: NO:

(

If Yes, provide additional copy of submission for Category 21, Best OWAC Conference-related Work - no charge category 

)

 

Only books will be returned to entrants at the spring conference (when awards are presented). All other entries will be discarded following the awards ceremony.

 

To be eligible, entries must:

 

Cut Here

 

Category Number:

 

* must be postmarked not later than February 15, 2019 * must be the work of an OWAC member

* must be submitted by an OWAC member

 

Print and attach this form to one entry copy.

 

2019 OWAC AWARDS ENTRY FORM - Copy 2

 

Category Name:

 

Title of entry:

Entries submitted without two copies (of both pages) or without submission forms will be disqualified.

 

Attach this form to second copy of entry.

 

Complete the following questions about the entry 

Entrant No.

What was the most challenging aspect of creating this entry?

 

Entrant Number:

 

Entry No.

 

For Official Use Only

 

 

 

OWAC Award Form 1 of 2

 

Provide a quote about winning in this category:

 

Where should OWAC send announcements regarding this entry winning awards:

 

Provide the name, email and phone number of the publication/outlet OWAC should contact. Publication/Venue:

 

1. Name:

 

2. Name:

 

3. Name:

ENTRY CERTIFICATION - MANDATORY

 

Phone: Email:

 

Phone: Email:

Phone: Email:

Publication/Venue:

Publication/Venue:

 

I hereby certify that this entry is my work. I further agree to all conditions on this entry form and to the OWAC Awards Contest Rules and Guidelines posted at www.OWAC.org.

 

Signature: Mail entries to:

 

Date:

 

Bob Semerau OWAC Executive Director P.O. Box 50136 Oxnard, CA. 93031

 

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 HERE ARE THE COMMITTEES, THEIR HEADS, AND THE CHARGES.

PLEASE BECOME ACTIVE WITH THEIR WORK. TOGETHER WE ARFE STRONGER.

OWAC Committees and Charges

 

Californian of the Year

Charge: Select outstanding person for this honor.

Chair: Kathie Morgan

Members: Steve Callan, Tom Stienstra, Patrick Young

 

Conference Committee

Charge: Responsible for planning the annual spring and fall conferences.

Chair: Carrie Wilson

Members: Betsy Crowfoot, Meade Fischer, John Henigin, Gloria Jones, Denis Peirce, John Williamson, Tom Wilmer

 

Craft Improvement Committee

Charge: Solicit and disseminate information to help members improve their craft and business practices and their use of technology. Contribute at least one piece for each publication of OWAC’s newsletters. Suggest hitting up winners of current year’s Excellence in Craft Contest for newsletter submissions.

Chair: John Poimiroo

Members: Josh Asel, Chris Collard, Susan Colby, Matt Johnson, Karen Klein, Keith Lair, Tom Leech, Peter Schroeder, Risa Wyatt

 

Ethics Committee

Charge: Review any ethics charges submitted against a member and if necessary recommend an action to the Board of Directors.

Chair: Tom Martens

Members: Bob Semerau, Peter Schroeder, Carrie Wilson

.

 

Excellence in Craft (EIC) Contest Committee

Charge: Administer the annual Excellence in Craft Contest.

Chair: Don Vachini

Members: Bruce Ajari, Meade Fischer, Lara Kayler, Tom Martens, Mike McKenna, Harry Morse, Bill Shaefer, Bob Semerau

 

Investment Committee

Charge: Manage OWAC’s Endowment portfolio in accordance with the board-approved Investment Policy Statement.

Chair: Tom Martens

Members: Peter Schroeder, Bob Semerau,

 

Membership Committee and Supporting Member Liaison Committee

Charge: Recruit new members and process membership applications; follow up with members who have not renewed membership (list to be provided by Executive Director to committee chair) to determine and hopefully reverse their decision for not renewing.

Provide a conduit between the supporting members and the general membership to address concerns, questions and other issue. Help support the supporting members who are invaluable to the organization and encourage them to attend and participate in conferences.

Chair: Tom Martens

Members: Josh Asel, Steve Callan, Ron Erskine, John Henigin, Bill Karr, John Loo, Paul Lebowitz, Carol Martens, Mike Moropoulos, Jim Niemiec, Ray Rychnovsky,

 

Newsletter Committee

Charge: Publish six issues annually.

Chairs: Chris Langley

Members: Susan Colby, Jack Eidt, Meade Fischer, Diana Lindsay, Carol Martens, Merit McCrea, Greg Nieman, Tom Raftican, Osceola Refetoff, Ray Rychnovsky, Barbara Steinberg

 

Nominating Committee

Charge: The President, Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer shall constitute the Nominating Committee and shall select qualified candidates for the Board of Directors and present a slate to the membership approximately two months prior to the election. The committee shall make every effort to present at least five names for the three positions. (The description of the Nominating Committee is written in 3.II (1) of OWAC’s by-laws.)

Chair:  Tom Martens

Members: Carol Martens, Bob Semerau

 

Publicity, Outreach, & Social Media

Charge: Increase awareness of OWAC work and events in the media.

Chair: Betsy Crowfoot

Members: Del Albright, John DeGrazio, Gigi de Joing, Jack Eidt, Gary Grisham, Yvonne Graham, Kathy Morgan, April Orcutt, Barbara Steinberg. Mike Stevens, Robert Stone, Stan Vandenburg

 

Raffle and Silent Auction Committee

Charge: Solicit donations of merchandise, books, sporting equipment, accommodations, etc. from supporting members, active members, and others; conduct auctions and raffles at conferences.

Chair: Carol Martens

Members: Bill Adelman, Inga Akasmit, John Henigin, Greg Nieman

 

Website Committee

Charge: Maintain the website and keep it up to date.

Chair: Bob Semerau

Members: Josh Asel, Tom Branch Jr, Gigi de Jong, Amy Halverson, Lara Kayler, Joseph, Opager, Mark Sevi, Chad Woods

 

 

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Outdoor Writers Association of California
PO Box 50136
Oxnard, CA 93031

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