Executive Director's Messages
Never say no to an adventure, but….
My life has been a testament to the benefits of being open to new adventures, as well as the value of maintaining life-long relationships with one’s mentors. Here are the lessons I have learned.
As a young academic, I sometimes acted contrary to what others thought were my interests.
Advised to devote myself during my nontenured years to amassing publications, I instead threw myself into reforming the graduate program, going against the traditional model of spending three years preparing for comps and then looking for a dissertation topic while working as a part-time instructor in more than one job. The result was a program that emphasized students’ making the professional turn from seeking to please one professor at a time to participating in the literature of the profession with each term paper.
I retained that job only upon the concerted appeals to the University President by those students who shared my vision of how graduate education should be pursued.
Then, I found myself with an opportunity to enter an emerging field, biomedical ethics, and leave the degenerating paradigm of mind/body relations. I accepted an invitation by a senior colleague to respond to a paper at a meeting--- the next day! An all-night preparation saw me on the stage in a public discussion of the genetic future of mankind. That presentation was published in my colleague’s journal, which led to an invitation to expand on my remarks at a national meeting, which in turn led to an invitation to participate in a research group at the Hastings Center for Ethics and the Life Sciences.
My chair, seeing all this activity, suggested I develop a course to be offered in this emerging field of bioethics. That first section had 16 students. Twenty five years later, the 20 sections of the then required course for nurses, pre meds, allied health students, etc., averaged 60 students each.
Having achieved the rank of full professor and after 30 years at the same job, I became restless. So, I put myself on the job market and landed a job (with no tenure) with a state humanities council chaired by a philosopher!
Later in my career I responded to a blind ad in town in which I had lived for 30 years, only to discover that it was for a job with the senior faculty professor who had initially led me into bioethics. I raised funds for his organization until my wife was hired by Florida State University, and I followed her on our new life adventure.
In 2005 I became Executive Director of TAA, this extraordinary organization that seeks to help folks to master the craft of academic and textbook writing. My mentor wrote a letter of support.
I have had many adventures in my 45 year career, and one of my repeated references through the years was that professor who helped me change my career by thinking outside the box. What a pleasure it is now to recommend these two strategies to you: Never say no to an adventure, but always preserve good relations with your mentors!
As a young, untenured, assistant professor, I was really eager to get my first article on an issue in bioethics accepted by a top journal. I had, I thought, an interesting argument that turned informed consent to treatment, typically identified as a patient's right, into a duty the patient owed to the health care provider. Radical!
I wrote and rewrote the piece; I read it at several conferences, starting with my department's colloquium, then at a regional one, then at a national one. Finally, after many revisions, I sent it to what I regarded as a top journal.
I waited. And waited. And waited.
Finally, as the deadline for my tenure case materials was approaching, I got a letter from the editor. He reported a positive review by two individuals, with some easily accommodated suggestions for revisions, and then a third, apparently devastating review, consisting of one sentence:
I was stunned. I had never been called such a name in a professional context. But the editor made it clear he wanted a response to all three reviewer. I could easily handle the first two (whose suggestions were actually very valuable that, incorporated, made the article better — often a benefit of the review process), but how to respond to this condemnatory dismissal?
I worried. And worried. And worried.
Finally, I used my analytical training. I considered the phrase "specious mountebank" and dissected it. "Mountebank," according to my dictionary, meant a hawker of quack medicines who attracts customers with stories, jokes or tricks. So the reviewer thought I was being tricky in my article. And I supposed I could respond by saying, "Where's the trick?" But that didn't seem to be the kind of answer that would satisfy an editor.
Then I reread the accusation: "specious mountebank." "Specious" means "apparent, but not genuinely so."
I thought. And thought. And thought.
Then I wrote the editor. "I have incorporated the two reviewers' suggestions. As to the observation of the third reviewer, I am relieved that he finds me a specious mountebank rather than a genuine one!"
The acceptance letter came by return mail.
Moral of the story: Take a breath, never despair, read between the lines, and get creative!
After recently completing a review of the TAA membership, I am pleased to report that we remain a strong and vital association. I am heartened especially by the number of members who have been with TAA since its founding 24 years ago. Their loyalty and commitment to the association has been a key factor in TAA's success over the past two decades. We greatly appreciate their steadfast support.
It is impressive that through the years we have continued to maintain that strong renewal component to our association. No doubt, those renewals are driven by the excellent combination of services we offer, including our audio conferences and podcasts; our networking components, such as our peer mentor program, our listservs; and the annual conference, which provides educational programming as well as face-to-face networking opportunities with your member peers and experts in the publishing industry.
In addition, many of our members have taken advantage of our publication grants program, which covers up to $750 of out-ofpocket expenses. Itís a simple process: collect your receipts from photocopying, graphic arts, and research expenses. Once your article is accepted, apply for the grant online and we generally turn it around in a few days. We are happy to support our TAA authors through our grant program!
As we embark upon the 2011 year, TAA hopes to continue as your partner in your publishing efforts.We encourage you to participate in our 24th annual conference, "Let YourWriting SOAR", which will be held in beautiful Albuquerque, New Mexico, June 24- 25, 2011. It is a great experience, full of useful tips and strategies whether you are working on that first article, that second monograph, or that third edition. We will have an exceptionally diverse conference this year, and I urge you visit the conference link on our website to review the program, consider the networking events, take a look at the magnificent venue, and plan to attend. Early registrants receive $50 off the cost of registration.
Make one of your New Year's resolutions to prioritize your academic writing. TAA will be here to support your efforts along the way. I wish you great success in 2011.
TAA will be circulating an important survey to its members this month. The survey aims at sampling member interest in a new program designed by Pubcentral in which TAA may invest as a service to members.
A problem every academic author has is getting feedback on writing projects, particularly while in the process of being written. Peer review usually occurs after a draft is submitted that have not been through rigorous peer review have a much lower chance of being accepted. Even reviews commissioned by publishers, whether of journals or book-length works, often delay the publication while reviews of revisions are returned for further peer review.
Pubcentral aims to improve this feedback process in several ways. First, their extensive list of individuals willing to review is much larger than those typically available to acquistions or journal editors. Authors seeking the widest possible review of a work in progress will have at their disposal many individuals, some of whom may also be potential adopters or users of the eventual publication. Second, reviews are carefully structured in order to ensure that they cover the range of questions each editor will want answered. Third, reviews in their final form can be captured by the author and forwarded with the final draft to the publishing editor. This may well increase the acceptance rate and speed with which the submission gets into print.
TAA is cooperating with Pubcentral in shaping the survey and assessing the interest of its members in TAA offering access to the service. We believe it will be superior to the internal reviews institution-based writing groups because it provides review and validation of content by a much wider cadre of peers. We see it as a useful tool for institution-based writing groups in that it will permit access to peers in the author's discipline. We also think it will be a useful instructional tool for programs that aim at teaching academic writing, whether at the high school, college, or graduate school level.
The survey takes only a few minutes to complete, and it contains links to Pubcentral demos that enable you to see how one uses it and the kinds of reports it generates. Branding this tool in order to offer it as a TAA benefit is not cheap. So, for TAA to justify its adoption, we need to be reasonably sure that members will use it.
TAA is a member-run organization, and its members determine its direction. Please take the survey seriously.
Reporting on actions at the TAA annual conference is always an important task, particularly as perhaps 95 percent of our membership are unable to attend. The TAA Council, the governing body of TAA that are elected by the membership, usually makes some significant changes to the organization; this year was no exception. As Paul Harvey would put it, here's "the rest of the story."
TAA receives the largest bulk of its funds from reprographic fees charged for copying in Europe articles and books written by American authors. These funds come to us with the requirement that we use them to promote academic, textbook, and nonfiction writing by U.S. authors.
One of the ways we have done so in the past is to set aside amounts to fund the costs of producing academic print and electronic materials the publication of which has already occurred or is assured. A number of you have made use of those funds, which heretofore have been restricted to TAA members who have renewed their membership at least once. By action of the TAA Council at its annual meeting last June, these grants are now open to all U.S. academic and textbook authors, whether members or not. The Council believes that a part of its obligation to our funders is to make our services available as widely as we can. So now academics and text authors may apply, using our online application, for TAA funds, whether members or not.
The tricky part of this arrangement is that our funding depends on our membership and their publication genre. So, the worry goes, if we give everything away for free, why would anyone become a member? And if this were to become the dominant reasoning, we'd have no members, no funding. And with no funding, we'll have no services to give away for free.
Communities support community efforts through volunteer giving of what is asked for but not required. Consider the American church: membership is voluntary, and no church tells its members what they must contribute. They nonetheless put their contributions in the collection plate and make their pledges because they realize such voluntary contributions are essential to the church continuing.
Voluntary TAA membership is like membership in a church. You get nothing you would not get otherwise by being a member; but you recognize that for TAA and its services to continue, the dues contributions you have previously been asked to pay are essential to the continuation of the organization and its services. Simple as that.
A second action of the Council this year was to constitute a number of committees on which Council members, staff, and members from our organization are asked to serve. These committees will address the organization's needs in membership recruitment, outreach, strategic planning, and conference planning, with other committees empanelled as the need arises. So, as these committee are formed, you will have opportunity to provide your experience and time in service to the organization, thus helping it to remain healthy and responsive to its members' needs.
So recruit your colleagues! TAA is wide open. And encourage them to join for the pure joy of sustaining an organization that seeks to sustain them.
This June's conference will be my sixth since joining TAA as its executive director.
I have been gratified at the growth of the organization. We have recently modified a useful gift membership program that allows members to name colleagues they think would benefit from membership, and give an introductory membership at a modest cost, without fear that their gifts won't be used.
TAA has added several workshop presenters, the popular teleconference program, returned to monthly newsletter publications during the academic year, diversified its Council and Foundation board membership, negotiated partnerships with several university faculty groups and one national organization, instituted regular electronic news alerts, and created parallel listservs where academics and text authors can share problems and solutions. We have been able to attract and retain excellent staff and utilize their skills to members' benefit. We have archived teleconference and conference material online.
As a result mostly of the workshops and the gift memberships during the past 5 years, membership has doubled, and retention is improving.
We now look forward to the next five years, and I invite members to send their suggestions for TAA's future. Are there other services we should be providing? How can we attract more text authors? What can we do to make remaining in the organization attractive to first year members? What do we need to do to make our Council more representative of members' interests?
These are the issues with which we must deal as we forge our next strategic plan.
This is a member organization. You are invited to participate in that discussion, to make TAA what you would value most!
OnlineSchool, a consortium of online schools, recently published "10 Predictions for the Future of the Textbook." (Click here for the article)
The predictions include: (1) Rental texts; (2) Smaller texts functioning as guidebooks to internet-based resources rather than as authoritative resources; (3) Electronic textbooks read on computers and e-book reading devices, which will improve to the point of rivaling printed page comprehension; (4) Virtual textbooks that embody Flash animation demonstration of concepts and self-testing feedback; (5) Texts that are constantly evolving and being updated to stay current; (6) Interactive texts with hyperlinks to sources, integrated quizzes with students' results emailed to the instructor, and interactive games and other materials; (7) Wiki-like interface, permitting mistakes to be flagged, experts expansion on content, and moderators to maintain content integrity; (8) Open textbooks, available online and free of charge; (9) Integration of texts with other high tech devices, such as iPhones and iTouches, to provide students integrated homework alerts, announcements, and other faculty-created material.
But the 10th prediction really caught me eye: Student authored texts, building on the concept of a class of students as a learning community in which instruction is the task of the students with a common goal of mutually assisting the mastery of course content. Recent reserach on educational practices in hunter-gatherer societies and one a modern version by Peter Gray on the Sudbury Valley Schools ("Lessons from Hunter-Gatherers & Sudbury Valley Schools," The Florida Humanist Journal, vol 3 (Spring 2009): 21-24), suggests to me that the absence of deliberate pedagogies and the presence of expectations that education is the student's responsbility all lie behind the growing interest in wiki textbooks.
The TAA Foundation this past summer, under a grant from the Florida Department of Education's Governor's Summer program, ran an initial experiment in teaching high school students the skills of academic writing that has produced a student-written monograph, illustrating the possibility of student academic and text writing even at the level of secondary education. It may be the working on a wiki textbook of wiki journal entry makes constructing meaning from information and experience more explicit and thus intentional, may help students link new information with their existing knowledge, and increases students' repertoires of learning strategies and strengthen critical reasoning skills. Those who attend TAA's conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota June 22-23 will have the opportunity to see the monograph assembled by six students who participated in the TAA Foundation's Mentor Academic Authors Project that ocurred in July 2009 at Palm Beach Community College, and meet those students. Their work may be precursor to TAAF-sponsored student text-writing in future grants.
The conference will also include presentations on the open source movement's impact on textbooks and academic journals. The conference's general theme is "Recent Trends in Textbook and Academic Publishing." Plan to attend!
TAA helps academic authors in a variety of ways. One is establishing menotring relationships between seasoned academic authors and those struggling to master the craft. This past month brought great satisfaction to me as a mentor: two individuals whom I have been mentoring got their projects accepted. One is by a recent PhD who extracted and published an article from her MA thesis in her target journal, and is now working on another article taken from her doctoral research. The other is a high school junior participating in the TAA Foundation's July Mentor Academic Authorship Program conducted at Palm Beach State (formerly Community) College, whose article contains a research proposal. She is applying for funding to the Tallahassee Science Society to conduct her proposed research.
TAA also assists academic authors through publication grants of up to $750 to cover expenses incurred in publishing already accepted print academic journal articles and books including academic journal page costs or university press subventions; the cost of preparing artwork or other charts, diagrams, or images to be included in accepted jorunal articles or academic books; and journal reprint costs. Grants are also available for expenses incurred as a direct result of research leading to publication of a book or article. Grants are not available to cover costs if producing works intended to generate significant income, such as textbooks.
Further information, including the application process and required documents: Click here
You can also contact me at Richard.Hull@taaonline.net or (850) 893-6539. December 1, 2009 is the deadline for the first round of applications.
TAA's conference in San Antonio June 25-27 attracted 80 registrants, a record for the organization. This annual conference has evolved into an interesting meld of advanced academic and textbook instruction, current news, one-on-one mentoring, ideas for using social networks for marketing, and honing the craft of academic authoring, all in the mix of individuals whose authoring experience ranges from none to hundreds of articles and dozens of books. And the meeting's size gives each attendee the opportunity to interact and network with any other attendee.
Growth in the organization has topped 1,900, and the Council has wisely decided to slow growth and consolidate services to those already members. Thus, fewer workshops will be supported by TAA in the current fiscal year, but the chapter program will increase to four; the number of teleconferences on a wide variety of topics will be continued; content from the conference will be made available on the TAA website; and a new database will enable better communications to members.
TAA Foundation, the independent partner of TAA, has landed its first grant this past spring from the Florida Department of Education, and is now conducting a pilot program that partners with Palm Beach Community College to encourage academic writing skills in gifted, underserved populations of high school students intent on careers in biomedical and environmental technology. TAA members are serving as mentors in this effort. The results will form the basis both for academic research articles and further grant applications.
Thus, linked processes of renewal and consolidation are the mechanics of the TAA/TAAF partnership as we move into TAA's 22nd and TAAF's 6th year.
TAA and TAAF, the organization and the foundation, depend of TAA's members in countless ways. Your input and financial support are crucial to the ongoing success of both.
The mid-winter TAA Council meeting at the Sirata Hotel in St. Pete Beach, Florida, was in many ways a celebration of new steps undertaken by this organization. It is my pleasure to report on several changes that will be of interest to members.
First and foremost, the installation of Dr. Angela Jackson and Dr. Claudia Sanchez as at-large members marks a successful step in the diversification of TAA. Dr. Jackson, an American of African heritage, has had several academic appointments and is currently founder, president, and CEO of a firm that consults with schools and school districts on issues of diversity. Dr. Sanchez, an American of Mexican heritage, is an education faculty member at Texas Woman's University and principal investigator of several important grants. TAA welcomes their addition to the Council and the perspectives they bring to the organization's direction and leadership.
Second, several staff changes are of note. Margaret Matson, long-time assistant to Managing Director Janet Tucker, has announced her intent to retire from active duty. She will assist TAA in training her replacement, Sharon Pevsner, who joined us at the Council meeting. Sharon brings substantial experience in office procedures to this critical support position, and Margaret will assist her to make a smooth transition into the complexities of managing the Texty and McGuffey Awards competition, preparation of materials for our conferences and meetings, and managing our database.
I have stepped down from my appointment as executive director of the TAA Foundation to devote more time to TAA's growth and member services. I am being replaced by Dr. Jay Matteson, also of Tallahassee. Dr. Matteson has a lengthy history of work in entrepreneurial business and in higher education and has already outlined a grant strategy, which I reported on in my From the Executive Director column in December, that holds great promise. He also has recently offered a workshop on grant writing at one of our TAA Chapters, and is presenting a teleconference on the same topic this spring for TAA.
Third, the increasingly popular TAA Publication Grant program that offers grants of up to $750 to members who have renewed at least once has been expanded. Grants are now available for a wider range of activities than previously supported, including computer time for data analysis, interlibrary loan costs, photocopying of source materials for research related to the publication of an article or book, secretarial services, and permissions costs incurred for reprinting images and quoted material. Other publishing-related activities that are common to academics and textbook authors may be proposed. You are invited to review the new application guidelines and form on the TAA website. First-year members and members who joined through a workshop and who renew early for a second year are now eligible for grants.
The array of teleconferences assembled by Associate Executive Director Kim Pawlak for the spring of 2009 is truly exceptional. Members will be able to sharpen their grasp of tax law as it applies to academics and text authors, brush up their grant writing skills, better determine whether royalties are being fairly and fully paid, employ the techniques of "fast writing" and "slow editing" to increase their productivity, explore whether to become a textbook author, understand the negotiation of author/publisher contracts, and apply book publicity strategies developed for trade publications to academic ones.
Finally, the TAA staff has been directed to work with our extraordinary workshop presenters to develop a continuing education credit and credentialing process for workshop participants that will draw the attention of their chairs and deans and other supervisors to their efforts at professional development. This development will formally institute TAA's workshop program as constituting an Academy of Academic Authoring.
This month, The Text and Academic Authors Foundation (TAAF) partnered with Palm Beach Community College (FL) to create the “Mentor Education Diversity Initiative” (MEDI), a project that will have great potential for realizing measurable and meaningful change in minority representation in textbook and academic authorship. Grounded in national initiatives designed to breakdown barriers to diversity in education (e.g. STEM disciplines), MEDI will provide innovative technology and instructional experiences for students and teachers (grades 8 to 20) and faculty of higher education.
TAAF’s partnership with Palm Beach Community College includes writing a cooperative grant application for the Florida Department of Education’s Governor’s Summer Program in support of MEDI.
The project, through its MEDI Professional Learning Community (MEDI-PLC), seeks to create a number of mentoring relationships between gifted minority secondary school students and minority faculty in state colleges and universities. These mentoring relationships will involve weekly extra-curricular reading and writing assignments by the faculty to the students, with the results uploaded in a commonly-accessible online database. After six to eight weeks of activity, mentors and mentees will come together for a TAA-sponsored summer workshop on textbook writing. The aim of the workshop will be to produce a model textbook that will demonstrate how such collaborative efforts can result in a publishable textbook. This “blended learning” model has been adopted to enable the participants to create academic works of excellence by scholars of all ages. We also hope that by introducing minority faculty to the process of textbook authoring it will stimulate them to undertake their own textbook writing projects.
The aim of MEDI is to produce a model that can be replicated, through foundation and state education grant support, in states across the country. It represents the first significant effort of TAAF to fulfill a long-stated objective to improve the involvement of minorities in the production of text materials for the elementary and high school grades and at the college and university level by seeking to develop textbook authoring best practices in the current generation of minority faculty, while building the basis for generations of minority faculty to come. Recognizing that we live in a global community, and that the United States is increasingly becoming more diverse, TAAF has taken a leadership role to meet the challenge.
According to the Southeast Regional Education Board (SREB),“A diverse faculty with a variety of scholarly perspectives will produce a stronger educational experience for all students; colleges and universities must take into account that they have to serve an increasingly diverse student body and have to prepare students to deal with this diversity. The faculty should reflect this diversity; soon after the beginning of the next century, one in three Americans will be of ethnic minority background, and by 2050, according to projections, one in two Americans will be an ethnic minority. The nation’s economic health will depend upon whether these people are a successful and integral part of society.”
Because MEDI's focus is to learn and practice scholastic authorship skills over a measurable and meaningful period of time by means of repeated-engaged learning experiences with a college-level mentor educator, diversity in education is fostered by receiving instruction and practice in the elements of knowledge generation: collaborative networking; community outreach; scientific authorship; and mentoring. Overall, these comprise the backbone of a new economy for equity in learning.
I will keep our members informed about the success in pursuing this initial grant, and hope to report in a few months the progress toward achieving this major initiative. I thank Dr. Jay Matteson, TAAF’s current grant writer, for his extraordinary service in bringing this grant effort to its present state.
I’m now in my fifth year as TAA Executive Director. When I was hired, I was asked to create a five-year plan for the association. It’s time for me to begin a process of assessment of what has been achieved during the past four years.
In 2003, TAA had 1,020 members. That number rose to 1,119 in 2004, but dropped to 742 in 2005 because of a tightening in its accounting practices. 2006 saw an increase to 1,081, and 2007 saw the number steadily increasing to 1,395. As of September 1, 2008, TAA membership stands at 1,615.
So what accounts for an increase in three years of over 217 percent?
I believe the major reason for this increase has been our focus on making TAA a service organization for all of its members. For many years we labored under the perception of our members that, although we included academic authors, we “really” were an organization for textbook authors. To overcome this perception we have steadily added services aimed at and designed for academic authors to make the organization more valuable to this important component of our membership. At the same time, we have enhanced our services to textbook authors.
In addition, we have recognized that the needs and interests of textbook authors and academic authors are different. That recognition has led us to create services that focus either exclusively on textbook author issues or exclusively on academic author issues. Of course, some members are both, so we have also created new services aimed at both groups.
For example, we recently separated the TAA Listserv into two distinct listservs, one for textbook authors and one for academic authors. TAA's listservs enable members to tap into the collective wisdom of the membership, asking questions about those issues of mutual concern to members of the respective groups. Separate listservs are but one way TAA partitions information and helps individual authors select what categories of issues will and won’t be useful. Another is through separate textbook and academic author links in the TAA website's Member Center, allowing members to view only the content that is useful to them. A third way is the creation of parallel tracks at TAA's annual conferences, addressing at the same time issues of interest to one or the other group.
One of the new services we have instituted for both textbook and academic authors is free teleconferences. Each Fall and Spring, members can sign up to participate in up to six teleconferences presented by various experts. Topics are far-ranging, and aim at encapsulating some of the material typically found in longer presentations, such as TAA workshops. Each teleconference is recorded and posted on the TAA website for members to download and listen to at their leisure.
We are always looking for different ways to serve our members, and often we are guided in that search by member requests. A recent query as to whether TAA’s Publication Grants can be used for research leading to publication has prompted us to rethink that policy, and the Council will shortly consider widening these grants to include travel and other costs of research.
I think the remarkable growth in TAA’s membership is due to the organization’s living up to the promise of its name: to be the professional organization for both textbook and academic authors. We hope you agree that membership in TAA is worth the modest dues we ask, and that you will continue to find TAA to be a source of information, mentoring, and service.
Journals and academic book publishers have begun shifting the costs of publishing in the direction of authors. Last spring, a relatively brief article in the Journal of Neuroscience by one of our members and her postdoc was accepted contingent on payment of a fee of $750 to the journal in advance of the publication. (This charge was in addition to any additional charges for reprints.) I also recently had an article co-authored with a former student accepted by the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. We were offered the opportunity to make this article available through the open access option of the journal; the charge for that, however, would be $3,700.
Have you experienced this shifting of costs to you? TAA can help.
If you have been a TAA member for more than a year, you are qualified to apply for a TAA Publication Grant of up to $750. TAA began offering these grants in September 2007 as way to help academic authors cover the costs of publishing already accepted journal articles, or for preparation of artwork or other charts, diagrams or images to be included in accepted articles or academic books. The requirements to qualify for these grants are: evidence of acceptance; a copy of the accepted work; a copy of the charge or estimate of costs; a letter from someone overseeing the applicant indicating that the institution has no funds to support the publication or creation of the artwork; and an affidavit from the applicant stating that there are no grant funds available to support the publication project.
TAA offers these grants as part of its mission to assist academic authors. The cost of providing these grants comes from funds that TAA receives through Authors Coalition distributions. TAA receives these funds based on the Authors Coalition Surveys its members fill out when they join or renew.
To apply for a TAA Publication Grant, contact me at (850) 893-6539 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or provide evidence of acceptance; a copy of the accepted work; a copy of the charge or estimate of costs; a letter from someone overseeing you that indicates that the institution has no funds to support the publication or creation of the artwork; and an affidavit from you stating that there are no grant funds available to support the publication project. and mail it to TAA at PO Box 56359, St. Petersburg, FL 33732-6359.
Not interested in a TAA Publication Grant? Here are some other ways that TAA assists its academic author members:
Teleconferences. Participate in one or more 60-minute open discussion or presenter-led teleconferences on various topics (click here).
Mentor-A-Member Program. TAA's members-only online mentoring directory allows members to match themselves with veteran academic and textbook authors (click here).
Discounted Editing Services. TAA members receive discounts of up to 20 percent off editing services from select editors (click here).
TAA Listserv. Questions about authoring or publishing posted on TAA's members-only listserv typically generate several helpful responses within a few days. Post your messages to email@example.com.
The most popular service offered by TAA is its workshops. Seven to 10 workshops are given each year that reach approximately 300 faculty throughout the country. As we begin the 2004-05 academic year, this is a good time to schedule a workshop on your campus. What a wonderful faculty development experience for faculty to have one or more TAA workshops on your campus.
TAA has eight workshops led by individuals with national reputations and great experience in presenting workshops to faculty. All of the workshops are suitable for junior faculty as well as experienced writers. Here is a brief overview of the eight TAA workshops.
1) Scholarship, Tenure, and Promotion. This workshop looks at common problems with the faculty rewards system and how faculty can better document their work, including teaching effectiveness. The workshop is led by Robert Diamond, former Research Professor and Director of the Institute for Change in Higher Education at Syracuse University.
2) Software Tools for Authors. This workshop helps authors save time with software tools that define the rhetorical context of a document. This workshop is lead by Joe Moxley, Professor of English at the University of South Florida and author of 11 books and more than 50 articles.
3) Publish and Flourish: Write Well and Revise Rapidly. This workshop shows participants simple, specific steps to take to write well and revise rapidly, writing as little as 15 to 30 minutes daily. This is TAA's most sought after workshop. It is provided by Tara Gray who heads the Teaching Academy at New Mexico State University. She has given this workshop to more than 1,000 faculty.
4) Successful Academic Journal Writing. An editor of an academic journal shares insights on academic publishing, what kind of articles get published and how the peer review process works. Either Gerald Stone or Jay Black lead this workshop. Both were faculty members, journal editors, and prolific academic authors.
5) Authoring a Text or Professional Book. Taking an idea through the entire publishing process, this workshop provides information on all aspects of authoring so people can make informed choices about undertaking a writing project. As the author of four texts, I lead this workshop.
6) Self Publishing. Advances in technology and software make self publishing easier than ever before. Learn what it takes to publish your own book and to make it respectable. This workshop is provided by John Wakefield, Assistant Vice President at University of North Alabama and a self publisher of source books on the American Civil War.
7) Writing a Book Proposal. This workshop helps authors match their book idea with the right publisher. The workshop includes a survey of what acquisition editors look for in book proposals. I also present this workshop.
8) Negotiating a Contract. A workshop outlining book contract clauses and what can and cannot be negotiated in the contract. Also provided is strategy and favorable language for authors in helping them negotiate a more favorable contract. This workshop is led by authoring attorneys Michael Lennie or Stephen Gillen, both of whom have considerable experienced in publishing law and in representing authors.
Click here for more detailed information on these workshops, including workshop outlines and presenter biographies. Why not ask your provost or faculty development officer to look over this website? Then you or a college representative can contact TAA to schedule a workshop.
The cost of these workshops to any school is kept low to make them attractive as faculty development experiences. All speaker fees and travel costs are paid for by TAA, so the only cost for a school is the registration fee for the workshop.
What a great way to support TAA as well as to assist faculty on your campus with their publishing endeavors. If you make the initial contact, TAA will do all the work thereafter. To host one or more TAA workshops, contact TAA by calling (727) 563-0020 or e-mail TAA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to hearing from you,
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