Please enjoy the latest issue of the JAWS newsletter.
Dec. 23, 2014
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In this newsletter:

Visit the national listserv

JAWS in your neighborhood


Bay Area

Sign up for the Bay Area regional listserv.



Sign up for the Boston regional listserv.


Sign up for the D.C. regional listserv.


JAWS Book Club! The Frederick group is reading JAWS member Betty Medsger’s “The Burglary.” We’ll Skype Betty into a meet-up in early 2015 to discuss the book. Add the book to your holiday wishlist and start reading.
Join the Frederick Facebook group.


Sign up for the NYC regional listserv.


Southern California

Sign up for the Southern California regional listserv. Connect on Facebook.


Have an upcoming event? Host a lecture, potluck or happy hour in your region and publicize your local gathering in the next newsletter. Email details to Connie K. Ho.


“My Homeland” (Gordita Productions 2014), a short film directed by Alice Driver and photographer Rodrigo Jardón, traces the creative lives of a potter and a weaver in rural Arkansas. It recently won an award from Best Shorts, and it will be screening in spring 2015.

*Kimberly Wilmot Voss won the 2014 Carol DeMasters Award for Service to Food Journalism given by the Association of Food Journalists for her book, “The Food Section: Newspaper Women and the Culinary Community.”
Have news to share? Send to Connie K. Ho for the next issue. We reserve the right to edit for space.
Board of Directors
Linda Kramer Jenning,
Sandra Fish,
Susy Schultz,
  Vice President
Amy Resnick,
Sheila Solomon,
Angela Greiling Keane
Justine Griffin
Liz Seegert
Gina Setser
Erin Siegal McIntyre
Judy Miller
Pamela Moreland
Donna Myrow
Merrill Perlman
Hilary Powell
Kira Zalan

Regional Captains
Gwyneth Doland and Megan Kamerick,
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Jill Cox-Cordova, 
Atlanta, Georgia
Emily Beaver, 
Bay Area, California
Karen Cheung-Larivee, 
Boston, Massachusetts
Nancy Day and Sheila Solomon,
Chicago, Illinois
Sandra Fish, 
Denver, Colorado
Deirdre Bannon, Jennifer DePaul and Lisa Gillespie,
District of Columbia
Stephanie Yamkovenko, 
Frederick, Maryland
Solmaz Sharif, 
New York City
Susanna Ray, 
Seattle, Washington
Megan Sweas, 
Southern California

Advisory Board
Jill Geisler
Diana B. Henriques
Dori Maynard
Geneva Overholser
Lisa Stone

Justine Griffin and Merrill Perlman, Communications Co-Chairwomen
Connie K. Ho, Web Manager

Adrienne Lawrence, Interim Operations and CAMP Director
Kat Rowlands, Interim Development Director
Ankita Rao, Social Media Manager
Connie K. Ho, Web Manager

President’s Letter: Looking to 2015

By Linda Kramer Jenning, JAWS President

Listicles aside, I will spare you any year-end JAWS rundowns of top 20s, 10s or 5s. Let’s just say it has been a very interesting year. At the start of 2014, I did not expect to end the year as president of JAWS. But here I am.

And I am here for you.

So what can you expect from me in 2015? I plan to focus on getting JAWS in robust shape with a healthy budget (yes, that means fundraising) and stable staffing so that you can receive the programs and networking and support you want. Next year is a special year, our 30th anniversary, and that makes it an apt time to think about the state of our union. When you look at the mission of JAWS — to support the professional empowerment and personal growth of women in journalism and work toward a more accurate portrayal of the whole society — how far have we come? Where do we need to go? What are the next steps to get there? Let’s engage in this conversation throughout the year and have it culminate in a great program at the Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) in Montana, where we can celebrate our legacy and our progress and get inspired for the next 30 years.

This past month reminded me how our listserv offers some of the best conversations you can find anywhere on journalism and women and diversity. Where else but the JAWS listserv would I read the most insightful and thoughtful discussion of the Rolling Stone story on the University of Virginia? And where else would I find the most incisive and inspiring comments on #blacklivesmatter?

JAWS also is where I expect to find the creative brains to suggest a great slogan for our 30th anniversary ( and to propose stellar programs and speakers for our Oct. 9 to 11 CAMP at the Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish, Mont.

I wish you all joyous holidays and a new year that brings you closer to fulfilling your professional and personal dreams.

Linda KJ

Board member blog post

From Molly Ivins, to JAWS: Straight talk and fun

By Pamela Moreland, JAWS board member

Molly Ivins continues to give JAWS something to talk — and think — about.
That’s one of the biggest take-aways from a gathering of 30 Bay Area JAWS members and their friends at the Berkeley Rep production of “Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins” (image courtesy of Texas Observer). Kathleen Turner, the Academy Award and Tony Award nominee, starred in the one-woman play written by the Engel sisters, Margaret (better known as Peggy) and Allison, both JAWS veterans.

Going to see Turner channel Ivins has become a JAWS tradition: Earlier this year, JAWS members in Washington, D.C., saw Turner’s star-turn in the play, and others saw her in Philadelphia in 2010.

Read more here.

Call for CAMP 2015 workshops and speakers

By Gina Setser and Emily Shenk, CAMP Co-Chairs

The 30th anniversary JAWS CAMP needs a program that rockets newswomen into the future, so the board is turning to the sharpest minds anywhere for suggestions — you. Can you think of a panel or speaker who will give us all the boost we need?

Anyone may submit a proposal as an individual or as a team. JAWS members should feel free to brainstorm an idea on the listserv to flesh it out and find collaborators, then submit it to us here. Plan to be the prime organizer for your speaker/panel. Deadline is Jan. 15, 2015.

Please spread the word by sharing the link ( to your journalism-related networks.

Questions? Email

The Mentor Project

By Donna Myrow, JAWS board member

Are you planning a career transition, or a move into management, or are you starting to teach at a local college in 2015? Add the JAWS Mentor Project to your to-do list.

You can sign up to be a mentee or mentor no matter where you live, as long as you’re willing to keep in touch via email or telephone. We formalized our mentor program this year by matching up mentors and mentees not only at CAMP in the fall but through a year-round effort.

Mentoring can be very rewarding when you see someone succeed and benefit from a new symbiotic relationship. Ask for what you need.

Here are the easy steps:

  1. Renew your membership.
  2. Log in to the members-only site and create/update your profile.
  3. A Mentor/Mentee Google form will be sent to you.
  4. Look for a response form within two weeks.

Any questions, please contact Donna Myrow, Sheila Solomon or Bonnie Rollins.

Become a mentee or mentor. It’s a great way to start the new year.

JAWS slogan contest

By Nancy Day, JAWS member

The 2015 Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) in Whitefish, Mont., Oct. 9 to 11, is the 30th anniversary of JAWS. We want a snappy slogan to mark the occasion. In other words, a tagline.

The board has created a competition to create and choose this slogan. Details follow. First, some guidelines:
The best ones are pithy (S-H-O-R-T), memorable and include a key element of the organization — at best, its essence. When it hits the mark, it lasts for generations, as in “A mind is a terrible thing to waste,” UNCF (formerly the United Negro College Fund).

Think of iconic slogans associated with brands, causes, even states.
License plates: “Virginia is for ______.”
Insurance: “You’re in Good Hands with _____.”

Here are some hints and examples. Of course, we want to avoid clichés. This writer says a tagline should be short, but memorable trumps brief. The slogan/tagline will be used to attract CAMP sponsors as well as to publicize the organization’s goals, missions, accomplishments and anniversary.


  1. Up to 3 entries per person
  2. Deadline for entries: midnight, EST, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015
  3. Send to:
  4. Entries will be judged on pithiness, punchiness, relevance and stickiness (can’t get it out of your head)
  5. You must be a paid-up JAWS member to compete

The judges and gatekeeper:
Judges: Teresa Schmedding, president of ACES (American Copy Editors Society); Merrill Perlman, editor/consultant/teacher; Charreah Jackson, poet/speaker/editor; and Nancy Day, editor/teacher/writer.

Ethics enforcer and Code Guru: Lynn Sweet. You know her as the timekeeper for CAMP intros as well as the Chicago Sun-Times Washington bureau chief. She set up a special Gmail account for entries and will provide coded entries to the judges, no names, to avoid even the slightest hint of bias. She will disqualify entries missing the deadline (or too many from the same person). Lynn (and her team, should we be deluged with entries) will identify the winner (and any honorable mentions) via her super-secret coding system, and then the judges will announce the name(s).

The Grand Prize: One year’s free membership, JAWS T-shirt of your choice, a free drink and a toast from fellow CAMPers, 10 more seconds on your Friday night intro, plus praise, honor, fame, glory and another line on your résumé. If there are honorable mentions, you get just the praise, honor, etc., and maybe someone will buy you a drink and say you should have won ...

December BoardBytes 

By Sheila Solomon, JAWS Secretary

  • Membership renewal notices are being sent to about 500 of the 1,100 people in our database. Did you get yours?
  • Communications co-chairs Merrill Perlman and Justine Griffin send thanks to all the board members who’ve volunteered to write a blog for the monthly newsletter. If you’re interested in writing a post, or anything for the newsletter, please email Merrill or Justine.
  • Gina Sester and Emily Shenk, co-chairs for JAWS 30th anniversary CAMP, would like to hear your ideas for panels and speakers. Send them here.
  • And put on your thinking caps for the 30th anniversary slogan contest!

Visit the members-only site and log in to view full board minutes.

Regional gatherings recap

JAWS NYC: A small group of New York JAWS members gathered at the warm and welcoming Brooklyn apartment of Regional Captain Solmaz Sharif on Dec. 8. With Ruthie Padawer’s brownies and Ashley Milne-Tyte’s “devils on horseback” (baked bacon-wrapped prunes), among other offerings, we were not short of food! Among other things, we pledged to have more frequent meetings. At Liz Seegert’s suggestion, we’re stealing a page from the D.C. group and plan to mix up venues and organizers to attract more people.

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