Below are the current bylaws of the Tabletop Writers Guild:
Article I: Organization
Section 1.1. The name of this organization shall be Tabletop Writers Guild, hereafter referred to as ‘the Guild’.
Section 1.2. This Guild is not an established legal entity, but its intent is to operate in the spiritual guidelines of a nonprofit corporation.
Article II: Purpose
Section 2.1. The purpose of the Guild is to provide an online space for writers in tabletop gaming (the term ‘tabletop’ within and throughout collectively refers to board games, card games, and roleplaying games) to congregate, network, collaborate, support, and discuss the unique nature of writing about the hobby while fostering a greater appreciation of writing in general.
Article III: Membership
Section 3.1. Membership is open to any writer in the tabletop gaming hobby so long as they meet the following criteria:
- You must be someone with whom more than 50% of your regularly-created content (whether on the internet or traditional publication formats) is in written form. Furthermore:
- Those who publicly designate themselves primarily Game Reviewers, News or Content Editors, or General Content Creators must demonstrate that they have been generating content with regularity (at least once a month) for at least six months prior to applying.
- Those who publicly designate themselves primarily Rule Book Editors or Game Fiction Writers must demonstrate their rulebook contributions to at least two published games prior to applying.
- Those who publicly designate themselves primarily involving Tabletop RPG Content, please take special note: this Guild is not a design-focused community. If the majority of your RPG efforts involve editing or in-game fiction writing, you are welcome to apply, but this is not a place involving game creation, development, balancing, marketing, or other design-centric topics.
Section 3.2. Membership in the Guild shall be granted to any person upon approval of their application. Membership status is assessed at the start of each calendar year. Membership is non-transferrable.
Section 3.3. Each member of the Guild agrees to a) abide by the purposes and goals of the Guild; b) abide by these Bylaws, as amended from time to time; and c) abide by the Guild’s Code of Ethics, as amended from time to time.
Section 3.4. Each member in good standing carries with it one vote in the Guild, which are used in matters pertaining to decisions or actions submitted to the membership requiring approval, including annual elections for Board of Directors openings, proposed Bylaw changes, or Guild referendums. Voting by proxy is not permitted.
Section 3.5. Guild membership may be terminated upon the member’s resignation, death, inactivity, or expulsion. Members terminated due to inactivity are those who have failed to produce any publicly consumable content in the previous year. Members terminated as a result of expulsion may not attempt to renew Guild membership without obtaining at least 2/3 approval of all the directors.
Section 3.6. Any member may be suspended or expelled from the Guild with or without cause at the Board’s discretion if at least two-thirds 2/3 of all the directors approve that such a vote would be in the best interests of the Guild.
Article IV: Dues
Section 4.1. There are no annual dues for membership in the Guild.
Article V: Board of Directors
Section 5.1. The Board of Directors, referred to prior and hereafter as “the Board”, is the governing body of the Tabletop Writers Guild, which shall consist of 6 to 11 Directors. The number of Directors for the Guild will be decided upon just prior to each year’s annual elections by a Board vote. A decrease in Board size cannot eliminate a current Director.
Section 5.2. The duties of the Board include:
- Formulating Guild policies and procedures
- Conducting and helping maintain the daily operations of the Guild
- Establishing and direct committees
- Maintaining a record of all votes and decisions made by Guild membership and the Board of Directors
Section 5.3. The Board of Directors shall select, from within its membership, the elected officers of the Guild, consisting of the President, Vice President, and Secretary-Treasurer. These shall be established at the first scheduled Board meeting each calendar year, starting with the President. The Board may replace or remove officers by election at any time if they feel it will best serve the interests of the Guild.
Section 5.3.1. The duties of the President consist of:
- Being the principal officer of the Guild and seeing that all Guild Bylaws and policies are carried out.
- Having the authority to enter into agreements to conduct business furthering the best interests of the Guild’s mission.
- Being responsible for planning and chairing all Board meetings.
- Calling Special Meetings.
- Appointing special Committees as needed.
- Acting as an ex officio member of all Committees.
- Serving as a tie-breaker during votes which may otherwise be deadlocked.
Section 5.3.2. The duties of the Vice President consist of:
- Serving as and executing the powers of the President during that officer’s absence or inability to act.
- Executing any delegated powers by the President.
- Serving as Chairperson of the Nominating Committee.
Section 5.3.3. The duties of the Secretary-Treasurer consist of:
- Attending to the distribution of Guild-wide notices and announcements.
- Maintain written record of all formal actions and votes of the Guild. Additionally, they shall keep record of all Board meetings, including attendance, votes and discussions. If the Secretary is not present, the Board shall designate another Director as temporary Secretary-Treasurer.
- Serving as Chairperson of the Communications Committee.
Section 5.4. No Board members may occupy more than one officer position. Vacant officer positions shall be filled at the next Board meeting.
Section 5.5. The terms of Board membership shall begin on January 1 for a period of two years. Board terms shall ideally be staggered such that roughly half of the Board will be elected each year.
Section 5.6. The Board shall meet online at least quarterly in an official capacity to conduct the business of the Guild. Board meetings shall be chaired by the President, or, in the absence of the President, in order, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, or any Board member.
Section 5.7. Special or emergency Board meetings may be called by the President or a majority of Directors. Special Meetings shall require at least seven days notice be given to all Board members.
Section 5.8. All Board meetings are subject to quorum to conduct any official Guild business. For this Guild, quorum shall be simple majority of the current Board members.
Section 5.9. Guild members have the right to review any of the Board’s Guild meeting notes upon request.
Section 5.10. No more than two Guild members belonging to the same tabletop gaming content site may be present on the Board at any given time.
Section 5.11. Board membership may be considered vacated upon the member’s resignation from the Board, if they are no longer a Guild member, or due to inactivity. Board inactivity is considered those who have failed to show up for at least two consecutive quarterly meetings without cause or those who have not engaged in online Guild discussions for a full consecutive quarter. Vacated board positions may be appointed by vote from remaining Board members, with the appointee to serve the position for the remainder of that calendar year. If the Board ever consists of less than 6 Directors, an appointments must take place as soon as possible.
Section 5.12. Elections to the Board of Directors is as follows:
- Any Guild member in good standing is eligible for open Board of Directors positions.
- During the month of October, the Nomination Committee will actively solicit and consider suggestions for nominations from Guild members and compile a list of interested parties.
- In December, Guild members will be notified of the list of candidates and presented with a means of voting electronically using a ranked-choice system.
- Candidates with the most votes will be elected to the Board starting January 1 of the following year.
Section 5.13. A member of the Board may be recalled under two circumstances:
- Any Guild member may petition to recall a member of the board. This petition must explain their current grievances in reason for the recall and must secure the backing of at least 25% of current Guild members, to be filed with the Secretary-Treasurer. Submitted names will then be contacted for validity and a Special Meeting will be called for the Board to review. If accurate, a recall vote will be sent to all Guild members. A simple majority is required for removal.
- The Board itself may vote to recall a director in cases such as fraud, theft, or other acts against the integrity of the Guild. A Special Meeting will be called for the Board to review verifiable reasons for removal. If enough cause is found, a Board vote will be cast, requiring 2/3 of directors to approve removal.
Article VI: Committees
Section 6.1. The Board shall establish principal Standing Committees to carry out the functions and goals of the Guild. Such Standing Committees shall report monthly to the Executive Committee and may be disbanded or reformed as necessary.
Section 6.2. The current Standing Committees consist of: the Executive Committee, the Nomination Committee, the Communications Committee, the Membership Committee, and the Ethics Committee.
Section 6.2.1. The Executive Committee shall:
- Consist of the Officers of the Guild, the chairpersons of the Standing Committees, and one Guild member elected at-large from the membership if the total membership is under 50 or two members if total membership exceeds 50 members. At-large roles last for the current year and are elected quarterly based on vacancy.
- Manage the daily issues of the Guild.
- Meet monthly to convey the current business of the guild.
- Be chaired by the President, or, in the absence of the President, in order, Vice President or Secretary-Treasurer.
Section 6.2.2. The Nomination Committee shall:
- Consist of 3-5 Board members, chaired by the Vice President.
- Review all new Guild membership requests for validity and record preliminary recommendations.
- Oversee the nomination process of annual elections.
Section 6.2.3. The Communications Committee shall:
- Consist of 3-5 Board members, chaired by the Secretary-Treasurer.
- Promote Guild membership.
- Publish the Guild newsletter and other official announcements.
- Maintain the Guild website.
- Serve as the primary outside contact for the Guild, including email and social media.
Section 6.2.4. The Membership Committee shall:
- Consist of 3-5 Board members, chaired by committee nomination
- Maintain the Guild membership list.
- Serve as primary contact for existing Guild member issues.
- Help promote, organize, and lead discussion in the Guild’s online forums
- Assist in part as forum moderators.
- Approve and serve as liaisons to any Member Committees
Section 6.2.5. The Ethics Committee shall:
- Consist of 2 Board members, chaired by committee nomination
- Maintain and manage the Guild’s Code of Ethics policy.
- Investigate any claims of Code of Ethics violations and report findings to the Guild Officers.
Section 6.3. The Board may create other committees, either temporarily or permanently, as deemed necessary for Guild purposes, and appoint members to them.
Section 6.4. Guild members may also request the formation of Member Committees for specific outreach, support, or other focused purposes.
- To establish a Member Committee, it must have a clear goal to help better the mission of the Guild and consist of a minimum of 3 Guild members. It must also meet at least once a month to be considered active. The request is submitted to the Membership Committee for review to be formally recognized. If approved, it will get its own conversation space and be appointed a Board member liaison.
- Member Committees are member-led and member-driven. Committee members are free to establish their own meeting schedule and chairperson.
- Member Committees are encouraged to work with their Board liaison to bring formal suggestions and recommendations to the attention of the directors.
- The Board may disband any Member Committee if it feels it has become inactive or has abused or abandoned its stated purpose.
Section 6.5. A committee shall incur no reimbursable expense from the Guild without prior Board approval.
Article VII: Referendums
Section 7.1. The Guild membership may bring any issue concerning the Guild to a referendum vote by submitting a petition with the backing of at least 20% of the current Guild members to the Secretary-Treasurer. Submitted names will then be contacted for validity and a Special Meeting will be called for the Board to review. If accurate, a referendum vote will be called within 30 days of receiving the petition, upon which the vote will be sent to all Guild members. A simple majority is required for passage.
Article VIII: Amendments
Section 8.1. Proposed Bylaw amendments shall be considered annually by the Board during the first quarterly meeting of each year. Any member in good standing may recommend a change in the Tabletop Writers Guild Bylaws by submitting suggested changes to the Membership Committee.
Section 8.2. If any Bylaw amendment proposals exist, each will be addressed individually and a recommendation for or against will be made by the Executive Committee, which in these capacities will also serve as a Bylaws Committee.
Section 8.1. The Board will submit all proposed amendments, with recommendations of the Executive Committee, to the Guild for a vote within 30 days of the first quarterly Board meeting in which Bylaw amendments were brought up. This shall include a written explanation of the need for the proposed changes and the wording of all parts of the current Bylaws that would be replaced, affected, or deleted. Bylaws may be amended with a 2/3 approval of Guild members.
1-30-19: Bylaws Enacted