1) Introduction to the Committee
The Literature Committee was set up in May 2012, to prepare for the first World Service Conference. Our first goals were coming up with a process for creating and approving new UA literature, making sense of the jumble of literature on the website (including whether it needed to be conference-approved or not), getting wide input on what kinds of new literature the Fellowship was looking for, and starting to create some new pieces of literature. These last two things are an ongoing effort, and indeed, we will have several activities around them at this year’s Conference.
One of the principles that we are following on the Literature Committee is that we require substantial unanimity around both the creation of new literature, and the processes we follow to create and approve it. This is to ensure that the literature we create is in full accordance with the UA principals, and to help make sure it will stand the test of time.
For this reason, we are asking you to read our proposals ahead of the Conference, and make sure you understand them. If you have any questions, we ask that you raise them right away, as otherwise there may not be enough time to address them adequately during the Motions session.
In fact, we will be proposing the Principles for the Literature Committee for approval by the Conference, so please read them now, especially the definitions of the different kinds of literature, and what “conference approved” means:
Drawing on these principles, the UA Traditions, the practices of other 12 Step Programs, and our own experience, strength and hope, we have drafted a process for creating and approving new literature.
It is, by necessity, tediously detailed, but please read it enough to understand how the basic process works, as we will also be presenting this for approval:
- A new piece of literature is created and edited.
- It is reviewed and approved by the Literature Committee.
- It is reviewed and approved by the GSB (at present, the GSB consists of the very same people as the WSC, but this will almost certainly change in the future, as the service structure of UA becomes more defined).
- It is reviewed and approved by the WSC, whereupon it becomes “conference approved.”
- At each stage, if we cannot achieve substantial agreement, the piece can be sent back for further editing and then resubmission.
- If a piece is rejected multiple times, it may be shelved indefinitely.
Although the whole process has not yet been approved by the Conference, we have been following UA principles and “acting as if”—proceeding as though these procedures were already in place. In large part, this has been to test the proposed procedures and make sure they are workable. (The other goal was to actually get some “conference approved literature” out of this conference, subject to God’s will and the Group Conscience.)
We have now walked several pieces of literature through the approval process, with both positive and negatives outcomes. From the results so far, we believe that our procedures are robust: the objections given to the rejected pieces seem reasonable, although the full test will come when these pieces are revised and resubmitted. Details of the approved pieces (ready for Conference review and, hopefully, approval) are given below.
We rounded out the past year with a group inventory, and you are invited to read that for insight into the committee:
If you are interested in joining the committee or just finding out more information than the brief summary here, then please explore the full Literature Committee section of the 9th Tradition website, which includes minutes from our meetings, plus drafts of the projects we are working on:
2) Committee Canvassing
An open discussion with current committee members and people interested in the work of the Literature Committee. We are also expecting to hold a workshop on Literature, which will include the following:
- A review of the literature “Wish List”—the running list of suggestions for new literature—with the opportunity to make new suggestions and give feedback on the existing list.
- A presentation of some sample print formats and styles, with the opportunity to give feedback and suggestions.
- A review of a couple of pieces of new literature we are starting to work on, including some simple writing exercises around them.
3) Nominations & Elections
Nominations will be accepted for Chair and Secretary, and for additional positions depending on the levels of interest. In general, we ask that nominees for Chair and Secretary have experience serving on the Literature Committee; since at this stage that’s a very limited pool of possible candidates, we suggest that experience with literature committees in other programs is also suitable (bearing in mind that our approach and procedures may differ in important ways).
Elections will be held using the voting process adopted by the NY Intergroup—it’s accountable and confidential, but doesn’t require sending people out of the room while votes are cast.
For the Literature Committee, we are looking for people with skills and experience in one or more of the following areas:
- Proof reading
- Desktop publishing
- Ebook publishing
- Graphic design
- Web design
- Web publishing
- Sound engineering
- Video recording
- Video publishing
- Project management
A phone, high speed Internet connection and email account are seen as essential to all roles. Microsoft Word is not essential, but it is helpful to be able to create and edit documents in Word format. Likewise, the ability to create PDF files is helpful (this is built into Macintosh computers; free software such as CutePDF can be used for Windows PCs). More specialized software and hardware will be required for some roles.
The chair’s main tasks are
- Chairing meetings
- Recruiting new members to the committee
- Making sure that work gets done
The secretary’s main tasks are
- Taking accurate, succinct notes at committee meetings and compiling and distributing the meeting minutes
- Creating and distributing the meeting agendas
- Posting meetings minutes, agendas, and working documents to the 9th Tradition website
The GSB rep’s main tasks are
- Being available on the monthly GSB calls to provide information about the Literature Committee and its activities, and answer questions that GSRs may have about the Literature Committee
The people to do the hard work of actually creating, publishing and distributing new literature! Committee members’ responsibilities include:
- Attending committee meetings, check minutes for accuracy
- Proofing literature drafts for content, typos and grammatical errors
- Volunteering for tasks and activities related to the committee’s work
N.B. As the service structure of UA becomes more defined, we expect that the operational aspects of creating literature (printing, distribution, etc.) will migrate to the GSB. This is probably several years away, at least, and for the time being, we think it makes sense to include these functions within the WSC committee.
4) Motions to the World Service Conference
The motions below are proposed by the Literature Committee. It is possible that additional motions will come out of the discussion sessions and workgroups. The comments in italics are for guidance and are not part of the motions.
L1: The World Service Conference approves and adopts the following document as the guiding principles for the Conference’s Literature Committee, in addition to the principles embodied in the 12 Steps and the 12 Traditions:
This has been reviewed and approved by the Literature Committee and by the GSB.
L2: The World Service Conference approves and adopts the following document as the procedures to be followed for creating/approving new literature for the Underearners Anonymous program:
This has been reviewed and approved by the Literature Committee and by the GSB.
L3: Withdrawn (The Literature Committee was intending to offer a Style Guide for ratification by the Conference, but this is not ready. With the understanding that things will be ready in God’s time not our own, we hope to be able to present this at a future WSC.)
L4: The World Service Conference approves the Symptoms of Underearning, as follows, as literature for the Underearners Anonymous program:
This is the same as the version currently on the UA website, which has been reviewed and approved by the Literature Committee and the GSB.
L5: The World Service Conference approves the Tools of Underearners Anonymous, as follows, as literature for the Underearners Anonymous program:
The version on the website has been revised to reflect the current UA recommendation regarding sponsorship, as well as minor spelling and grammatical corrections. It has been reviewed and approved by the Literature Committee and the GSB.
L6: The World Service Conference approves About Underearners Anonymous, as follows, as literature for the Underearners Anonymous program:
The version on the website has been revised to reflect the current UA suggestion regarding sponsorship and minor spelling and grammatical corrections. It has been reviewed and approved by the Literature Committee and the GSB.
L7: The Literature Page of the UA website should be re-designed under the direction of the Literature Committee.
On the UA website, the Literature page is an unsorted jumble of meeting formats, half-finished documents, worksheets and templates and, somewhere in there, a few pieces of actual literature. Almost all the documents inadvertently break the anonymity of the authors or other people who worked on them.
The Literature Committee has voted to redesign the page so it is organized into sections with explanations of the purpose and usage of each section, and add a mechanism for the committee to replace files on the site or upload new ones. The planned sections are:
- Conference Approved Literature
- Service Literature
- Worksheets & Templates
- Other Literature
(A quote for this has been requested from the webmaster, but he has not responded to three requests.)
L8: An Audio Recordings page should be added to the UA website, under the direction of the Literature Committee.
UA now has many great recordings that are scattered in miscellaneous places, making them difficult to find, and at risk of being lost.
The Literature Committee has voted to create a page on the website devoted to these recordings and add a mechanism for the committee to replace files on the site or upload new ones. (A quote for this has been requested from the webmaster, but he has not responded to three requests.)