Our Bylaws

Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets
Amended Fall 2017

Bylaws of the Constitution of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets


The Board of Directors is defined as the president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, membership chair, regional vice-presidents and all past presidents of the WFOP.

Sec.  1. To be eligible for the office of president, a member must have previously served the WFOP in some other office, or be approved by the Board of Directors.

Sec.  2. The president and other officers of the Fellowship shall hold the corresponding offices in the said Board of Directors and shall arrange for all meetings of the Board and discharge all duties of officers of the said Board.

Sec.  3. The primary duty of the Board of Directors is to make and carry out long-range plans for the Fellowship, tending to increase its membership and influence, and to decide on programs to be  followed, and, in general, to supervise  the activities of the Fellowship.

Sec.  4.  It shall appoint officers to fill vacancies that may occur during the period between meetings of the Fellowship and shall, in general, act as Executive Committee for the Fellowship in any emergency or contingency when it may be impractical to get action by a general meeting of the Fellowship.


Sec.  1.  Any person who is a resident or former resident of the State of Wisconsin and who is interested in the aims and endeavors of the Fellowship shall be eligible to become a member.

Sec.  2.  A person lacking only the residential qualifications may become an Active member upon invitation of the president and the membership chair. A member must be a resident of Wisconsin to hold office.

Sec. 3.  Members shall be classified as Active, Continued, Lifetime, Honorary and Patron.

(A).   An Active member is one who is or has been a resident of Wisconsin, is interested in the aims and endeavors of the Fellowship, and has paid dues. Student members are Active members, who, as long as they are full-time students, shall pay one half (1/2) the Active dues.

 (B). A Continued member is an Active member who cannot pay dues, either permanently or temporarily, whose membership is approved by the Board of Directors.

(C). A Lifetime member is an Active member who: attains the age of seventy (70) years; has been a member for at least ten (10) years; and has made an outstanding contribution to the welfare and activities of the Fellowship as declared by unanimous consent of the Board of Directors and a majority of the membership present at the next general business meeting. Lifetime members shall pay no dues.  

(D,1). An Honorary member is an individual or corporation which donated a substantial amount to the Fellowship; or an individual who is well-known in literary or educational fields, and has enhanced the Fellowship as a contest judge, program presenter or through publicity. An Honorary member is appointed for one year and shall pay no dues.

2).  Honorary membership must be approved by the Board of Directors. Monies received from an Honorary membership shall be considered a donation to a non-profit organiza-tion. Such monies are not dues and do not confer Active membership rights.  Honorary members may not vote or hold any office.

(E). A  Patron member prior to the adoption of this article  shall become an Active member, and shall pay no dues.

(G). Student, Continued, Lifetime and Honorary members prior to the adoption of this article shall retain their membership status and be governed by Article II, Section 3 of these bylaws.

Sec. 4.  Dues. (A). Membership in the Fellowship shall terminate if a member is delin-quent in the payment of dues, is not a Continued or Lifetime member, and has been appropriately notified in writing or by email.

(B). An Active member is one whose dues are paid for the current year, starting January 1 and ending December 31st.  Delinquent members will be notified of their delinquency by January 31st ,  and those who have not renewed by February 15th will be dropped from the membership roster.

(C). Only new members joining at the fall conference or later become members for the rest of that year and the following one (for example, November and December of Calendar Year 2014 and all of 2015).  Previous Active members who renew or rejoin at any time during a calendar year will have their dues applied to that year only.

(D). Delinquent members are disallowed from participating in WFOP’s activities and receiving communications and benefits normally granted to currently paid members, unless the Fellowship’s Board specifically grants an exemption.

 (E). The right to vote and hold office in the Fellowship is restricted to Lifetime members and Active members not delinquent in the payment of dues.


Sec.  1.  The president shall preside at all meetings of the Fellowship; appoint all committees not otherwise provided for; approve all orders drawn on the treasury; and will generally supervise the business of the organization.

Sec.  2.  The vice-president shall preside at meetings and perform the other duties of the president in the absence or incapacitation of that officer, shall represent the president at regional meetings when requested to do so, and shall assist in planning programs for statewide meetings of the organization.

 A). The vice-president shall chair the nominations committee for the slate of officers of the Fellowship. Regional vice-presidents constitute the nominations committee.

Sec.  3.  The secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the Fellowship, and shall also perform such duties as required. The secretary shall keep a record of membership, file all written reports of committees, and attend to all correspondence.

Sec.  4.  The treasurer shall hold in trust the funds in the general treasury, keep a strict account of all money received, and disburse no money except upon order approved by the president. The treasurer shall give a financial report at each general business meeting.

Sec.  5.  The membership chair shall maintain accurate, up-to-date lists of the members of the Fellowship, and provide appropriate information to the Board of Directors and the chairpersons of the Fellowship’s literary contests.

Sec.  6.  Regional vice-presidents shall develop, coordinate, and oversee on-going WFOP activities within their respective regions of representation. In conjunction with the Fellowship’s Conference Planning Committee, they shall plan statewide conferences designated for their area.


The newsletter editor, the webmaster, the (co) chairs of the Fellowship’s Triad, Muse, and Chapbook contests, and the Conference Planning Coordinator [publicity chairs, newsletter editors, website managers, calendar business manager not included] shall provide advice and counsel to the Board of Directors, by attending Board meetings or otherwise communicating appropriately with the Board or its officers. However, these advisory members will have no voting powers in policy determinations of the Board.


Committees shall be appointed by the president, as needed, and approved by the Board of Directors.


Sec.  1. The Board of Directors shall meet prior to each spring and fall conference, and at other times of the year, as needed, at the call of the president.

Sec.  2.  Adequate notice of each meeting [either in writing or on-line] shall be given to all members prior to such meeting.

Sec. 3. Rarely, in cases of urgency, or practical expediency, the president may conduct email business with the organization’s elected officers, with the understanding that any actions or decisions made during those sessions will be subject to strict review by the Board.

Sec.  3.  All meetings of the Fellowship shall be conducted in accordance with the general principles of “Robert’s Rules of Order.”

Sec.  4.  A quorum is required at any Fellowship meeting for business to be conducted. For a general meeting, a quorum is a simple majority of those present. For a meeting of the Board of Directors, a quorum is a majority of the elected members of the Board, attending in person or by proxy

Sec.  5.  The time between the fall election of new officers and their installation shall be considered a time in which all records, correspondence, files, monies and all other appurtenances pertaining to said offices shall be transferred in a timely manner to the duly elected officers.


Sec.  1.  Annual dues shall be established by the Board of Directors. A proposed change in dues shall be presented for a first reading at a general business meeting. The proposed change will be voted on at the next subsequent general business meeting. A simple majority of members present is required for the change to be adopted.

Sec.  2.  Annual dues shall be payable at the beginning of the calendar year, which will also be the beginning of the fiscal year.


Sec.  1.  Elections shall be by written, voice and electronic voting, at the discretion of the board.

Sec.  2.  Officers shall assume the responsibilities of their offices on January 1 of the year following the fall conference at which they were elected.


(Any) Proposed amendments to these Bylaws shall be submitted to the Board of Directors. If approved by the Board, the proposed amendment(s) shall be presented to a first reading at the next general meeting.  The proposed amendment(s) will be then voted on at the subsequent general meeting. A two-thirds (2/3) vote of members present is necessary for the amendment(s) to be adopted.                        

Revised:  October 31, 2017