To Our Friends,
July 1, 2015 — June 30, 2016 was a productive year for CLMP by all measures. We met our five key goals: raising the organizational capacity of small literary publishers, helping them to connect writers with readers, facilitating group action, advocating on behalf of our constituents, and generating value for the field. Our programs and services directly benefitted 408 member publishers; a public audience of over 7,500; and an indirect audience of readers, writers, librarians, booksellers, and other literary stakeholders numbering in the many thousands.
Year-round, CLMP provided technical assistance to publishers through workshops/clinics/roundtables, conferences, one-on-one mentorships—both in-person and virtually—and facilitation of peer-to-peer learning. Areas of guidance included publishing best practices, developing adaptive responses to an evolving publishing ecosystem, and improving non-profit management. Our Literary Writers Conference helped emerging writers maneuver the complexities of publishing. As CLMP has done since 1997, we offered the New York State Technical Assistance Program [NYTAP], providing services to 150 publishers throughout the State.
CLMP’s FY2016 public programs engaged a diverse audience with such offerings as panel discussions at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference; a popular Literary Writers Conference} New York City; Periodically Speaking, a series of panels hosted by the New York Public Library; and an innovative Lit Mag Adoption program for MFA writing candidates. A high point was recognizing excellence in the areas of fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and literary magazines with our Firecracker Awards.
Throughout the year, CLMP’s team maintained on-line databases, moderated listservs, delivered networking opportunities, and published expert technical assistance documents. Our recently upgraded website served as a robust go-to compendium of information and resources.
As part of our ongoing strategic planning process, in August 2015, we concluded the final phase of EmcArts’ Incubating Innovation program. This competitive, two-year consultation focused on conceptualizing and testing innovative strategies for strengthening adaptive capacities. Board and staff efforts translated into rethinking CLMP’s programming mix; exploring and reframing concepts of “advocacy” and “community”; and preparing for an organization-wide rebranding slated to launch in July 2017, concurrent with the start of our year-long 50th Anniversary Celebration.
Despite the challenges of unprecedented staff turnover and a decline in philanthropic giving experienced industry-wide, we closed out the year with a healthy reserve of $36,000. Thanks to CLMP’s many friends and dedicated Board members, our “Chinese Food Under the Manhattan Bridge: a Fall Gala,” complete with celebrity spelling bee, generated $26,000 in sponsorships and admissions.