FSPA Bylaws

ARTICLE I – NAME
The name of this society shall be FLORIDA STATE POETS ASSOCIATION, INC., a member of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Inc. hereinafter referred to as FSPA and NFSPS respectively.

ARTICLE II – OBJECTIVES
The objectives of FSPA shall be to further the purposes of the NFSPS in securing fuller public recognition of the art of poetry; stimulating a greater and more intelligent appreciation of poetry; providing opportunities and incentives for writing, reading and the enjoyment of poetry.

ARTICLE III – MEMBERS
Section 1 Members of FSPA shall be persons who are in accord with the objectives set forth in ARTICLE II. Members shall be classified as Active (resident or non-resident) or Honorary.

Section 2 Membership Classifications:
A. Active: An active member is one whose current annual dues have been paid in accordance with the provisions set forth in these bylaws.
B. Honorary: The Executive Board (see Article VII, Section 1) may bestow Honorary Membership upon outstanding members who have made a contribution to the aims and objectives of FSPA. The total number of Honorary members in FSPA at any time shall not exceed ten (10). Honorary members shall be exempt from the payment of dues.
C. Honorary Chancellor(s): The Executive Board may bestow Honorary Chancellorship upon outstanding individuals recognized as significant contributors to the advancement and promotion of poetry in the State of Florida.

Section 3 Membership:
A. Application for membership and membership renewals shall be submitted to the Membership Chair.
B. The Executive Board may refuse renewal of membership to any member upon proof of conduct which conflicts with the bylaws and rules of FSPA, provided written notice is given such member.
C. Only current members in good standing shall be eligible to vote and hold office in FSPA.
D. Any member who wishes to resign shall send a letter of resignation to the Membership Chair.

Section 4 Chapters:
A. A Poetry Society wishing to become a chartered chapter of FSPA shall apply to the Membership Chair.
B. Chartered Chapters must have a President and a minimum of five paid members.

ARTICLE IV – DUES AND FINANCES
A. Annual dues for active members shall include NFSPS dues and FSPA dues and shall be payable by November 1.
B. Members who have not renewed by January 15 of the following year shall be deleted from the membership rolls without notice.
C. The FSPA Treasurer shall submit to the NFSPS Treasurer the required dues for each active member.

ARTICLE V – OFFICERS
Section 1 Officers:
The elected officers shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Section 2 Election:
A. A Nominating Committee of three members shall be elected at the October meeting preceding the election year.
B. The Nominating Committee shall prepare a slate to be presented at the spring meeting, at which time nominations from the floor may be made by any member attending.
C. The official ballot shall include the names of nominees presented on the slate of the Nominating Committee and also include those who were nominated from the floor. There shall also be a line for write-in votes.
D. The ballot shall be inserted in the next issue of the FSPA newsletter.
E. The ballot shall be returned by September 15 and counted by the three-member committee.
F. Results shall be announced at the fall meeting.

Section 3 Term:
A. Officers shall serve for a term of two years.
B. Except for the Treasurer, no officer may serve more than two (2) terms consecutively.
C. The Treasurer may not serve more than three (3) terms consecutively.
D. Officers shall assume their duties on November 1.

Section 4 A vacancy occurring in any office except the presidency shall be filled by the Executive Board.

Section 5 Duties of Officers: All officers shall perform their duties as specified in the Bylaws. All officers shall keep files of their activities and shall transfer such files to their successors at the end of their term.
A. The President shall preside at all meetings of FSPA; appoint the Finance Committee; appoint the
Parliamentarian; appoint all Standing Committee Chairmen; be ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee.
B. The Vice President shall assume the duties of the President in the absence of that officer and shall serve as Chairman of the Bylaws Committee.
C. The Secretary shall record the minutes of all meetings of FSPA and be custodian of all official papers (i.e., the Charter, Bylaws, Standing Rules), etc. The Secretary shall conduct all regular correspondence of FSPA and such other communications as directed by the President or the Executive Board; shall communicate FSPA news to NFSPS Strophes.
D. The Treasurer shall pay all bills as authorized; oversee and record receipts and disbursements of all monies of FSPA; submit a report at each business meeting; have charge of all financial records and maintain bank accounts in the name of Florida State Poets Association, Inc., for the deposit of all funds; make records available to the Executive Board on request; serve as chairman of the Finance Committee.

ARTICLE VI – MEETINGS
Section 1 At least two (2) business meetings shall be scheduled annually; more at the President’s discretion. The budget shall be submitted for approval each year at the General meeting of the Annual Convention in October.; The Nominating Committee shall be elected every other year, during the October Convention, on non-election years; the nominating committee shall announce its slate of officers at the Spring Fling in April of the election year, and the ballot shall be published in the following newsletter; the
delegates to NFSPS annual convention shall be appointed and announced at the Spring Fling in April. A letter or email must be sent to the NFSPS Secretary defining the delegates prior to three weeks before the National Convention.
Section 2 All General Membership meetings shall be open to all members.
Section 3 Quorum:
A. At each business meeting, five (5) members of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum in order to conduct business.
B. At the annual meeting, twenty (20) members shall constitute a quorum in order to conduct business.
C. Voting by proxy, either verbal or written, shall not be permitted, except as outlined in ARTICLE VII, Section 2.

ARTICLE VII – EXECUTIVE BOARD
Section 1 The Executive Board shall consist of the elected officers and Chapter Presidents. The Parliamentarian shall serve as advisor to the Board.
Section 2 If a chapter president cannot attend a board meeting, they may appoint, in their absence, a representative from their chapter who will attend, with full privilege to vote at that meeting only. This request must be made to the Executive Board in a signed letter from the chapter president, naming the particular representative chosen for that one time privilege.
Section 3 The Executive Board may transact business by mail, teleconferencing or email.

ARTICLE VIII – COMMITTEES
Section 1 Standing Committee:
The Standing Committees shall be: Anthology Editor, Bylaws, Finance, Historian, Membership, Newsletter Editor, Adult Contests and Student Contests.
Section 2 Duties of the Standing Committees:
A. The Anthology Editor shall be responsible for the compilation, publication and distribution of the annual FSPA Anthology.
B. The Bylaws Committee shall consider amendments to the FSPA bylaws and place them in proper form to be presented to the members for action as specified in Article XII.
C. The Contest Chairs shall contact contest sponsors; provide the Newsletter Editor with a list of contests and rules; sort, catalog and supervise all other matters relating to the FSPA Annual Contests in Accordance with Article IX.
D. The Finance Committee shall consist of the Treasurer and two other members. They shall prepare an annual budget and submit it in October to the Executive Board for approval. The Committee shall provide for an audit of the books to be performed at the annual meeting. A report
of that audit shall be printed in the next issue of the newsletter. The audit shall be made by three (3) members of FSPA approved by the Executive Board.
E. The Historian shall maintain a cumulative log of progress of FSPA including newspaper and other media publicity.
F. The Membership Chair shall be responsible for collecting dues, updating the membership list, assisting with the organization of new FSPA Chapters and promoting membership.
G. The Newsletter Editor shall be responsible for the publication and distribution of the quarterly Newsletter.
Section 3 Special Committees:
Special committees may be created or appointed by the President.
Section 4 Business Transactions:
Committees may transact business by mail, teleconferencing or email.

ARTICLE IX – CONTESTS
Section 1 Annual FSPA Adult Contest
A. All poems entered in the annual contest shall be mailed to the Contest Chair who shall hold in confidence all clues to the identity of the contestants.
B. If it is necessary to eliminate submitted poems for any reason, the Contest Chair shall do such elimination.
C. The Contest Chair shall choose judges not affiliated with FSPA who shall judge each annual FSPA Contest.
D. The winners shall be announced at the annual convention.
E. All entries other than winners shall be destroyed one month after results of the contest have been announced.
Section 2 FSPA Student Contest
FSPA shall conduct an annual Student Contest, which shall be open to all students in Florida Schools, from grade six (6) through grade twelve (12) and their home-schooled equivalent. The student contest shall be conducted by the Student Awards Chair in agreement with the National Manningham Rules.
A. The Chair shall provide Florida School Districts with timely notification and a list of rules and shall also provide them with a winners list. The Chair may also provide contest information to private and parochial schools as well as individual teachers and students who wish to participate.
B. The Student Contest Chair shall chose qualified judges not affiliated with FSPA who shall judge each annual FSPA student contest.
C. If it is necessary to eliminate submitted poems for any reason, the Youth Awards Chair shall do such elimination.
D. A winners list shall be provided to the Executive Board and to the Newsletter Editor.
E. All entries other than winners shall be destroyed one month after contest results have been announced.
Section 3 Other Contests
Nothing in these bylaws shall restrict other FSPA contests, such as mini-contests in the newsletter.

ARTICLE X – PUBLICATIONS
Section 1 FSPA shall issue an official quarterly newsletter, the contents of which shall be determined by the Newsletter Editor.
Section 2 FSPA may issue such books, anthologies and other publications as recommended by the Executive Board and approved by the General Membership.

ARTICLE XI – PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
The rules contained in the current Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern FSPA in all cases where they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws or any special rules of order FSPA may duly adopt.

ARTICLE XII – AMENDMENT TO BYLAWS
Amendments or revisions to these Bylaws proposed by an FSPA Chapter or active member shall be filed with the Bylaws Committee. The committee shall put each proposed amendment or revision in proper form and present it to the Executive Board for their recommendations. It must then be presented to the General Membership in at least one business meeting for possible revision. Adoption is contingent upon approval by two-thirds (2/3) of those members voting. The Bylaws Committee will give an accurate report
of the voting at the following business meeting.

ARTICLE XIII – DISSOLUTION
As required by the Internal Revenue Service, upon dissolution of the Florida State Poets Association, Inc., the Association’s funds shall be distributed to a literary or educational organization exempt under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. None of the funds shall inure to the benefit of individuals.
Amendment I: General meetings will be held at least twice a year; including an April meeting, hosted as a ‘Spring Fling’ and an October convention meeting.

Historical Notes:

  • FSPA Incorporated 1974
  • 1st Bylaws ratified 1987
  • 1987 Bylaws revised 1995
  • Ratified by membership vote 1995
  • 1995 Bylaws revised 1998
  • Ratified by membership vote 1998
  • 1998 Bylaws revised 2002
  • Ratified by membership vote 2002
  • Amendment by membership vote 2004
  • Amendment by membership vote 2007
  • Amendment by membership vote 2014