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2020 – looking back, looking forward

Regardless of the plans you started the year 2020 with, it’s likely a safe assumption to say that things didn’t go as planned. But as we close out the year that was, we want to share with you some of the highlights from TAA that have kept us going strong and remaining optimistic for an even brighter future ahead with you in 2021.

Despite the unexpected events and disruptions the pandemic brought to the world around us, TAA has continued to serve the textbook and academic writing community by maintaining our long-standing tradition of quality programs and resources while finding new opportunities to adapt to the changing environment, offer more online services, and develop new membership benefits for the years ahead.

Consistent quality

As an organization, we have continued to offer resources throughout 2020 including more than 200 published blog articles, eight live webinars, 28 TweetChat events, and our quarterly print newsletter. We were also pleased to recognize 29 award-winning textbooks as part of the 2020 Textbook Awards Program.

Demonstrated adaptability

When faced with social distancing requirements that prevented our face-to-face conference event in San Diego, TAA delivered an online Summer Webinar Series experience with high-quality, interactive sessions. And based on the success of this year’s efforts, we’re going virtual for the 2021 conference which will kick off with a half day of programming on June 18, continuing June 21-24.

Many of our trusted workshop presenters have adapted as well, supporting our institutional members with a new series of virtual workshops and writing retreat opportunities.

As the year came to a close, we made some final changes by upgrading our website platform to provide mobile-responsive features for a better browsing experience on mobile devices, enhanced services, and additional conveniences like membership auto-renewal options for most member types.

Continued growth

Last, but not least, we continue to grow as a membership community, having welcomed nearly 600 new members to TAA in 2020.

We continue to add to our offerings, with 2020 ushering in new e-book downloads, templates & samples, presentations on demand, and relevant links to our resource libraries. We also were proud to announce the release of our latest publication, Guide to Making Time to Write: 100+ Time & Productivity Management Tips for Textbook and Academic Authors, available for order in print or e-book formats.

The TAA Writing Gym Program was officially launched this year serving more than 100 members during the summer and fall cohorts. This new program provides six weeks of accountability for gym members as they work on developing a routine of writing productivity while focusing on their individual writing goals. Our next gym is scheduled for March 15 – April 26, 2021.

In response to the need for personal motivation and accountability expressed by many of our members, we have also developed a Month of Motivation program scheduled to premiere in February 2021 which will include daily motivational email messaging, three weekly virtual writing sessions for participants, and more.

With a lineup of webinars, a virtual conference, new writing accountability programs, and more planned for 2021, another amazing year is on the horizon and we thank you for being a part of it with us.

Wishing you and yours a safe and happy new year ahead. Happy writing!

Eric Schmieder

Eric Schmieder is the Membership Marketing Manager for TAA. He has taught computer technology concepts to curriculum, continuing education, and corporate training students since 2001. A lifelong learner, teacher, and textbook author, Eric seeks to use technology in ways that improve results in his daily processes and in the lives of those he serves. His latest textbook, Web, Database, and Programming: A foundational approach to data-driven application development using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, MySQL, and PHP, First Edition, is available now through Sentia Publishing.