Executive Board & Volunteer Positions

Executive Board

Benefits of Being a Board Member

  • Engage in meaningful public service
  • Gain experience working for an arts non-profit
  • Develop professional contacts and friendships in the literary arts community
  • Support and promote poets and poetry statewide

OPA Board Member Responsibilities

  • Board members attend monthly meetings via Zoom.
  • Business will also be done by email between meetings (sometimes just discussion, other times motions and votes).
  • The Board consists of five officers and four at-large members. Officers have specific duties (see Constitution Article V & VI). At-large members have no specified duties beyond attending meetings.
  • However, OPA has no paid staff. The Board is a working board. Board members should be prepared to take on some volunteer work above and beyond attending meetings. This may consist of one-time projects or tasks, periodically recurring tasks, or ongoing responsibilities.
  • Board members are elected by the OPA general membership to serve a three-year term. They may choose to run for the Board as often as they wish.
  • Board officer terms are for one year. An officer completing her or his term may continue as a member at large, and vice versa. Officer elections are held at the next board meeting after the conference.
  • Board meeting minutes are public documents, and are posted to the OPA website (see board minutes). As much as possible, board member names are not used.
  • Board members cannot enter OPA contests, but remain eligible for NFSPS member contests.
  • Board members need not be OPA members at time of election, but must become members if elected.

Volunteer Positions

OPA is an all-volunteer organization and has no paid staff. We are always looking for volunteers to help us bring more poetry into the lives of Oregonians. If you would like to volunteer to help OPA, contact the President. Many important OPA roles can be filled either by board members, or by non-board members who volunteer. These include:

  • adult contest chair
  • youth contest chair
  • membership chair
  • social media chair
  • Verseweavers editor
  • newsletter editor
  • webmaster
  • book review editor
  • grant writer
  • events coordinator/coordinating committee
  • volunteer coordinator

Membership Chair Job Description


  • Should be able to give attention to detail and have computer and internet access.
  • Some experience in Wild Apricot would be helpful, but not mandatory.


  • Keep the OPA Membership List current on Google docs. This involves checking membership changes online on Submittable and Wild Apricot on a regular basis. Review each renewal to make certain the mailing address, phone number and e-mail addresses are current. Make changes as necessary.
  • It is sometimes necessary to save the main membership list to an Excel document where it can be sorted into “current” and “expired” members.
  • Provide current membership list to OPA Newsletter Editor for mailings through Mailchimp and to anyone else on the Board or within the organization who needs this information.
  • Provide lists of current members each year to NFSPS.
  • Report on current status of membership at monthly executive board meetings.
  • Answer e-mails from members with questions and concerns about their membership in OPA.

Time Commitment: Approximately one hour per week.

Adult Contest Chair Job Description

Note: *This volunteer position requires a substantial time commitment on a regular basis.

  1. The Adult Contest Chair produces and administers the OPA Adult Spring & Fall Poetry Contests.
    • Spring contest: February 1 to March 1
      • Judging takes place through March.
      • Winners announced in mid to late April.
    • Fall contest: August 1 to September 1
      • Judging takes place through September.
      •  Winners announced in mid to late October.
  2. Creates/updates contest categories and submission guidelines.
  3. Selects Themed & Traditional Form categories for contests.
  4. Presents monthly update reports during regular board meetings, recommends changes of consequence (if any) to board for approval.
  5. Prepares and presents annual contest budget allocation for board approval (Nov-Dec).
  6. Researches and selects/invites judges for contests (best accomplished 2-3 months prior to contest).
    • Creates/updates judge invitation letter.
    • Communicates with potential judges (website and/or email address).
      • Judges should have substantial poetry publication and/or experience teaching poetry in academic or community settings.
      • At least two years should elapse between judging assignments. Exceptions may be allowed as needed as long as the same category is not repeated.
      • Judges may be members or non-members of OPA and need not reside in Oregon.
      • Judges may not enter the category in which they judge.
      • List of judges selected should be archived.
  7. Transmits contest categories and submission guidelines to webmaster (cc: social media coordinator) for posting.
  8. Advertises contests via OPA website, OPA newsletter, social media, olc/ORLit-L, NFSPS website, and any public libraries, college/university English departments, poetry writing groups, etc, as time permits (before & during contest).
  9. Manages contest entries via Submittable (level 5 administrator access).
    • Creates Submittable documents/forms for contest (best accomplished 2-4 weeks prior to contest). (Projects. Forms. Notifications.) Assistance may be obtained from Submittable help desk, FAQs as needed.
    • Ensures contest portal open.
    • Confirms entry receipt and communicates with entrants as needed.
    • Verifies entries in compliance with submission guidelines, disqualifies those that do not, notifies appropriate entrant(s).
    • Separates & collates submissions.
    • Updates status labels of entries to in-progress, etc.
    • Downloads submissions into packets for transmission to judges (ideally within a few days of receipt).
      • Bundled by category.   
    • Ensures contest portal closed.
    • Notifies confirmed/verified winners/non-winners.
    • Updates status labels of winners and non-winners.
  10.   Prepares and transmits submission packets to contest judges via email the day following contest end.
  11. Receives judge decisions via email by:
    • Spring contest: April 1.     
    • Fall contest: October 1.
  12. Verifies winning poems still available (not published elsewhere or withdrawn by entrant) and not otherwise disqualified.
    • Any unavailable or withdrawn poem will be removed from winner’s list.
    • Remaining winners will be moved up one place to fill the void.
    • Judge will be requested to name a new 3rd place HM.
  13. Notifies treasurer of validated winners for award disbursal.
  14. Notifies treasurer for judge honorarium disbursal.
  15. Transmits list of winners, winning poems and HMs to newsletter editor and social media coordinator.
  16. Posts winning poems, etc, on OPA website, ideally within 1-2 weeks of contest conclusion.
  17. Assists other board members as needed or requested when possible.

Book Review Editor Job Description


  • Be familiar with OPA Book Review guidelines and policies.
  • Maintain a list of books to review. OPA members who have new books to review will contact you via the OPA website to request a review. Notify the OPA webmaster and/or OPA president when a review is requested, and they will update the list posted on the website.
  • Actively recruit reviewers for new books. Supply copies of the book (usually the author will be able to provide a manuscript on electronic format).
  • OPA’s book reviews have set a high standard of quality. We expect this standard to continue. As your time permits, work with reviewers to improve reviews you feel are not up to par; also, feel free to reject reviews if they are unsatisfactory.
  • Deliver completed review, including a cover image, to the OPA webmaster for posting. (Author should be responsible for providing cover image.)

Time Commitment: Varies. Recruiting reviewers, and getting them to complete their reviews in a timely fashion, is the most difficult part of this job. A goal of one book review per month has been set in the past, but may not always be practical.

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