AREA LITERATURE COORDINATOR FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT CONFERENCE APPROVED LITERATURE (CAL):
A – If you’re in a meeting, there’s a good chance they’ll have an “Al-Anon/Alateen CAL Catalog” (item #S-15) with prices in it for every item. Another way to get it is electronically from the Al-Anon website: http://ecomm.al-anon.org/shop. Enter “S-15” in the search box & there will be a link for “Click here for free download.”
A – The World Service Office (WSO) recommends that literature be ordered through a local Literature Distribution Center (LDC) to help support local services. Orders can be taken by LDC’s in a variety of ways. It’s best to contact your District’s LDC to find out how to place the order. Only items that you want to have ship regularly to a mailing address should be ordered through the World Service Office. For example: “The Forum” magazine, newsletters, service manuals, etc…
A – Per the World Service Office: Because the process for the discontinuance of a Conference approved book is slightly different than for a pamphlet, let’s start with books. In order to discontinue a book, the following criteria are required: 1) The book has had a three-to-five year initial introductory period following the date of publication; 2) The sales of the book reflect minimal interest by the membership; 3) The content of the book is or will be adequately covered in other CAL material if needed. The process also requires that the Literature Committee must recommend discontinuance of the book. After determining that the above criteria have been fulfilled, the Board of Trustees may grant approval to discontinue the book. In keeping with a Conference motion, the Board of Trustees will notify in writing all Conference members of its intent to discontinue any books while there is still at least one-year’s quantity of books in stock at the WSO. The WSO sells the item until all the copies are gone. While this is occurring, a notice in catalogs & order forms will state, “While supplies last.” Discontinuance of Conference approved pamphlets (including CAL service tools) also requires recommendation of the Literature Committee. The Executive Committee must then pass a motion to discontinue the pamphlet.
A – The short answer is that although Al-Anon’s roots are based in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) the AA “big book” is not & never has been Al-Anon Conference Approved Literature (CAL). “Outside” or non-conference approved literature may or may not convey the Al-Anon message. It also may be confusing to a newcomer, lead to dissension within members, or affect our groups’ unity. We are always free to read whatever we wish outside the meetings. For a “long” answer that further explains how several of our Traditions apply to this decision, please e-mail me to request the October 2008 memorandum from the WSO’s Executive Director to Conference members regarding this topic.
A – The “Al-Anon/Alateen CAL Catalog” (item #S-15) has brief descriptions for many of the items available. (See the very first answer on this FAQ page for how to get this catalog.) A sponsor also might be able to give you some good recommendations that are more tailored to your needs. Lastly, in response to this question, I have recently started a podcast, “CAL Chat” (www.calchat.libsyn.com), where members discuss their favorite literature & how it has improved their lives. Every episode features a different book so you can pick & choose which piece you’d like to find out more about. The “CAL Chat” podcast is also on Instagram. No account sign-up is needed to see CAL in a new way! Visit: www.instagram.com/calchatfan1.
QUESTIONS ABOUT SUBMITTING WRITINGS / SHARINGS:
A – Here is the official response from WSO about receiving writings for literature in development: “WSO has a process that includes sending an acknowledgment of receipt. Sometimes people don’t submit their address or they move & thus we are unable to send them their acknowledgement. If members submit a sharing & do not receive a ‘thank you’ letter within a couple weeks, they should contact the WSO to make sure that the WSO did receive it.”
A – Provided that you included your contact info when you submitted your sharing for “The Forum”, you will only be notified when it’s actually published. WSO will also send you one complimentary copy of the issue in which it appears. Because of the vast number of writings the WSO receives, it could be several years before your sharing is published. Additionally, it’s important to note that every sharing submitted (even if it’s not for “The Forum”) becomes part of a general body of information & sharing from our fellowship that helps create new literature. So if a sharing you submitted for a different item is not used for that particular piece, it will be forwarded to the Forum Editorial Advisory Committee for their review & possible publication in “The Forum” magazine.
A – It’s best to submit any writings or sharings directly to the World Service Office using any of these four ways: 1) Mail: Al-Anon Family Groups, 1600 Corporate Landing Parkway, Virginia Beach, VA 23454-5617 2) Fax: (757) 563-1655 3) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 4) On-line on our Members’ website: www.www.al-anon.org/members Once on the Members’ site, under the “Individuals” tab a drop-down menu will appear, click on “Featured Publications” & then click on “Send Your Sharing.”
A – Based on the answer above, it seems WSO will accept almost any format except smoke signals, semaphore, Morse code, & of course texting or use of emojis.
QUESTIONS ABOUT BEING AN AREA LITERATURE COORDINATOR:
A – Primarily, I’m a link between the District LDC’s in North Florida & WSO. I notify the LDC’s of any literature updates from WSO. I also see myself as a resource or “librarian” with a database of “What I’ve learned” from every piece that I’ve read. If an LDC, or any member, has a question I can’t answer, I contact WSO for guidance. A more detailed description of this position can be found in the guideline “Area Literature Coordinators” (item #G-6).
A – Far & away, what I like best is all the support I’ve been given to try new things in my effort to show literature in a new way! I’m thrilled that the “CAL Chat” podcast & CAL photo project on Instagram are getting newcomers & long-timers excited about literature & it’s fun for me too!
A – I have designed a creative writing workshop centered on the new upcoming daily reader & its topic: diversity. (You can find it on this webpage!) If invited, I’m definitely willing to travel to any District in North Florida to give this workshop! (It can be used for Alateen members as well!)
A – It has expanded my thinking & definition of our three Legacies (recovery, unity, & service) in the sense that I used to believe all of these involved a terrible amount of work that yielded a very small result: me. To paraphrase a line from “Living Today in Alateen” (item #B-26): ‘I grow in proportion to my effort.’ But now I have learned to turn that effort from being “work” into fun & the effects can have much more of a far-reaching impact than I ever imagined! To me, Al-Anon has also broadened into many things. …A program, a way of being, a family, & a place. …A place for me to grow continuously.
A – Keep asking me questions & keep coming back!
A – Reach me by e-mail me at email@example.com. Emojis are welcome!
See a photographic timeline of CAL pamphlets & books from 1963 - 2017! Click button below to download PDF file.
CAL Writing Workshop
Click button below to download the first document for the writing workshop centered around the new daily reader.
Click button below to contact me by e-mail to request the remaining two workshop documents!