Tag Archives: Marcia Meier

Overcoming Adversity and Living Fearlessly

By Teri Breier

When it comes to triumphing over trauma, Marcia Meier may be the ultimate authority. Jaws dropped around the room at the September AWC-SB meeting, as our guest speaker described her experience of being hit and dragged by a car at age five—followed by 17 surgeries in 15 years. Decades later, in a one-year period, Marcia’s mother passed away after a long period of dementia, her marriage ended, and her popular Santa Barbara Writers Conference, which she ran for two years, was sold.

In the years leading up to this distressing period, Marcia earned a journalism degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, reported for the Santa Barbara News-Press, directed the Writers Conference and wrote two books.  Among these books was last year’s award-winning Navigating the Rough Waters of Today's Publishing World, Critical Advice for Writers from Industry Insiders (Quill Driver Books, 2010).  Despite traumatic setbacks, Marcia accomplished much and currently works as a freelance writer and poet, while also being a MFA candidate at Antioch University–Los Angeles.

Marcia Meier

Throughout her challenging journey as a child, teenager and adult, Marcia learned to confront and conquer the debilitating fears that stood in the way of achieving her goals. Besides demonstrating her own extraordinary courage and fortitude in the face of difficulty, her presentation, Overcoming Adversity and Living Fearlessly, provided a blueprint for traversing life’s roughest roads.

She shared some of the most important keys she regularly practices to overcoming fear:

  • Acknowledge: Breathe, accept the situation, and realize you are in charge.
  • Take care of yourself emotionally, physically, spiritually, and socially.
  • Make a plan: Visualize/write how you want your life to look; don’t get discouraged.
  • Check in with yourself on a regular basis, listen to your voice, and follow your heart.

Audience members were invited to brainstorm a list of the fears that typically block their own progress when striving toward personal and professional goals. Marcia then asked the group to each imagine a life that would directly reflect their wants and desires and to ask themselves, what it would take to achieve it. By the end, everyone in the room was inspired and well-armed with workable tools to move beyond fear to success.

Luncheon to honor Sarah Miller McCune and Marcia Meier

A luncheon, "Writing Truth, Empowering Women", will be held to honor Sarah Miller McCune, publisher, philanthropist, and author; and Marcia Meier, journalist, author, and former director of the Santa Barbara Writer's Conference.

The Luncheon will be held on Friday, June 4, 11:30am to 1:30pm, at Hotel MarMonte, 1111 Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara, CA 93101. Tickets are available: $55 for the luncheon, and $50 if purchased in advance. Please email to arrange limited media credentialing, award recipient interviews or photography.

Marcia Meier is now a writing coach and offers retreats for writers. Her latest book, Navigating the Rough Waters of Today's Publishing World, Critical Advice for Writers From Industry Insiders, will be published June 1 by Quill Driver Books. She's also is the author of Santa Barbara, Paradise on the Pacific, a coffee table book published in 1996 by Longstreet Press in Atlanta.She has freelanced or written for numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Santa Barbara Magazine, Central Coast Magazine, OC Metro magazine, the Seattle Times and Arizona Republic. She is a contributing writer to Miller-McCune Magazine online and an occasional blogger with The Huffington Post.

Before joining the Writers Conference in 2004, Marcia was director of college communications for a small liberal arts college, where she was responsible for marketing and community and media relations. She also taught the college's journalism course and advised the campus newspaper for six years. A print journalist for more than 20 years, Marcia worked for four daily newspapers in the roles of reporter, copy editor, assistant city editor and editorial page editor. She was with the Santa Barbara News-Press for nearly 10 years, and served as editorial page editor for most of that time. She also wrote a personal column for five years. Marcia has a degree in journalism and has taught writing privately and for various institutions, including Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Westmont College, Brooks Institute and Santa Barbara City College Adult Education. She's a member of the Author's Guild and PEN Center USA.

Sara Miller McCune is the Executive Chairman of SAGE Publications, Inc., a book and journal publishing house based in Newbury Park, California, as well as President of the McCune Foundation, based in Ventura. In 1965, she founded SAGE Publications in New York City, and moved the company to California in mid-1966, serving as its President for 18 years, prior to becoming SAGE's Chairman in 1984. Ms. McCune also serves as a Director of two of SAGE's most notable affiliates -SAGE Publications Ltd (London), and Corwin Press - a leading publisher for educational administrators and teachers. SAGE Publications India Private Ltd and SAGE Publications Asia-Pacific are other affiliates - founded in 1981 and 2006, respectively. In 2007, Ms. McCune founded and currently serves as President of the Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media and Public Policy in Santa Barbara, California. The April/May first issue of the Miller-McCune magazine was published in 2008, with its on-line counterpart debuting at the end of March 2008.

Ms. McCune is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has served as a Trustee of the Fielding Graduate University, headquartered in Santa Barbara, and she served Fielding as Interim President in 1999-2000. She's currently a member of the University of California, Santa Barbara Foundation Board of Trustees and the UCSB Chancellor's Council. Ms. McCune was on the Board of the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts from 1998 through June, 2009, for much of that time serving as Chief Financial Officer. During that period the Center restored and re-opened the Granada Theater. Sara is also a past President of the Santa Barbara Foundation Roundtable and a new member of the Santa Barbara Social Venture Partners, serving as a member at-large on the Executive Committee.

The McCune Foundation was founded in 1990, in memory of Sara's late husband, George D. McCune. The McCune Foundation sponsors a Graduate Dissertation Fellowship at the UCSB Department of Communications. In 2002 the McCune Foundation's Board of Directors agreed to sponsor a 5-year program of grants to grass-roots organizations which build "social capital" in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties - with an emphasis on educational and other opportunities for the poor and underserved. This program was recently renewed for an additional period of five years. In 1988, Ms. McCune received the American Evaluation Association's Special Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Field of Evaluation "in recognition of the influential role SAGE Publications played in institutionalizing evaluation." In 1993, the Knowledge Utilization Society awarded her its Outstanding International Service Award. In November 1998, Ms. McCune was recognized as the "1998 Philanthropist of the Year for Santa Barbara County" by the National Society of Fundraising Executives and in May 2002, Ms. McCune was recognized as a Lifetime Fellow of the Fielding Graduate Institute (now the Fielding Graduate University). In November 2002 Ms. McCune received the Distinguished Community Service Award from the Anti-Defamation League and Santa Barbara B'nai B'rith Lodge. In June 2003, Ms. McCune received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in "Arts and Entertainment" for the Greater Los Angeles area from Ernst & Young. In November of 2003, Ms. McCune received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the "Spirit of Entrepreneurship" from Ernst & Young on a national level. In September 2004, Ms. McCune was honored with the Hope Award by the Channel Islands Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. The University of California, Santa Barbara has named her as one of its Alumni of the year 2005. In 2006, Ms. McCune received the Distinguished Community Service Award from the Santa Barbara News Press. Most recently she was name Santa Barbara Entrepreneur of the Year by the Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation. Ms. McCune is a graduate of Queens College of the City University of New York. She's the stepmother of four and the grandmother of four, and the great-grandmother of three. Ms. McCune resides in Montecito, California.

Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon 2010 from Ninety Degrees Media on Vimeo.