What is the Grapevine?
A.A. Grapevine is the international journal of Alcoholics Anonymous in print, digital and audio. Written, edited, illustrated, and read by A.A. members and others interested in the A.A. program of recovery from alcoholism, Grapevine is a lifeline linking one alcoholic to another.
Often referred to as our "meeting in print," A.A. Grapevine communicates the experience, strength, and hope of its contributors and reflects a broad geographic spectrum of current A.A. experience with recovery, unity, and service. Founded in 1944, Grapevine does not receive group contributions, but is supported entirely through magazine and web subscription sales and additional income derived from the sale of related items.
The awareness that every A.A. member has an individual way of working the program permeates the pages of Grapevine, and throughout its history the magazine has been a forum for the varied and often divergent opinions of A.A.s around the world. As such, articles are not intended to be statements of A.A. policy, nor does publication of any article imply endorsement by either A.A. or Grapevine.
As Bill W. expressed it in 1946, "The Grapevine will be the voice of the Alcoholics Anonymous movement. Its editors and staff will be primarily accountable to the A.A. movement as a whole... Within the bounds of friendliness and good taste, Grapevine will enjoy perfect freedom of speech on all matters directly pertaining to Alcoholic Anonymous…. Like the Alcoholics Anonymous movement it is to mirror, there will be but one central purpose: The Grapevine will try to carry the A.A. message to alcoholics and practice the A.A. principles in all its affairs."
Copyright by A.A. Grapevine, Inc.; reprinted with permission
More than just the Magazine
Grapevine items, ranging from books of collected articles to an annual trilingual wall calendar featuring member-submitted photographs, are produced from works that have appeared in A.A. Grapevine magazine or La Viña. Primary among these Grapevine items is the 434-page collection of Bill W.'s work, entitled The Language of the Heart: Bill W.'s Grapevine Writings, along with signs of the Serenity Prayer and the Preamble, which were introduced to the Fellowship in early issues of the magazine. With its production of compact disks, A.A. Grapevine makes a significant number of magazine articles available in audio format to A.A.s who cannot read, who cannot get to meetings, who simply want a meeting between meetings, or who do not have web access at home or on the road. A.A. Grapevine also publishes a Spanish- and French-language translation of The Language of the Heart, and has made La Oración de la Serenidad and Spanishlanguage CDs from La Viña available as well.
Duties of the District Grapevine Reps
- Keep track of the meetings in your district and the GvR for each group. Call on each group 2-4 times per year.
- Keep the Area Coordinator informed about the group GvRs and any changes. The provided form may help you.
- Arrive at meetings a few minutes early to introduce yourself to the secretary or the chairperson. Ask if they have a GvR
- Share with the groups and GvRs information from the Area meetings
- Encourage the sale of Grapevine merchandise and subscriptions. You will need to keep a supply of subscription forms and catalogs to pass along to the group GvRs. These can be ordered from the Grapevine office if you are registered as a grapevine rep.
- GvR Coordinator in New York
- If a group or district wants to donate a subscription
- Suggest that groups and members collect magazines from members to be distributed to institutions.
- Make sure that the subscription forms that are being used are current.
- Keep informed about other venues: Audio and Digital Subscriptions
Responsibilities of the Area 60 Grapevine Coordinator
The Grapevine Coordinator is responsible for maintaining communications with the AA Grapevine office in New York.Other duties include:
- Forming a committee of district Grapevine Reps.
- Making sure the group and district reps get their quarterly mailings.
- Keeping a supply of subscription forms
- Submitting an inventory list along with purchase records (expenses) and sales records (income) to the Area Treasurer.
- Maintaining the Area Grapevine display; attend and set up at all area-sponsored events.
- Making the Grapevine display available for group and district events when requested and whenever possible.
- Keep an ongoing list of group and district Grapevine Reps and updates the Grapevine office in New York.
From the Area 60 Guidelines
Approved by vote of the Area 60 Assembly
October 20, 2013
The Grapevine Report at Area Meetings is about the Grapevine magazine, books and other items, not the Grapevine Coordinator. Talk about what's new: new books, new items, what's in the current or past magazines; look for local contributors in the magazine, the theme of the magazine, current promotions (free shipping, BOGO subscriptions, contests). Talk about books that you need to move—too many copies of "In Our Own Words"—talk about what a great gift it would be for a sponsor! Use the website, and Grapevine mailings; talk about the District and Group reps, use the history facts from the manual on the website. If you need help, call me. Nobody cares about your travelogue. Write a couple of paragraphs about a book for the Seeds Of Service, something that a Group Rep can use in his/her report. And no, it is not promotion. The 11th Tradition is about our public relations policy—maintaining anonymity at the level of press, radio and films. Conference charges us to self-support through the sale of Grapevine articles.
Funds from the exchange of AAWS and Grapevine/LaVina literature by those standing committees as a routine part of their service activity should be given to the treasurer and a receipt received and not used to reimburse the expenses of those committees. Orders placed for AA Grapevine and AAWS Literature must be accompanied by a current inventory list and dollar amount of sales to date. The Area 60 Treasurer and the Finance Committee Chairperson must review orders before being placed.
Orders placed for Grapevine merchandise must be placed with the Treasurer (who writes the check) and approved by the Finance Committee Chairperson. The Area Treasurer places the order with a check for payment. Grapevine merchandise is outsourced; it is warehoused and shipped from CA. Orders are placed electronically, checks are processed electronically, and shipping is usually within a day or two. It can be as little as a week to 10 days from order placed until it is received.
We keep the inventory low enough that you can carry the whole amount and count it every time that you set up. Keep track of what you have and what you order. You have a suggested inventory level—try to stick with it. At Area meetings, you can start to pack up during the DCM reports. Also keep track of every amount that you turn over to the treasurer. I wrote that at the bottom of my inventory sheet, and kept it in my computer also. The treasurer counts the money in your presence and gives you a receipt. I checked those amounts with what the Treasurer put on the Area reports. An inventory is required to be submitted to the Treasurer at the end of the year.
Keep a receipt book. Some people want a receipt for their purchase. I had pre-signed receipts with me at Area events. When someone requested a receipt, I wrote in the date and the amount. People who wanted an itemized list could do that themselves.
The Guidelines say that we sell Grapevine inventory at the Area Level. That means Area Meetings and Area Sponsored events—Days of Sharing. For Group events such as anniversaries and picnics, use your travel display and tell people that they can make purchases at the Area meetings, through the District DCM or Grapevine Rep., and they can make purchases at the Area meetings.
The Grapevine Coordinator has a travel budget based on anticipated expenses for travel to and from Area meetings and Officer/Coordinator meetings, Days of Sharing and the Get Away Weekend. Expense forms are available on the Area 60 Website or from the Treasurer. The Panel 63 treasurer writes checks for expenses at the O/C meetings. The Finance Guidelines require that expenses be reported no longer than 3 months after they are incurred. Please review the Finance section of the Area 60 Guidelines. Alternate Coordinators do not have a budget (nor a vote, except in the absence of the coordinator); if an alternate attends a function in place of the coordinator that person may be reimbursed from the coordinators budget.
From the Area 60 Finance Guidelines
October 20, 2013
The Grapevine Committee
Who Is On The Grapevine Committee?
- District GvRs
- Interested members
- My DCM contact list
What Does The Committee Do?
- Meet prior to the Area 60 quarterly meetings
- Receive new information to pass on to the groups and the group GvRs
- Encourage the purchase of Grapevine merchandise and subscriptions
- Register new GvRs
- Ask questions
What Does A District GvR Do?
- Visit the groups in the district and maintain a list of the GvRs. You may want to use the enclosed form
- Encourage groups to have a GvR
- Suggest Grapevine items and subscriptions
- Suggest information for the GvR report
- Supply order forms
Alternate Grapevine Coordinator
The Alternate assists the Coordinator and is "in training" to assume the position of coordinator at the rotation. The responsibilities for the coordinator are outlined in the Area 60 guidelines and include:
- Setting up the Grapevine display at all Area 60 meetings
- Maintaining communication with the GvRs and the New York office