Eddy Ancinas

EDDY ANCINAS grew up the Bay Area, received her BA at the University of Colorado and moved to the mountains in 1962, where she lives with her husband, Osvaldo, near Olympic Valley. She is a non-fiction writer specializing in travel and ski-history. Her award-winning book on the history of two ski areas (now one), Tales form Two Valleys ~ Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, was published in 2013. A travel memoir of her adventures with two other women in Peru will be published in 2023. Eddy’s articles on travel in Argentina, Chile and Peru have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, LA Times, Atlantic Monthly, as well as six editions of Fodor’s Argentina Guide. Her story of a cattle round up in Elko, Nevada won the 2010 Nevada Magazine Writers’ Contest. Eddy has been a Board member, participant and attendee of the Community of Writers for over 40 years. She is also VP of the SNOW (Sierra Nevada Olympic Winter-sports) Museum Board.


René Ancinas

RENÉ ANCINAS is President and Chief Executive Officer of Port Blakely Companies. Prior to joining Port Blakely Companies, Mr. Ancinas was  founding member and first President of the Eddy Family Council, where he led afive-year effort to establish a sustainable family business governance structure. Mr. Ancinas spent several years with Kodak EasyShare Gallery (formerly Ofoto.com) as Senior Technical Program Manager. He serves on the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) Board of Directors, Seattle Chamber of Commerce Community Development Roundtable, and belongs to YPO (Young Presidents Organization). A professionally trained classical clarinetist, Mr. Ancinas received a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in 1988, and Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1990. He earned an Executive MBA from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business in 2009.

Reagan Arthur

Reagan Arthur was named Publisher of Knopf Pantheon Schocken, a division of Penguin Random House, in February of 2020. In her previous position as an editor and publisher at Little, Brown, writers she worked with included Kate Atkinson, Joshua Ferris, George Pelecanos, Tina Fey, and Attica Locke. She grew up in Southern California and now lives with her family outside of New York City.

Michael V. Carlisle

Michael Carlisle, a founder of InkWell Management, has been involved with the Community of Writers for many years. His fiction and nonfiction client list includes prize-winning as well as debut authors. A former director of the Association of Author’s Representatives, a not-for-profit organization of independent literary and dramatic agents, Michael is an active member of PEN. He directs the Nonfiction Program of the Community of Writers and serves on the Board of Directors.  http://inkwellmanagement.com/staff/michael-v.-carlisle

Alex Espinoza

Alex Espinoza was born in Tijuana, Mexico to parents from the state of Michoacán. He graduated from the University of California-Riverside, then went on to earn an MFA from UC-Irvine’s Program in Writing. His first novel, Still Water Saints, was published by Random House in 2007. His second novel, The Five Acts of Diego León, was published by Random House in March 2013. Alex’s work has appeared in several anthologies and journals including Alta, NPR, Virginia Quarterly Review, and in the 2022 Best American Mystery and Suspense Stories. His awards include a 2009 Margaret Bridgeman Fellowship in Fiction to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a 2014 Fellowship in Prose from the National Endowment for the Arts, a 2014 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation for The Five Acts of Diego León, and a 2019 Fellowship to MacDowell. His latest is Cruising: An Intimate History of a Radical Pastime (Unnamed Press 2019). Alex teaches at UC-Riverside where he serves as the Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair of Creative Writing.


Photo: Tracy Hall

Nancy Cushing Evans

Nancy Cushing Evans is CEO of the Castle Ridge Management Company; Trustee of the Naval War College Foundation and Trustee of the Preservation Society of Newport County. For many years she was the Chairman and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Corporation.

Diana Fuller

Diana Fuller is a freelance curator, editor, and producer of Rift, Racing to Zero, Once Was Water. She I is the on-going director of the Screenwriting Program at the Community of Writers. She is the editor of Art/Women/California 1950-2000: Parallels and Intersections, published in 2004, by University of California Berkeley Press. She has been curator for contemporary art exhibitions for 40 years. She serves on the Boards of the Community of Writers, the The Artists in Residence Program at Recology and the Conflict Awareness Project. She was the last president of the Film Arts Foundation and past Chair of the Roxie non-profit theater.

Ken Haas

KEN HAAS consults with and serves on the Board of a number of biotechnology and other companies. He was most recently a partner in a life sciences venture capital firm, and previously spent 25 years in the management of both early-stage and public high technology and biotechnology companies. He received a BA in History and Literature from Harvard College, an MA in English Literature from the University of Sussex and a JD from Harvard Law School. Ken lives in San Francisco where he sponsors a poetry writing program at the UCSF Children’s Hospital. His poetry has appeared in over 50 journals and anthologies. He has won the Betsy Colquitt Poetry Award and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Ken’s first full poetry collection, Borrowed Light, won the 2020 Red Mountain Press Discovery Award, won a 2021 prize from the National Federation of Press Women, and was shortlisted for the 2021 Rubery Book Award. http://kenhaas.org

Katy Hover-Smoot

Katy Hover-Smoot is a Professor of Art History at Sierra College and Sierra Nevada College.  She holds a BA from UC Santa Cruz, attended Williams College for her MA, and pursued her PhD at UC Berkeley.  Her academic writing has been published by Ashgate, an imprint of Routledge, and she has worked for arts major organizations including SF MoMA, the Clark Art Institute, the French American Museum Exchange (FRAME), and the Musée D’Orsay.  She is a full time resident of Olympic Valley, a passionate reader, and supporter of the arts. 

Dana Johnson

Dana Johnson is the author of the short story collection In the Not Quite Dark. She is also the author of Break Any Woman Down, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction; and the novel Elsewhere, California. Both books were nominees for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, ZYZZYVA, The Paris Review, Callaloo, The Iowa Review and Huizache, among others. Her most recent work is Trailblazer: Delilah Beasley’s California, a fictional account of a fictionalized account of the life of African American historian and scholar Delilah Beasley. Born and raised in and around Los Angeles, she is a professor of English at the University of Southern California. www.danajohnsonauthor.com/

Photo credit: Brett Hall Jones

Michelle Latiolais

Michelle Latiolais is Director of the Programs In Writing at the University of California at Irvine. She is the author of the novel Even Now, which received the Gold Medal for Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California. Her second novel, A Proper Knowledge, was published in 2008 by Bellevue Literary Press. She has published writing in three anthologies, Absolute Disaster; Women On The Edge: Writing From Los Angeles; and Woof! Writers on Dogs. Her stories and essays have appeared in ZYZZYVA, The Antioch Review, Western Humanities Review, Santa Monica Review, Iowa Review, Juked, The Kenyon Review, and Northwest Review. Widow, a collection of stories, involutions and essays, was published in 2011 by Bellevue Literary Press.  Her most recent book, She, was published in 2016 by W.W. Norton & Company.

Photo Credit: Brett Hall Jones

Lester Graves Lennon

LESTER GRAVES LENNON is the poetry editor for Rosebud magazine and an investment banker whose career in public finance exceeds 40 years.  His first book of poetry, The Upward Curve of the Earth and Heavens, can be found in 70 public and university libraries including the Los Angeles Public Library, Yale, Oxford and the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he received his B.A. in English.  His second book of poetry, My Father Was A Poet, was published in 2013.  His third book, Lynchings: Postcards From America, will be published in January, 2022.  Mr. Lennon sits on the board of directors of the Community of Writers and is a member of the Board of Visitors for the English Department at the University of Wisconsin. He is a past member of the board of directors for Red Hen Press and the Poetry Center at West Chester University. Then Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa credited Mr. Lennon with the idea of a Poet Laureate for Los Angeles. He was a founding member of the Mayor’s Poet Laureate Task Force and lives with his family in the Los Angeles megalopolis.

Carlin Naify

CARLIN NAIFY has extensive nonprofit board experience. She is a Board Member of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation and is the Past Chair of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission. She served on the Board of the Crocker Art Museum Association for eight years where she served as Chair of Collections and Acquisitions from 2009-2011 and as Secretary from 2010-2011. She served on the Sacramento Public Library Foundation Board for many years and was President for two of them. In other capacities she has also served as President of the Crocker Art Museum Docent Council, President of the National Charity League and Chair of a Sacramento City Unified School District Leadership Council.

Jim Naify

Jim Naify, PhD, is the owner of a 76 year old bookstore in Sacramento, Beers Books. He, and his wife Carlin, are principles in their real estate holding company Naify Enterprises. Jim is a retired academic who continues his teaching passion as an adjunct professor of philosophy at Sacramento City College. He also serves on other local and statewide non-profit boards. Jim Naify is an accomplished amateur woodworker and an energetic world traveler. He serves as President of the Board of Directors.

Steve Rempe

Steve Rempe lives in his native northern California where he has worked for himself doing construction of high quality homes and renovations for over 40 years. As an active member of his community he has served on the Board of the North Marin Community Services in various capacities since 1985. While there he has held many positions such as president, and served on most committees including fundraising & programs. He is now on the Advisory Board. Steve has been actively working on City Planning committees regarding permit processing, redevelopment of main street, the Chamber of Commerce for Novato & San Rafael, and as president of the board for the Novato Theater Restoration Committee to bring the arts back to downtown.

His poem “Imaginary Friends” was used as the prologue for the play Cry Love at the New York Summerfest in 2018. Steve participated in the Community of Writers Poetry Workshops in ’98, ’03, ’09, & ’11. He has been active with CoW by founding the Galway Kinnell Scholarship Fund and helping with other fundraising efforts.

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton studied creative writing at Dartmouth College and law at UC Berkeley. Her most recent novel, On The Rooftop, was a September 2022 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick. Her second novel, The Revisioners, won a 2020 Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize and an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work and was a national bestseller as well as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her debut novel, A Kind of Freedom, was long-listed for the National. Book Award. She lives in Oakland with her family. [F]  margaretwilkersonsexton.com
Photo Credit: Smeeta Mahanti

Julia Flynn Siler

Julia Flynn Siler is a New York Times best-selling author and journalist. Her most recent book, The White Devil’s Daughters: The Women Who Fought Slavery in San Francisco’s Chinatown (Knopf, 2019), was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a nonfiction finalist for the California Book Award. Her other books are The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty, a finalist for a James Beard Award and a Gerald Loeb Award for distinguished reporting, and Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure. A graduate of Brown University (American Studies) and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Siler also earned an MBA at night from Northwestern University. A veteran journalist and National Endowment for the Humanities “Public Scholar” fellow, Siler was a foreign correspondent based in London and has been a guest commentator on PBS, the BBC, CNBC, and CNN. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. She will be a fellow at Stanford University’s Distinguished Careers Institute in 2024-2025. [NF]    juliaflynnsiler.com

Photo credit: Stephanie Mohan

Christopher Sindt

Christopher Sindt is Professor of English, Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies and Dean of the Kalmanovitz School of Education at Saint Mary’s College of California. He is the former director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing and has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships for his poetry, including the James D. Phelan award and fellowships at the Macdowell Colony and the Blue Mountain Center. He is the author of two collections of poetry, The Land of Give and Take, and most recently, The Bodies. Sindt has served on the Advisory Board of WritersCorps, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Council of Graduate Schools.

Photo courtesy of Saint Mary’s College

Amy Tan

Amy Tan’s novels are The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, Saving Fish from Drowning, and Valley of Amazement. She is the author of two memoirs, The Opposite of Fate and Where the Past Begins; and two children’s books, The Moon Lady and Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat. Tan served as co-producer and co-screenwriter for the film adaptation of The Joy Luck Club and creative consultant for the PBS television series, Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat.  She wrote the libretto for the opera The Bonesetter’s Daughter and is the subject of the American Masters documentary Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir. Tan is an instructor of a MasterClass on Fiction, Memory, and Imagination. Her next project, The Backyard Bird Chronicles, will be published in 2024.

Photo Credit: Kim Newmoney

Nancy Teichert

Nancy Weaver Teichert is a national award winning investigative journalist for 30 years. Her reporting on inadequate public schools garnered the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for the Jackson, MS, Clarion-Ledger. At the Denver Post and Sacramento Bee, she exposed public corruption, racism, poverty, elder abuse, and the deaths of children under county care which culminated in a six year legal battle to make public the circumstances of their deaths. A board member since 2013, she now writes creative nonfiction.