WriteAngles is produced by a committee of volunteers. Biographical sketches for the panel organizers, who also serve as moderators for the panels they organize, are listed on the Panelists page. The following profiles are for conference volunteers who work behind the scenes.
Joan Axelrod-Contrada is the managing editor of WRITEANGLES JOURNAL and chair of the WriteAngles’ grants committee. A longtime correspondent for The Boston Globe, she is the author of over 15 books for children and young adults. She has also written and produced three murder-mystery dinner theater plays. Her articles about the craft and business of writing have appeared in Children’s Book Insider and The Writer. She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Daisy Mathias produces a weekly radio show, Poetry à la Carte, on the UMass station WMUA-Amherst, 91.1 FM, where she reads published poems each week and interviews local poets. The show airs on Mondays and is streamed live at http://www.wmua.org. A hospital-based pediatric speech and language pathologist, Daisy specializes in craniofacial disorders. She writes poetry, and is working on a romance novel.
Leoma Retan is coordinating the WriteAngles agent interviews and agent’s panel this year. She is also registration chairman. In addition to writing fantasy, she is a systems engineer, amateur photographer, and lover of good food. Most days she’d rather be in a remote forest than a city, but she enjoys occasional weekends among bright lights and crowds.
Jean Marie Ruiz coordinates the conference planning committee. She holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her poetry has appeared in print in Jacaranda Review, West/Word, Rain City Review, and the anthology LOVE’S SHADOW: STORIES BY WOMEN (Crossing Press, 1993). Her short story Pilgrim’s Progress was published in the online journal MARY in 2004. She is currently working on a novel about an American woman adrift in Spain.
Jan Whitaker is the website editor for WriteAngles. She is the author of three books. SERVICE AND STYLE: HOW THE AMERICAN DEPARTMENT STORE FASHIONED THE MIDDLE CLASS and TEA AT THE BLUE LANTERN INN: A SOCIAL HISTORY OF THE TEA ROOM CRAZE IN AMERICA were published by St. Martin’s press. Her latest book on worldwide department store history, THE WORLD OF DEPARTMENT STORES, was published by Vendome Press in 2011 in the US, UK, and France, and in Germany in 2013. She writes a blog on restaurants called Restaurant-ing through history.