Planning Committee

Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard behind the scenes to bring WriteAngles together.

Celia Jeffries

Celia Jeffries is the author of the award-winning novel Blue Desert. She lives, teaches, and writes in Northampton, and was in the room when the idea for Straw Dog Writers Guild became a reality.

Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a children’s author and freelance editor. A member of SCBWI, Ms. Malandrinos is a blogger and book reviewer.

Ellen Meeropol

Ellen Meeropol is the author of five novels, most recently The Lost Women of Azalea Court. She is a founding mother of Straw Dog Writers Guild and a long-time member of the WriteAngles planning committee.

Fungai Tichawangana

Fungai is a web developer and writer with a passion for helping creatives use digital tools to launch and market their work. He is the founder of Artist Dynamix, a digital marketing agency based in Amherst MA.

J. A. McIntosh

J. A. McIntosh, a recovering attorney, writes the Meredith, Massachusetts series about imperfect people seeking justice. She is working on a historical novel about the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir.

Jacqueline Sheehan

Jacqueline Sheehan is a New York Times Bestselling author of six novels. She is one of the founders of Straw Dog Writers Guild.

Jan Whitaker

Jan Whitaker is a non-fiction writer whose subjects include the social histories of department stores and restaurants. She has had three books published, is a veteran blogger, and has been interviewed for All Things Considered, NPR’s Marketplace, BBC World Service, and CBS Sunday Morning.

Joan Axelrod-Contrada

Joan Axelrod is a longtime member of the WriteAngles organizing committee. She writes books for young people as well as a monthly column for The Daily Hampshire Gazette, which she is hoping to include in a collection of essays.

Julie Wittes Schlack

Julie Wittes Schlack is the author of the essay collection, This All-at-Onceness (named by Kirkus Reviews as one of the best Indie Nonfiction books of 2019) and the novel, Burning and Dodging. She lives with her husband in a co-housing community in Northampton.

Kim Hoff

Kim Hoff (she/ her) is a creative nonfiction writer who focuses mainly on nature, connection, and healing. Kim is a newer member of Straw Dog Writers Guild and very happy to be finding community and inspiration while helping out on the conference planning team.

Laura Stone

Laura Stone is a graphic designer, & lover of words. Happy to be a part of Straw Dog Writers Guild on the planning committee for Write Angles.

Liz Bedell

Liz Bedell (she/her) writes and teaches in western Massachusetts, where she is currently trying to make sense of the early fragments of a new novel project. She holds an MFA in Fiction and Literary Translation from VCFA.

Lynn Bechtel

Lynn Bechtel has published articles, essays, and poetry in professional magazines, literary journals, and anthologies. She worked for many years as an editor and writer for Center for Responsive Schools.

Millicent Jackson

coming soon

Nicole M. Young- Martin

Nicole M. Young is a performance poet, playwright, theater instructor and pop culture critic originally from Detroit, MI. Nicole is the Founder, Producer & Host of BLACK WRITERS READ, and initiated The Emerging Writer Fellowship under the auspices of Straw Dog Writers Guild to support women of color and gender-expansive writers of color based in Western Massachusetts at the early stages of their career.

Patricia Lee Lewis

Patricia Lee Lewis was the founding president of Straw Dog Writers Guild, and has continued most recently to serve on the Advisory Council and on the Straw Dog-Mount Residency Project. An award-winning poet, since 1992, she led hundreds of creative writing workshops and over 70 writing & yoga retreats internationally, and is now endeavoring to complete a novel set on a ranch in West Texas in 1938.

Chelsea Catherine

Chelsea Catherine is an award-winning fiction and nonfiction writer. You can find their work in journals like The Sun, Passengers Journal, The Florida Review, and others.

Stephanie Shafran

Stephanie Shafran’s chapbook Awakening was released in 2020. She resides in Northampton, Massachusetts; more at

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