Board Members

Meet The Board

Ours is a “working board,” composed of active members. Officers are elected in June each year. Meet the 2014-15 board:

Sam Barbee Sam Barbee
President

Sam Barbee was awarded an Emerging Artist's Grant from the Winston-Salem Arts Council in 1994. His poems have been accepted by Atlantis, Crucible, Asheville Poetry Review, Potato Eyes, Wellspring, Georgia Journal, Mount Olive Review, St. Andrews Review, Charlotte Poetry Review, Negative Capability, Pembroke Magazine, Lone Wolf Review, and Windhover: a journal of Christian Literature. In the spring of 1999, he was the highlighted poet in Independence Boulevard in Charlotte. He has been a featured poet on WFDD Public Radio. In 1991, he received the 59th Poet Laureate Award from the North Carolina Poetry Society for his poem "The Blood Watch." His first collection, Changes of Venue, was published in the spring of 1997 by Mount Olive Press. A second collection, Put Asunder, is being circulated with publishers this fall. Sam lives in Winston-Salem with his wife and two fine children, and works with the Winston-Salem Recreation Department.


Robin Chalkley Robin Chalkley
Vice President for Communications

Robin Chalkley is a freelance copywriter who has served in the field of advertising for more than thirty years. A graduate of Virginia Tech, he has worked as a creative director and senior copywriter at several advertising agencies before settling into the freelance life. In 2003 he was honored by the Advertising Federation of the Roanoke Valley with the Silver Medal, its lifetime achievement award. He has written two exciting and magnificently entertaining novels – one unpublished and the other unfinished. He is very happily married and living near Winston-Salem.


Christy-300x300 Christy Vance
Vice President for Programs

Christy earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and began her literary career as a typesetter/office manager/photographer/reporter/columnist for a small-town weekly newspaper. She then gained technical writing experience in healthcare and book-marketing experience in a chain bookstore. Christy went on to earn a master's degree in technical/professional writing and is a project manager in a local medical center. She regularly writes feature articles for newspapers and non-profit organization newsletters. She also enjoys writing fiction and essays, but is careful to leave poetry to the experts.


Barbara face Barbara Mellin
Vice President of Membership

About five years ago, Barbara and her husband of 45 years moved to Winston-Salem from the Boston area, where she still teaches college courses online. She is an award-winning writer who generally focuses on the arts, world culture and travel. She has been an editor in chief, a syndicated columnist, a gallery curator, an art teacher, and founder of a non-profit that linked high school student-writers with published authors. She currently writes a bi-monthly column for Renaissance magazine and has contributed hundreds of freelance articles to regional, national and international publications. Her poetry and essays have also been published. She has been invited to speak at symposiums and conferences including a journalism conference in Yerevan, Armenia, the “Courage Project” Symposium at Harvard University, and the Carolinas Writers’ Conference (2014). She has walked along the Great Wall of China, ridden a camel in Egypt, stood in both the Parthenon (Athens) and the Pantheon (Rome), and climbed Machu Picchu.


Nilla Childs Nilla Childs
Secretary

Nilla credits her interest in writing, marketing and creativity to her genes: her ancestors started both Putnam Publishing and Crayola Crayons. She earned her BA in Liberal Arts from Emory University, and completed her MA in American Studies at Utah State University. Nilla wrote educational materials for art museums, then applied her empathetic personality to her work as a Creative Product Editor, writing greeting card copy for Hallmark Cards headquarters in Kansas City. In 2012 Nilla published Puzzled: 100 Pieces of Autism, her “stories of a determined mother who never gives up on her quirky son.” Nilla and Steve, her artist/filmmaker husband of 35 years, are blessed by two adult sons, their adorable daughter-in-law, and toddler grandson.


Steve_Mitchell Steve Mitchell
Board of Directors

Steve Mitchell has been a construction worker, cowboy, substitute teacher, chef, and has developed and managed a mental health program for the chronic mentally ill. He's worked in theatre, film and multi-voice poetry. His work has been published in the Southeast Review, Contrary, Glossolalia, and The North Carolina Literary Review, among others, and has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. His short story, “Above the Rooftop,” was named a storySouth Million Writers Award Notable Story of 2010, and he is currently completing a novel, Body of Trust. He has a deep belief in the primacy of doubt and an abiding conviction that great wisdom can inhabit very bad movies. He has an ambivalent relationship with his cat, Mr. Zip. Sometimes, he just doesn't know. And that's all right.


Dan-100 Dan O’Sullivan
Board of Directors

Daniel Gregory John O’Sullivan (Beare) prefers to be called DanO.  He's in his nifties, a husband, father, G-da and fancier of all things old (antiquities).     He is a writer, poet, punster and ordinary human.  From an upper middle class background, Dan is currently starving for his art.  Described as lazy, arrogant, recalcitrant, irrepressible and helpful by a few of his favorite people, he has a collage education (several colleges, no degree). Dan has three fiction manuscripts in varied stages of editing, several hundred poems and a website, adding daily profundities, occasional Photems and a none too serious blog.


Anne-C Anne Civitano
Board of Directors

Anne Civitano graduated from the University of California, Davis in Design/Interior Architecture and works as an Interior Designer with a specialty in home staging. When her daughter moved to New York, her son deployed to Afghanistan, and two of the three pets died--in one three week period--she found herself with an empty nest and a lot to say. She began a series of essays that ran in the Winston-Salem Journal, a blog, and a novel. Her son has deployed again, and so have a new series of essays. The novel is being revised with the help of WSW critique group members.


Susan Williamson Susan Williamson
Board of Directors

Susan Williamson is an adjunct faculty member for Gardner-Webb University, a freelance writer for the Weekly Independent and other publications and co-manager of Triad Farm to Table Cooperative CSA. She is a Winston-Salem Parks and Recreation Silver Arts Winner in the Essay Competition and a Winston-Salem Writers Anthology winner in the Short Story Category.


Lynn Byrd Lynn Byrd
Board of Directors

PL Byrd, published author, master riding instructor, seasoned restaurateur, organic farmer, community health educator and reluctant saint, is a potent mix of California desert and North Carolina red clay. She cut her teeth on chocolate milk and cornbread, published her first poem at six and was married five times by the age of seven (three times to the same boy). A story from her upcoming collection, Notes from Saint Maniac, was featured on Public Radio International as well as in the now-defunct literary e-zine Mental Contagion, the demise of which was not her fault. Her previous book credits include America The Good (contributing writer), Mr. Tony's Lessons Of La Famiglia, and Love In The Fourth Dimension: A Restaurant Tale. Ms. Byrd has managed to remain award-free, but claims to be in possession of the big prize.


ROB Rob McOuat
Board of Directors

Rob earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Wake Forest University, a Masters of Arts Degree in Psychology from East Carolina University, and a Doctorate of Education in Education Leadership from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is an administrator in Davidson County Schools and an adjunct professor at Gardner-Webb University. Rob enjoys writing and helping others hone their skills. He is currently writing a novel about a terminally single Economics professor who stumbles into a campus scandal. Rob is passionate about education and looks forward to sharing his experiences through this and future novels.