About Us

Michigan Writers’ Mission: To encourage and support writers of all ages, skill levels, and genres in the Great Lakes state by providing opportunities for networking, publication, and education.

Michigan Writers, Inc. was launched in the summer of 2001 when more than two dozen Traverse City-area writers pooled talents and resources to form a group dedicated to helping writers hone their craft and publish their work.

We host regular events where members can meet and mingle, including potluck buffets, workshops, and writers critique groups.  We publish Dunes Review and operate the MW Cooperative Press, which publishes chapbooks by members.

Once a month we sponsor Michigan Writers On the Air on Interlochen Public Radio,  which interviews local and visiting writers.  We hold workshops on all aspects of writing and publishing for writers at all levels of their development. And we help members keep in touch and informed through this web site and through MW News, a regular e-mail newsletter.

Our membership continues to grow as we find new ways to support and enhance our community of writers and readers. So now that you know who we are and what we do…

Won’t you join us?

Contact Us

Michigan Writers is a volunteer organization run by volunteer writers interested in meeting, connecting with, and having actual conversations with other writers. We don’t have an office with a general phone number, but we are reachable by all sort of electronic means.

We’re writers, and we love letters! Here’s our physical mailing address:

Michigan Writers
P.O. Box 2355
Traverse City, MI 49685

You can also reach us via the following email addresses:

For questions about Dunes Review, email dunesreview@michwriters.org.

For questions about the Chapbook Contest, email chapbooks@michwriters.org.

Send items for the MW e-newsletter to newsletter@michwriters.org.

For questions about writing groups, email groups@michwriters.org.

For questions about Michigan Writers membership, email membership@michwriters.org.

For questions about the website or technical issues, contact admin@michwriters.org.

For any other questions or general inquiries, send a message to info@michwriters.org.

Board of Directors

Kevin Avery

Kevin Avery

Newsletter editor

Kevin grew up in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. As a young man he embarked on a period of deliberate transience, living in Chicago, Colorado, New Hampshire, the U.P., and Kentucky. In the course of his wanderings, Kevin adopted various passions, including playing guitar, alpine skiing, backpacking, homebrewing, and kayaking–not to mention reading and writing stories and essays. He also managed to secure academic credentials: an A.A., a B.A. in English (Philosophy minor), and a M.A. in English, which he took at Northern Michigan University.

Kevin worked as a staffer for President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, and as an Assistant Professor of English at a community college in Kentucky. In June of 2014, he relocated to Traverse City, MI with his poet wife and their darling newborn daughter. He now teaches writing and literature courses online, referees competitive soccer matches, and monitors the daily adventures of his daughter.

Kevin is a reader for the Dunes Review, and his own creative work has appeared in Centripetal, WaccamawBig Muddy, and The MacGuffin.

Marina Call

Marina Call

Publicity

Marina is many things to many people in many languages.  She grew up in Southern California, very close to Disneyland and would travel to Spain in the summers.  After graduating from U.C. Santa Barbara in Art History she moved to Italy to complete a M.B.A with an emphasis in Marketing. While in Rome, she met her husband-to-be- Warren.  He somehow convinced her that Traverse City was a great place to raise a family and they now live downtown with their children: Sofia and Winston.

Marina currently works at the National Writers Series as the Director of Marketing.  You may also hear her at Northwestern Michigan College’s radio station, 90.7 where she can be found speaking one of her four languages.  Her three novels are in different stages of life, coming-of-age stories set in historical places throughout the world.

Marina has kept a journal since she was 8, led first-time travelers throughout Europe and answered questions such as, “Are there chickens in Italy?”

Leslie Donaldson

Leslie Donaldson

At large

Leslie has been active as a leader for arts and culture in Michigan since 1998. She is best known for her work in the greater Lansing region where she led a community-based fine arts program, founded two contemporary art and performance spaces, coordinated a nationally recognized art festival, and served as the executive director of the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.

Currently, Leslie serves as the director for Interlochen Center for the Arts’ engagement initiatives and adult continuing education programs offering opportunities for alumni, parents, volunteers and stakeholders to connect with Interlochen on campus, off campus and virtually.

Jennifer Kirkpatrick Johnson

Jennifer Kirkpatrick Johnson

President

Jen is the mother of Helene and Roan, daughter of Ellen Kirkpatrick, granddaughter of Helena Hudson, great-granddaughter of Marie Besemer. She grew up in Fife Lake and has memories rich with childhood family adventures that required both endurance and tenacity; like twenty mile bike rides in the rain, backpacking trips, and cross country skiing for miles and miles on state land just for fun with her dad, Glen. She had unhampered access to the nature around her wherever she played.

Jennifer graduated from Adrian College with a Bachelors in Creative Writing and a minor in art. She met her husband, Richard Johnson, 18 years ago when she was getting ready to leave for Great Britain with a six month work visa. While abroad she lived in London, Edinburgh, Northumberland and Oxford before she cut her trip in half so she could accompany a fellow traveler to the Canary Islands as a Spanish interpreter for two weeks. She returned home and was married six months later. Travel remains an important part of her life. Jennifer works for Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan.

Mandy Gibson

Mandy Gibson

Treasurer

A native of Northern Michigan, Mandy currently lives, writes and reads in Traverse City. She has been involved in many community projects over several years, beginning in the early childhood education field and extending to foreign student exchange, library promotion, hiking trail development, NMC Grant Traverse Choral and a multitude of other interests as her life moves on. Although her writing centers on business reports, grant proposals and her personal journal, Mandy is a voracious reader. The TADL “search” and “place hold” pages are her favorite internet spots.

Mandy joined the board in the spring of 2014 as Treasurer. A consultant to small business and non-profits, Mandy is also a certified QuickBooks advisor.

Tanya Muzumdar

Tanya Muzumdar

Senior Editor, Dunes Review

Tanya Muzumdar is the senior editor of Dunes Review and an English adjunct faculty member at North Central Michigan College, where she teaches composition and poetry.

Tanya also has a full-length poetry collection in progress. Her poetry appears in Prairie Schooner, Nashville Review, THRUSH Poetry Journal, Gigantic Sequins, Cherry Tree, Salamander, and Superstition Review, among others, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. She is the recipient of a fellowship from Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts.

In her free time, Tanya enjoys photography, hiking, backpacking, and the outdoors. She holds an M.F.A. from Pacific University and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Susan Odgers

Susan Odgers

At large

Susan Odgers is a Detroiter who moved with her husband to Traverse City in 1987. Together, they began the romanticized adventure of renovating a house in the historic Central neighborhood. Since 2008, Susan has written the “Adapted in TC” monthly column for the Traverse City Record Eagle. She’s also written articles for NMC Magazine, Riviera Reporter, Today’s Education, and Glamour. One of her Record-Eagle columns featuring Bat Girl and Oracle has appeared in Dr. Mark Howell’s book Serious Fun: The Power of Popular Culture. She is currently at work on a book of her Record-Eagle columns.

Susan is a member of the Traverse City Human Rights Commission, and was the recipient of the 2010 Traverse City Human Rights Commission Sara Hardy Humanitarian of the Year Award. Susan is seen as a “community connector” and has been a longtime board member of several organizations, including: Michigan Protection and Advocacy Services, Inc.; Munson Medical Center-Family Advisory Council; Recipient Rights and Cowell Cancer Center; and the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce – Leadership Grand Traverse Fellows Programs.

She has taught psychology at Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) for over 25 years and was given the Adjunct Faculty of the Year award in 2000. She has also taught at Grand Valley State University in Traverse City since 2003. She has conducted writing workshops for persons who have experienced homelessness with NMC colleagues, Dr. Melissa Sprenkle and Michael Anderson. All of those workshop participants now have housing and participate at the monthly “Poets Meet Musicians” event at the Acoustic Taproom in Traverse City.

John Pahl

John Pahl

Secretary

John is a retired college English teacher who writes poetry and fiction, still teaches writing part-time, belongs to an active local writing group, edits others’ books still in gestation or already in adolescence bursting to be published (mostly fiction), and takes notes at the Michigan Writers Board of Directors meetings, as a fairly reliable scrivener.

Karen Stein

Karen Stein

At large

Karen is a freelance writer and editor originally from the Chicago area whose path has zigged and zagged to Cleveland, Washington, DC, and Queretaro, Mexico, until she finally landed in Traverse City in late 2009. Karen is the founder and creative director of Here:Say Storytelling, a monthly curated show presenting true stories on stage in Traverse City.

Daniel Stewart

Daniel Stewart

Online Media

Daniel is an historian, print and book designer, radio producer, and memoirist. He has lived in Leelanau County, Michigan, since 2004, and most of what he does is related to the telling of good and true stories. He joined the board of Michigan Writers in 2012 as part of that mission. He is currently working on a memoir of caregiving and a novel nominally about wish fulfillment.

Daniel assembled this website from spare parts he found around the house; if you have any problems, let him know. Daniel holds a BA from Hampshire College and a PhD from Temple University.

Jennifer Yeatts

Jennifer Yeatts

At large

Jennifer Yeatts is a native of Champion, Michigan. She studied English Education & Creative Writing at Northern Michigan University, where she was Poetry Editor of Passages North, then went on to receive her MFA in poetry from the University of Idaho while also serving as Poetry Editor & Managing Editor of Fugue.

Jennifer moved to Traverse City with her husband in 2011 & now works in Marketing & Quality Assurance for Higher Grounds Trading Co., Michigan’s 100% organic & fair trade coffee company. Her poems have appeared in publications such as Rio Grande Review, The Meadow, Linebreak, Boxcar Poetry Journal, and others. Read her coffee blog at javaforjustice.com.

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