The Bay Area Writers LeagueB.A.W.L. Pelican logo by John Rice, Copyright (c) 1998, all rights reserved.

Fifteenth Annual Conference

Presenter Biographies

Jack Bacon, Ph.D., P.Eng., has had an extensive career at the forefront of technology, including efforts in artificial intelligence, thermonuclear fusion, space, and globalization of networks and commerce. He currently works at the NASA Johnson Space Center. He has presented educational and motivational topics on all levels to hundreds of worldwide audiences, and on numerous radio and TV events, giving scores of presentations every year. To date, he has represented his country in 23 countries on five continents.

He is an award-winning author, whose latest book is My Grandfathers' Clock: a nonfiction which traces the development of technology and society through 28 known generations of his family, dating from medieval times to today's permanent human presence in the cosmos. His next release outlines a vision of the next fifty years, and is called My Stepdaughter's Watch. It is due out in April 2003.

Dr. Bacon received his B.S. degree from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1976, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees respectively in 1978 and 1984 from the University of Rochester, where he worked on laser-fusion power reactors, fusion propulsion systems, and on microgravity fluid surfaces. He worked for Xerox Corporation in several advanced technology and systems integration assignments, prior to joining NASA in 1990. These assignments included pioneering work in globalization, factory automation, CAD/CAM, office automation, and artificial intelligence. He was also heavily involved in implementing the "Leadership Through Quality" program at Xerox, which won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1989. He is licensed as a Professional Engineer.

He is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Science National Honor Society, a Fellow of the Explorers' Club, and a Distinguished Lecturer of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He serves on the Advisory Board to the Engineering Academic Program at Texas A&M University at Commerce. Among his numerous awards and honors, Jack has twice been recognized with the NASA Outstanding Speaker Award. He has received the coveted Silver Snoopy award from the astronauts, and has attained the Johnson Space Center's highest recognition, the Certificate of Commendation.

Stacy Boyd: As an editor with Harlequin/Silhouette Books in New York, Stacy has had the great fortune to explore a wide range of topics and formats, from developing a five-book mini-series about rural midwives to coordinating Silhouette Special Edition's book club. In her selection of books for Harlequin-and in her personal reading choices-she searches for diversity, innovation and that indefinable sparkle. Originally from LaGrange, Georgia, Stacy has always been fascinated by narrative. To satiate her craving for story, she studied the tales of people around the world by earning her undergraduate degree in cultural anthropology at New College of Florida. Then she followed a circuitous career path, which included work at a rural health care center, a Methodist college and an online magazine. She happily allows all of these experiences to influence her editorial style. When Stacy is not feeding her desire for genre fiction, she enjoys teasing out the secrets of new places, writing cross-genre novels, baking chocolate chip banana bread, and taking weekend walks in Central Park with her husband and her dog.

Jacquie Brennan is a lawyer. Jacquie Brennan is a witch. But I repeat myself. Jacquie Brennan actually is both of those things, so basically she spends her life trying to live down both stereotypes, and she does that rather well. Jacquie discovered witchcraft when she was a child, spent several years practicing in a coven, and has spent the last several years as a solitary practitioner, opening her rituals up to anyone who is interested or even simply curious about the Craft. Jacquie is going to share information about the science and nature-based religion of Witchcraft, explore some of the myths about being a Witch (turns out she actually has never eaten a small child), and discuss spells, magick, potions, cauldrons, broomsticks, and the correct term for a male Witch. She will not be wearing a pointy black hat and, unless something goes terribly wrong in the cauldron, she will not have a wart on the end of her nose.

Mary Margaret Carlisle: Internationally known, award-winning American poet, writer, and artist Mary Margaret Carlisle was born in Dallas, but currently makes her home in the City of Webster, Texas. She has written three chapbooks, has been published in various literary print journals, magazines, and anthologies such as Tidelines I and Tidelines II, Texas Poetry Calendar, Curbside Review, Lucidity, and most recently in The Book of Hope, produced by Beyond Borders. Her work appears online in several e-journals, including Map of Austin, Poetry in the Arts, and the Cinquain Journal. Ms. Carlisle is a member of Women Who Write, the Bay Area Writers League, the Poetry Society of Texas, and the Galveston Poets Roundtable. A Magna Cum Laude graduate of University of Houston - Clear Lake, she is Managing Editor of Sol Magazine (an international organization of volunteers and members interested in the education of poets) at and she regularly reads her work and presents workshops in different venues on creativity and various poetic tools and short forms.

Niani Colom is the associate publisher of Columbus, Miss., based Genesis Press. Colom graduated from Nashville's Fisk University in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in international business. In 1995 she helped to establish Genesis Press and its Indigo Romance imprint. She left for Paris, France, in 1996 to pursue an MBA, with a concentration in Public Relations and Business Communications. During her MBA, she worked for DHL Worldwide on "Strategy 2000," a competitive study on logistics market. The product matrixes built determined future positioning and strategy development for DHL Europe. In late 1997, Colom went to work for MasterCard International as public relations manager for the Middle East and Africa. Her leading accomplishment was her communications support around renowned Soccer World Cup 2000 in France, sponsored by MasterCard. The worldwide leveraging of this sponsorship led to internationally recognized media attention. Selected for the accelerated young executive program, a coveted fast track program based on accomplishment, she was quickly promoted to marketing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa in Brussels, Belgium. Her responsibilities were enlarged to include an additional region and she took the reins for advertising, sponsorship, public relations, and marketing research. She led the launch for the current MasterCard global advertising campaign "For Everything Else, There's MasterCard" on 2 continents and in 8 languages. Following the events for September 11th, her yearning to return to her family overpowered her desire to remain in Europe. She returned to America and to the family business in 2002, taking the post of associate publisher at Genesis Press.

Kent Conwell grew up in the wide-open Texas Panhandle in the town of Wheeler, population 848. The West was an integral part of his life. Reading and writing came naturally to him for the desolation of the Panhandle offered little more than school and work.

A quest for adventure had been woven into his life by his grandfather, who had run away from his Tennessee home when he was 14. He bull whacked his way to the Panhandle where he met his future wife who had traveled from Illinois to Texas.

After moving to Fort Worth where Kent was more at home at the stockyards than school, he earned a BS and began teaching. Later, he moved to Port Neches where he acquired a M.Ed. and Ph.D. A successful educator, his love for writing about the West, a period in history unique to America, has never waned. After twenty-two westerns, he wrote his first mystery.

He has won awards for short stories, screenplays, mysteries, and westerns.

The Skeletons of Atchafalaya is Kent's second mystery. His first, Galveston, is available. In addition, Kent has written twenty-two westerns for Avalon. Friday's Station;, Sidetrip to Sand Springs; The Alamo Trail; Blood Brothers; Glitter of Gold; Jim Wells; Painted Comanche Tree; Texas Orphan Train; Valley of Gold; A Wagon Train for Brides; Ghost of Blue Bone Mesa; Gold of Black Mountain; Bumpo, Bill, and the Girls; Gambling Man, and A Hanging in Hidetown are available. Currently, Avalon is considering number twenty-three, An Eye for an Eye.

Cecilia R. Cooper started her writing career as a freelance writer and moved on to community newspaper reporting. She has held part-time and full-time reporter positions, as well as assistant editor and publisher for two community papers. It was during these years she honed her skilled and had several pieces published in magazines and became a published romance author with her bilingual book Perla, Kensington Publications. Nowadays, she is a successful businesswoman with Mary Kay Cosmetics and continues to freelance for various publications in the Bay Area. She is an avid traveler and shares her desire to discover "what's around the river bend" with her husband and two children. Cooper hopes to one day visit Egypt and write a historical romance trilogy.

Carol L. Dennis has had three fantasies and one science fiction book published. She is the senior editor for Palehorse Publishing (who published one B.A.W.L. writer after a previous conference) and runs her own editing service, Lar-ryk Associates ( Twelve books that she has edited for other writers have been published. Carol has taught creative writing at San Jacinto College (Main) and Angelina College. She has also taught education courses at Rice and UH-CL plus English at Clear Lake High School.

Kelly Ellis is a poet whose writing is strongly influenced by the various places in which she has lived, traveled, and worked. She was born in rural Kentucky and lived there until she moved with her family to Southeast Asia, where she spent three years. In her late teens she moved to Hawaii and spent most of her twenties there, receiving a B.Ed. from University of Hawaii and embarking on a teaching career. It was during this time that she continued to travel extensively, across America as well as in Europe. She also started a family in Hawaii, one which has grown to include a husband, four daughters, and two dogs. In 1989 she moved to Texas, where she completed her M.A. in English literature from the University of Houston in 1994. She currently works at San Jacinto College, where she teaches classes that have included Composition I and II, British Literature I and II, World Literature, and Technical Writing. She also serves as a mentor to Asian MBA students at the University of Houston Central Campus. Kelly is an active member of a local women's writing group as well and has had several successes in the past year; these include receiving 1st and 2nd place awards in poetry and a 1st place award in nonfiction in last year's Bay Area Writers League competition and being selected as a juried poet for Poetryfest 2002. She reads her work at various venues and will be presenting several poetry workshops at writing conferences and events this year.

Kay Finch began her legal assistant career in Houston at Richard Racehorse Haynes criminal defense firm before specializing in family law, where she continues to encounter deceit, intrigue, and murderous plot ideas. Her debut mystery, Final Decree, features Corie McKenna, a P.I. who spearheads investigations by day and relaxes by composing country music lyrics at night. Kay's first published fiction, "Firm Expectations," appeared in Red Herring Mystery Magazine. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Private Eye Writers of America, and the State Bar of Texas Legal Assistants Division. Kay has recently become Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She lives in a Houston suburb with her husband and their family of Labrador retrievers, where she is working on her next Corie McKenna private-eye mystery.

Anna Genoese has been with Tom Doherty Associates for three years, during which time she has acquired and edited several books, judged many contests, and led critique groups and writers' workshops. Currently Anna is heading up Tor's new paranormal romance program, a line of mass market original romantic novels that feature various types of paranormal elements.

Joan Upton Hall taught English for twenty-eight years, editing and cartooning a teacher newsletter, The RRAFT Report, which won national awards. Now a full-time freelance writer, she instructs creative writing classes, speaks at writers conferences, is a state representative for ByLine magazine, and serves as an active member of both the San Gabriel Writers League and Writers League of Texas (WLT).

Her experience as a freelance editor led her to write the manual, "Rx for Your Writing Skills." The booklet's explanations, examples, formatting advice, and illustrations have helped hundreds of students, clients, and workshop participants. It has just gone into its second edition, updated and expanded from the first.

Her "Demystifying Writers' Demons -- One at a Time" is a familiar monthly feature in many writers' newsletters. She contributed a regular humor column for over five years and continues to write travel articles for commercial periodicals. Her articles and short stories, even some light verse, have appeared in publications ranging as far away as Minnesota. She is working on her third futuristic suspense novel.

Grand Old Texas Theaters That Won't Quit, her first Texana book co-authored with Stacey Hasbrook, was released in January 2002 through Republic of Texas Press. She is under contract to follow that book with one about old Texas jails.

She has recently made her debut as a novelist with the futuristic suspense thriller, Arturo El Rey, a first place winner in the 2002 WLT contest. It is published by TurnKey Press a division of Phenix & Phenix.

She invites you to visit her Web site:

Dean James is a native Mississippian long transplanted to Texas. Dean earned bachelor's and master's degrees in history from Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. In 1986 he was awarded the Ph.D. in medieval history from Rice University. He subsequently earned a master's degree in library science from the University of North Texas. For ten years he worked in various positions in technical services at the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library, including serving as the Director of Cataloging.

Since 1996 Dean has been the Manager of Murder by the Book, Houston's nationally known mystery specialty bookstore. He is the co-author, with Jean Swanson, of several works of nonfiction, including the award-winning By a Woman's Hand: A Guide to Mystery Fiction by Women (second edition, Berkley Prime Crime, 1996), Killer Books: A Reader's Guide to Exploring the Popular World of Mystery and Suspense, (Berkley Prime Crime, 1998), and the forthcoming Dick Francis Companion (Berkley Prime Crime, fall 2003).

He has published, to date, five mystery short stories and four novels. Dean's first mystery novel, Cruel as the Grave, was published under the Silver Dagger Mysteries Imprint of the Overmountain Press in May 2000. His second novel for Silver Dagger, entitled Closer Than the Bones, was published in May 2001. The first novel in the Simon Kirby-Jones series, Posted to Death, was published by Kensington Publishing in April 2002. The second novel in the series, Faked to Death, was released in April 2003. He has recently completed the third, Decorated to Death, to be published in the spring of 2004.

Kevin Johnson: As a name partner at the firm, Kevin Johnson has developed a successful practice ranging from automobile accidents and wrongful death cases, to medical malpractice wrongful termination cases. Kevin was also named Class Captain of his graduating University of Houston Law Center class and is a member of the Law Center's Legal Foundation Law Gala table sales committee.

Kevin Johnson received his Bachelor of Arts from Rice University (Houston, Texas), where he was a member of the Southwest Conference Championship football team. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Houston, where he was the Assistant Candidates Editor of the Houston Journal of International Law, the Assistant Chief Justice of the Honor Court, and the winner of several competitions, including the Newhouse Mediation Competition and the Hippard Mock Trial Competition, where he was named Best Speaker.

On the subject of passion about the law, Kevin has this to say: When I first decided to enter the legal profession, I saw it mainly as a vehicle to utilize the talents and abilities that I possessed. Now, however, I have come to realize that the law is more than a tool for achieving personal success. It is actually a meaningful endeavor that allows and affords protection to those who have had their rights taken from them. I am passionate about the areas of law in which I am involved and I am very proud to be associated with a firm that bases its livelihood and reputation on such passion and desire for justice.

Hill Kemp's first novel, Capitol Offense, was published in April 2003 by The Best of East Texas Publishers, Lufkin, Texas. It is set in the 1999 Texas Legislative session with the governor running for president. Hill Kemp lives in northwest Louisiana where he writes and works as a consultant. Educated as an engineer, he spent many years working in chemical and independent power industry management in the U.S. and Europe before being elected to the Texas House of Representatives. In the House he worked on complex, major legislation with statewide impact. He also worked several legislative sessions as a lobbyist for electric power deregulation in Texas. Hill has run for the U.S. Congress from Texas. Hill and his wife Margaret have two grown children and three grandchildren.

Luke Mauro has been in service for the City of Houston for over 31 years. He began his career in 1971, working for seven years as a firefighter. After attending the University of Texas Health Science Center, Luke served the next six years as paramedic. He then worked a year on the Fire Chief's staff as Public Information Office. In 1985, he made Captain and began his career as an Arson Investigator. In 1995, he was promoted to Senior Captain. As Senior Arson Investigator, Luke is now in charge of all investigations for the HFD South Sector Office (everything south of I-10). Luke was supervisor on the joint investigation of the fire that killed firefighters Lewis Mayo and Kimberly Smith on Valentines Day, 2001. He was also involved in the investigation of the Four Leaf Tower fire that killed firefighter Jay Janhke last year. Luke loves to cook and his home is often filled with crowds of friends his son brings home to enjoy Papa Luke's culinary talents. His daughter recently made him a grandpapa and he loves spending time with his beautiful granddaughter. Luke has a relaxed and natural story telling style, as will be demonstrated when he shares the tale of the firehouse that caught fire and the chickens stolen from a grill. Want more detail? Don't miss Luke's presentations.

James Minz has been on the editorial staff for Tom Doherty Associates, LLC(Tor & Forge Books) since September 1997, working with a wide variety of authors primarily within fantasy and science fiction. Prior to his move to New York, he lived in Madison, Wisconsin, where he worked for four years as an editorial assistant, literary agent and anthology packager.

Kimberly Morris is an entertaining and educational speaker whose professional writing credits include more than fifty books for children and young adults, animated television scripts, short stories, and comic books.

Ms. Morris is a native Texan who lived in New York City for eleven years where she trained as a lyricist in the ASCAP and BMI Musical Theater Writers Workshops. In order to eat and pay her rent, she began writing animated television scripts for Lorimar-Telepictures and... VOILA !... a children's writer was born.

After writing the animated adventures of The Thundercats, The TigerSharks, The SilverHawks, and The MiniMonsters, she went on to write books and short stories for a wide variety of character groups including The Muppets, The Muppet Babies, Fraggle Rock, Kermit's Tales, The Toxic Crusaders, The Sweet Valley Twins, Animorphs, Barbie, Freshman Dorm, and many others.

Among her publishers and producers are Bantam, HarperCollins, MacMillan, Dorling Kindersley U.K, Millbrook Press, Golden Books, Scholastic, The Muppet Company, Marvel Comics, Lorimar-Telepictures, and Rankin/Bass Productions.

Her presentations are interactive, emphasize the importance of creative problem solving, and demonstrate writing techniques that can be immediately understood and put into practice.

Programs are fun, exciting, and even suspenseful when Ms. Morris guides the group through the process of constructing their own plot - a plot with plenty of complications, colorful characters, and hilariously inventive solutions.

Bernard M. Patten, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.R.S.M., F.T.N.S. has an AB summa cum laude and a doctorate from Columbia. He interned at Cornell and then went back to Columbia for his Psychiatry and Neurology training. He was Chief Resident at Columbia in 1969 and then Assistant Chief of Medical Neurology at the National Institutes of Health. Subsequent to that he was Vice Chairman and Chief of Neuromuscular Diseases of the Department of Neurology at Baylor College of Medicine. He has published over 200 medical articles, has chapters in 19 medical books, and has published many poems and short stories. He has won multiple national and international awards for his medical discoveries and for his writing. He was part of the original team of medical researchers who discovered the L-DOPA treatment for Parkinson's disease.

Doctor Patten's hobby is human memory. In 1969 he started studying human memory with world famous mnemonist Harry Lorayne. Since then he has published numerous magazine articles on the subject. He had his own nightclub act in New York City in which he used memory tricks to simulate telepathic powers. TV appearances include the David Kennedy Show, 20/20, Frontline, TF-1 (French National TV), and a half-hour special on BBC. He has been featured in several movies including some which he produced and help write but did not direct. People at Rice University made one movie, a biographic piece about him, entitled "A Local Hero." One of his documentary films, New Hope, took third place (bronze Venus award) at the Houston International Film Festival. Last time he gave a public lecture in Houston over four hundred people showed up. He has given over 500 talks to national and international audiences. He is listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in Science, etc., but doesn't think much of it. He lives with this wife Ethel and the cat PJ in Clear Lake.

Roger Paulding won several journalism awards while in high school and published three short stories, one of them being a three-part serial, in denominational periodicals. While at Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, he published two short stories in the university magazine. The year after he graduated, he managed the publicity department for the summer. For ten years before he retired, he did technical writing. He is currently writing short stories and novels and won second place in the B.A.W.L. contest in 1997. Recently, his short story, "Making Waves," appeared in the Poet's Canvas, an e-zine He has studied creative writing under B.K. Reeves and Chris Rogers for the last five years and is currently marketing several novels.

Linda Summers Posey is the author of "Who Put the Armadillo in the Avocado Dip?" published in the Hardboiled anthology of food-related private eye stories. She has written more than 200 articles appearing in the Houston Chronicle, Texas Highways, Shell News, Oilways, and other publications. For two years she wrote a restaurant review column for a Houston tabloid newspaper.

Linda's writing awards include first place for mystery-suspense novel, Houston Writers Conference, 2001; first place for short story (2002) and for novel (2003), Fort Bend Writers' Guild. She also placed in the Karen Besecker Memorial Contest for Mystery Writers and a Byline Magazine short story contest; won honorable mention in a Writer's Digest "Your Assignment" contest; and received several awards for marketing communications. Linda recently completed her first novel starring her wanna-be private eye protagonist, Stacy McReady. A second Stacy short story will soon be published.

Linda learned to tap into her own creativity the hard way. After majoring in chemistry at Rice University, she worked as a research chemist in the oil industry for several years. She became a technical writer "by accident" and almost never set foot in the lab again. From there each step in her writing career has led her in more creative directions - as a freelance writer and marketing consultant and finally as a short story author and novelist.

A native of San Antonio, Linda lives with her husband and two very creative cats in Houston.

B.K. Reeves has published six historical novels. Born in 1931 and raised in the West Texas ranch country, B.K. is an estate manager for the family property in Kent County. She divides her time between Houston and her home out there. She continues to write genre and mainstream fiction, teaches workshops at writer's conferences and speaks to writer's groups and other organizations all over the country. A keen historian, she loves to write about early Texas and its inhabitants. Her particular goal is to preserve the sound, idiom and syntax of those early citizens. She feels blessed that she was able to glean first hand stories from two great-grandfathers, detailing the events they lived through during the Civil War. Her family has been in Texas since 1834. She had five ancestors who fought in the Battle of San Jacinto, April 21, 1836. She is a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. B.K. Has been named member of Who's Who in the World in recognition of her campaign for 100% literacy. She is also listed in Who's Who of American Women. She loves to mentor new writers and teaches creative writing at two of the community colleges in the Houston metroplex. She has contributed to the B.A.W.L. Conference every year. Look for her new print-on-demand book Thunder Moon at

Barbara Dawson Smith: A member of Romance Writers of America since 1981, Barbara Dawson Smith sold her first historical romance two weeks after sending it to a publisher. Her books have won the Golden Heart Award from R.W.A. And Best Historical Romantic Suspense and Best Regency Historical from Romantic Times. She's been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award, Romance of the Year by Affaire de Coeur magazine, the Golden Quill, and the Booksellers Best Award. After being a five-time finalist for the coveted RITA, she won the award in 2002 for Tempt Me Twice. Born in Michigan, Barbara lives in Houston with her husband and two daughters. When she's not finishing a chapter or teaching seminars on writing, she enjoys adding to her collection of over a thousand research books. Her 20th romance novel, One Wild Night, will be published by St. Martin's Press in September 2003.

Kerrelyn Sparks: As a former tap dancer and high school French teacher, Kerrelyn Sparks has always searched for creative ways to express herself. A prolific reader since childhood, Kerrelyn discovered that writing her own stories provided the ideal way to combine her love of drama, comedy, language, and history. And what a relief that the voices in her head have led to a paycheck instead of a padded room! Her debut book, a historical romance titled For Love or Country, was released in June 2002 with rave reviews. The Word on Romance review site voted For Love or Country the 2002 Book of the Year and gave it their Rose Award for Best Historical of the Year. Reviewers International Organization (RIO) named For Love or Country Runner-up for the Dorothy Parker Award of Excellence in two categories-Best Long Historical and Best Debut Author. A native Houstonian, Kerrelyn lives with her husband and children in Katy, Texas. She's a member of the West Houston and Northwest Houston chapters of the Romance Writers of America. To catch up on her latest news and read excerpts from her books, please visit her Web site at

Bill Stevenson: During the late sixties and early seventies, Bill Stevenson, a native Texan, wrote professionally as a young reporter for several Colorado dailies, including the Colorado Springs Sun, the Boulder Daily Camera, and the Colorado Daily. After a twenty-year hiatus, he returned to writing poetry and fiction as a freelancer. Stevenson became associated with "The Poet's Canvas" (, a seminal online literary magazine, at the beginning of the new millennium, helping the managing editor, L.A. Schuler, develop and implement a long-term business and artistic plan to bring the periodical to print for profit. Mr. Stevenson is a member of several professional associations including the Mystery Writers of America, the Fort Bend Writers Guild, and the Bay Area Writer's League.

John Thornburg: A poet and teacher (and hence, monetarily impoverished) John also writes plays, fiction, and criticism. He teaches English and creative writing on the Central Campus of San Jacinto [Community] College in Pasadena, Texas. Much the Hoosier, John was born in East Chicago, Indiana, graduating from Purdue and earning graduate degrees in English and creative writing from Indiana University. In the summer of 1989, he received an NEH Grant to attend a Seminar on Pascal's Pens at Notre Dame University (in Indiana). John also did graduate work at the University of Leeds, England (which is not Indiana, but is rather like Chicago). As a high school teacher, in Texas for the most part, John taught English (mostly senior English) for nine years and English and creative writing for seven. As a college instructor, John has taught lower-division English (composition and British literature) for seventeen years in Indiana and Texas, and for the last eight years he has also taught creative writing at the college level. When he began teaching at San Jacinto College in 1990, the English curriculum had only one creative writing course, worth one college credit, English 1111. John developed two additional, three-credit creative writing courses, English 2307 and English 2308, and shepherded them through the arduous curriculum development and approval process, which required passage through four academic committees. (Rumor has it that "San Jack" is currently field-testing this curriculum development process here on Earth as a possible ring in Hell for picayunish college administrators and affected professors in the afterlife.) Students may take English 2307, Creative Writing, and English 2308, Creative Writing Studies, either for college credit or through continuing education, which is less expensive. Students in these supportive workshop courses may concentrate on fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction from life experience, or they may try their hands at all three. Classes average between fifteen and twenty people. Everyone is welcome to join a class and celebrate being human through writing.

Chris Woods writes fiction, nonfiction, poetry and plays. He is the author of The Dreampatch, a lyrical novel about a Texas family during the 1940s. His collection of prose poems and brief fiction, Under a Riverbed Sky, was published by Panther Creek Press. His collection of stage monologues for actors and actresses, Heart Speak, was published recently by Stone River Press. His works have appeared in over four hundred publications in the U.S. And fourteen other countries. These publications include Columbia, The Southern Review, New England Review, Confrontation, Rosebud, and Gimmer Train. His many plays have been produced in Houston, Ft. Worth, Memphis, Minneapolis, Providence, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Fort Lauderdale and Santa Fe. They include A Woman on Fire, Moonbirds, Interim, Pillow Dreams La Loma, This Way to Bed, Ladies and Gentlemen,Woman Alone, and Lover, Killer, Angel, Thief. Mr. Woods has received a grant from the Mary Roberts Rinehart Foundation. He has received residencies at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming and the Edward Albee Foundation in New York. He lives in Houston where he has taught creative writing workshops at Rice University Continuing Studies Program, The Women's Institute, and by correspondence.

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