Lisa Locascio - Executive Director
Lisa Locascio has held teaching appointments at Wesleyan University, UCLA, the University of Southern California, Colorado College, and New York University. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature and MA in English Literature from USC and an MFA in Fiction from NYU. Her work has received honors including the 2011 John Steinbeck Award for Fiction and the 2017 International Literary Award Penelope Niven Prize in Creative Nonfiction. Lisa is co-publisher of Joyland and editor of its West section, as well as of the ekphrastic collaboration magazine 7x7LA. She edited the anthology Golden State 2017: The Best New Writing from California. Her novel Open Me was published by Grove Atlantic in 2018.
GINNY RORBY - PRESIDENT
Ginny holds an MFA in Creative Writing and is the author of five novels for middle grade and young adult readers: How to Speak Dolphin; Lost in the River of Grass—winner of the 2012/2013 Sunshine State Young Readers Award; Hurt Go Happy—winner of the 2008 American Library Association’s Schneider Family Book Award; The Outside of a Horse; and Dolphin Sky. Her sixth novel, Freeing Finch, has recently been acquired by Tor. She has been a board member for more than twenty years and was co-director from 1996 to 2004. She is thus eminently qualified to keep her eye on the current director.
barbara lee - vice-PRESIDENT and registrar
Barbara was a sales secretary for Polaroid Corporation for twelve years. For fifteen years, she operated an interior design business in California and Hawaii. She joined the MCWC board as a consultation coordinator in 2003. In 2005, she assumed the role of registrar, a position she loves. Barbara published a novella, The Seventh Circle, in 2015 and looks forward to the launch of another, Kiss Me at Midnight.
NORMA WATKINS - SECRETARY
The author of the award-winning memoir The Last Resort, and its upcoming sequel That Woman from Mississippi, Norma holds a Ph.D. in English and an MFA in Creative Writing. She is professor emerita at Miami Dade College where she held an endowed chair, and presently teaches creative writing for Mendocino College. She has served on the MCWC board since the days of no board: just three women sitting around a café table trying to figure out how to keep a writers’ conference going after the original director moved to Kansas.
kate erickson - treasurer
Kate is the author of the blog It Happened at Purity which explores small town adventures on the Mendocino Coast. One of her posts was featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Christmas. She is also a financial advisor, and has been advising the MCWC board on matters financial and otherwise for the past five years.
nona smith - BOARD MEMBER
Nona has been an MCWC board member for more than six years, serving as board president for three of them. She is the author of Stuffed, Emptying the Hoarder’s Nest, a true tale about divesting a hoarder’s estate of its eclectic possessions. Nona writes memoir, fiction, and short stories, always with a humorous twist. Her pieces have been published in magazines, anthologies, and the St. Petersburg Times Sunday Journal. She lives in Mendocino with her patient husband, Art, and two demanding cats.
SUSAN BONO - BOARD MEMBER
Susan has facilitated writers of all skill levels for more than twenty five years. She edited and published Tiny Lights: A Journal of Personal Narrative from 1995 to 2015, and is currently editor-in-chief of Noyo River Review. Her essay collection, What Have We Here: Essays about Keeping House and Finding Home, was published in 2014. She’s been on the MCWC board since 2011.
Amie mcGee - BOARD MEMBER
While vacationing on the Mendocino Coast as a youth, Amie aspired to be the crazy cat lady wandering the village wearing indelible-ink lipstick. She now lives in Fort Bragg with less than two dozen cats and two beautiful, ginormous dogs: she’s this close to achieving her childhood dream. In addition to being a can-do member of the MCWC board, Amie is the treasurer for the Writers of the Mendocino Coast and works at the Fort Bragg Public Library.
MARIA TROMBETTA - BOARD MEMBER
Maria Trombetta is a graduate student in the Creative Writing program at San Francisco State University and co-director of Art Explorers, a creative art nonprofit for people with developmental disabilities and brain injuries. She is currently working on a nonfiction book about the Sonoma Developmental Center, one of the last institutions in California to house people with developmental disabilities. Maria’s writing has been featured in the Oakland Tribune, the Sonoma Index-Tribune and bioStories. This is her second year on the MCWC board.
Kara Vernor - BOARD MEMBER
Kara Vernor’s stories have appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, PANK, Green Mountains Review, The Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere. She was the 2011 MCWC Estelle Frank Fellow, a 2017 MCWC faculty member, and an Elizabeth George Foundation scholar. Her work has been included in Wigleaf’s Top 50 Very Short Fictions, the Best Small Fictions finalists, and Outpost 19’s Golden State 2017 anthology. Her fiction chapbook, Because I Wanted to Write You a Pop Song, is available from Split Lip Press, and she co-hosts the Bay Area reading series, Get Lit.
Laura Welter - BOARD MEMBER
Laura Welter grew up in Iowa where she graduated from the U of I, then taught 6th grade for four years. The College of the Redwoods Fine Woodworking Program offered Laura and her husband an excellent reason to move to the Mendocino coast. Laura worked for non-profits for over 35 years, first managing the Paul Bunyan Thrift Shop for Parents and Friends, then directing the Fort Bragg Food Bank, and for the past 13 years, Safe Passage Family Resource Center. Laura recently retired from that job, and now has time to devote to such worthwhile endeavors as the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference.
Amy Lutz - Editorial Assistant
Amy Lutz first attended MCWC in 2017 on a scholarship and fell in love with the conference. She enjoys working behind-the-scenes as the editorial assistant to provide the same wonderful experience for future conference participants. An avid reader and writer, Amy is working on her first book.