Let's Write Together

Meet Our Staff and Board of Directors

Our Guild board members and staff passionately enact our mission and vision to empower, enlighten, challenge, and engage women writers.

Meet the women who collaborate to create a home for us all.

DIXIE L. KING, Ph.D., Executive Director

“The Guild is an amazing group of talented, open-hearted, supportive, vulnerable, resilient women who inspire me and raise me to a new level.”

What riles you up? Unkindness and unfairness, particularly in systems that hurt people who have little voice or agency.

What lights you up? The Canyonlands of Central and Southern Utah. Public speaking on topics near and dear. Facilitating workshops focused on personal and professional growth. Watching women gain agency through the written word. Bringing diverse people together to work toward common goals.

What do you champion? The voiceless.

Notable publications and influence:

Food, Sex & Salvation: An Ethnography of a Recovery House for People with Eating Disorders

The Hat” (The New England Writers Journal)

“Impact of Methamphetamine in Kern County, CA: A Preliminary Study”

Cultural anthropologist, business owner, and program evaluator

Trainer in facilitation skills, cultural awareness, and strategic planning


MARJ HAHNE, Communications Coordinator

“The Guild is the community I feel most like myself in; the best of me, as both human and teacher, emerges inside the receptivity, generosity, and authenticity of this body of women.”

What riles you up? Abuse of power. Cruelty. Narcissism. Exploitation. Exclusion. Hypocrisy. Our collective failure to solve global humanitarian problems when there’s enough intelligence, creativity, and resources to do it.

What lights you up? Dogs. Children playing. Laughter. Fast, silly, stupid-smart wit. An excellent poem, artwork, music. Salsa dancing. Good food and booze. Coffeehouses. Traveling. Clouds. Cactus. Cityscapes. Mountain and desert panoramas.

What do you champion? Kindness. Consideration. Do unto others.

Notable publications & influence:

Poems published in Many Mountains Moving, Paterson Literary Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Alimentum, DIAGRAM,Rock & Sling, Mad Poets Review, and the anthologies Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude, Rabbit Ears: TV Poems, The Doll Collection, Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, An Eye For An Eye Makes The Whole World Blind: Poets On 9/11, and Off the Cuffs: Poetry By and About the Police

Delivered Pecha Kucha presentation titled “How a Poem Happens” (2015)

Delivered “Poet as Witness of a Moment, or God Is in the Details” lay sermon, BuxMont Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship, Warrington, PA (2004)


JUDY HUGE, Board President

“I serve The Guild so that this generation and future generations of women can have our stories told, voices heard, and ourselves witnessed as the magical creatures we are.”

What riles you up? People unwilling to seek answers to Prufrock’s “overwhelming question(s).”

What lights you up? The eyes of my workshop participants when they realize they are seeing and writing in a new way.

What do you champion? Guiding people to mine for deeper ore, to see the gold dust on their socks when they emerge.

Notable publications and influence:

“A Middle-Aged Woman and the Sea” (Traveler’s Tales, Women in the Wild: True Stories of Adventure and Connection)

Founder of the Goucher (College) Teachers’ Institute, a graduate program focused on the teaching of writing.


LAURA KIELEY, Board Vice President

“Through The Guild, I have developed my voice, learned the art and craft of writing, and been part of an incredible community of fierce and talented women. I am constantly reminded that my words can have real power in the world, and that is a message I want all women to hear.”

What riles you up? Gender inequity (everything from the “gender tax” to the lack of consistent infrastructure and policies to support working mothers).

What lights you up? Writing something wonderful. Spending time with people I love. Connecting with other women writers. Giving my time and talent to The Guild. Believing that we are on a path to empower women around the world.

What do you champion? Women finding their voices. Finding each other. Conquering fear. Making a difference.

Notable influences: I’ve been an active member of The Guild since 2003. That year’s summer conference was the beginning of a valuable and lifelong connection to The Guild, where I currently lead the branding and marketing committees.


HOPE PLAYER, Board Treasurer

“The women of The Guild have welcomed me into a world of creativity, so I offer, in return, my skills in financial management to assure the growth and sustainability of this unique and nurturing organization.”

What riles you up? Seeing women not utilizing their potential to control their lives and better their futures.

What lights you up? Watching women teaching women that they can achieve.

What do you champion? I have spent my career as a champion for micro-entrepreneurs—the smallest of businesses—which provide more than 90% of the jobs in our country. As a co-founder of a nonprofit dedicated to providing training and mentoring, I am passionate about that success for writers. IWWG is a champion for women writers so it’s a good match.

Notable publications and influence:

Certified Public Accountant, Certified Financial Planner, and Certified Valuation Analyst celebrating 30 years in business in 2017

Author, Find The Numbers for Your Business Plan (Full Court Press, 2010)

Published articles in Blue Ridge Business Journal and New Jersey CPA, and on RacersReunion.com

Board member of numerous organizations, including New Century Venture Center, a small business incubator in Roanoke, VA, which I co-founded.



The Guild is one of a kind. It is an organization and place where writers encourage fellow writers, where there is critique, honesty, and hard work.”

What riles you up? Narcissism, dishonesty, disrespect, and lack of consideration for another.

What lights you up? Finalizing a writing project. Camaraderie. Bursts of laughter. The sound of the D note on the violin. A galloping horse.

What do you champion? Compassionate treatment of humans and animals.

Notable publications & influence:

A Toast to My Family, A Family Memoir, and There Once Was a Time, a poem dedicated to my father and written in honor of him and those before him.

Named to the Fairleigh Dickinson University Silberman’s College of Business’s “50 Under 50” list of top alumni business leaders under the age of 50.

Received the National Association of Cuban-American Women’s Elena Mederos Award for my contribution to the advancement of those in the Hispanic-American community.


KELLY DUMAR, Board Member & Social Media Coordinator

“I love helping women value their writing voices and practice creative ways of telling their truth and beauty.”

What riles you up? Rigidity—as a personal attitude and as an attempt to control others.

What lights you up? Someone being vulnerable with the truth of her experience—risking by sharing a personal story on stage. I believe a walk in the woods every day is an absolute necessity.

What do you champion? A woman’s right to personal freedom of body, soul, mind, and pen.

Notable publications & influence:

I founded and produce the Our Voices Festival of Women Playwrights at Wellesley College, now in its 11th year.

Tree of the Apple and All These Cures (poetry chapbooks)

Before You Forget: The Wisdom of Writing Diaries for Your Children (a nonfiction book for parents)

The Adventures of Rocky & Skye: A One-Act Play for Youth (Youth Plays)

Bloom, Hothouse, & Practicing Peace, award-winning short plays (Heuer Publishing)

If You Went Missing, monologue, 60 seconds to shine. Volume 2, 221 one-minute monologues for women / edited by John Capecci and Irene Ziegler Aston



“The Guild is one of the most important ways I have of helping to change the world one word at a time.”

What riles you up? Dishonest elected officials, discrimination against people of color, people who won’t listen to reason, injustice, unfairness, cruelty to women, children, and animals.

What lights you up? Successfully completing a piece of writing and feeling very proud of it. Seeing the lights go on in the eyes of my students as they become aware of the power of their own creative abilities. Meditation, sunrises, sunsets, transformation, and the power of spirit.

What do you champion? Political correctness, issues critical to African-Americans, global-warming concerns, support of artists and artistic endeavors.

Notable publications & influence:

Author of bestseller Soul Between The Lines (Avon) and six other books

Former writing consultant to the United Nations

Guest delegate to UNESCO Executive Director of Women Writers and Artists Matrix


CATHLEEN O’CONNOR, Ph.D., Board Member

“The Guild was the place I first found my voice as a writer.”

What riles you up? Intolerance towards others, unkindness, our inability as a human family to protect the most vulnerable among us.

What lights you up? Travel—getting to explore other places and cultures, deepening my spiritual practice, connecting with my readers virtually or in person, writing, writing, writing, and teaching.

What do you champion? Creativity, self-confidence, encouragement, healthy boundaries.

Notable publications & influence:

The Everything Law of Attraction Dream Dictionary (Adams Media, 2010)

High Heels on the Hamster Wheel (Balboa Press, 2014)

365 Days of Angel Prayers (CreateSpace, 2014)

Articles in ALIVE magazine (Canada) and SPHERE (Australia)

Blogger for numerologist.com


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