President, Merilee Marsh
Merilee Marsh is the current president of the Idaho Writers Guild. She spent her professional career in marketing: she wrote copy at a radio station; sold airtime at a television station; founded and ran an advertising agency; served as a director of public affairs for a law school; and spent 17 years as a marketing consultant to law firms. A former member of the National Speakers Association, Merilee has presented workshops in the United States, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. She is a member of the Osher Advisory Board, heads up Osher's Memoir Special Interest Group, and is an active member of several writing groups.
Vice President, Amanda Turner
AK Turner is the New York Times bestselling author of multiple book series, garnering a starred review from Publishers Weekly, inclusion in the BookLife/Publishers Weekly “Top 5 Indie Books of 2014,” Foreword Indies Awards, IPPY Awards, Northwest American Book Awards, and an Independent Press Award. Her work has been featured in a wide range of print and online publications, including Money Inc, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Artocratic, Greenbelt magazine, and Folio Literary magazine. Her essays have appeared in numerous anthologies, including Little White Dress; Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana; I Just Want to Be Alone; I Just Want to Be Perfect; and Will Work for Apples. In addition to serving as the incoming President of the Idaho Writers Guild, Turner has volunteered for Boise Public Libraries, Rake Up Boise, and is a founding member of the philanthropic group Impact Club Boise. She is a former Writer-in-Residence for the City of Boise (AiR Program) and Idaho State Parks.
Secretary, Christy Hovey
Christy Hovey has certifications in both the real estate and insurance industries and enjoy working with those who are relocating to the great state of Idaho. I enjoy teaching and speaking on the topics of start-ups, social media marketing strategies for businesses and individuals, and effective ways to build a successful platform. I also coach others how to find their writing voice and how to successfully outline a book manuscript.
I write for The Urban Liaison magazine and I am the Idaho coordinator for National Novel Writing Month. I have written several books and sit on the Idaho Writers Guild Board of Directors. I have four children, one of whom has special needs. I volunteer extensively within my community and love helping others become successful. I am passionate about teaching others how to find their voice and overcome their limiting beliefs to create a catalyst for positive growth and contentment wherever they are in life’s journey. I also have strong ties with and enjoy working with those associated with the military in helping them find transitional housing or retirement housing within the Treasure Valley. My ultimate goal is to serve others and to positively impact those around me.
Treasurer, Leigh Robbins
Leigh Robbins lives a dual life, accountant by day, writer by night. He is the current treasurer for the Idaho Writers Guild. He has seven years of experience as an accountant, and spends his free time writing in the science fiction and fantasy genres. He also dabbles in romance when he thinks no one is looking.
Membership Chair, Critique Group, Mystery Writers Academy, Laura Jenski
Laura Jenski earned her bachelor and master's degrees in biology from Northern Illinois University and her PhD in oncology from the University of Wisconsin, where she also was a postdoctoral fellow in immunology. She held faculty appointments at Children’s Hospital Research Foundation (Cincinnati), Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, and Marshall University, where she was Head of Biological Sciences. Laura served nine years as Vice President for Research at the University of South Dakota, where she oversaw the university’s sponsored programs office, technology transfer and economic development functions, and research compliance offices. She and her husband Rod Haars moved to Boise in 2014 to enjoy the Idaho outdoors and vibrant city activities. After decades of authoring original scientific research articles, Laura now writes fiction—serious mysteries and farces—and finds no shortage of characters worth murdering.
Strategic Planner, Write Track, Website Rick Just
Rick Just is a native Idahoan who grew up on a ranch along the Blackfoot River. Rick holds a BA and MPA from Boise State University where he was editor of cold-drill. He is the author of two adult novels, four YA novels, and has written or edited several books on Idaho history. He writes a daily Idaho history blog on Facebook called Speaking of Idaho, and writes regular columns on history for the Idaho Press and the Morning News. His latest books are A Kid's Guide to Boise, and Fearless—Farris Lind, the Man Behind the Skunk.
Conference Registration, Past President, Gretchen Mullins
Gretchen Mullins is a Boise, Idaho, native and prides herself on supporting the local writing and editing communities. Mullins has held several positions on the Idaho Writers Guild board and is currently on the board as Past President. For more than five years, she has volunteered her time to make the Idaho Writers Conference (formerly known as Idaho Writers Rendezvous) a success. She has recruited, trained, and organized volunteers to manage the registration desk, greet attendees with smiles, and quickly solve any problems that arise. Every year, conference attendees, especially the professional speakers, comment on the warmth and friendliness of the volunteers and how well the conference is run. When Mullins isn’t working on improving the conference for the upcoming year, she is writing her first novel and editing books and manuscripts for local clients. She is also a member of the Idaho Editors Association. Mullins lives in Boise with two cats who enjoy stomping on her keyboard while she is trying to work.
IWG Contest Chair and Writers Corner Facilitator, Sherry Briscoe
Sherry Briscoe is an award-winning author of mystery, suspense, and supernatural thrillers. Her childhood heroes were Alfred Hitchcock and Edgar Allan Poe, and she insists that episodes of The Twilight Zone made perfectly fine bedtime stories. A native Idahoan with Cajun and Cherokee heritage, she holds degrees in Journalism, Photography, and Adult Education. She is a world traveler, US Army Veteran, founder of the Idaho Screenwriters Association, active board member of the Idaho Writers Guild, and professional speaker and workshop facilitator.
Board Member, Kate Baray
Kate Baray writes page-turning urban fantasy with relatable characters. When Kate’s not tapping away at her keyboard or in deep contemplation of her next fanciful writing project, she’s sweeping up hairy dust bunnies and watching British mysteries. Kate is from Austin, Texas (where many of her stories take place) but has recently migrated north to Boise, Idaho, where soup season (her favorite time of year) lasts more than two weeks. She’s worked as an attorney, a dog trainer, and in various other positions, but writer is the hands-down winner. She’s thankful readers keep reading, so she can keep writing! Kate also writes cozy mysteries as Cate Lawley.
Board Member Pamela Kleibrink Thompson
Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a writer whose column "The Career Coach" is on Animation World Network. She is an internationally known speaker and has presented at conferences from Stuttgart, Germany, to San Diego, California, and at schools from Singapore to Sarasota. She has a background in animation and was production manager on The Simpsons. Pamela has written and produced training films for AT&T and IBM, and her articles have appeared in more than 110 publications. You can reach her at PamRecruit87@gmail.com.
Board Member Robert McAndrew
Bob McAndrew won the 2000 Peterson Emerging Playwright Award for his play John Doe #2. He was one of four playwrights living west of the Mississippi to be nominated for the 1999 PEN Center USA West Literary Award for Drama for his play Only Child. His play Foundling won the 1999 Southern Appalachian Playwrights Conference. Screw the Widow was a winner of the 2002 Theatre Conspiracy National New Play Competition. Hostage Politics won the 2008 Palm Springs International Playwriting Competition. Bob’s full-length, one-act and ten-minute plays have received staged readings and/or full productions in Alaska, California, Florida, Idaho, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon. He lives in Boise, Idaho with three cats and his wife extraordinaire.
Advisory Board Members, Laura and Bruce DeLaney of Rediscovered Books