Mission Statement


Friends of Writers, in providing financial and creative support for students, alumni and faculty of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, aims to cultivate a diversity of voices in the ongoing generation of new and vital literary works.



  • The Board will include 15-20 voting members.
  • Board terms are defined as three-year, renewable, usually beginning and ending in August.
  • Active, participating Board members will always be encouraged to renew their terms when they expire. Term limits, though, give members a chance to take a leave from the Board when circumstances and other commitments make such active participation difficult. Outgoing and former Board members are welcome to join the Board’s Advisory Panel(s).
  • We are committed to strong Warren Wilson alumni and faculty presence on the Board.
  • We are committed to 100% active participation by members. It is assumed that during a 3-year term, only exceptional circumstances will interfere with a Board member’s attendance at least 4 of the 6 standing meetings or with active involvement in at least one of its projects.
  • The MFA Program Director holds an Ex Officio appointment; an individual who no longer holds that position is also eligible for a subsequent regular term.
  • The Board may be complemented by an adjunct Advisory Panel or panels, whose members will bear neither fiscal responsibility nor voting privileges but whose skills, experience and active participation in Friends’ projects are crucial resources. Advisors would also be welcome at Board meetings although attendance is not expected.  A term on the Board proper is not a requirement for invitation to serve as an Advisor.
  • The Board shall establish any internal or adjunct committees necessary to the efficient discharge of its responsibilities.
  • A 2/3 vote from the Board shall be required to dissolve Friends of Writers.  Upon dissolution of Friends of Writers any assets remaining after payment of or provision for its debts and liabilities shall, consistent with the mission of Friends, be paid to a charitable organization with similar missions that are exempt under the provisions of section 501c 3of the IRS Code.  Upon dissolution, no part of the net assets or net earnings of Friends of Writers shall inure to the benefit of or be paid or distributed to any Board Member of the organization.

Board Members

Joan Aleshire1992-2010Term converted to Founding Director
Catherine Barnett2004-2010Terms completed
Jasmine Beach-Ferrara2006-2011Terms completed
Shannon Cain2006-2009Term completed
Michael Collier2000-2006Terms completed
Judy French2006-2009Term completed
Melissa Hotchkiss1999-2006Terms completed
Jynne Martin2007-2010Term completed
Cammy Thomas2005-2011Terms completed
Peter Turchi*2002-2008 and 2008-2011Ex Officio, terms completed
C. Dale Young2007-2010Term completed
Cheryl Baldi*1995-2014
Catherine Brown2012-2015
Nan Cuba2005-2014
Maudelle Driskell2008-2014
Elizabeth Gray, Jr.2010-2013
David Haynes2010-2013
Maeve Kinkead2011-2014
Peter Klank2011-2014
Geoff Kronik2012-2015
Vyvynne Loh2007-2013
Mike Puican2012-2015
Martha Rhodes*1991-2013
Mary Jo Thompson2012-2015
Dan Tobin*2005-2013
Ellen Voigt*1991-2012
Abigail Wender*2010-2013
Eleanor Wilner*2006-2012
Rolf Yngve2012-2015
Debra Allbery, Ex Officio2010-
Joan Aleshire, Founding Dir2010-
*Executive Committee