Here are the bios of last year’s executive leadership and chairs. Their term ended starting July. Please thank them for their service and time in sharing their skills and talents with the chapter.
MICHAEL joined League of Utah Writers in August 2011 and quickly found a home. He has been writing since he was “very young.” His 2nd & 3rd Grade teachers never knew what hit them when Commander Bob – Space Explorer Extraordinaire and later The Adventures of Captain Clyde entered his class journal. Soon they let him write what he wanted instead of what they asked.
This creative theme continued throughout his life and he joined various like interested persons in creating characters, plots and worlds where people were itching to get more. Despite heavy encouragement he never tried to get published; medicine and research were his pursuits. However, this all changed with brain surgery. (No we’re not kidding) He now is making writing his profession. Apparently he’s always been a “closet writer.” His explanation of this dramatic change comes with a smile, “Science proved I have a brain, but they also proved there was something wrong with it.”
Besides writing he composes music, dabbles in cartography, loves the outdoors, and enjoys every minute with his wife and children.
Thanks Michael for taking UVW to new heights in becoming the largest and most active chapter in Utah.
Note: Michael Gordon was re-elected.
JESSICA WINN grew up in Houston, Texas. She always had a passion for reading and writing. When she wasn’t engrossed in a new book series, she could be found typing away on the family’s computer creating her own stories. Soon themes of truth and human nature emerged from these experiences. They pulled on her, leading to a direction she never considered–the path of Journalism. She attended Utah State University and graduated in this field.
After coming to Provo for a job in the Public Relations sector the old feelings and joys of writing fiction returned. She knew Utah Valley Writers was the place for her after her first visit. Jessica brings something unique to Utah Valley Writers. A perspective honed in the discipline of Journalism, but the desire to write fiction. (A dangerous concoction, dare we say. ) In the time she has been with us, it is apparent how the two marry and create compelling fiction based on the relatable natures of humanity. In the chapter she is respected for her quick ideas, willingness to help and ability to think outside the box.
When she’s not dreaming up stories she can be found spending time with her husband. She also enjoys horseback riding, hiking, rock climbing, reading and blogging.
Thanks for everything you did Jessica in getting us more up-to-date with social media. Too bad you are likely moving this next year and cannot fill another executive role. You did a great job.
Note: Jessica will serve in a chair position as part of our expanding program to reach out to members and people online.
SARAH grew up overseas spending time in South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Watching the sunset from the top of Mayan pyramid or walking through the amber room at the Summer Palace outside St. Petersburg made her imagination take flight. As a child, she hated writing and reading, preferring to build forts and climb trees, creating a fantasy culture to compliment her primitive structures. It wasn’t until later that she discovered the power of books and where they could take her. Writing came into her life after the birth of her second child in the form of a story she had to put down on paper.
Sarah has always been interested in learning how to do things from crochet to welding and she approached writing in the same way. Going to workshops and conferences, reading blogs and books on writing, she devoured any information that would help her master the craft. As an artist she believes that painting a picture in someone’s mind with words is the ultimate form of creativity. When she’s not writing, Sarah loves creating works of art, spending time with her husband, and building forts with her kids.
Thanks Sarah for everything you did in marketing, designing, and filling in places as needed. A lot of praise has been given, but the reality is, the growth of the chapter would not have happened without you.
Note: Sarah Anderson was elected to Director of Community Relations
MONTEEN GORDON was born in Idaho and has lived in Wyoming, Texas, Oklahoma, New Jersey and Utah. She graduated from BYU with a major in Psychology and a minor in English. She owned a publishing company for seventeen years and also did various freelance writing projects.
Monteen is a published author of non-fiction, the bestselling, How To Herb Book. Besides non-fiction, her fiction writing genres include: Children, YA and Adult. Her current WIPs are: a revision of The How To Herb Book and a fantasy/paranormal fiction. After those are finished, if the voices in her head will stop arguing about what is next, the possibilities are endless.
Stories have twirled in her head from childhood, which explains the peculiar stares she gets from others as she gazes into space. Some of her amazing talents are: spending hours in the dictionary and the thesaurus looking up odd, unfamiliar words (Anyone have a kalpis?); singing songs to go with snippets of conversation and petting dogs, especially puppies.
She enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, eating,reading, training on the treadmill, watching science fiction and fantasy movies, and dogs. (Said that already, but she really does love dogs.)
Thanks for everything Monteen. You created a legend at the conference with the “Author Only” signs. Everyone loved it! Best wishes on the revision of your best-selling book and your Creative Non-Fiction deal.
DALLAN SIMPER has always been a story teller. He credits this to fond memories of sitting at his grandma’s feet while she told the stories her grandpa told her. Dallan hasn’t published anything yet, but writes a lot anyway. He lives near a lake with his wife, three kids, a cat and a dog. His passion and creativity are expressed through prose, code, poetry, wood working, and pictures of bugs.
Thanks Dallan for the support and odd jobs you were given that you did to help make us grow.
Note: The delegate position has been merged with one of the officers, since they attend the state board meetings. Dallan will be serving in another chair role.
CANDA MORTENSEN originates from Colorado but has lived in several western states. Nurtured by an early love of poetry, Shakespeare and non-fiction text, she became an avid writer (in private) as well. Following the death of her son, Canda made a career change from business to teaching, sharing her passion and excitement for the world of words to thousands of children. She loves family time, enjoys cooking (especially desserts and all things chocolate), and sewing beautiful dresses. In her day job she teaches teachers and students about reading and writing.
Thanks Canda for the contiuned support and help you gave in your advisory position which you took much futher than was expected. The UVW — Lecture Series would not have happened without your work and connection within Alpine School District.
Note: Past President is no longer an Executive Officer. They are expected to help transition the transfer of authority before their term is up. From now on the previous year’s President will serve in an advisory role as a chair position. With the re-election of the President this chair role will not exist July 2013-2014.