Log in

Log in

Name  Title and Term Bio  Assignments 
  Barry Wightman


2018 - 2023

Barry Wightman has been president of WWA since 2018. His novel, Pepperland, received a starred review on Booklist, and was a winner of the Silver IPPY from the Independent Publishers Association. He is past fiction editor of Hunger Mountain, A Journal of the Arts in Montpelier, VT. He holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. A long-time reviewer for the Washington Independent Review of Books, he is also a professional voiceover talent and a Milwaukee NPR award-winning essayist. He’s a member of the Wisconsin Writers Association Board of Directors and is past program chair for the UWM-Waukesha SE WI Festival of Books. Board Chair (Social Media/Marketing)
  Russ Klingaman  Vice President I’m an attorney, a pilot, and an aircraft owner. My practice includes aviation law and intellectual property. I also teach Aviation Law at Marquette’s law school. My book isn’t finished but it tells the story of the legal and business feuding between the Wright brothers and Glenn Curtiss over the invention of flying machines and controlled flight. It is the untold story of the aileron patent litigation. It demonstrates how the combination of poor business decisions and attorney misconduct wrecked the early U.S. aircraft industry, wasted fortunes, took lives, with a negative impact on the course of world history.  Vision Team Co-Chair
  Luella Schmidt



Luella writes fiction and essays about culture, democracy, justice, and history. She is the author of the America This Week series on Medium and the creator of Mirror in the Sky, a community that lingers with our best novels, movies, and albums, and celebrates the joy and growth this brings. She is the founder of Fine Point Consulting, a professional services firm that helps small businesses flourish. She lives with her husband Roger, cat Stifler, and dog Cece. Treasurer Financial Chair (Oversee Bookkeeper/Affiliate Marketing)
   Christa Bruhn



Christa Bruhn is an American author, photographer, and culinary artist with a lifelong passion for peace and justice. She grew up in Detroit following the rebellion of 1967 and has since witnessed the revival of Detroit, hopeful change with the fall of the Berlin Wall, reconciliation in South Africa and Northern Ireland, and increased understanding of racial injustice and inequality in the US. Through her father’s curiosity to explore his divided homeland as a professor of German, Christa spent time on both sides of the Iron Curtain to witness the dual narrative of one nation. She also traveled to Israel and Palestine which sparked a lifelong commitment to make a difference in a land two peoples call home. Her decades of experience as the mother of three Palestinian Americans culminated in her memoir Crossing Borders: The Search for Dignity in Palestine. Christa holds degrees in International Studies (BA), Middle Eastern & North African Studies (MA), and Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis (PhD). She splits her time between her home in Madison, Wisconsin and Jalameh, Palestine. Secretary Archival Chair

(Board Meeting Minutes/State Archives Oversight/

Google Drive Oversight)

  Catherine Lanser (Gove) Member Catherine Lanser grew up in Port Washington, on the shores of Lake Michigan. She ate so much salmon as a child, if you cut into her you would find flaky flesh that you could easily lift away with a salad fork. She writes memoir, essays, and narrative nonfiction. Her essays have been published in published in numerous anthologies and other publications including The Milwaukee Anthology, Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland, and Corners: Voices on Change. Her favorite subjects include the brain, health and wellness, growing up as the baby of a family of nine, and life in the Midwest.  
   Erika Adams Member I was born in Helmstedt, Germany in 1986, but have lived in America since 1988. Before I was two years old, I was diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder, a central auditory condition that effects the way the brain takes in and processes information. As it impacted my memory retention and ability to understand through sound alone, this made reading next to impossible in my early years, and vocal communication and the forming of strong relationships with others a challenge as well.

Thanks to help from numerous specialists, Special Education advisors, and IEPs throughout my school years, my reading comprehension and academic performance greatly improved; I graduated from Lake Superior College with an Associate of Arts degree in 2007 and from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a Bachelor’s degree in English in 2013. While taking a UMD course in Childhood in Literature and Culture in the Fall of 2012, a creative writing project provided the opportunity to share my experiences. Seeing the similarities between my symptoms and the faulty logic of the title character of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, I wrote my first book, Allie's Adventure on the Wonder, the main character being a combination of Alice and myself at the age of fourteen, the year I entered the 7th grade at a new public school, a transition made all the more difficult by my condition.

It was while donating a copy of the book to the library in Two Harbors, MN that I met the librarian who was also a radio host. Upon hearing of the story review blog that I had recently created, I was offered the chance to make the blog into my own radio show: The Tale Collector.

Ironically, APD is what helped to inspire and shape my love of stories and a passion for exploring the various methods of storytelling - cinema, music, and interactive gaming, as well as literature - namely how and why they reach people on a deeper level when real life is unable to.

I currently live and write in Duluth, MN and regularly indulge in anime, vintage science fiction, and Mexican food.
   Nick Chiarkas Member
I grew up in the Al Smith housing projects on Manhattan's Lower East Side. When I was in the fourth grade, my mother was told by the principal of PS#1 that "Nick was unlikely ever to complete high school, so you must steer him toward a simple and secure vocation." Instead, I became a writer, with a few stops along the way: a New York City Police Officer; the Deputy Chief Counsel for the President's Commission on Organized Crime; and the Director of the Wisconsin State Public Defender Agency. On the way, I picked up a Doctorate from Columbia University; a Law Degree from Temple University; and was a Pickett Fellow at Harvard. How many mothers are told their child is hopeless? How many kids with potential surrender to desperation? That's why I wrote Weepers and Nunzio's Way — for them.
   Debra Raye King Member Debra Raye King, a retired UW-Extension administrator and college dean, tends her flock of registered Icelandic sheep with her husband Thomas on hills overlooking Lake Superior. They revel in hiking the forest trails of their centuries old Norway pine old-growth forest in all seasons and weather. When not writing, Debbi pursues complex knitting and sewing projects, creates original fiber arts, gardens, and cans her homegrown produce, plus bakes new delights she creates. Tom and Debbi sing and play in their folk band HALLBJORN, performing their original Northland songs and instrumentals. Debbi’s memoir “Gravedigger’s Daughter - Growing Up Rural” was selected as the debut publication of Wisconsin Writers Association Press, Inc. Her collection of original short stories and essays in 31 chapters is based on actual events in the 1950s through the early 1970s, when Debbi grew up on a family dairy farm in west-central Wisconsin.

Northern WI Chair - Cabin Fever Workshop 2nd Chair/Superior Workshops 2 nd Chair

Vision team

   Thomas Wayne King Member

Thomas Wayne King, Ed.D. (CCC-SLP/L, ret.) is UWEC professor emeritus, communication sciences & disorders, and a retired clinical speech-language pathologist. His sister Karen lived with severe disabilities, so Tom, FCC license WF9I, is author of Assistive Technology: Essential Human Factors (Simon & Schuster/Allyn & Bacon, Boston) among 16 books so far on technology, human factors, disability, ergonomics, plus other fun fiction and non-fiction topics. Tom has also published numerous articles, songs, poems and/or raps as folk composer/writer of instrumental and vocal works of our Lake Superior Northland. As an Eagle Scout, lifelong skier, hiker, karateka, and now farmer, Tom stays active with his author wife, Debbi, their two sons (a physicist and a physician), grandkids, and Sunny, their Shetland Sheepdog. Tom and Debbi celebrate all seasons with their fluffy flock of rugged registered Icelandic wool sheep at Sunny Cove Farm, overlooking bays and harbors of western Lake Superior.

Northern WI Chair – Vision Team Co-Chair/Superior Workshops Chair

   Jennifer Rupp Member
Jennifer Trethewey is the pen name of Jennifer Rupp. She writes sexy, sweeping Highland romance combining on site research, wonderfully flawed characters, and a liberal dose of humor. Her first four historical romances from the Highlanders of Balforss series released by Entangled Publishing, have achieved critical success. She has placed in numerous regional writing contests and is a member of Chicago North Romance Writers of America, Wisconsin Writers Association, Red Oak Studios, Off Campus Writers Workshop, Regency Fiction Writers, and Chicago Writers Association. She is also Co-Founder and former Co-Artistic Director of Milwaukee’s Renaissance Theaterworks.
Critique groups
 Laurie Scheer Member
Laurie Scheer is the co-founder of New Nature Writers and a Writing Ranger. As a former vice president of programming for WE:Women’s Entertainment, Laurie analyzed manuscripts and scripts as they entered the competitive media marketplace. Laurie has been an instructor at numerous universities across the U.S. from Yale to UCLA. As a professional speaker, she has appeared at numerous annual writing conferences. As the Director of UW Madison’s annual Writers’ Institute, Laurie was the managing editor of The Midwest Prairie Review, and a writing mentor to hundreds of students (of all ages) in person and online.

Events, Vision Team
   Rebecca Swanson Member Rebecca is a lifelong creative writer and spent her professional career directing communications in the nonprofit sectors of healthcare, the arts, membership organizations and more in the Twin Cities and Chicago. She is currently working on a poetry collection and has novels and screenplays in progress. Now "mostly retired," Rebecca has lived in the north woods of Wisconsin for the past several years. She and her partner Joe are committed volunteers to help ensure healthy lakes and spend much of their time hiking the trails of our inspiring Wisconsin area. Media, northern events
   Kathleen Waldvogel Member Kathleen (K.M.) Waldvogel enjoys writing for children. She is the author of a middle-grade book, Spies, Soldiers, Couriers, and Saboteurs: Women of the American Revolution, highlighting little-known women and their role in America’s fight for independence. She also has two picture books Three Little Ghosts, and Whoo, Whoo, Who’s Out There?

Waldvogel is active in the Wisconsin Writers Association, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as writing groups in Wisconsin and Arizona.
Contests, book reviews, northern events
   Margaret Rozga   Margaret Rozga served as the 2019-2020 Wisconsin Poet Laureate and the 2021 inaugural artist/scholar in residence at the UW Milwaukee at Waukesha Field Station where she offered workshops and write-ins. She continues to offer Field Station poetry events and is working on a new collection of poems, Restoring Prairie. Her fifth book is Holding My Selves Together: New and Selected Poems (Cornerstone Press 2021).  TBD

Wisconsin Writers Association

Copyright © 2022. All rights reserved.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software