THE ORGANIZERS

MAGGIE MARSHALL - OPERATIONS MANAGER

Maggie Marshall moved to Asheville from Los Angeles in 2006. Her first career was as a professional actress, some twenty-odd years of which she spent performing on regional stages throughout the U.S., as well as Broadway, Los Angeles, and Dublin, Ireland. She then segued into screenwriting, eventually landing in television and writing for numerous cable and syndicated one-hour drama series. She is the recipient of the Carl Sautter Memorial Screenwriting Award and a Scriptapalooza Award, both for One-Hour Drama. She has been a fiction contributor at the 2014 Tin House Writer's Workshop, a fellow at the Hambidge Creative Residency Program, and a Writer-in-Residence at the Weymouth Center for the Arts. She is currently at work on her first novel, The Gondolier’s Wife, an excerpt of which has been published in the Great Smokies Review, and lives in West Asheville with her husband, Stephen.

 

HEATHER NEWTON - PROGRAM MANAGER

Heather Newton is a founding member of the Flatiron Writers. Her debut novel Under The Mercy Trees (HarperCollins 2011) won the 2011 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award, was chosen by the Women’s National Book Association as a Great Group Reads Selection and by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance as an Okra Pick (“great southern fiction fresh off the vine”). Her work has appeared in The Carolina Table27 Views of Asheville, The Drum, Crucible, Encore Magazine, Lonzie’s Fried Chicken and elsewhere, been recognized in numerous creative writing competitions, and earned her fellowships to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. She has taught creative writing workshops for the Great Smokies Writing Program and the N.C. Writers Network. An attorney and mediator, she focuses her Asheville law practice on employment law, education law, ERISA disability benefit claims and small business advice for writers, artists and entrepreneurs. She holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University.

 

THE FLATIRONS

A.K. BENNINGHOFEN

A.K. Benninghofen grew up in the Mississippi Delta. She spent the first part of her adult life living in New York City and Los Angeles pursuing a career as an actress, which is to say, she has a lot of restaurant experience. Since 2008, A.K. has happily made her home in Asheville, along with her husband, two children and a dog named Juliet. A.K.’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Passages North, Evergreen Review, Monkeybicycle, Necessary Fiction, Deep South Magazine and elsewhere. She has been a fiction contributor at Sewanee Writers' Conference, a writing fellow at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities and Wildacres Retreat. In 2012, she was awarded a Regional Artist Project Grant by the North Carolina Arts Council. Currently, she is at work on her first book, a collection of linked stories titled Landmine Maps of the Hospitality State.

MARYEDITH BURRELL

Maryedith Burrell is a show business veteran. Her TV career began when she derailed from Shakespeare into improv with The Groundlings and Second City  in LA. She went on to star in the ABC late-night comedy Fridays, the sitcom Throb, Ron Howard’s Parenthood and The Jackie Thomas Show. She also enjoyed recurring roles on Seinfeld and Home Improvement as well as numerous guest-star turns on everything from SNL to Murder She Wrote. Meanwhile, she was honing her skills as a dramatist and author. Ms. Burrell has written revue, musicals and operas in the U.S., Britain and Australia as well as screenplays for all the major networks and film studios. At present, she enjoys a career as a script doctor.  A published journalist, her essay “An Affair To Forget” appears in the bestseller What Was I Thinking? (St. Martin’s Press.) She is currently working on a collection of short stories, Garlic Girl, and a screenplay, Black Angel

MARJORIE KLEIN

Marjorie Klein's first novel, Test Pattern (Wm. Morrow Publishers, 2000) was a Barnes and Noble "Discover Great New Writers" selection, and is being re-released by HarperCollins as an eBook. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in various publications, including 20 years of free-lance work for Tropic, the Miami Herald's Sunday magazine. She has taught at the University of Miami, Warren Wilson College, and Florida International University (where she received her MFA), and has led workshops at the Florida Center for Literary Arts at Miami Dade College, UNCA’s Center for Creative Retirement and the Great Smokies Writers Program. Recipient of a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship in 2007, and honorable mention in 2002, she served as a preliminary judge in the writing category for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts from 1991-2006, until she moved to Asheville. She has recently completed a new novel, Shifting Gears.

KIM MAKO

Kim lives in Asheville and is a Jersey-girl turned Appalachian Enthusiast. She attended Syracuse University and the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center for Theatre, and was an actor briefly in Los Angeles and for many (too many) years in New York City, where she was a founding member of ATHEATRECO, a non-profit theatre that focused on original works. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in; Sou’wester, Cosmonauts Avenue, The Nervous Breakdown and others. Kim has been a continuing Writer-in-Residence at The Weymouth Center for Arts and Humanities since 2009. Her former life as an actor has greatly informed her writing. Kim is currently at work on a thematically linked short story collection about characters on the edge of economic stability and the mirage of the American dream.  www.kimwintermako.com

JOANNE O'SULLIVAN

Joanne O’Sullivan’s YA novel, Between Two Skies, is forthcoming from Candlewick Press in 2017. She traveled the world teaching English as a Second Language and meeting fascinating characters before settling with her husband and two kids in Asheville, where she writes about books and artists as a journalist, researches science and social studies as a non-fiction author, and armchair travels while planning her next big trip. 

JUDe WHELCHEL

A native of Georgia, Jude Whelchel joined the Book of the Month Club at age 11. Carting boxes of books, she moved with her family to the mountains in 1996 where she occupied herself as an Episcopal priest, mother, and grower of, among other glories, heirloom tomatoes.  Earning an MFA from Warren Wilson College, Jude is a writer before dawn and reader in every spare moment. Winner of 2016 Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize, (Co) Winner of the 2014 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, she is the recipient of grants from the North Carolina Regional Artist Commission and Money for Women/The Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. Her work has appeared in the Potomac Review, The North Carolina Literary Review, among others. Jude is at work on her first novel.