Board of Directors
Nancy Allen-Mastro, MS, Ed.D., is a recent transplant to South Carolina. After retiring from her 35-year career in K-12 and post-secondary education, she and her husband relocated from her home state of Minnesota to Aiken. She has extensive expertise in organizational development, strategic planning, professional development, training and communications.
In addition to enjoying writing in retirement, Allen-Mastro is a voracious reader, pretends to golf and is an accomplished cook who likes to experiment with new dishes every chance she gets. She has a corresponding passion for wine, which pairs well with her culinary fantasies.
Allen-Mastro currently is working on her first historical novel.
Vivian I. Bikulege
Vivian Bikulege is a graduate of Queens University of Charlotte with an MFA in creative nonfiction. Her 2018 essay “Cuttings” won the Carrie McCray Memorial Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Bikulege writes "Whatever," a column for the Lowcountry Weekly published in Beaufort, S.C. She is included in the 2009 Press 53 anthology "Milspeak" and was one of nine winners of the 2007 Piccolo Spoleto Fiction Open in Charleston. Her essays will be published in the forthcoming collection "All That We See or Seem."
Gail DePriest, MA, is a senior lecturer and director of executive leadership and corporate relations in Clemson University’s MBA program. In addition to being an executive coach, DePriest has delivered programs at conferences and has numerous publications related to people development.
Roger Jones is founder and CEO of one of South Carolina’s largest independent real estate development and management firms. He and his wife founded a private family foundation that sponsors two education efforts directed toward underserved students called Raise Up and Music for Life. He also founded a Charleston literacy organization that eventually merged with a west coast literacy effort to form a national literacy association called Reading Partners. He has served on numerous non-profit boards including The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.
He recently was published in Writers Digest and his first fiction novel is in final revisions. He has studied writing with authors and editors Anne Brewer, Nina Bruhns, CJ Lyons and Mary Alice Monroe.
Mike Lee is a retired business executive who helps people and organizations develop effectively.
His professional background involved business corporate and operating roles, including the human resources/people and organization development functions. In addition to serving on volunteer boards, Lee is an avid reader and a writer.
Lee has been a member of the SCWA board since 2018 and prior to serving as president had roles as treasurer, secretary and 1st vice president.
Lee is a graduate of Sir George Williams University (Concordia), Montreal, Canada. He is inspired by positive people who try to improve their lives and the lives of others.
Dr. Dorree Lynn, author of three books as well as hundreds of articles, was born, raised and educated in New York City. She has lived an abundantly adventurous and varied life that has taken her to most of the United States and about 50 countries “to visit, to live, to learn, to study and to lecture and/or consult.” She is the author of “Sex for Grownups,” “When Your Beloved Gets Ill” and “Getting Sane Without Going Crazy.”
In the early 1970s, Lynn and her late first husband bought 13 acres outside of Washington, D.C., where they raised chickens and sold their eggs at the local country bank. They grew all of their own organic food and had more guests than she ever anticipated. After farming, most days, Lynn went to work as a psychologist attired in her matching bag and high heels. (Read more about her farming days here: A Journey Through Organic Farming Days And Letting Go Of Material Objects.)
Lynn co-founded and co-led an Integrative Healing Psychology Training Institute. She has taught, supervised others, lectured, consulted to businesses large and small, received awards and served in many other capacities of a full professional life. Lynn sought out spiritual and wise teachers from other cultures “to help my restless soul’s longing settle and to educate me about alternative ways of healing.” Stays in monasteries brought additional perspective. She became yoga-committed and a vegetarian. The couple adopted children from another culture.
In her 50s and 60s, Lynn hosted her own radio shows, became a TV personality and eventually a known expert on relationship, intimacy and sexuality. Lynn is a long-term member of the executive board of Arts for the Aging (AFTA) in Washington, D.C., and the executive board of the American Academy of Psychotherapists. She has served on the editorial board of the magazine Voices, the official publication of AAP. Lynn also was the first non-professional writer to be elected to the Women’s National Press Club.
Dan Mooney (Rex Hurst)
Born into the blue-collar city of Buffalo, New York, Dan Mooney (Rex Hurst) was traumatized as a small child by the suffocating rabbits scene in the animated adaptation of “Watership Down.” Since, his mind twists toward the macabre, until his inevitable blossoming as a horror writer.
When not writing he is an assistant professor of composition, public speaking and literature. Hurst is the author of the horror novels “The Foot Doctor Letters: A Serial Killer Speaks Out,” “What Hell May Come” and the sci-fi novel “Across the Wounded Galaxy.” He also has written several novellas. He is also co-host of the weekly radio show Write On SC on the art of writing. Back episodes can be found on his website at Rexhurst.com.
Sara Lea Thornhill
Sara Lea Thornhill grew up in Upstate New York, spending her childhood in the beautiful Adirondacks. In 2011, she moved to Charleston, S.C. – sight unseen – to explore and experience more sunny days. She is grateful for her supportive partner, Rob; her Velcro-dog, Porkchop; and she loves playing games with her two bonus children.
With an M.A. in social policy and a focus on race, class and gender), Thornhill is a strong advocate for human rights. She has taught sociology at a local college for over six years, and more recently has contributed to a sociology textbook. She has a curiosity for human nature and believes in sharing experiences through prose.
Thornhill developed a love of reading and writing at an early age, typing out manuscripts on an old typewriter before getting her first computer. Through fiction writing, she enjoys exploring relationships and the darker side of the human experience. With a severe case of wanderlust, her biggest dream is to travel the country in an RV.
Dr. Kasie Whitener
Dr. Kasie Whitener is a member of the South Carolina Council on Humanities Speaker’s Bureau and a professor of entrepreneurship at the University of South Carolina. Her most recent literary conference credentials include faculty posts at Winter Wheat Literary Festival at Bowling Green State University in 2017 and the Pat Conroy Literary Center’s 2018 Lowcountry Book Club Convention.
She leads Write On SC, a radio program and podcast dedicated to showcasing South Carolina authors.
Whitener has published short fiction in literary journals, including The Petigru Review, Spry and Kairos, and won the Carrie McCray Award for Short Fiction in 2016 with “Cover Up.”
As managing partner of Clemson Road Consulting, Whitener has directed projects in software implementation, change management, and process discovery and design. She leads 1 Million Cups Columbia, a Kaufman Foundation program promoting entrepreneurship, and co-founded the Women’s Business Center of South Carolina. Whitener is a passionate entrepreneur in which capacity she hosts Start Something, Columbia!, a radio broadcast and podcast sponsored by the WBC of SC.
David J. Wilson, CPA, resides in Murrells Inlet, has a BS/BA from Ohio State, a master's (MACC) in accounting from Auburn University and is a certified public accountant. Prior to retiring in 2003 Wilson ran his own accounting practice, David J. Wilson & Associates LLC, with offices in Wooster, Medina and Millersburg, Ohio.
While not currently a writer, Wilson is an avid reader and enjoys contributing to non-profit boards to support business strategy and development and financial management practices. He has experience serving on the boards of YMCA, Goodwill and hospice organizations.
After teaching literature, composition and creative writing to thousands of high school and college students for 33 years, Zurenda turned her attention to putting a novel in her heart on paper, the genesis of which started with a short story that won a fiction prize some years ago.
She presented her debut novel, "Bells for Eli," to readers on March 2, 2020. During her years of teaching at Spartanburg Community College and then as an AP English teacher at Spartanburg High School, Zurenda published short stories and won numerous regional awards such as the South Carolina Fiction Prize (twice), the Porter Fleming Competition, The Southern Writers Symposium Emerging Writers Fiction Contest, The Hub City Hardegree Contest in Fiction, Alabama Conclave First Novel Chapter Contest, and The Jubilee Writing Competition (twice). Since 2018, she has published six stories in literary magazines.
A semi-retired educator, Jayne Bowers’s work has appeared in The Petigru Review, the Main Street Rag, the Ensign and Guideposts. She’s the author of "Musings of a Missionary Mom," "Eve’s Sisters" and "Crossing the Bridge: Succeeding in a Community College and Beyond." First-place winner in the 2016 Carrie McCray Nonfiction Award, Bowers is also an editor and designer of the Camden Chapter’s two anthologies, "Serving Up Memory" and "What I Wish I Could Tell You."
William Justice Bruehl (Bill Bruehl) lives in Seneca, S.C. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and is professor emeritus of theater arts at Stony Brook University on Long Island.
He has written over 25 plays, many of which have been produced. He was awarded a fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts and has turned his playwright’s skills to narrative fiction, essays and poetry. Bruehl has published two collections of coming-of-age short stories including “The Wally Weet Stories” and “What the Girl at the Picnic Said.” His memoir, “A Pilgrimage Like No Other,” explores his experiences as a seeker. His study of acting, “The Technique of Inner Action,” examines Stanislavsky’s later contributions to the art of performance.
Bruehl now is working on another collection of stories about coupling. He has published a new novel, “The Final Retreat from Yudam Ni,” a story that explores the life of a veteran of the Korean War who did a terrible thing in battle. The man has never spoken about the event, and it has twisted his talent as an artist and crippled his relationships until his 90th birthday when he is forced to face his truth by the only two people left in his life. The book is available on Amazon as an ebook and in softcover.
Bruehl’s essay describing the intimate relationship between acting on stage and our identity as human beings has been published by AEON, the
Sue Cryer is a former newspaper correspondent and contributor for the The State Newspaper (S.C.), The Newburyport Daily News (Mass.), The Chatham Courier (N.Y.) and The Register Star (Hudson, N.Y.). She currently resides in Chapin, S.C., where she does freelance writing, runs her home business (Sue’s Home Solutions), serves as member and blog writer to the South Carolina Writers Association Board of Directors and has raised her family. She also served on local PTO and HOA boards in addition to volunteering with the Chapin High School Band Boosters and church-based grief group counseling, domestic abuse assistance and bereavement events.
Barbara Evers is a former board president. She is also an award-winning author, a Pushcart Prize nominee, has several publications and is also a professional trainer, speaker and freelance writer and editor. Evers also serves as the Chapter leader of Greenville 1.
Yvette R. Murray received her B.A. in English from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa. She has been published in Fall Lines, The Petigru Review, Catfish Stew, Barzakh, Genesis Science Fiction magazine, and on www.agatheringtogether and www.akashicbooks.com. She is a 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee. She is working on her first poetry collection and a children’s book series.
Sean A. Scapellato is a writer of fiction and essays, a former creative writing teacher at Charleston County School of the Arts and now a lawyer in Charleston, S.C. He assisted Pat Conroy during the writing of and book tour for "South of Broad." Scapellato is also a contributing writer to Our Prince of "Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy."
Mary Sturgill is an award-winning journalist who is an anchor/reporter for News 19 WLTX in Columbia, S.C. As a journalist she’s lived all over the country covering stories on every topic. Originally from North Carolina, she graduated from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill with a degree in English literature. She attended graduate school at Arizona State University to receive her master's degree in journalism and mass communications at the Walter Cronkite School. Whether it’s with her blogs, her talks or the stories she tells every day, her motivation is to shed light, to empower and to make a difference.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Art Turfa has lived with his family in the Midlands of South Carolina since 2005. His roots, along with places where he has lived or traveled, are never far from his mind or poetry. The concept of place occupies an important place in his poetry and literary fiction. He has had several careers at the same time. Currently retired, he is a Lutheran pastor and a retired Army reservist with veteran status. In addition, he taught English, German, history and religion on the secondary and post-secondary levels. Since 2005 he has been an adjunct instructor for English at Midlands Technical College. Among his pleasures are traveling, reading, spending time with his family, walking Magda the Chocolate Lab, supporting Pittsburgh teams and mentoring poets/writers. Turfa also has been published in U.S. and international print and electronic journals and was in the Top Ten of Pangolin Literary Review 2019 Poetry Prize. His books are: "Places and Times" (2015, eLectio Publishing), "Accents" (2017, Amazon KDP), "Gemini" (2018, Broad River Books), "Saluda Reflections" (2018, Finishing Line Press), "A Village Remembered" with artist Carol Worthington-Levy (2019, Amazon KDP) and "All in the Family” with artist Carol Worthington-Levy (2019/2020).
Amber Wheeler Bacon
Amber Wheeler Bacon is a writer, teacher and literacy specialist. She works as an instructional coach at a public Montessori school in Pawleys Island, S.C., and as an adjunct English instructor. In 2018, she earned an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her work recently has appeared or is forthcoming in Five Points, Epiphany, Ruminate, Post Road, New Ohio Review and Crazyhorse. Her writing also can be seen online at Ploughshares, CRAFT, Fiction Writers Review and New South. She is the recipient of the 2018 Breakout 8 Writers Prize sponsored by The Authors Guild and a 2020 Katherine Bakeless Nason Scholarship from the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers Conference. Her short story, appearing in the winter issue of Witness, recently was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She grew up in the Atlanta area and now lives on the South Carolina coast.
Ferguson Williams is a fiction writer from Socastee, S.C. Her work has appeared in Azure: A Journal of Literary Thought, Literally Stories, The Petigru Review and Five:2:One Magazine. She’s supposed to be working on her debut collection of short stories, but Twitter is just too addictive. Find her there at @Ferg_Williams.