Member Bios

* Charter Member

  • Michael Almond

    Michael Almond, a retired international business attorney, and his wife Helen Ruth live at Almond Springs Farm in the Piney Creek community of Alleghany County. His debut novel The Tannery will be published by Koehler Books in October 2021.

  • Tim Anders*

    Born and raised in Alleghany County. Tim mainly enjoys writing short stories and poems and appreciates the knowledge, gentle critiques and friendly fellowship of the group.

  • Cindy Atwood

    Grew up in Alleghany County. Educated at Alleghany County Schools and Appalachian State. Retired teacher from Alleghany County Schools. Farm girl with cattle, 3 donkeys, 2 dogs, & too many cats! Living my best life!

  • Kay Bodeen*

    A graduate of UNC-G, spent her working years in the DC area – the last 30 years as financial aide to the founders of Marriott International. Now retired, she has just completed her second work of historical fiction Allie – Musings of a 20th Century Pioneer.

  • Debbie Brewer

  • Gary Carlson

  • Nan Chase

    Freelance writer Nan K. Chase has written about topics from nuclear power to the history of the miniskirt. Her work includes several books and more than 1,000 articles. She lives in Fries, Va., and writes about the edible, drinkable landscape @drinktheharvest. Her book titles include Asheville: A History, Bark House Style, Eat Your Yard!, Drink the Harvest, and Lost Restaurants of Asheville. Look for them at any independent bookstore.

  • Lee Choate

  • Carole Coates

    Returned to her roots almost 40 years ago with her husband to hand build their forever home on the side of a mountain. She divides her time between gardening (and the resulting food preservation), home renovation, and writing. She has written two books, Boyhood Daze and Other Stories: Growing Up Happy During the Great Depression and Living on the Diagonal: Mountain Musings and is working on a third. She blogs for Mother Earth News Magazine and on her personal blog,

  • Ginger Collins*

    Ginger retired to the mountains to write and found herself starting a writers community. She relishes the company of fellow writers and enjoys working with schools to create writing and critical thinking programs. The growth and development of Alleghany Writers brings her great joy.

  • Pratt Davis

    Pratt Davis is a former teacher, retired CPA, and lover of stories. She has a life-long love of reading, but only began writing after retiring from pubic work. A few years ago, Pratt published a collection of contemplative essays, Walking on Holy Ground. Her interest in the image leads to surprising and delightful insights.

  • Chris Elliott-Davis

  • Jill Evans

    Jill is a writer & photographer from Atlanta, who escapes to the Blue Ridge Mountains at every chance. She writes historical fiction & is currently working on a novel about Winston Churchill's cousin, sculptor Clare Sheridan. Visit Jill on Instagram @jillevanswriter and on her website at

  • Steve Hall

  • Stacy Hawks

    Stacy Hawks, a resident of Alleghany County, is the author of Dividing Ridge: The Unsolved Murder of Elva Brannock. Learn more here. A local historian Stacy, holds degrees in History & Education. She is also an Author in Residence for Appalachian Memory Keepers.

  • Patrick Hession

    Patrick is a retired educator and professional Mediator. He and his wife, Penny, minister together as Family to Families Ministry. You can follow them at Click on his name. He writes inspirational and instructional books. Enter Hession in Search at

  • Penelope Hession

    Penny is a retired educator has worked as a classroom, homebound, and alternative classroom teacher. An artist and published author of over 14 novels, her characters shine forth God's activity in their real-life situations. Enter Hession in Search at

  • Suzanne Irwin*

    Resident of Alleghany County, NC since 1972. Suzanne is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and took her education to serve in Alleghany County School system since 1973. Currently on the Board of Education since 2016. She enjoys delving deeper into New Testament stories. She also likes to write about the history and character studies of local people, especially the Irwin family. Please visit to learn more about the legacy of Stratford Oaks Farm.

  • Melba Johnson

  • Eldon Joines*

  • Heidi Jurka*

  • Zoe M. McCarthy*

  • Christy Miller

  • Susie Miller*

    Susie grew-up in the Ennice area of Alleghany County. She currently lives in Sparta with her husband, Tom. She is a retired teacher from the Alleghany School system and keeps extremely busy with volunteering in the community.

  • Elaine Moretz

  • Alecia Nehls

  • Gregory Plain

  • Megan Poteat

  • Stephanie Ray

    Stephanie Ray is a true G.R I.T. (Girl Raised in the South.) She has always enjoyed creative pursuits, writing poetry from an early age. She hopes to publish her poetry and short stories.

  • Julia Simmons*

  • Laurel Snyder

    Laurel Dee Snyder BSN, RN, HNB-BC®️
    I grew up reading Fairy Tales; Aesop’s Fables; and Science Fiction. College meant exploring science and nursing books. Now, I enjoy books expanding my view of the world and writing about life experiences.

  • Joanie Walker

    Learn more about Joanie and her Cold War Espionage novel at

  • Shelley Williams