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Bethesda Magazine's 2017 Best of Bethesda Editors' Pick for "Best Place for Literary Inspiration"

 

The Writer's Center Staff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth Cummings
Executive Director

Elizabeth Cummings has 30 years of experience working with small nonprofits in the area. Her background includes operations, program and project management, member services, marketing, communication and event planning. She has worked previously with The Eye Bank Association of America, The D.C. Hospital Association and the Financial Information Services Division for the Software & Information Industry Association. She also has extensive experience as a volunteer in the community, including stints as President of the Friends of the Library (Kensington Chapter) and with the Kensington Day of the Book Festival. Email her.

 

 

 

     

 

Laura Spencer
Director of Programs

Laura has worked at the Center for over seven years, starting as a Night Receptionist and moving on to Office Manager and Program Manager. Laura is the co-founder and poetry editor of Big Lucks, a literary journal that strives to help bridge the gaps between writers in the literary community. A Massachusetts native, Laura graduated from Chester College of New England where she earned a B.A. in creative writing. Her work has appeared in Fifth Wednesday Journal, A cappella Zoo, The Stray Branch, Everyday Genius, and Device, among others. Email her with programming inquiries or about teaching at The Writer's Center.

     

Bethany Rae Perryman

Development & Community Outreach Manager

Bethany is a nationally recognized advocate whose work has been featured in The Washingtonian, The Huffington Post, The Dallas Morning News, and many other outlets. A native of Texas, her poetry has been selected for publication in Waco Cultural Arts' Wordfest in 2016 and 2017. She brings years of nonprofit development, membership, and management experience, and has a love of working with special populations in the arts. Bethany studied philosophy and political science at Baylor University, and carries her practice of applied philosophy to all areas of her life. Email her with questions or for information regarding membership, volunteer opportunities, and fundraising or grants.

         
         
         
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Grace Mott
Office Assistant

Grace moved to Washington D.C. from Germany where she spent two years writing and volunteering. She studied International Relations and French at the College of Charleston and is passionate about languages, poetry, and Russian literature. She is a member of the Pi Delta Phi National French Honors Society and an aspiring writer and poet. Email her if you have questions regarding workshop registration.

 

 

         
     

Laureen Schipsi
Managing Editor, Poet Lore

Laureen has been in art and education publishing for 25 years. She served as director of publishing at the Menil Collection, Houston, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. At both museums she produced award-winning publications, including exhibition catalogs, museum histories, and a membership magazine. Her project management experience includes text and photo editing, writing, art directing, production management, marketing, grant writing, scheduling and budgeting. She has also taught English at the high school and community college levels. She earned her bachelor’s degree in literature at the University of California at Santa Barbara and her master’s degree in writing (poetry) at the Johns Hopkins University. 

         
       

 

Michelle Shackleton

Front Desk Team

Michelle recently moved to Maryland and is excited to be joining the local writing community. She earned her Bachelor and Masters degrees in biology from the Australian National University, and has a background in community organizing and social justice campaigning. She has volunteered at literary events such as the Beijing International Literary Festival, and is an aspiring creative nonfiction writer. She works at the reception desk Monday and Tuesday evenings, 5 to 10 p.m. 

 

         

     

David Sobalvarro

Front Desk Team

David is a recent graduate of New York University, where he majored in English and American literature with a concentration in creative writing. Born and raised in Rockville, David took his first creative writing classes at the Writer's Center before studying it at NYU, where he was the recipient of an award for students working on intensive long-term creative writing projects. In addition to writing, David was the prose editor for the Minetta Review, the oldest literary journal on campus, and worked at the Tamiment Library, a special collections library featuring materials related to labor rights, the left, and social justice.

         
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Anna Meleney
Front Desk Team

Anna is a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania, where she obtained a B.A. in Graphic Design. She has previously been an intern for The Writer's Center as a Graphic Designer, assisting the Marketing Director. She works at the reception desk on Saturdays. Email her if you need special accommodations in our classrooms during workshops and for other customer service needs during Saturday workshops and events.

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