Meet the folks behind the scenes!

Margaret Meleney

Executive Director

Margaret is a senior executive with extensive experience in strategic planning, operations, investment, budgeting, annual auditing, and financial analysis. She has managed six entities with operating budgets of over $15 million and previously served as the Chief Financial Officer of Club Managers Association of America, where she has implemented cost-savings and reallocation strategies to improve overall financial health of the organization. She has also volunteered on a number of nonprofit committees.

Anu Altankhuyag

Office Manager

Anu is a recent graduate of George Mason University with a Bachelors in Creative Writing. When she isn’t at TWC, she likes writing to explore topics of identity, language, and culture from her experience living between two worlds: America and Mongolia. Contact her at if you have questions regarding workshop registration, rentals, or general inquiries.

Lacey Dunham

Customer Service Associate

Lacey Dunham has worked in writing and literary spaces in the DC-area for two decades, including roles at the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, 826DC, and Politics & Prose Bookstore, and has taught workshops to writers ranging from first graders to adults at The White House, Smithsonian, DC Public Schools, and Malcolm X Park, among others. She currently serves as an editor at Necessary Fiction and Story. Her own writing appears in Ploughshares, Witness, The Normal School, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Learn more at her website.

Amy Freeman

Development Director

With years of experience raising funds for nonprofits large and small, Amy brings her trademark zest to growing The Writer’s Center’s vibrant literary community. When not at TWC, Amy’s a freelance writer, with bylines in The Washington Post,, Santa Fe Writing Project, HuffPost, Furious Gravity anthology etc. Contact Amy with questions or comments about ways you can support TWC.

Manuela Galindo

Program Coordinator

Manuela Galindo graduated from McGill University, where she earned a BA in classics and history, and then she decided she’d rather make things up. While pursuing her MFA at American University, Manuela was a Visiting Writers Series Fellow. You can contact her with questions about upcoming workshops.

Emily Holland

Editor, Poet Lore

Emily Holland (she/they) is a genderqueer lesbian writer. Their poems appear in publications including HAD, Shenandoah, Black Warrior Review, and the chapbook Lineage. They are the recipient of multiple fellowships from DC Commision on the Arts and Humanities. She is the editor of Poet Lore, the chair of OutWrite, and an adjunct instructor at GWU. She has an MFA in Poetry from American University. Contact her for any questions regarding Poet Lore.

Claude Olson

Community Outreach Associate & Digital Media Coordinator

Claude is a graduate of Smith College and a writer whose work has appeared in The Massachusetts Review. She also works for Bowdoin College in the role of Disability Culture Coordinator. She is passionate about literary education, disability justice, and zine-making. You can contact her with social media inquiries as well as feedback about workshops and events.

Zach Powers

Artistic Director

Zach is a native of Savannah, Georgia, and lives and writes in Arlington, Virginia. His novel First Cosmic Velocity (Putnam) was published in 2019, and his debut story collection Gravity Changes won the BOA Short Fiction Prize and was published in 2017. He worked in television for a decade, winning four regional Emmy awards as a producer, writer, and editor. He managed digital communications for Telfair Museums, the oldest public art museum in the South. He has also volunteered for numerous nonprofits, serving on the Board of Directors for the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home and on the Board of Advisors for Georgia Public Broadcasting, teaching youth creative writing workshops for Deep Center, and co-founding the literary arts organization Seersucker Live, Inc. He was an Adjunct Professor of Writing and Critical Thinking at University of South Carolina Beaufort and Northern Virginia Community College. He has an MFA in Fiction from National University. Contact him for marketing and event inquires.

Laura Spencer

Director of Programs

Laura has worked at the Center for over ten years, starting as a Night Receptionist and moving on to Office Manager and Program Manager. Laura is the cofounder and former poetry editor of the literary journal Big Lucks. Her poetry and photography have appeared in publications including A capella Zoo, Cosmonauts Avenue, Everyday Genius, and Fifth Wednesday. A Massachusetts native, Laura graduated from Chester College of New England where she earned a B.A. in creative writing. Contact her about teaching at The Writer’s Center.