Jama Kehoe Bigger has been involved with Midwest Writers Workshop for 35+ years and director since 2003. She is the author of Then Came a Miracle and blogs at Follow her Happy Day Moment Page or Facebook or Twitter, Google+ . (Photo by Gail Werner)

Committee Members:

Sandi Baron taught English for thirty-five years.  She has completed creative nonfiction and is currently seeking an agent and publisher.  She is an inspirational speaker, educational workshop presenter in West and South Asia, and has written a blog (Sandi’s Impressions) for four years on life lessons. She has written a “How To Mentor” manual and a  “Life Skills” manual to help guide young women in Kazakhstan.  She has forty years of daily journals filled with stories and inspirational writings. (Photo by Gail Werner)

Michael Brockley is a poet and a member of the Midwest Writing Workshop planning committee. He participates in poetry, literary and artistic activities in central Indiana. You can connect with him on Facebook. (Photo by Gail Werner)

Ashley C. Ford has has publications in PANK Literary Magazine, The Rumpus, BuzzFeed, and Indianapolis Monthly. She likes Kenny Loggins, ginger ale, and trees. She is writing a book. There’s more where that came from at

Shelly Gage is a writer, runner, avid reader, local history buff, and dog lover.  She runs East Central Indiana Paranormal Investigations, a ghost-hunting group, with her husband, Andy.  You can find her book reviews on Goodreads, visit her blog, or follow her on Twitter (@shelly_gage).

Summer Heacock is a writer of Contemporary Women’s Fiction, blogger, and professional Twitter pom-pom waver. Her novel, The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky, was released July 2018. She is a stay-at-home mother of two, a wife to a very patient fella, a herder of cats, and has a deep-rooted love of geeky things and candy. Summer can be found frolicking amongst her own profane ramblings and zippy GIFs on her blog,, or on Twitter as @Fizzygrrl. (Photo by Gail Werner)

Dennis E. Hensley, Ph.D., is the author of 54 books, including eight textbooks on aspects of professional writing, including How to Write What You Love and Make a Living at It (Random House). He is a columnist for Christian Communicator and Advanced Christian Writer magazines. He has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Oxford University, York St. John University, Moody Bible Institute, and Regent University. His more than 3,000 freelance articles and short stories have appeared in People, Success, Reader’s Digest, The Writer, Writer’s Digest, USA Today, and The Cincinnati Enquirer, among many others.

Barbara Kehoe is retired as a business owner and bridal consultant. She was also a freelance writer for many years for The Muncie Star. She is an active member and past president of the National League of American Pen Women. Barbara is the MWW hostess with the mostest! Follow her on  Facebook. (Photo by Gail Werner)

Holly G. Miller is a contributing editor to The Saturday Evening Post magazine, consulting editor to In Trust magazine and author of a dozen books including the bestselling textbook Feature and Magazine Writing. She has won writing awards from The Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists, Midwest Travel Writers, and the Society of American Travel Writers. She is a publication consultant to five public and private foundations.

Poet Jeffrey Owen Pearson has work published or forthcoming in So It Goes (from the Kurt Vonnegutt Library), Reckless Writing Anthology 2013Tipton Poetry Journal, and Maize. His chapbook Hawaii Slides was published by Pudding House Publications. He has written for the Open Door Clinic and the Facing Poverty Project in Muncie, the Indiana Poet Laureate 2013 Borderlands Project (Richmond) and the White River Festival in Indianapolis. He has been nominated for a Puschcart Prize. (Photo by Gail Werner)

Maye Ralston is an opinion columnist for The Sage News and contributes to Writing Heartland blog and the Midwest Writers Workshop blog in addition to volunteering with the MWW Planning Committee. She is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. You can also connect with her on FacebookLinkedInGoogle+, or Twitter @mayeralston.

Cathy Shouse is a journalist who has published hundreds of stories in newspapers and magazines. She is the author of Images of America: Fairmount, and prior to joining the planning committee where she is director of special events, she was named a MWW Fellow in Fiction for her romantic mystery novel. Connect on Facebook or @cathyshouse on Twitter.

Kelly O’Dell Stanley had big plans for her life—study to be an architect, live in a big city, never have children. Now, as a resident of Crawfordsville, Indiana, she just celebrated 21 years in business for herself as a graphic designer. She works from home with her three kids and husband, leaving her desk just long enough to cheer for them from the bleachers with laptop beside her. And you know what? It’s better than anything she once imagined. At some point along the way, she discovered that writing fulfilled her need to create, and her first book, Praying Upside Down, was published by Tyndale Momentum in May 2015. Her second book, Designed to Pray, releases August 1, 2016.

Linda Taylor is a thirty-year veteran of the publishing industry. She’s a writer, but has a special place in her heart for editing and proofreading.  She just completed her master’s degree in English at Ball State, serves on the MWW board, and teaches adjunct classes at Taylor University in the professional writing department. You can connect with her on LinkedIn (Linda Chaffee Taylor), Twitter @LindaEdits, and by way of her blog where she often writes about the wonderful worlds of writing, editing, and grammar!

Janis Thornton is the author of two cozy mysteries in the Elmwood Confidential series — Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies and Dead Air & Double Dares. She also is the author of two local history books, Images of America: Tipton County and Images of America: Frankfort; and a contributor to “Undeniably Indiana,” a bicentennial project published by Indiana University Press. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Indiana Writers Center, the Midwest Writers Workshop Planning Committee, and the historical society of her hometown, Tipton Indiana. You may contact/follow/like her at, Twitter (@JanisThornton), and Facebook ( (Photo by Gail Werner)

Kelsey Timmerman is the author of Where Am I Eating? and Where Am I Wearing? and the co-founder of the Facing Project. Whether in print or in person, he seeks to connect people around the world through stories. Blog / Twitter / Facebook

Gail Werner is a writer and photographer who works in media relations for Ball State University, where she also writes for the university’s alumni magazine, Alumnus. She has ten years’ of professional experience writing for newspapers, where she covered higher education and (on a lighter note) penned a pop culture column. In addition to her professional writing career, she is a freelance editor, an aspiring novelist at work on her first book, a photographer of fabulous weddings, and curator of the best books, films, and television in pop culture. All of her creative loves are fodder for her blog at

Advisory Members

Cathy Day is the author Comeback Season and The Circus in Winter, and she teaches creative writing at Ball State University. She blogs regularly at The Big Thing, and you can connect with her in a bunch of different ways at

Jane Friedman is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest and has more than 15 years of experience as an editor, public speaker, and writing professor. Her newest initiative is Scratch magazine, a digital quarterly for writers about the intersection of writing and money. Find out more at

Matthew Clemens is a frequent collaborator with Max Allan Collins. Their 24th novel together, Executive Order, was released July 2017.  They have also written, comic books, graphic novels, short stories, a video game, and even mystery jigsaw puzzles.,,

Consulting Member:

Adam R. Beach, Ball State University, Chair of the Department of English