2015-Present Coffee House Writers Group Board of Directors
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Christine Marie Bryant - Executive Director and Founder
Founder 2009-Present, Chief Executive Officer 2012-Present
Christine Marie Bryant is a tipping point for those requiring an extra kick-start in achieving their dreams. She is the founder of the Coffee House Writers Group and started the first chapter in 2009. She has served as President and Chairman of the Board since 2012 and was elected its first CEO in 2014. She serves to oversee all chapters and is responsible for every aspect of the organization. As a successful business owner for 18 years, Miss Bryant has used her experience to build several networking groups and organizations from the ground up. She excels in the use of social networking and takes pride in creating solutions that will educate, support and motivate the writers to their full potential. She is tenacious fundraiser and has worked with various nonprofits including City of Hope, Relay for Life and the Let It Be Foundation. Through her efforts with CHWG, thousands of creative individuals have come to realize that the artistic creation of writing – while solitary – doesn’t need to be lonely.
Eric Von Mizener - Vice President
A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at the University of Southern California, and a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet, Eric von Mizener sold his first script to The Incredible Hulk on CBS-TV while still in his teens. He went on to win collegiate awards for journalism and video production, and his student video, “Breaking Point,” has been used in screenwriting classes at Cal State Fullerton. As founding director of the Cayman Islands Film Festival, he formed a partnership with the Caymanian government, and local and international businesses, contributing to economic growth, and cultivating educational and environmental outreach while promoting the best in Caribbean, Independent and Hollywood filmmaking. Eric has made appearances on local and national radio and television, including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He hosted Poets’ Café on KPFK-FM Los Angeles and currently serves as Arts Commissioner for the city of Moreno Valley, California. He has been on the CHWG Board since 2012.
Stephen Hamilton - Treasurer
Treasurer 2015-Present, Board member 2012-Present
Stephen Hamilton earned his BA in Business Administration from the University of Redlands and MA in School Guidance Counseling from Whittier College. He served as a public educator for 40 years, culminating in his tenure as the Coordinator of Child Welfare and Attendance for the El Monte Union High School District. Stephen is one of the initial members of the CHWG and currently the host for the LA Thursday night group in Pomona. He joined the Board in 2012.
Lisa Kagarise - Secretary
Rick Stepp-Bolling - Director of Education
Director of Education 2015-Present, Board Member 2012-Present
Rick has been a member of The Coffee House Writers Group since 2010 and a Board Member since 2012. He is a professor emeritus from Mt San Antonio College with Masters degrees in English and Education. He was a guest poet at Nuvein’s “Day of the Dead” celebration and the Nuvein Poets’ Tour. In April of 2012, Rick was awarded first place in the Whittier Writers Poetry Contest and won first prize in the Aquarium of the Pacific Urban Ocean Poetry Contest in 2012 and 2013. His publications include a book of poetry entitled Smoke and Mirrors (Nuvein Publications) and a collection of short stories entitled Autocide (Claremont Village Press). His poetry and short stories have appeared in a variety of publications including Dirty Dog, Edgar Allan Poet, East Jasmine Review and Statement magazines. The first book of his high fantasy trilogy, Patchman, will be published in the fall of 2015.
J Bryan Jones - Director of New Media
Director of New Media 2015-Present
J Bryan Jones authors, screen writes, and creates graphic novels. J first pursued the sciences before turning to writing, earning a bachelor’s degree at the University of California –Davis and working several jobs as a research field technician. Looking back at his childhood constructing elaborate stories with his brother (@Raz0r13), he’s not sure why it took him so long to consider a career in the creative arts. Most of his work consists of contemporary fantasy and near-future science fiction. His novelette Our Silicon Souls earned an honorary mention in the prestigious Writers of the Future contest in 2014. He has multiple novels in rewrites and many yet-to-be-published short stories. Several of his popular arts articles are published on the-Artifice as well as LWM.
In addition to his board position, J is the Long Beach Chapter Leader. Please visit LinkedIn for connecting professionally, follow @JBryanJones on Twitter, or email email@example.com.
Wolfgang Shane - Director of Training
Wolfgang Shane is proud to be a member of the Coffee House Writer’s Group Board. His interest in writing began in grade school. During his religion class at Nativity Catholic School and decided to write his own version of the Bible called THE BIBEL. He got to the second page before Sister Killian found it and confiscated it. That was also Wolfgang’s first encounter with censorship.
His interest in writing re-awakened during his sophomore summer break when he read the Lord of Rings trilogy. He was mesmerized by the world of Middle Earth and developed a taste for fantasy books. He devoured the Elric books by Michael Moorcock, The Shannara Trilogy by Terry Brooks and The Books of Swords by Fred Saberhagen.
Although he loved books, Wolfgang soon realized that the word “starving” precedes the word “artist” many more times than it precedes the word “Chiropractor.” Wolfgang earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and is a Doctor of Chiropractic. His practice is in Walnut CA and has written dozens of articles concerning health issues for a local newspaper.
One night after reading Excalibur by Bernard Cornwell he had a dream of a black dog in black Kevlar armor. That dream sent him on a path to write his novel THE SECRET OF PROMETHEUS and a dozen fictional short stories with a Twilight Zone feel. He is currently seeking representation and publishers for his works.
Michael Ian Churchman - Editorial Director
Editoral Director 2015-Present
Michael Churchman is a technical writer with a background in the software industry. He has a B. A. in English from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He writes short stories, flash fiction, and poetry, and has been published in Writers of the Future XIX, Oread Magazine, An Anthology of the Tuesday Poets (Tabula Rasa Press), Listen (Swan Larsen Press), and a variety of broadsides and chapbooks. He is on the Board of Directors of the Nuvein Foundation for the Arts, and is an active member of Zzyzx Writerz; he is a past member of Echo Poetry and the Tuesday Poets of San Luis Obispo.
Andrew Turner - Advisory Board
Advisory Board member 2015-Present
Andrew Turner writes literary and speculative fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. He teaches and mentors creative writers with traditional and meditative techniques. He is a freelance editor (of both technical and creative works) and also the Editor-in-Chief of East Jasmine Review—an electronic literary publication. He lives, works and writes in the San Gabriel Valley, located in Southern California. You can find more about him and his work at: www.kandrewturner.com. Follow him on twitter @kandrewturner.
Lauren Candia - Advisory Board
Advisory Board member 2015-Present
Lauren Candia is the co-creator and co-host of the Shades & Shadows Reading Series, LA’s creepiest ongoing literary happening. It’s literature, but with monsters! When not cooking up ways to make Los Angeles just a little more frightening, she works at a library where she spends a great deal of time trying to convince people they should love all the same books she loves. She writes weird stories with a tiny dog and an extremely understanding fiancé somewhere nearby. Her writing can be found in the East Jasmine Review and the Los Angeles Times. She will be your BFF on Facebook and Twitter (@ParanormaLauren). All you have to do is ask.
John Lowell - Advisory Board
Advisory Board member 2016-Present
By day, John Lowell is a humble support technician. By night, he’s the stalwart protector and climbing apparatus for his wife and adorable toddler. On the weekends, he dons a cape and tights — ahem, leggings — to protect the Queen of England. He also writes stories about magic.
His website is: www.johnlowellauthor.com
Vicki Hoffner - Advisory Board
Advisory Board member 2016-Present
Hi! I am a psychologist by day and a writer by night! I am happily married 24 years now, and am mother to a 22-year-old daughter. We all live with a cat, two cockatiels, and five koi. I am writing an historical fiction about events in a small town in Oklahoma prior to World War II. I have had a few featured editorials published in the L.A. Times, and have a short story published in CHWG’s Beggar’s Crossing Anthology. I slavishly depend on the Saturday Pomona critique group to disarm my ego’s assessment of my brilliant writing, and keep me in the land of reality and competence.
Scott McClelland - Advisory Board
Mary Steinbroner Lugo - Advisory Board
Jennifer Allen - Advisory Board
Steve Harshberger - Technical Staff
Executive Admin, 2016-2017, Dir. of Technology 2015-2017, Board member 2012-2017
Steve was the first member to join the Coffee House Writers Group on January 1st, 2010 and became a Board Member in 2012. He completed his Masters in Information Systems and Project Management after the age of 50. Steve’s Information Technology career spans more than 25 years. His current writing project is a memoir of his service while in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and other units during his 14 years of service
While Steve is no longer a member of the CHWG Board, he continues to provide voluntary service maintaining our website and providing key technical support and assistance to members of the Board.