Our Members

Dusty Richards, Founder
Dusty invests a lot of his time helping others who want to learn how to write by speaking at seminars and conferences all over the United States. In Dusty’s view, there is no difference in writing any kind of fiction. The only differences are changes in the sets, costumes, and dialect.

He serves on the board of Ozark Creative Writers Conference held annually in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, as well as on the board of the Oklahoma Writers Federation. He also serves on the board of his local electric co-op and of the Springdale, Arkansas, PRCA rodeo. He is president of Western Writers of America. In 2004, he was inducted into the Arkansas Writers Hall of Fame.

In 1992, his first novel, Noble’s Way, was published. Over one hundred books have since been published under his own name and pseudonyms. That does not count his five dozen plus short stories and hundreds of articles and columns. In 2003, his novel, The Natural, won the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation Fiction Book of the Year Award. In 2004, The Abilene Trail won the same award. His 150th novel, The Mustanger and The Lady, was recently optioned for adaptation to a full-length motion picture.

Recent Titles: A Good Day to Kill, A Bride for Gil, The Mustanger and The LadyPray For The Dead, Arizona Territory

brothertonVelda Brotherton, Co-Founder
Velda Brotherton has a long career in historical writing, both fiction and nonfiction. Her love of history and the west is responsible for the publication of 25 books and novels since 1994. But she’s not about ready to stop there. When the mid-list crisis hit big city publishers, she turned first to writing regional nonfiction, then began to look at the growing popularity of small presses as a source for the books that continue to flow from her busy mind. Those voices simply won’t shut up, and so she finds them a home.

Recent Titles: Rowena’s Hellion, Beyond the Moon, A Savage Grace, The Tell-Tale Stone

linda appleLinda Apple
Linda Apple writes from her soul and speaks from her heart. Her novel, The Women of Washington Avenue, is born from years of living in the South and loving southern culture, people, and of course the deep friendships forged over the years. She is the author of Writing Life: Your Stories Matter, Connect! A Simple Guide to Public Speaking for Writers, andPOW: Promises Kept, the Inspiring Stories of Walter “Boots” Mayberry. She has been published in 16 Chicken Soup for the Soul series books.

Linda speaks and teaches workshops for writer’s conferences and groups. She enjoys helping others succeed in their writing goals. She lives with her husband, Neal, in Fayetteville, AR close to their five children, five children-in-loves, and ten grandchildren. (Note: Linda is a very young grandmother!)
Recent Titles: Women of Washington Avenue, POW: Promises Kept, Writing Life: Your Stories Matter

david bahnksDavid Bahnks
David has been a member of NWA Writers Workshop for several years. He’s placed in several conference contests for his short stories and poetry. He’s published in Echos of the Ozarks Vol 2 and Vol 3, America Loves Heroes anthology—Dad Series, and in Voices, Vol 2. He’s former Air Force and a Quality Control Engineer, and he’s traveled North America for the last twenty-five years as a sales engineer / Sr. Accounts Manager for the Emerson Electric Corp of St. Louis, Mo. He’s also a member of OWFI and River Valley Writers of Fort Smith. Currently, he’s polishing up a 90,000 word thriller entitled Doom’s Door and has started work on a supernatural thriller called The Demon Collector.


Margo Bodishbaugh
Margo is not only a writer, speaker, and actress, she is a Black Belt in Judo predictably making Sydney Bristo her alter ego. She’s lived in Hollywood and the San Francisco Bay area, but she is thankful to have returned to her roots in Northwest Arkansas. Her husband Matt and three daughters keep her anchored and laughing.

Encouraging women through creative communication is her passion and you can find some of her work on Fellowship Bible Church Blog and The Kingdom Life Now. She is currently pouring her passion and love of mystery and romance into her first novel.


Casey Cowan
Casey is a writer, photographer, and graphic designer who has worked in and around the journalism, printing, and literary fields for twenty years. In early 2013, he co-founded Oghma Creative Media, a Fayetteville-based renaissance press dedicated to rewriting the rules of the publishing industry. As President and Creative Director there, Casey helps brand, promote, and publish authors, nationwide. During the three minutes a day he’s not promoting other authors and raising his five rowdy teenage children, he also writes, and is currently in the process of penning his first novel, Tarleton’s Quarter.

jim davisJim Davis
Jim Davis is the author of Portrait of Conspiracy, As Tough As They Come, AWoman To Die For, The Durley Incident, No Tears For Jack, and Prom Friday. Over a period of two decades, he traveled to over twenty foreign countries and made the first cellular telephone call in the country of Russia. In 1988, he thought he had found Elvis alive on the Island of Tortola. Awakened from a dream, he learned an Elvis Impersonator had begun singing in the bar located directly beneath his second-floor room.

Jim lives with his wife in the Boston Mountains. He publishes under the name J.M. Davis, and he writes mystery/suspense novels, novellas, and short stories.

Recent Titles: Portrait of Conspiracy, Prom Friday, and No Tears for Jack

Lori Ericson
Lori Ericson is a former newspaper reporter from the northwest Arkansas area with multiple awards from the Associated Press Managing Editors Association of Arkansas, Arkansas Press Association, Arkansas Press Women, and the National Federation of Press Women. Her mystery novel, Arkansas 309, was the first-place winner in the unpublished novel contest sponsored by High Hill Press at the October 2010 conference of Ozark Creative Writers. She has published several short stories and has just released her first novel, A Lovely County.

Recent Titles: A Lovely County

pam foster croppedPamela Foster
Twenty-one years ago Pamela Foster married her hero. The author’s husband is a disabled Marine, a veteran of Vietnam, a man who would walk through fire for her without ever acknowledging that he ignited the flames. She’s lived in the redwoods of the Pacific Northwest, on the side of a volcano in Hawaii, in the Yucatan beside the Caribbean Sea, the stark desert of southern Arizona, the jungle of Panama, and now lives in the Ozarks of Arkansas. Foster is the author of novels Redneck Goddess and Bigfoot Blues, as well as Clueless Gringos in Paradise, the non-fiction account of her move to Panama with her husband, two suitcases, and two giant service dogs.

Pamela is happy to speak to groups about loving and living with a warrior with PTSD and how service dogs bring veterans home from war. Send her an email to discuss it.

Recent Titles: Ridgeline, Noisy Creek, A Perfect Victim

denton gayDenton Gay
Denton Gay has written several screenplays, numerous short stories, two novels, and a non-fiction book. His short story, “My Last Night as a Coyote” is available in Voices, Volume One, published by High Hill Press.

His novels include Fatal Mistakes and Tailspin. He’s written a creative non-fiction book, American Highway Roulette. He has also written several screenplays which are available upon request: Outlaws (which made the quarter finals of a couple of screenwriting competitions), The Cottonpickers, Pinky’s Plumbing, Secrets, The Y, and Ruqui (co-written with Rosalyn Dewey).

Recent Titles: Tailspin, American Highway Roulette, Fatal Mistakes

russell gayerRussell Gayer
Russell Gayer has two fans. One is a 12″ 3-speed oscillator made by Westinghouse in 1967 and the other features a tongue-depressor handle and picture of Jesus. Most of his life has been frittered away in the pursuit of laziness and procrastination, both of which continually slip through his grasp since he refuses to put forth the energy to close his palm. In his made-for-TV-reality-show lifetime, Russell has been a dashing rock-star wanna be, a starving carpenter, a Hall of Shame softball player, and a poor excuse for a fisherman. His only saving grace is marrying way over his head. The fact that poor, sweet Connie has tolerated his antics since 1975 is a testament to her angelic patience and sympathetic heart. His grown children, Greta and Jesse, look at their Dad and shake their heads, praying most of their DNA came from Mom.

Recent Titles: The Perils of Heavy Thinking

bud hanksBud Hanks
Bud started writing law enforcement short stories and poetry in 1971. Most of the poems and stories were about life and people he had met and known on a daily basis. He retired from law enforcement after thirty years in 1994. He has two self-published books which he entered in contests and was part of the Cloverleaf published winners in 1974. He’s presently entering writing contests around the country and working on a western piece about an outlaw in the family.


nancy hartneyNancy Hartney
Nancy Hartney is a regular contributor to The Chronicle of the Horse, Sidelines, and Horsemen’s Roundup with news articles and photographs. Other published works have included book reviews which appeared in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram, motorcycle touring articles and photographs in American Iron, and general interest pieces in the Northwest Arkansas Times. While continuing to write non-fiction, she has also turned her pen to fiction and her camera to creative endeavors. A fondness for the ghosts of things, for objects returning to the earth, permeates her Ozark photos. Southerner by birth and upbringing, she still considers sweet tea her beverage of choice. She lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with a horse, three cats, two dogs, and a Yankee man.

Recent Titles: Washed in the Water

ann holbrookAnn Holbrook
Ann Holbrook worked for several years in university and corporate settings, ghostwriting for professors, department heads, and company presidents. She began writing for herself in 2006 and has since published both fiction and non-fiction. Her work has appeared in regional and international magazines, several anthologies, and local newspapers. Ann has also won awards in writing contests.

Ann’s most recent title is Overcoming: My Journey Through Ovarian Cancer, an inspirational, how-to book for cancer patients and their families, based on her extraordinary sixteen-year survival from ovarian cancer.

She is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature and a member the Ozarks Writers League and Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc.

Recent Titles: Overcoming: My Journey Through Ovarian Cancer

jack jonesJackie B Jones

  • BORN: AMERICUS, GA. April 30, 1947.
  • US MARINE VETERAN of Vietnam 1965 1stBtn., 9th Mar.Reg. “The Walking Dead.”
  • BSBA Henderson State College Arkadelphia AR August 1972.
  • BA Psychology California State University, Sacramento CA August 1979.
  • Disability Retired VA Civil Service July, 1992.
  • Readjustment Counseling Therapist, 1987-1992.


becky mccallBecky McCall
Becky writes articles and fiction—mainly mysteries—and is currently ghostwriting a book. She also reads manuscripts for content rather than line editing.




delois mcgrew

Delois McGrew
An award-winning writer, Delois has published fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Her credits include national magazines and regional newspapers, as well as seven short story anthologies. She consistently places at the top, or near it, in writing contests at popular conferences such as those put on by the Oklahoma Writers Federation and the Ozarks Creative Writers. She is also co-editor of two anthologies, Echoes of the Ozarks and Voices. She’s been a member of the Northwest Arkansas Writers Workshop since 2004, and is a member of Sisters in Crime, Oklahoma Writers Federation, and the Ozarks Writers League, where she has served as Treasurer, Newsletter Editor, and Director.

While her agent shops her cozy mystery novel, the first in a trilogy, Delois is working on a romantic suspense novel with a paranormal twist.

barbara mcminnBarbara McMinn





Gil Miller
Gil had a normal upbringing in Northwest Arkansas, which means his parents aren’t to blame for him going into crime (fiction). Instead, he blames a steady diet of movies, shows, and books, from Miami Vice and Scarface in the ’80s to Breaking Bad and Justified in the ’00s. To cap it all off, he discovered authors such as Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, Don Winslow, and the late, great Elmore Leonard. He makes his home outside Fayetteville, where he is at work on the next of his Rural Empires novels.

Recent Titles: Spree, A Temporary Thing, Startup

mikeyMike Miller
Mike Miller, who publishes under the name M.G. Miller, is the author of numerous Southern Gothic novels ranging from literary fiction to psychological thrillers and horror. His work has received Best Novel awards from Arkansas and Oklahoma states, a Deep South Prize from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and an Arkansas Governor’s Award for Literature. He is an avid cinephile and also enjoys the opera. He lives in Northwest Arkansas and is currently writing and developing several newly-discovered projects of the late, great bestselling author Harold Robbins.

Recent Titles: Bayou Jesus, Seven DevilsMurderous.

jan morrillJan Morrill
Jan Morrill was born and (mostly) raised in California. Her mother, a Buddhist Japanese American, was an internee during World War II. Her father, a Southern Baptist redhead of Irish descent, retired from the Air Force.

Her award-winning short stories and memoir essays have been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul books and several anthologies. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize for her short story “Xs and Os,” which appeared in the Voices Anthology. An artist as well as a writer, she is currently working on the sequel to her novel, The Red Kimono.

Recent Titles: The Red Kimono, Doll in the Red Kimono, Life: Haiku by Haiku

je newmanJ. E. Newman
Mysterious and enigmatic author of science fiction novel The Changeling. Former US Marine, NW Arkansas native, happily shares his home with his cat.

Recent Titles: Changeling

duke pennell

Duke Pennell
Since its founding in 2009, Duke has edited Frontier Tales, an e-zine dedicated to the latest in Western short stories. His work as a freelance and professional editor of fiction and non-fiction earned him a Top Ten place among Book and E-zine Editors in the 2011 Editors and Predators web poll. His editing achievements include “The Long Shooters” by Dan Chamberlain, which was ranked #1 on Amazon.com’s Western listings.

His latest professional endeavor includes the founding of Pen-L Publishing, which he manages with his wife, Kimberly. Their mission: to bring an author’s words to life, and to help readers connect with entertaining concepts and enlightening ideas, both fiction and nonfiction, in a variety of formats.

kimberly pennellKimberly Pennell
Kimberly Pennell brings 25 years of graphic layout and formatting experience to Pen-L Publishing, as well as a fondness for copyediting. She has also worked in the non-profit arena as a grant writer and at the University of Arkansas as a technical writer. She is currently working on a non-fiction book on homelessness.

Formerly gold and silversmiths, Kimberly and her husband, Duke, have lived in Northwest Arkansas for 27 years and have been members of the NWA Writers Workshop since 2008. Pen-L Publishing is the culmination of their ventures in the land of wordsmithing.

patty stithPatty Stith
After spending over a decade as a technical writer in Northern Alaska, Patty chucked aside her mukluks, loaded up her cats, and moved south to pursue a career in writing fiction. She writes romances under the name Claire Croxton.

Her novels, which she refers to as soul-searching snark, are filled with unique characters—strong, bold women and knock-your-bloomers-off hot men. Sure, they’re flawed. But who cares? Have you seen their abs?

When she’s not writing, she’s gardening, baking, or thinking about making another quilt.

Recent Titles: Santorini Sunset, Ex-Ray, Redneck Ex

gmpubStaci Troilo
Staci grew up in Western Pennsylvania writing stories and poetry in her free time, so no one was surprised when she became a writing major in college. After working in corporate communications for more years than she’ll reveal here, she began freelancing when she had her children. Now she’s a published author and the Marketing Director at Oghma Creative Media. Her family has bounced around—a lot— but she currently lives in Arkansas with her husband, son, daughter, and two dogs.

Recent Titles: Type and Cross, Mystery Heir

ruth weeksRuth Weeks
Ruth Burkett Weeks (aka RH Burkett) is not only a tarot card reader and public speaker but an award-winning author as well, with short stories in several anthologies and a list of impressive contest wins. Her first novel, Soldiers from the Mist, was released by High Hill Press in March 2011. Her second novel, a paranormal romance entitled The Rook and the Raven, was released in 2012 by the Wild Rose Press. Daughters of the Howling Moon was released in 2014 by Pen-L Publishing. She is currently working on her fourth novel, The Legend of Dixie Dandelion.

Recent Titles: The Rook and the Raven, Daughter of the Howling Moon, Soldiers from the Mist

alice whiteAlice White
In 1965, this author was born to a Scottish mother and an English father in England. She began writing short stories and poetry at a very early age, progressing to novels in 2008. She did not seriously envisage publishing any of her work until she migrated to the United States and married in 2009. On moving to Arkansas in 2011, where she now lives happily with her husband, she for the first time saw the reality of sharing her work and published Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of The Blue Door Trilogy: The Blue Door, Beyond The Blue Door and Return To The Blue Door and a standalone book loosely attached to this trilogy, Twisted Labyrinth (Erik’s Adventures).

This author is currently working on her next novel/novella. She became a proud US citizen on January 17, 2014. She also likes to compose music, and plays the flute, keyboard, and violin. Her loves: animals—especially dogs and giraffes, anything gothic, and Doctor Who.

Recent Titles: The Blue Door, Beyond the Blue Door, Return to the Blue Door

madisonMadison Woods
Madison is one of the creative spirits behind Wild Ozark™, a company that exists at the junction of fantasy and fact – stories, books, and products influenced by nature, back-country living, and imagination. The “Wild” in Wild Ozark™comes from where Madison lives in the wilds of the Ozark Mountains with her husband, youngest son, and a couple of horses, a couple of dogs, a flock of chickens, and a couple of cats. To know Madison Woods is to know she’s prone to speaking to trees, rocks, and spirits, and she’s fully convinced that if she’s attentive, they will speak back directly into her heart and mind. To her, “kinship” is not limited to relations between a single species. She makes friends and allies with the wildlife, plants and stones and creeks. They are all kin in a broader sense of the word.

Recent Titles: Wand of Ash: The Proving, Waking the Sleeper, Into the Ginseng Wood: Beyond the Unfurling



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