AWP Communities Shaping Governance

Through a rotation of elections, AWP recruits its trustees from councils of creative writing programs and from the literary and philanthropic communities at large.

The member creative writing programs of AWP are organized regionally into councils. Member writers’ conferences, festivals, and centers also have their own council. Each council selects a Chair to serve on the AWP Board of Trustees. Each council may also appoint a Vice Chair, but only the Chair may serve on the board and attend board meetings.

Each fall, eligible voting members will receive, by email, more information on the elections and deadlines. In some years, only program directors may nominate and second candidates to stand for election within each of the councils. In other years, the general membership of AWP may nominate and second candidates. The rotation of elections is completed every four years.

The AWP Board of Trustees may include up to twenty-one voting trustees, plus an unlimited number of nonvoting ex-officio trustees, who serve as advisors to the board. Voting trustees serve four-year terms, and they may be reelected to serve up to three consecutive terms.

Any voting trustee of the board, including the Council Chairs, may serve as an officer of the board. Please see the bylaws for additional provisions of governance.

The councils and their Chairs are as follows:

  • AWP Western Council (member programs in Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Manitoba, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Saskatchewan, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming, and Pacific Rim international programs). Chair Susan Jackson Rodgers, Oregon State University.

  • AWP Southwest Council (member programs in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah). Chair Ryan Stone, Paradise Valley Community College.

  • AWP Midwest Council (member programs in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Ontario, and Wisconsin). Chair Kris Bigalk, Normandale Community College.

  • AWP Southern Council (member programs in Alabama, Arkansas, Caribbean Islands, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee). Chair Ira Sukrungruang, University of South Florida.

  • AWP Mid-Atlantic Council (member programs in Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia,). Chair Lesley Wheeler, Washington and Lee University.

  • AWP Northeast Council (member programs in Connecticut, Labrador, Maine, Massachusetts, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Europe). Chair January Gill O’Neil, Salem State University.

  • WC&C Council (all the constituents, nationally and internationally, who pay dues to the Writers’ Conferences & Centers category of the AWP membership). Chair Jerod Santek; Write On, Door County.

Each council convenes, every spring semester, at the AWP Annual Conference & Bookfair. There is also a Plenary Assembly of all program directors before the regional council meetings. These meetings are held on the Thursday morning of the conference.

If you are affiliated with a member college, university, conference, or center of AWP and you would like to stand for election as Chair or Vice Chair, please contact your Council Chair for more information.

If you are an individual member of AWP, watch your email from AWP for more information on the non-council elections of at large trustees.
Elected Board Members

Read the campaign statements and bios of those previously elected to AWP's Board of Directors.