S145. Kafka’s Office, Ailey’s Studio: Creative Writers in Professional Administration

A106, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
10:30 am to 11:45 am


For creative writers, administration signals bureaucracy, at worst, or artistic free-rein, at best. But in this gig economy, leadership jobs can provide not just stable but also fulfilling work. This panel—comprised of university program directors and a dean, with leaders of national organizations and local nonprofits—discusses complex realities when writers enter into a system’s machine. Writer/administrators share lessons from their creative leadership, even under institutional resistance.


Christy J. Zink is a published fiction and nonfiction writer, with expertise in women's health. She is an assistant professor of writing in George Washington University's University Writing Program and Assistant Director of Writing in the Disciplines, and is the past director of PEN/Faulkner's Writers in Schools program.

Doug Hesse is Professor and Executive Director of Writing at the University of Denver, and past president of NCTE, CCC, and WPA. He is the coauthor of Creating Nonfiction, and has essays in Fourth Genre, Writing on the EdgeThe Middle of the Middle West, and elsewhere. 

Michael Paul Thomas is an Associate Dean at Monmouth University, where he teaches poetry and directs the Visiting Writers Series. He received his MFA in Poetry from Syracuse University where he was the founding editor of Salt Hill. His work has appeared in the Greensboro Review, Slice, and other journals.

Lisa Page is coeditor of We Wear The Mask: 15 True Stories of Passing. Her work has appeared in VQR, Playboy, the Washington Post Bookworld, The Crisis, OriginsAmerican Short Fiction, and in several anthologies. She directs the creative writing program at George Washington University.

Seema Reza is the author of When the World Breaks Open, a memoir in essays and poetry, and coordinates and facilitates a multi-hospital military arts program in Washington D.C. She is a VONA Alumna and serves as a council member-at-large for the Transformative Language Arts Network.


March 27–30, 2019
Portland, OR

Oregon Convention Center