Monday, December 8, 2014

Morgan Grey: New 49 Writers Executive Director

It is a tremendous honor to be asked to serve as the new executive director of 49 Writers. Linda Ketchum leaves a legacy of excellence, and I will strive to fill her shoes. I wish her well in her new adventures, and hope that she reports back from time to time.

It’s been an interesting journey to this point. Five years ago I decided that I wanted to get an MFA in creative writing and work in a community-based writing program. Less than two weeks later, Deb and Andromeda announced the creation of 49 Writers. I volunteered immediately. I wanted to be part of this new writers’ organization and the evolving community of Alaskan writers. Later that year, I was accepted into the MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) at UAA. Flash forward to summer, 2014. I was nearing completion of the MFA. I retired from my job at UAA and was looking for something interesting to do in the next phase of my life. Then the search for a new Executive Director was announced. When the Universe provides such a clear opportunity, I figure I need to pay attention.

Back in 2011 when 49 Writers was just one year old, Deb Vanasse interviewed me for a series of volunteer profiles. In her final question she asked what I imagined for the writing center in ten years. My reply was, I see the 49 Writers Center with its own building and adequate classrooms, running a full schedule of workshops, programs, and events for writers of all ages, genres, and geographic locations. The Center will foster connections among writers across the state, rural and urban, multi-generational and multi-cultural, using face-to-face and distance delivered formats. As the Center’s growth in this first year has shown, there’s a lot of interest and need. It’s a very exciting future.

Under the leadership of founders Andromeda Romano-Lax and Deb Vanasse, and executive director Linda Ketchum, 49 Writers has grown and expanded while maintaining a solid foundation. We are blessed with a diverse, talented, and highly skilled membership. I've met many of you in workshops, at the Tutka Bay retreat, the member salons, and other events. I look forward to meeting the rest of you in the coming year, personally or virtually. Together, we are capable of doing wonderful things.

It is a very exciting future indeed.

1 comment:

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Yes, and I am pleased you will be the one to lead us to our next chapter in 49 Writers. Welcome, Morgan!