Why write? Why write a memoir? Why write a song? Because we have to! Some story pushing to be expressed just won't leave us alone. Memoir writing is the rush of the memory longing to be captured, and the craft of shaping this memory into story to share with others. Songwriting is marrying words to the arc of a musical line. My current writing takes many forms - stories to gather in the memories of earlier years, songs to capture images or emotions, laments for our sweet planet, and proposals to inspire us to create a palliative community of excellence. I taught writing in all these forms at Fairhaven College for many years, and now am the Community Champion for the Palliative Care Institute at Western Washington University. I love helping others find the tools and strategies to find their own passions and the voice to express them.
Kate Gray's passion stems from teaching, coaching writers, and volunteering as a writing facilitator with women inmates. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, two full-length poetry collections, and one novel. Kate and her partner live in a purple house in Portland, Oregon with their impetuous dog.
Holly J. Hughes is the author of Sailing by Ravens (University of Alaska Press, 2014), co-author of The Pen and The Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World (Skinner House Press, 2012), and editor of the award-winning anthology, Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer’s Disease (Kent State University Press, 2009). Her fine art chapbook Passings (Expedition Press, 2016) received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation in 2017. She taught writing for more than 25 years at Edmonds Community College, as well as at regional conferences and workshops, among them Fishtrap, the North Cascades Institute, Litfuse, and Write on the Sound. She also spent over thirty summers working on the water in Alaska commercial fishing for salmon, skippering a 65-foot schooner and working as a naturalist on ships. She currently teaches writing and mindfulness workshops and consults as a writing coach, dividing her time between a home in the Chimacum valley and a log cabin built in the 30s in Indianola, Washington.
John Miller has been working professionally as a guitarist, composer and guitar teacher for close to fifty years. He began teaching while still in high school, and has focused on that throughout the years, teaching privately, via instructional videos and books and at a variety of music camps since 1976. He has also worked as a recording artist, both as a soloist and accompanist, and has performed internationally.
Devan Wardrop-Saxton (she/her) is a songwriter & playwright originally from the City of Subdued Excitement (otherwise known as Bellingham, WA), and now living in Portland, OR. Raised in the Pacific Northwest folk music community, she writes intimate, fantastical plays that seek to engage the full breadth of live theatre's imaginative possibilities and she delights in collaborative processes that blur the lines between creative disciplines. She released her first EP of original music, City Where You Live, in 2015, and is looking forward to teaching at the Northwest Women's Music Celebration and California Coast Music Camp later this year. An associate artist of new works lab String House Theatre, she is a grateful recipient of a 2018 playwriting residency with Hungary's D'Clinic Studios, currently serves on the board of the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, and is a former co-coordinator of PSGW's The Workshop Workshop. Her favorite book, at least for the moment, is Geoff Ryman's "The Child Garden." www.devankws.com