Tulsa NightWriters officers are elected in November of each calendar year, and officially installed at the December TNW Christmas party.
President – Rex Griffin
After years of earning a living, I had long since put away any fanciful ideas of serious writing like I dreamed about when studying at OU. But a coworker (who is now a Tulsa NightWriter) encouraged me to pursue an idea I had for a novel. Thus, my writing journey began anew. I talked to people about the story, including an enthusiastic lady who extolled the virtues of a local writing group, the Tulsa NightWriters. That inspiring woman was TNWC Hall of Fame inductee Peggy Fielding, and though my schedule would not allow it at the time, the NightWriter seed had been planted.
Becoming a Tulsa NightWriter topped my list when I retired in 2013. In the beginning, I sat in the back and listened, intimidated by the accomplished authors and their mastery of the writing craft. But their skills ignited my desire to learn. I attended conferences and workshops, always eager to grasp and understand the constructive details of fine storytelling. Over the last year or two, I began to share a few of the things I picked up. Gratefully, some NightWriters noticed and, to my astonishment, believe I am qualified to take a leadership role in the club. I am honored by their confidence (though I question their wisdom).
With their encouragement, guidance—and a lot of help—I hope to earn their trust, and yours, as your 2019 Vice President. I vow to work my hardest and do my best as Vice President of the Tulsa NightWriters.
Vice-President – Kathryn Helstrom
Kathryn Helstrom started her writing career when working for a medical manufacturing company, composing and editing high-tech equipment manuals. She created procedures for marketing and advertising, regulation compliance, and office policies and methods. Kathryn contributed to the advertising copy, sometimes acting as copy editor. Later, when working in the oil field industry, she helped write proposals for million-dollar contracts, including Letters of Intent, and correspondence with government and corporate executives. In 2000, Kathryn left the corporate world, and became an educator. In the last 20 years, she has authored dozens of instructions for complicated projects, and grants for monies.
She has traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world, recently returning from a research trip to Germany and France. As part of the marketing team with both the medical and oilfield companies, she organized and conducted conventions and training classes, including booking all the venues, and scheduling speakers.
Since 2009, she has been working on a medieval historical fiction about the Second Crusade. Although it has not been published, it is nearing completion. In addition, Kathryn has begun a series of adventure novellas about various fictional and actual medieval characters.
Treasurer – Marion Grace
After I joined TNWC, I asked the Vice-President, Bill Wetterman, if I qualified for the Accountability Partnership Program. He said, “Yes, of course!” and showed me an example of the kind and welcoming characteristics of this club. I ran and got elected to the Treasurer’s position. That helped me get to know people. This club is full of well published authors who love to help those who are new.
The club offered a chance to write a short story to be included in an anthology written by the Tulsa NightWriters. Half the authors were published and half were unpublished. I was lucky enough to have my story, “Chosen,” included. Then, the club gave a contest for flash writing. I had never heard of it. They taught me the guidelines. I wrote a story, “Coping Skills,” and won first prize! I can’t thank TNWC enough.
Editor — Cindy Rose
I’ve been a member of the Tulsa NightWriters Club, off and on, since the early 1990s, but you probably haven’t noticed, as I’ve spent most of that time being quiet and inconspicuous in one of the back rows. I worked for Samson Resources Company as a paralegal for 32 years and eight months before being caught in its last downsizing. While working there, I honed some serious skills in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint and served a few years as newsletter editor for the Tulsa Area Paralegal Association. I view my layoff as a sign for me to recharge my writing and would love to include serving as the NightWriters Editor in 2019 as part of that path.
I’ve been writing since junior high. One of my poems was published in the University of Tulsa’s Nimrod literary magazine while I was a student there, and I later published several “confession” stories (thanks to Peggy Fielding’s tutelage). Over the years, I’ve placed well in a few writing contests, including First Place in the 1990 Tulsa NightWriters Warm-up Contest, First Place in the 1991 Tulsa NightWriters Annual Best Sellers Contest (Romance Novel category), and finalist in the Contemporary Fiction Category of the 2010 Genesis Contest sponsored by American Christian Fiction Writers. My current WIP is a novel in the women’s fiction genre, but I was recently bit by the article writing bug, dividing my attention. My goals this year include developing a website and/or blog. I’m blessed by an incredibly supportive husband (Jerry) and a spoiled and rowdy black lab (Molly).
Hospitality Director – M. Carolyn Steele
Raised and educated in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Carolyn enjoyed a career in both journalism and commercial art before retiring to pursue a love of writing and genealogy. She has been a member of Tulsa NightWriters for so many years she cannot remember exactly when she first joined, except to note in that time many short stories have been published in seventeen anthologies.
Carolyn has garnered a number of awards, which include being nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her writings reflect a childhood steeped in Civil War history and Indian lore. Her first historical fiction novel, Spirit of the Crow, was released March 2017.
Combining her knowledge of storytelling and genealogy, Carolyn presents a variety of programs designed to inspire others to commit family stories to paper and authored the book, Preserving Family Legends for Future Generations, a 2010 First Place winner for Heartland New Day Bookfest.
Carolyn delights in her two beautiful daughters and two lively grandsons.
Visit her website: www.mcarolynsteele.com
Communications Director — Blake Collier
Blake Collier became a member of Tulsa Nightwriters shortly after moving to Tulsa from Amarillo, TX a little over a year ago.
His wife, Melissa, works for Child Protective Services as a training supervisor and he currently works as a draftsman for a small architecture firm in Broken Arrow.
He has been writing for over ten years, but has been writing for various online websites with established readerships for around six or seven years. Some of the sites he has written for include Mockingbird, Reel World Theology, Grindhouse Theology, Rise Up Daily, and The Curator. Most of his writing is nonfiction that focuses on culture and film analysis. His specialty is writing about theology and horror cinema. However, he also writes about his father’s struggle with Early-Onset Alzheimer’s and the occasional interview with authors and filmmakers.
He has had three essays published in physical essay collections and one essay published in an ebook collection. He is currently working on a book about horror and speculative theology and has begun to try his hand at short horror fiction.
Webmaster — Non-officer position
Jim Laughter served in the U.S. Air Force for 20-years and retired as a Master Sergeant in 1991. He is the creator of Galactic Axia, a series of young adult science fiction adventure books. His 2010 true-crime biography of the Steven Stayner kidnapping, From Victim to Hero, made Jim a best-selling author when it reached number one in the Amazon kindle store. His psychological thriller, The Apostle Murders, holds the record for the most kindle downloads in a single day. Jim served as editor of NightScripts for two years, and also served as President of the Tulsa NightWriter Club for two years, and Communications Director for one year. In 1982, Jim founded Missions Hotline, a non-profit organization dedicated to funding the education of national students in foreign missionary seminaries around the world. When time permits, Jim enjoys playing tournament poker.
2020 OWFI Delegates
- Rex Griffin
- Kathryn Helstrom
- Blake Collier
- Marion Grace
- Tony LoPresti