Tim Ritter, President, A native of Springfield, Missouri, Tim Ritter discovered writing and public speaking early in life. By age 13, he wrote poetry, two children’s adventure books, several plays and created his own comic strip which eventually found its way to his junior high school newspaper. He also discovered that he liked being on stage, and how people tended to listen when he spoke into a microphone.
Throughout his 29-year professional career as a mechanical engineer, Tim wrote articles for trade magazines and was the featured speaker at hundreds of seminars across the country.
Sarah Burning, released in 2021, tells the true story of a fatal housefire in rural Missouri in 1959, and the struggle of the three survivors who had to put the physical and emotional pain, survivor guilt, and horrifying memories of that night behind them. It is a story of perseverance, strength, and redemption in which everyone, including the rest of the family had to literally rise from the ashes.
Soul Sketches – 2nd Edition, released in 2020, is a heartfelt collection of short stories and poems, most of which are based on Tim’s personal experiences. He refers to the book as a “real, sometimes brutal, look at live, love, marriage, divorce, and everything in between”.
The Lantern series of books is a collection of lectures which have been presented to Masonic lodges in Southwest Missouri and has received critical acclaim from members of the fraternity across the state.
Tim lives outside Fair Grove, Missouri, with his wife, Lisa, writing full time and speaking to civic groups and organizations on a variety of topics. In addition to being president of the Springfield Writers Guild, he is a member of the Douglas County Historical Society, Ozarks Genealogical Society, and the Poe Studies Association.
Tim can be contacted via his website at timritter.net, and can be found on Facebook as Author Tim Ritter, on Instagram as authortimritter, and Youtube as TimothyRitter.
Yvonne Erwin, Vice President, is a legal assistant at Carnahan, Evans, Cantwell & Brown, P.C. in Springfield. Yvonne writes women’s interest books. Her first novel, The Discovery of Joy, tells the struggles and triumphs of three women, released in 2014. The Sisters of Madelaine Lane was published in 2016. She also co-authored a book, A Glimpse of Glory: My Journey to Heaven and Back. Yvonne is a member of the Missouri Writers’ Guild and also the Ozarks Romance Authors. Yvonne lives in Springfield, Missouri, with her black lab, Ella. Yvonne has served the Guild as past President (5 yrs), Vice President (2 yrs), and Secretary (2 yrs) and Director-at-Large (1 yr).
Andy Tarbox, Treasurer, Andy has been writing professionally for about 40 years. The majority of his professional career has been managing and writing marketing and technical papers for corporations and government agencies. His first novel, The Pinnacle Club under his penname Drew Thorn is available on Amazon and his second book in the series is going thru its final edit.
Andy is proud and very lucky to grow up on a dairy farm in upstate New York a few miles from Vermont. The hard work and play helped shape his character. He attended Tamarac High School which was small enough that everyone knew each other and remain close even to this day. He went on to join Alpha Gamma Rho and graduate from Cornell University.
His professional life is marked by transformation. He began in the farm equipment business and migrated in the early 80s to the nascent personal computer industry. Next, he learned about smart cards, a credit card-sized plastic card with a computer chip to store information. He transitioned this expertise to manage the global migration from magnetic stripe to smart card technology at MasterCard.
He has been fortunate to have traveled across the globe. Working on six continents and has logged over one million actual miles on United Airlines alone. He has lived in multiple cities including, Manhattan, Chicago, Palo Alto, and Sydney Australia. He has been in 49 of the 50 states, Alaska is still on the bucket list.
Beyond his passion to write. Drew enjoys gardening, cows, woodworking and used to love travel – today travel is just hard. He is very proud of his family. Judy is a college English professor, son John a commercial truck driver and daughter Lizzy is a Captain in the Army currently stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood. All doing incredible things.
Transitioning again, today he is loving the freedom of writing novels where the only limits are what you can imagine. He lives with his family in the Ozarks of Missouri enjoying the calm of midwest life. https://www.drewthorn.com
Monica Holcomb, Secretary & Newsletter Editor, grew up a Navy brat, and had the opportunity to see more of the world than most. As a child she loved reading and hearing stories, especially folktales from all the different places where she lived and traveled. Things she heard or saw would spark her imagination and would become elaborate stories full of colorful characters and exciting places. However, she never really shared them with anyone, they were just part of her own little fantasy world. Now she has hit a point in life where she is ready to start writing them down and sharing them with others. Her main focus is a fantasy trilogy, loosely based on an old Dungeons and Dragons Elf character. But she has many more story ideas waiting in the wings ready to come out on stage and be told.
Monica has lived in Springfield with her son since 2015. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree with concentrations in Psychology, Education and Theatre Arts. She has a real passion for working with the youth in her community, especially those at risk. Monica’s favorite place is the beach with her toes in the wet sand, the sun on her face, breathing in the fresh salty sea air. Eventually she hopes to do all of her writing at the beach!
Candy Simonson, Director-at-Large, has served the Guild as past Secretary (2018-2019) Vice-President (2016-2017), Treasurer (2012-2013), and Director-at-Large (2014). She has been the newsletter editor since 2012. Candy writes inspirational Christian fiction and nonfiction. Her award-winning short stories and essays have been published in seven anthologies, and over 400 articles have appeared in national print and online magazines. In the style of Laura Ingalls Wilder meets Jan Karon, her YA trilogy is based on true events. Love’s Journey Home was published in 2013, Love Looks Back and Love’s Amazing Grace (2015). Other books include A Quick Read (short stories-2016), Thoughts for Evening Time (five-minute devotions -2017), All Beautiful Creatures (an ABC primer/coloring book-2017), Food Hacks, Hints and Helps, (food tips- 2018), RUNAWAY, a Novel (2019), and Finding Your Superpowers (a children’s activity and coloring book – 2019), plus two novellas. Now retired from a career as a computer trainer, she lives in Strafford, Missouri, with her husband, Tim, where she can write full time and assist other authors with formatting their book or designing a book cover for self-publication.
The Appointed Offices of SWG:
Tim Straus, Cooperative Marketing Program Director, Antim “Tim” Straus, author of The Geoffrey Wines Series (Camp David Conspiracy; Disorder-A Novel) spent a career in new food product development and lives in Missouri with his wife of over 40 years.
Straus holds two U.S. Patents and is also the author of an offbeat take on creation entitled How Mrs. God and I Created the Universe—A Humorous Retelling. A stage play version is under development.
He also co-edited the trade book An Integrated Approach to New Food Product Development.
John Cawfield, Genre Group Coordinator: J.C. Fields is a multi-award-winning and Amazon bestselling author. His Sean Kruger Series has won numerous medals in the annual Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards. Plus, his first book in his Michael Wolfe Saga, A Lone Wolf, became a #1 Best Selling audiobook in March of 2020.
As one of the featured authors on the highly successful YouTube podcast, Fear From the Heartland, hosted by Paul J. McSorley, he offers a variety of original short stories penned specifically for its listeners.
He is active in numerous writers’ groups and serves on the board of Sleuths’ Ink Mystery Writers. He is also a full member of the Missouri Writers’ Guild.
He lives with his wife, Connie, in Battlefield, MO.
Nick Weyland, Mentor Coordinator, is now retired from the U. S. Dept. of Justice and Homeland Security throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. His position as Supervisory Special Agent, and then Section Chief for Immigration Enforcement gave Nick much knowledge and writing material. He took those experiences and wound them into two published novels: The Keepers of the Castle, and When Knights Wore Shining Armor. Nick lives with his wife, Beverly, and two dogs, Holly and Gweny, in Springfield, Missouri. Nick has been the Mentor Coordinator during the critique hour for many years. His books can be obtained by emailing Nick.
Terry Smith, Webmaster. Before retiring, Terry worked at Advanced Circuitry for almost 41 years in various capacities. He was a quality engineer for the last 15 years. The highlight of his career was the creation of a program for the chemical lab that streamlined, fool-proofed, controlled and automated some 400 plus chemical analyses. Terry enjoys writing poetry and short stories. He lives with his wife, Marilyn in Fair Grove, Missouri. Terry has been the webmaster of the Guild for many years.