Yvonne Erwin, President writes women’s interest books. Her first novel, The Discovery of Joy (2014), tells the struggles and triumphs of three women. 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 has been a member of the Guild since 2009.
She has served the Guild as past President (2012-2014, 2016-2018, 2019-2020), Vice President (2013-2015, 2022), Secretary (2 yrs), Director-at-Large (1 yr), and the National Contest Chairperson for one year.
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.
Candy Simonson, Vice-President, has served the Guild as past Secretary (2018-2019) Vice-President (2016-2017, 2020-2021), Treasurer (2012-2013), and Director-at-Large (2014, 2022). She was the newsletter editor from 2012-2020, helped transition the SWG website, and is currently interim Webmaster.
Candy writes inspirational Christian fiction and nonfiction. Her award-winning short stories and essays have been published in seven anthologies, and over 800 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), God Help Me (an interactive devotional journal -2020); The Chosen One: Mary’s Story (2021); Rock Band Roadie (2022) plus a number of short stories. Now retired from can devote more time to writing and assisting other authors with editing, formatting and publishing their books, and designing book covers, and websites.
Candy also serves on the Behind the Pages Conference Board of Directors (2019-2023) as Registration Coordinator. She has been a member of Springfield Writers’ Guild since 2011. http://casimonson.com
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 (2021) under his penname Drew Thorn is available on Amazon. The sequel, The Oligarchy (2022)continues the political saga with espionage and adventure.
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 graduated from Cornell University.
Beyond his passion to write. Drew enjoys gardening, cows, and 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, and breathing in the fresh salty sea air. Eventually, she hopes to do all of her writing at the beach!
Chris Keller, Director-at-Large
Chris Keller, Director at Large, returns to the Springfield Writers’ Guild Board of Directors in 2023 after serving as President (2020-2021) and Vice President (2018-2019). He is also serving on the Between the Pages Writers’ Conference Board of Directors for a fourth consecutive year (2020-2023).
Professionally, Chris is a Social Science instructor at Pleasant Hope High School where he has written and designed curriculum for eight classes. Chris earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Social Science Education at Southwest Baptist University. While working toward his degrees, he served as the sports and managing editor of the Omnibus, SBU’s student newspaper. He received multiple awards for his writing from the Missouri College Media Association and was a MCMA Journalist of the Year finalist in 1990. He also received the MCMA Advisor of the Year Award in 2007.
Transitioning to a career in broadcasting after college , Chris became the news/sports director and station manager at Missouri radio stations KBFL, KHST, KRLK, and KYOO where he received the Missouri Broadcasters Association’s Excellence in Sports Broadcasting Award in 1993. In 2000, Chris returned to SBU where he served on staff in multiple departments.
Chris is currently working on two novels (science fiction and romance), a children’s book, and four songs he hopes to include in his books.
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.
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.