Chris Keller, President, teaches social studies at Pleasant Hope High School. He earned his Bachelor of Science and Masters degrees in Social Science Education at Southwest Baptist University. Serving as sports/managing editor of the Omnibus, SBU’s student newspaper, he received multiple Missouri College Newspaper Association awards and MCNA Journalist of the Year runner-up honors in 1990. Transitioning to a career in broadcasting, Chris served as 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. Returning to SBU in 2001 as a full-time staff member, he was hired as the Omnibus’s Advisor and received the Missouri College Media Association’s Advisor of the Year Award in 2007. Chris joined the SWG in 2015 and is also a Missouri Writers’ Guild member. He is currently working on two novels (science fiction and romance), a children’s book, and four songs he hopes to include in his books.
Candy Simonson, Vice-President/Newsletter Editor, 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). 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.
Tim Ritter, Secretary, A Springfield native, Ritter first embraced creative writing at the age of 9. By age 13 he had written two adventure books, several plays, and created his own comic strip. His 8th grade editorial Lunchline Blues earned him an award in the LAD language arts fair, and in highschool his poem Death of a People appeared in Labyrinth, an anthology of writing and artwork from students throughout Springfield Public Schools. He also wrote scripts for several assemblies in high school.
While attending college, Ritter couldn’t keep from writing and began experimenting with free verse poetry and nontraditional prose. After graduation, he continued writing about his life experiences, including marriage, fatherhood, death, abuse, and divorce, the collection of which became his first book, Soul Sketches, self-published in 2012. He is currently working on a novel, Sarah Burning, based on true events.
John Cawlfield, Treasurer, is now retired as the Branch Manager for Schraad and Associates, the largest independent food broker in the Central United States. He attended Missouri State University earning a degree in Psychology. Now as a full-time writer, he pens his crime thrillers under the name J.C. Fields. Author of the Award-Winning Sean Kruger series, all six of these suspense thrillers have won numerous awards.
John served as SWG Treasurer (2015 & 2017), Secretary (2017), President (2018) and Director at Large (2019). He is also a member of the Missouri Writers Guild and Sleuths, Ink. John resides in Battlefield, Missouri with his wife, Connie and their rescue cat, Asia.
Yvonne Erwin, Director-at-Large, 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).
The Appointed Offices of SWG:
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.