As well as an active and working Board of Directors, AWA is fortunate enough to have the ongoing resource of retired Directors. These individuals were all close to the founder, Pat Schneider, and have pledged to offer wisdom, reflection and guidance to AWA. Their work ensures the organization stays faithful to the intentions that supported it from the beginning. 

Kate Hymes Bio Photo, a black woman with short dark hair sitting in a wooden chair and looking toward the camera

Kate Hymes

Kate Hymes is a poet and writer, writing consultant, workshop leader and editor. In Fall 2017, her chapbook, True Grain, was published. Her poetry has been published in Gathering Ground: Cave Canem 10 Year Anniversary Anthology, University of Michigan Press; Riverine: An Anthology of Hudson Valley Writers, Slant of Light: Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley, and Reflecting Pool: Poets and the Creative Process, Codhill Press. She edited wVw Anthologies 2011 and 2015, and is the online editor for She has led Wallkill Valley Writers workshops and retreats in the Hudson Valley for over 20 years. She lives in New Paltz, NY.

Lane Goddard Bio Photo, a white woman with short grey hair and a small

Lane Goddard

Lane Goddard discovered the magic of the AWA workshop method in a 2006 workshop with Pat Schneider, and never looked back. She was trained as a facilitator in 2009, and joined the board in 2012, serving as secretary/treasurer, vice-chair, and chair along the way. Her principal motivation for serving on the advisory board, and for working with writers using the AWA method, is her abiding belief in the value of writing and the writing life–for writers as well as readers–and the great joy she finds in writing with others in this safe and liberating way.

Lane has hosted twice-monthly AWA sessions for women in her home since 2009; her Free-Range Writers workshops meet in various places for six to eight weeks. A writer of short fiction with a novel in slow progress, she was competitively selected by Richard Bausch (on the basis of her fiction) for the Heritage Writers Workshop at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

As co-founder, then sole owner, of LandaBooks, she provided training in writing and related skills to adult employees of government agencies and private-industry organizations for more than 20 years. A graduate of Duke University, she also holds an MA in English from the University of Florida, and has earned many postgraduate hours in counseling, and a few in business administration.

A member of Winston-Salem Writers, Lane co-coordinated arrangements for Pat Schneider’s North Carolina workshops, and has served on the WSW board. Lane writes short fiction and is working on a novel; she was competitively selected by Richard Bausch (on the basis of her fiction) for the Heritage Writers Workshop at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Bisi Ideraabdullah

Bisi Ideraabdullah is an educator, writer, and activist. Sister Bisi is a certified Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) workshop facilitator and a member of AWA’s advisory board. She heads The WOC Writers’s Workshop® Community, a global collective of women writers. Besides leading women in creative writing, she sponsors the WOC Visiting Guest Artist Series, readings, performances and publications.

Sister Bisi helped the WOC writers’ workshop publish their first publication Voices of Brooklyn: Writings from the Women of Color Writers Workshop (2000). Her story “Imani Means Faith” appears in the National Book Foundation’s Collection: Sounds of This House. She is currently working on an anthology Boundaries & Borders, a collection of writing from women of color across the globe as well as her memoir, How Many Days Until Tomorrow.

Sister Bisi is also the founder and executive director of Imani House, a nonprofit organization with programs in Brooklyn and Liberia, W. Africa. She is of African-American/Caribbean descent.

Karen Buchinsky photo, a white woman with shoulder length brown hair, glasses, and a moon-shaped necklace

Karen Buchinsky

Karen Buchinsky has been with AWA since 1994. She’s helped prepare hundreds to use the AWA method in places where voices have been silenced. She is an original facilitator of Voices from Inside, a non-profit that provides AWA method workshops for incarcerated women, and continues with that work as lead trainer.