Board of Directors
Jessica Jackson, President
Jessica Jackson’s writing career has taken many forms over the years, staff writer for the Northern Wyoming Daily News, grant writer for various non-profit programs as well as publisher, editor, and writer for various newsletters and currently a contributor to The Ten Sleep Tribute. She received a B.A. in English Literature from Aquinas College inMichigan, and an M.A. in Literature with a Creative Writing Emphasis, from Loyola Marymount, Los Angeles.
After graduating, she proceeded to put her degrees in an envelope and drove straight into an outfitting camp to cook for fisherman and elk hunters in the Bighorns. She has been living in the foothills outside of Ten Sleep raising children, observing the lives around her and gathering material and courage through the years. She is currently working on a series of narrative non-fiction stories.
Melissa Cook, Secretary
Melissa L. Cook has a Masters Degree in School Administration from the University of Anchorage (2007) and a second Masters Degree in Education with an emphasis on technology from the University of Alaska Southeast (2002). She obtained two bachelors degrees from Black Hills State University in Secondary Education with an emphasis in middle school (1994) and Composite Social Science (1993).
In 1995, Melissa and her husband, Elgin Cook, moved their three young sons to the tip of the Alaska Peninsula to live in a remote village located along the Bering Sea shores after growing up in Detroit, MI and Tucson, AZ. Nelson Lagoon was considered by many to be one of the most remote locations in the state at the time. Two years of thrilling bush flights, spectacular volcanic activity in the neighborhood and long, lonely winters lead the couple to move their family to a more populated area of Alaska though still qualifying as bush by most people’s standards - Prince of Wales Island. They lived on the island in the Tongass National Forest for 18 years.
Melissa left teaching after 15 years, moving to medical disability due to multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2011. She began the blog, www.MSsymptoms.me, documenting the latest MS research and her experiences living with multiple sclerosis. Elgin continued to teach in Thorne Bay, Alaska until the summer of 2016. They are now both retired from education and live in Burlington, Wyoming. Two of their three sons and four grandchildren continue to reside in rural locations on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska.
TERRELL GRaY, SCHOLARSHIPS/AWARDS CHAIR
Terrell Gray writes short stories and screenplays, mostly in the horror and science fiction genre, but has explored, westerns and slice of life drama. He loves to explore spiritual truths in his work.
He is best known for his novella, Bilbo the Clown Fights Evil and his novel Demons Carnival written under the pen name T. Thornton Gray. He has had numerous short stories published and his screenplay Scarecrow was chosen and produced by the Red Rocks Community College film production program in Colorado where he studied film Production.
He was born and raised in the Colorado mountains, but for a good many year now, lives with his wife Nicole and children, Dustin and Rebecca, in Rozet WY. His major influences are writers like: Frank Peretti, Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, and John Steinbeck.
KATHY BJORNESTAD, PAST PRESIDENT
Kathy Bjornestad is an elementary school librarian and former English teacher living in Sundance but born and raised in Cheyenne. She has been writing novels since fifth grade and has experimented with poetry, young adult suspense, fantasy/science fiction, and historical romance. Kathy has been a finalist in the Colorado Gold Writing Contest and in the Pikes Peak Writing Contest. She was a Wyoming Fellowship for Creative Fiction recipient in 2012 and received an honorable mention in 2014 for the Neltje Blanchan Award. One of her short stories appeared as first place winner in a Scribes Valley anthology called Escape Your World. She has also been published in Christian Science Monitor’s Home Forum and placed multiple times in the Wyoming Writers Annual contest.
andrew call, Vice President
Andrew Call is a writer and photographer living in Laramie. Short stories are his bread and butter, but like any self-respecting/self-loathing fiction writer he’s got half-formed skeletons of a novel or two collecting dust in the closet.
He has worked professionally from the technical end of the writing spectrum—website copy for a restaurant supply business in Colorado, back cover book blurbs and copy editing for an independent publisher out of Washington, copywriting for a content marketing company based in Nevada—but every so often he’s drawn back by the siren song of short fiction.Andrew is a cancer survivor. He underwent chemotherapy treatments in the summer of 2018 and is currently in remission.
bob schrader, Treasurer
Robert W. Schrader has two published novels, Jerry’s Story and Tunnel Secrets. Raven and the Judge is his latest addition to the Sheriff Jerry Burkley Series. More about Bob is on his website, robertwschraderauthor.com.
Jerry Burkley Stories are written by Robert W. Schrader. The Author has worn many hats (and worked in many different occupations). Many of his experiences are reflected in his books. Keep in mind, however, the books are fiction. No one did what was alleged in the book unless, of course, they did.
Betty, the Author’s wife, says, “Bob can’t keep a job.” He has had a few. Bob is a retired judge (district court commissioner and justice of the peace), and lawyer. Bob retired from the military after 28 years as a Lieutenant Colonel. Along the way, Bob became a licensed embalmer, commercial pilot, Wyoming State Insurance Commissioner, and a certified social studies teacher.
In his spare time, Bob was an active member of numerous boards and civic activities. Bob was a board member and several times president of Attention Homes; and three Scottish Rite Foundation Childhood Language Clinics. Bob has been a member of the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo committees for more than 60 years. Bob and Betty were selected for induction into the Cheyenne Frontier Days 2020 Hall of Fame.
Bob, his wife, Betty, and service dog, Dusty, live on their ranch east of Cheyenne, and vacation in Casa Grande, Arizona, at G Diamond Ranch. Bob and Betty have two daughters and six grandchildren.
Cathy Ringler, Publicity Chair
Cathy Ringler is a storyteller, cowgirl, and retired teacher. She lives at the foot of the beautiful Beartooth Mountains and rides in them as often as her busy schedule will allow.
Her first book, Miya’s Dream, received a Bronze Medal in the 2019 Moonbeam Children Book Awards. It was also awarded third place in the 2019 EVVY Awards as well as receiving a 2019 Western Horizon Award.Cathy is currently hard at work on the sequel to Miya’s Dream. She is honored to serve on the board of Wyoming Writers because of the strong support and encouragement this organization provides to all aspiring writers.