Board of Directors

Board of directors of the Chattanooga Writers’ Guild is dedicated to supporting the vision of the guild, The Guild promotes, encourages, and supports writing and fosters a supportive, caring environment for writers in the Chattanooga community (Bylaws Article 1). Board members are community minded people who are enthusiastic about cultivating a caring and supportive environment that enables all of the members to thrive in their art.

Ray Zimmerman


Ray has worked as a park ranger/naturalist and in the tourism industry. His freelance journalism has appeared in the Chattanooga Pulse and the Appalachian Voices web site. His poetry has appeared in Catalpa, The Avocet, Number One (Gallatin, TN), The Weatherings Anthology (FutureCycle Press), and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume 6, Tennessee (Texas Review Press). His chap book, First Days, is available from Finishing Line Press.

Kelly Hanwright


Her poetry has been published in The Birmingham Arts Journal, Homespun Journal, Abyss & Apex, American Diversity Report, Heart of Flesh Literary Journal. It is also featured in the Write Like You’re Alive Anthology, and Best of the Net Anthology. She has been nominated for a Best of the Net award and a Pushcart Prize. Her poetic memoir, The Locust Years is in progress. She leads the Rogue Christian Writers group.

Kelly writes, teaches, and loves life in the beautiful Smoky Mountains. She lives with her hero Frank, who also happens to be her husband.

Chris Wood


Chris Wood is a lease analyst by day, student by night, and writer in between. Chris lives in Tennessee with her husband and several fur babies. She is currently earning her bachelor’s degree in accounting and has poetry published in Poetry Quarterly, Haiku Journal, Three Line Poetry, and several online publications. She also won second prize in the 2016 CWG Spring Writing Contest for her poem, Thus Your Live Grows. Chris served as Treasurer from 2013 to 2015 and has been a member of the Chattanooga Writers’ Guild since 2012. As the current Treasurer, Chris desires to utilize her extensive experience in bookkeeping and accounting to offer professionalism in CWG that will help support our membership.

Kate Landers


Kate won the Gates-Thomas award for fiction in 2006, an SCBWI Honorable Mention for a children’s book in 2016, and 2nd place for both Fiction and Nonfiction in the 2017 CWG Spring Contest. She was a collaborator on the novel Esyld’s Awakening, and her work can be found in the 2017 and 2019 CWG Anthologies.

She has served on the board since 2017, Secretary for two years and Vice President for one. She wrote an amazing newsletter for two years and has served on event planning teams. She will continue on directing our membership services and contests. She leads the Kids Lit Writing group.

John C. Mannone

Director of Programs

John has poems in North Dakota Quarterly, Foreign Literary Journal, Le Menteur, Poetry South, Baltimore Review, and others. He was awarded the Carol Oen Memorial Fiction Award (2020) and the Jean Ritchie Fellowship in Appalachian literature (2017). He is the poetry editor for Abyss & Apex and other journals. A retired university physics professor, John lives between Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Updated September 2020

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