Our Writers G – K


Michael Gaspeny
is the author of the chapbook Vocation published by Main Street Rag. He won the 2012 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition and the 1998 O. Henry Festival Story Contest. A retired English teacher, he’s a hospice volunteer and a Town Square columnist for The News & Record. He has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arkansas.


Gates_NGNancy Gotter Gates is a long standing member of the Writers’ Group of the Triad, having served 13 years as its treasurer on the board of directors (1990-2003). A Greensboro resident, she is the facilitator of WGOT’s Mystery Writer’s group I. Twenty-six of her short stories and dozens of poems and articles have been published in regional, national and international publications. She is also an artist. Her short stories and poetry have appeared in the prestigious 1985, 1987, and 1995 O. Henry Festival Stories. She has also appeared in Children’s Digest, and North Carolina Literary Review. Nancy has completed three novels and edited the book, Creative Writing/Cooking, (1994) a collection of recipes by well known state and national writers, published by Down Home Press. She has also contributed to two WGOT children’s anthologies, No Grown-ups Allowed (1995) and Candle in the Attic (2001), to the WGOT mystery anthology Deadly Plots (2002) and to the WGOT adult anthology Wordworks (2003). Her most recent novel, A Stroke of Misfortune, has been sold to Silver Dagger Mysteries.


Ruben Gonzales was born and raised in East Los Angeles. After graduating from California State University, Ruben spent 5 years with the Peace Corps in a variety of postings in West Africa including a stint in a small village as an elementary school teacher and traveling as a training officer. After his service Ruben moved to North Carolina and has called it home since 1976. Ruben spent his first 20 years in Winston-Salem as an entrepreneur and the last twenty years working for the City government in business development, before retiring. In addition to his work in Africa Ruben has traveled extensively abroad and throughout the United States, becoming a student of Southern history, especially of his adopted North Carolina. Ruben enjoys the low country of North and South Carolina where his novel The “Cottage on the Bay”, a saga of a fictional post-Civil War plantation family, takes place.


John_HaughJohn Haugh’s writing has been published in Notre Dame Magazine, Rat’s Ass Review, Old Mountain Press, The Camel City Dispatch, and elsewhere. He won the Nancy J. Heggem Poetry Award, Winston-Salem’s Poetry in Plain Sight and helped create Greensboro’s Visual Poetry Walk. Mr. Haugh moved to Greensboro recently, was a NCAA national champion in fencing and spent hours browsing Powell’s City of Books in Oregon when young. He is working on a book called Conversations about mixtapes, red clay and repurposed ghosts.


Miriam Herin’s first novel Absolution won the 2007 NoHerin-Miriam-preferredvello Press Literary Award. Miriam’s second novel, A Stone for Bread (Livingston Press of the University of West Alabama, 2015) was a top ten finalist in the 2014 Faulkner-Wisdom Novel competition.
Miriam has taught composition and literature at Appalachian State University, Greensboro College, Essex County College in Newark, NJ, Limestone College and the University of South Carolina. She has worked as an editor at Good Housekeeping Magazine and the Winston-Salem Journal. For a number of years she free-lanced as a writer, editor, public relations consultant and producer of films and videos. She has lived in Greensboro since 2006. You can visit her Website here.


Izzell_EEmily Izzell has been a member of the Childrens Writers group for two years. She loves to write animal stories, especially about mice. She has one book published, by Publish America, entitled Hattie’s Big Move. Hattie is a mouse that lived in the Cape Hatteras Light House when they moved it to its present site. This book is available through the publishing company’s web site. She has a magazine article coming out in the March-April issue of Angels on Earth. Emily earned honorable mention in the Burlington Writers Contest in 2004 for her story of “Zachariah’s Gift,” about a mouse who lived in the stable where Jesus Christ was born. She also received second place for “Reflection,” a light verse poem. She enjoys writing scripts for the puppet ministry for her church and soliloquies for the drama club. Emily is now writing a Civil War novel for teens and has enjoyed the research for the project. She lives in Greensboro, is married, has three children, eight grandchildren, and five great grandchidren.


Mary_KendallMary Kendall is a poet and a retired reading teacher who lives with her husband in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Mary has poems in a variety of print and online poetry journals, and she has recently published a chapbook, Erasing the Doubt with Finishing Line Press (c) 2015. She is the co-author of A Giving Garden, a children’s book based on one of her poems. One of her current poetic passions is the study and writing of modern English versions of haiku, tanka and haibun. She has a weekly poetry practice blog, A Poet in Time, and invites you to come take a look at it. Being retired, Mary currently focuses on her writing, family, gardening and traveling.
Mary has two blogs: A weekly poetry blog called A Poet in Time: http://marykendall.wordpress.com and her personal travel blog:  Bedford Square + 2: http://marykendall2.blogspot.com



Coventry Kessler: Staff writer and editor at UNCG. Former English teacher. Writes poetry, plays, memoir—some published, some performed. Leads the Memoir Group. Argues in the Poetry Group. Likes books, art, swimming, weight-training, guys with muscles, Walt Whitman, comics, cartoons, chocolate, teasing, teaching, serious chat, and baking pies in no particular order.



Koger_HalHal Koger is a member of the WGOT Non-fiction genre. Hal worked his way through college at Florida State to earn a Master’s degree in Engineering Science, with minor degrees in Physics, Chemistry and Math. Even with this academic load and a one person office equipment repair business to run, he graduated Cum Laude. After college, and a ten-year employment with Hewlett-Packard, he helped start Pen-Tech Associates, Inc. and subsidiary firms. Hal enjoys writing. Anything from technical articles to humorous stories about his grandchildren or short stories about life as he sees it. One of these recently appeared in the WGOT newsletter. His “Soldier’s Medal” story appeared in the Guilford County veteran’s anthology, Freedom’s Heroes. His story, “The Slip” was in the adult WGOT anthology, Wordworks. He has completed one book, titled Philosophy of Wealth, prompted by his interest in friends and family who want to believe that wealth is based on luck or some unusual skill. Koger has had a variety of unusual jobs which add to his rich array of experience and helps contribute to his writing. He’s worked with apples, tobacco, pulpwood and cattle. He was an automobile mechanic for two years, which led to rebuilding antique cars as a hobby. He’s been a chef, landlord, electronics technician, carpenter, and engineer. He is now a business owner, writer, volunteer mediator, arbitrator, deacon, and a director for various organizations. Most of these occupations have occured in parallel.