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Staff Biographies

  • Ed Southern Executive Director

    A native North Carolinian, Ed Southern has been Executive Director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network since 2008, after several years as Vice President of John F. Blair, Publisher. He also has worked as a bookseller, coffee-shop manager, sporting-goods sales clerk, janitor, assistant facilities manager in a major art museum, bartender, high school sports stringer for a local newspaper, delivery truck driver, dishwasher, basketball scoreboard operator, busser, bagger, and lawn mower.

    He is the author of four books, including the short story collection Parlous Angels. His shorter work in a variety of genres has appeared in storySouthNorth Carolina Literary ReviewThe Dirty SpoonSouth Writ LargeAsheville Poetry Review, and elsewhere. In 2015, he received the Fortner Award for service to the literary arts in North Carolina.

    He lives in Winston-Salem with his wife, Jamie Rogers Southern, the Operations Director for Bookmarks, and their children.

    Email: ed@ncwriters.org
    Phone: 336-293-8844

  • Deonna Kelli Sayed Membership Coordinator

    Deonna Kelli Sayed is an author, storyteller, and TEDx speaker. Her essays have appeared in Love, Inshallah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women and Faithfully Feminist: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Feminists on Why We Stay, as well as online. Her fiction is featured the anthology, Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet, Volume III. Deonna also works with Greensboro-based arts organizations, including Greensboro Bound and the NC Folk Festival.

    Email: deonna@ncwriters.org
    Phone: 919-308-3228

  • Jim Sheedy Database Manager

    Jim Sheedy has been working for the North Carolina Writers’ Network for over twenty years, promoting, coordinating, and teaching writing workshops onsite for North Carolina businesses. For over ten years, he has administered the Network’s membership database system.

    Jim has also been a technical writer in the software industry for over thirty years, currently working for SAS Institute in Cary, North Carolina, where he documents the programming interfaces to SAS graphics components.

    Email: jim@ncwriters.org

  • Katherine O’Hara Communications Director

    Katherine O’Hara received an MFA with Distinction from UNCW and is a Tin House Workshop alumna. She is the Communications Director for the North Carolina Writers’ Network—the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers. She’s also marketing manager of Longleaf Review and reads submissions for storySouth and Hub City Press. She has worked formerly for Beloit Poetry JournalEcotone, and Lookout Books. Among others, Katherine’s writing has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, NELLEArtemis Journal, and YES POETRY. As far as writing, she is pitching her hybrid novel that features poetic interpretations of grief in rural Louisiana, where her family is from.

    Website: katherinegohara.com