Member Bios

JAMES M. M. BALDWIN, Member since 2009


James writes speculative fiction with an enthusiastic view of the interaction between science and humanity. His science fiction and fantasy writing interjects a study of spiritual self-awareness and its influence on the natural environment and the universe. Adding to the relationship between human nature and enlightenment, the occasional rocket ship and alien creature color his imaginary worlds. James is an author, artist, musician, and paranormal investigator. For more information, find James on Facebook at


MARY JO CAFFREY,  Member since 2006

Mary Jo comes from a family of seven, which explains her table manners and penchant for solitude. She graduated from Kearney State, taught school and joined the US Air Force. On Major C’s watch, no real weapons of mass destruction ever launched, though our nation was vulnerable a couple hours when she accidently locked herself in the latrine of the USSTRATCOM Command Center. After both Mary Jo and her husband Larry left the Air Force, they settled in Gretna, NE. Her preferred expressions incorporate a laid-back sense of humor into poetry, short stories, memoirs, and anything with a common theme that might fill a book or foxhole. She highly recommends this group to everyone interested in honing writing skills and associating with literary folk, who can spin a tale like a Hobbit. Joining NWW is like enlisting, only you swear on a stack of blank computer paper and the term only begins when you publish.


RHONDA M. HALL, Member since 1992

When Rhonda's not getting into car accidents caused by virtually all the bad drivers of America, she writes humorous novels. They include a cozy humorous mystery AUNT TWO LIPS TAKES A POWDER , a coming of age story THE NOSE-PICKING BOY, and a cross between “Where the Heart Is” and “Raising Arizona” THE MERMAID QUEEN.  The humorous tone of her screenplays match her novels, including “My Sister the Alien” and “The Sandstones,” which were entered in 2012 Film Festival contests. Four of her seasonal plays have been produced at her local church. Presently, she is writing a sequel to Aunt Two Lips and a screenplay adaptation of the Mermaid novel. She hopes you join her in praying those bad drivers stay away.


AARON LOYD, Member since 2007

Aaron was born in Montana as an Army-brat thus subsequently lived on many military bases and appreciated the family settling in Blair, north of Omaha. Stories of all kinds filled his earliest memories. His repeated requests for his mother to read aloud his favorite books drove her to hide the old and buy new to save her sanity. He received his BFA in Film Studies from the University of Montana at Bozeman then began writing his own stories. His passion has evolved into a discipline of writing five hours a day.  Aaron’s first novel INTERNSHIP WITH A VAMPIRE was fine-tuned at the Nebraska Writers Workshop and will be released by The Fiction Works in 2012. Perpetuating his love affair with books, he devotes his “spare time” to working as a librarian. 


JIM MCGOWAN, Member since 2004

Jim writes snazzy sci-fi/fantasy novels.  His latest work, REPENTER, is the first book in the Players of the Game series, and will appear in late 2012 as an e-book from The Fiction Works.  Think "Lord of the Rings" meets "Avengers" with a heavy metal twist.  His short story, “Sleep Talker”, appeared in the August 2007 issue of SOUNDS OF THE NIGHT and the June 2008 issue of ADOPLF'S KISS, both through Sam’s Dot Publishing.  His short story, “Seeds”, received Honorable Mention in the Genre Short Story category of the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition.  His short story, "Escape Velocity", appeared in the 2011 Omaha Contagion Outbreak Convention program.  Jim is currently hard at work on Players of the Game Book 2: THE BLOODY EMPRESS.  Check out and join the fight against Corsis.


NANCY A. NIELSEN,  Member since 2009

Nancy has published a resource for Speech Language Pathologists called 'Dot to Dot' and written half a dozen screenplays since attending Lew Hunter's Superior Screenwriting Colony in 2005. Three scripts have placed in the quarterfinals of a variety of international screenwriting contests. She has dabbled in writing and illustrating a children's Christmas picture book and is currently writing and illustrating an articulation homework system as a resource for SLPs.


JANET SYAS NITSICK, Member since 2007

After the accolades heaped on Janet’s  SEASONS OF THE SOUL, a nonfiction commentary about life with her two  autistic sons, she was motivated to write the 2012- released, historical romance LOCKETS AND LANTERNS. Her short story, “The Silver Lining,” placed 10th in the Fall 2010 79th Writer’s Digest Writing Competition in the mainstream/literary short story category. A former journalist and language arts teacher, Janet is the daughter of late Nebraska State Sen. George Syas who served 26 years in the Unicameral. Her current work in progress is CAMEOS AND CARRIAGES, a prequel to the Lockets romance.  For more information about Janet and her writing go to her website at .  




 MICHAEL PICKELL, Member since 2011

Michael earned his Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and British Literature from the University of Nebraska Omaha.  Currently, he is writing in the speculative fiction fields of sci-fi and horror, as well as mystery. He also creates freelance articles and blog content.  Like most writers, Michael is an avid reader.  He proudly points to areas of his writing style influenced by Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft and Neil Gaiman .

KENT SIEVERS, Member since 2012

During the first thirty-four years of his story telling career, Kent Sievers’ tool of choice was a camera. Working as a newspaper staff photographer with the occasional assignment for Time Magazine, Newsweek, Business Week, the New York Times and many others, Kent collected a wealth of real-life experience that he now puts to good use as a writer of fiction. His novel LITTLE MAN was released in 2012 and MASK OF BETRA followed in 2016. Born in Storm Lake, Iowa and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Kent resides in Papillion, Nebraska with his wife, Deborah, and their yellow lab, Jake. Website:


 and MASK

KIM STOKELY, Member since 2006

As the wife of a submariner, Kim lived in eight states over the last twenty years. She used her background in Drama (a B.F.A. from the University of Connecticut and a Master’s Degree from Regent University) to stay relatively sane throughout all those moves by performing in various plays and musicals, including a one-person show about women in the Bible.  In 2004, the Navy transferred her family to Omaha, Nebraska, a perfectly logical move that never made sense to her mother.  An avid reader, Kim has written novels in several genres, including Biblical, Historical, Inspirational Fiction and Young Adult Fantasy. Kim’s WINTER TREES was a semi-finalist in the Christian Writer’s Guild’s 2010 Operation First Novel contest. Her non-fiction Inspirational and humor stories have appeared in several “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books, VISTA and online.  She is a regular paid contributor to THRIVING FAMILY online magazine.  Please visit her website at to read a story , find out about an upcoming performance or just to say "Hi."


CHARLIE VOGEL, Member since 1990.

Charlie has written lies for about thirty years.  He’s been an enthusiastic participant, as well as an occasional presenter at NWW since joining. He proclaims NWW is a fine art tool that can motivate any author toward the goal of completing a book and considers the organization his “school of learning” that has resulted in a story collection for literacy (FIND THE SECRETS) and four novels (A WAVE OF DEATH, TO FIND A KILLER, SEARCHING FOR HARPIES, THE DOCTOR IS DEAD) published by The Fiction Works, as well as twelve more first-drafted novels awaiting revision. Believing few authors make a lot of money, he writes instead to fulfill a soul-deep desire because storytelling is his drug of choice.  At least he seems addicted to consuming knowledge of craft then communicating stories and character to the reader.  His work has been fed by his long careers in the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Omaha Police Department, and as security in Omaha Public Schools. He also collected some college credits along the way and took writing courses in the Omaha Metro Area.  The incomes from those four different retirement sources now give him the means and time to write his mystery thrillers. 


LYLE J. WALKER, Member since 2012

Lyle’s advanced English composition in high school allowed him to test out of freshman English at UNO.  He took the next level English composition instead. That did not serve him well because his remaining years in the Engineering College required a lot of technical writing (a different discipline altogether).  He received Letters of Commendation and Recommendation in the Navy, as well as recognition for re-writing the Training Department’s Instructors’ Manual for teaching high altitude instrument flying and navigation on flight trainers.  The first few years of civilian life he taught industrial arts then shifted gears to become a Quality Assurance and Manufacturing Process Engineer.  While his wife poured her free time into becoming a professional writer, he took up playing the bagpipes, becoming a competitive solo and band piper.  Lyle earned a Level 4 Certificate from Scotland's College of Piping and became the only piper in the area with that highly-respected College of Piping certification.  With less technical writing at his day job, he decided to change from reading science fiction to actually writing it. Now retired, Lyle remains true to the genre's traditions and refuses to insert any fantasy into his writing, although one might detect references to well-known movies, books, or people. Is his style humorous or serious?  He leaves it to the reader to decide.

SALLY J. WALKER, Member since 1985

Sally’s published credits include literary, romance and western novels, a nonfiction essay collection, several creative writing textbooks, stage plays, poetry, and many magazine articles on the craft of writing, including staff contributions to two international film magazines. She has a YA series and several children's books waiting in the wings. With 28 screenplays written, Sally has a WGA-signatory agent representing her. Aside from long time active memberships in such national writing organizations as RWA, WWA and SCBWI, she served from 2007-2011 as President of the prestigious Nebraska Writers Guild. Since 2000, she has worked as small press Editorial Director for The Fiction Works, in charge of acquisitions and supervising 14 sub-contracted editors. Besides editing and promoting TFW authors, she created and contributed to the company's fiction line for adult literacy, the Bell-Ringers. Sally has taught writing seminars, both on-site and on-line, for over 25 years and is the facilitator and teen mentor for the weekly meetings of the Nebraska Writers Workshop in Ralston, NE. For more information go to her website at


SHAWN WATSON, Member since 2000

After graduating from Loras College, Shawn began building his writing portfolio with short fiction, a whole lot of poetry, two novels and 15 feature length screenplays, three of which have placed in national script contests. Attending Lew Hunter’s Superior Colony gave him the momentum he needed to focus on film-making. He wrote the short film “Love Owls” that toured the 2009 film festival circuit, then co-wrote the short “Reservations” which earned his first producing credit and won the Omaha Film Festival’s Best Nebraska Short category in 2011. In 2012, his short film “Mouse Turds and Memories” was well-received at that festival. He has also served as a crew member on the web horror series “The Dead Hour”. Shawn particularly enjoys writing positive-message films he can produce with his wife, Amy, a graduate of the UNL Film School. 




Elizabeth Groth, Member 2011-2013

In her fourth grade classroom at age eight, Elizabeth concluded she fit in the “creative” part of society. Right then she recognized her calling to write for the rest of her life and proceeded to put into words absolutely anything and everything that came to mind. Here in her teen years, she writes mostly fiction with the hope of publishing a novel someday. Her Junior year film class opened her creativity to the joys of screenwriting. NWW coaching and handouts equipped her with the skills to score well on her student film. She tested the cinematic waters even more by volunteering at the Omaha Film Festival in March 2012.  Bess hopes to continue to grow her knowledge and skills through NWW attendance, building a solid resume for college applications and one day making a living through her passion for the written word. NOTE: She applied to the prestigious NYU Film School and was among the 3% of that year's applicants accepted to 2013 Fall Term.  Bess subsequently received praise for her in-depth knowledge of creative writing and screenwriting principles and graciously credited her NWW experience.